Road safety charity Brake has called for a mandatory 20mph zone around schools to reduce accidents and fatalities.
In 2022 there were 2,456 under 16’s seriously hurt or killed on Britain’s roads. Many councils have enforced a 20mph speed limit on roads around schools. However, according to Brake, two-thirds of parents reported that some zones close to their children’s schools had higher limits.
The report coincided with Brake’s Kids Walk, in which more than 11,000 pupils from over 720 schools and nurseries participated in a short, supervised walk around their schools or communities to raise awareness of road safety.
Lucy Straker, campaigns manager at Brake, said: “We know that excess speed is a factor in about a quarter of fatal crashes, and the physics is pretty straightforward: the faster a vehicle is travelling, the harder it hits and the greater the impact. A crash at 30mph has twice the amount of kinetic energy as a crash at 20mph. Reducing speed saves lives.
“As schools up and down the country take part in Brake’s Kids Walk to shout out for safe places to walk, with slow traffic, we’re calling for roads around every school to have 20mph speed limits – and other measures to effectively reduce traffic speed – so children and their families can travel safely to and from school every day.”
The charity’s report also found that parents and carers across the country say they won’t walk their kids to school because roads are too busy (36%) and cars go too fast (25%).
Cllr Linda Taylor, transport spokesperson for the Local Government Association, commented on the report: “Councils take the safety of school children and their parents very seriously. Many have introduced traffic calming measures including speed restrictions, School Streets, enforcement cameras and crossing patrols to ensure those walking and cycling to schools can do so safely.
“It is up to each individual council to introduce measures based on their own local needs taking into account the views of the school, police and local residents. Speed limits exist for a reason and road users must observe them to keep children and parents safe.”