Children in deprived areas three times more likely to be hit by a car

Children in the ten per cent most deprived wards in England are more than three times as likely to be pedestrian casualties as those in the ten per cent least deprived wards, according to new research published by the Institute for Public Policy Research (ippr) and Imperial College Centre for Transport Studies today (Monday).

The report, Streets ahead - safe and liveable streets for children, examines the relationship between deprivation and child pedestrian casualties in Britain and the use of 20mph zones to reduce injuries and inequality. This is the first time that all the pedestrian injuries in England reported by the police in 1999 and 2000 have been mapped to the official ward index of multiple deprivation.

The research found that the numbers of child pedestrian accidents in deprived areas is far more than would be expected, even taking into account the increased risk in urban areas. The report recommends:

  • Traffic calming combined with a maximum 20mph speed limit should become the norm in residential and other built up areas with priority given to traffic calmed 20mph zones in deprived areas with high pedestrian casualty rates.

  • All local transport plans should include pedestrian casualty reduction targets and a speed management strategy. In spite of the importance of traffic speed to the number and severity of road casualties, only one in three local transport plans presently include a clear speed management policy.

  • Home zones in Britain should rapidly move beyond demonstration projects to widespread implementation.

  • The government should develop a national strategy for pedestrians to promote an increase in walking at the same time as a reduction in pedestrian casualties.

Tony Grayling, Associate Director of the ippr and a co-author of the report, said:

"Britain's good road safety record overall is marred by a poor record on child pedestrian safety. In Britain in 200

Contact: Abigail Smith
Imperial College London

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