"Our research clearly shows that social inequality underpins Britain's relatively poor record on child pedestrian safety. Children and adults in deprived areas are less likely to get about by car and are more likely to make journeys on foot. Kids from deprived backgrounds are less likely to have gardens to play in and are more likely to play on the street unsupervised. Therefore we want to see the government prioritise tackling making streets safer on deprived parts of the country.
"The visibility and freedom of children is surely one of the marks of a civilised society. If the freedom of children is constrained in the motor age, then public policy should seek to rebalance the rights and responsibilities of road users towards children's rights and motorists' responsibilities. This means tackling the issue of speed head on, both speed limits and their enforcement, and that will require leadership from the top.
"This is not a matter of being pro- or anti-car. It's about getting a balance of rights and responsibilities between different road users. So far the government has been weak in the face of the media and motoring lobby on the questions of traffic speed, pedestrian safety and street liveability. Making streets safe and liveable for children is not just the right thing to do. It is also a potentially popular political agenda."
Dr Daniel Graham, Senior Research Associate in the Centre for Transport Studies at Imperial College said:
"The basic data show that the most deprived wards have much higher rates of child pedestrian casualties than the least deprived. You would normally expect to find higher casualty rates in dense urban areas with lots of t
Contact: Abigail Smith
Imperial College London