Thousands march for safer streets

JonathanJune 11, 2014

For many drivers, their worst nightmare is hitting a child or vulnerable person when they are behind the wheel, but this doesn't stop everyone from being reckless and not keeping a safe speed when they are near schools.

Because of this, more than 100,000 children from over 600 schools across the UK took to the streets yesterday (June 10th) to try and bring safety to our roads.

The initiative is part of Brake and's Giant Walking Bus scheme, which aims to get children more active by walking to school, but also ensure the streets they will be travelling on are safe enough for them to do so.

It aims to give young children a voice to tell drivers and local government about what will make them feel less vulnerable in their local area, whether they are going by foot or cycling. This also encourages kids to lead a healthier lifestyle in a world where we all too heavily rely on cars to get us to and from places.

Brake commissioned a survey of almost 5,000 children taking part in the event, which highlighted how much they want to get out more on bikes and by walking but also that they need safer streets in order to do so.

According to the figures, more than three-quarters (76 per cent) of students would like to walk or cycle to get to school, the park or to see friends, but more than half (56 per cent) are worried about getting hit by a car.

It also found that the majority (81 per cent) think drivers should slow down when they are near schools.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said this should send a "clear message" to drivers all over the UK, as we are denying children the "fun, active childhoods they deserve". 

"This has serious implications for their long-term health and wellbeing, the burden on our NHS, the environment, and our society as a whole. If we are going to create an environment fit for our children we need to put them – not motor vehicles – first. "

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