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CHILD ROAD SAFETY PUT AT HEART OF 10-YEAR STRATEGY - COUNCILS KEY PLAYERS IN ROAD CASUALTY REDUCTION, SAYS MINISTER

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The new Road Safety Strategy - focusing on halving the number of ...
The new Road Safety Strategy - focusing on halving the number of

children killed and maimed on Britain's roads by the year 2010 - was

unveiled by the prime minister today.

The prime minister urged all road users to be more aware of the

potentially devastating impact of speeding, calling for everyone to

make road safety a priority and bring to an end the needless toll of

injuries and deaths on our roads.

Highlights of the Strategy include:

- Setting an overall 40% reduction target for 2010 for number of

people killed or seriously injured on the roads, with tough 50%

reduction target for children.

- Local authorities required to plan specific measures to cut child

deaths and injuries as part of their local transport plans. Total

money available for local transport plans to be raised from£755m in

2000/01 to£1bn in 2001/02, with almost£100m dedicated to reducing

needless deaths and injuries on our roads.

- Creating more 20mph around schools and residential areas.

- Tougher and more targeted enforcement, including more use of speed

cameras.

- Improving training of all drivers, including lorry, bus and

motorcyclists.

- Consulting on the mandatory fitting of seat belts in all new

coaches and minibuses.

- Consulting on how to improve the safety of working drivers, who are

far more likely to be involved in accidents.

- Home office and DETR to carry out major review of road traffic

offences and penalties. Raise maximum penalty for careless driving.

Tackle drink and drug driving, and consult on mandatory re-testing

for serious driving offences.

- Setting appropriate speed limits for local conditions. Improve

speed limit signs. Encouraging a norm of 30mph in all villages.

- Ploughing back speeding fines into catching speeders.

- Supporting the development of safer car design, including for

pedestrians.

- Making road safety education part of the Personal, Social and

Health Education curriculum in schools for the first time.

- Publicity campaigns to target road safety, drink and drug driving.

Crack down on irresponsible car advertising.

Mr Blair said:

'We have the second best safety record in Europe, but the fact that

15 children are killed or seriously injured on our roads every day is

simply unacceptable. That's why we have set a radical 50% reduction

target for children by the year 2010. We will target accident

hotspots around schools, improve driver training and how we teach our

children about safety on the roads. Our target is a tough one, it

will take a huge effort to meet it, but I believe we can.

Lord Whitty, minister for roads said:

'I am delighted that the prime minister is here adding his weight to

this vital campaign.

'Road safety should matter to everybody. Today's testing targets

will ensure that road users take real responsibility for themselves,

their passengers and other road users. We must stop driving

children into an early grave.

'Changing driver behaviour is the key. We want people become more

aware of the terrible danger they pose by speeding, and to stick to

local speed limits set by local people. By 2010 we want speeding to

be as socially unacceptable as drink driving has become'.

The Road Safety Strategy is accompanied today by New Directions in

Speed Management - A Review of Speed Policy the report of the

government's review of the effects of speed and current policies.

Its recommendations are incorporated into the main Strategy.

NOTES

1. The Integrated Transport White Paper 'A New Deal for Transport:

Better for Everyone' announced that the government would set a new

road safety target for Great Britain for 2010, accompanied by a

strategy and a programme of measures for achieving it. The White

Paper also announced that there would be a separate review of speed

policy.

2. Copies of the Road Safety Strategy and the Speed Review are

available, free of charge, from: DETR, Free Literature, PO Box 236,

Wetherby, LS23 7NB. Tel 0870 1226 236. Fax 0870 1226 237.

COUNCILS KEY PLAYERS IN ROAD CASUALTY REDUCTION, SAYS MINISTER

Hansard 29 Feb: Column 157-167

The government was compelled to outline its new proposals to reduce road casualties - many of which will involve local authorities - to MPs. Junior transport minister Keith Hill explained that the strategy will include a major effort on child safety, and a separate casualty reduction target for child deaths and serious injuries of 50% by 2010. A reduction target for all road deaths and serious injuries of 40% will be set over the same period.

'Many of the measures will be aimed at increasing the safety of children, so we will strongly encourage local authorities to use their powers to create 20 mph zones - powers that we gave them - last summer - especially round schools. That fits in well with our policies to encourage walking and cycling to school, which will happen only if they are thought to be safe', said Mr Hill.

'We have for the first time placed road safety in the national curriculum. We do not accept the proposition that we should not tell children about road dangers. We plan properly researched practical training for child pedestrians.

There would be a mixture of targeted changes in speed limit, safety engineering in vehicles and roads, and persuasion of drivers by presenting them with the facts that speed kills, and improved

enforcement of speed limits.

The minister added: 'Many of the measures designed to improve safety will be the responsibility of local authorities, and we expect them to be included in authorities' transport plans. This year investment in local transport plans, at£755m, is 20% higher than it was last year. Next year it will increase to the great sum of£1bn.

'Part of the guidance that we offer local authorities says that we are looking precisely for such road safety measures to be included in their transport plans. The resources are there to sustain them'.

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