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NEW ROAD SAFETY STRATEGY PUTS CHILDREN FIRST

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Road safety minister John Bowis today launched a new government strategy which aims to force down the level of chil...
Road safety minister John Bowis today launched a new government strategy which aims to force down the level of child pedestrian casualties on Britain's roads.

The government target is to reduce the annual rate of child pedestrian deaths by the year 2000 by nearly a quarter. In 1995, 132 child pedestrians were killed on Britain's roads.

Mr Bowis said, 'The emphasis of this new strategy will be to make urban roads safer for children.

'In particular we shall be making it clear that the onus of responsibility is on drivers to drive so as to take child pedestrians into account and not vice versa.

'This does not mean that parents and schools should not continue their efforts in teaching children good road sense. It merely emphasises to motorists that in the vast majority of incidences, they should be able to anticipate areas and situations of potential danger better than a child can.

'As one way of helping this drive to reduce these entirely avoidable accidents, we shall be ring-fencing £1m from next year's local safety schemes budget. This will be used for new 20mph zones specifically intended to reduce child pedestrian accidents. Highways authorities have been asked to bid for a share of this funding'.

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