Hard-hitting campaign aims to cut child road deaths

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The Independent Online
A BRUTAL television advertisement designed to cut deaths and injuries among children on the roads was launched by the Government yesterday, writes Oliver Gillie. The advertisement, part of a pounds 2.3m campaign to be broadcast over the next six weeks, aims to convince drivers that speeds in residential areas must be kept down if the annual 45,000 child casualties on the roads are to be reduced.

The Department of Transport has found that most children hit by a car at 40mph die, whereas only one in 20 are killed when the car is going at 20mph. At 30mph half are killed.

John MacGregor, Secretary of State for Transport, who launched the campaign, said: 'Excessive speed is a contributary factor in up to one-third of all fatal accidents. Too many children are killed or seriously injured simply because someone is in a hurry.' Road accidents account for two-thirds of accidents to schoolchildren aged 5 to 15. One in three is killed while riding a bicycle or being driven in a car.

Mr MacGregor said: 'Last year 380 children were killed in road accidents and a further 7,700 were seriously injured.'

The adverts show the effects of crashes at different speeds on children, using the slogan 'kill your speed not a child'.