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Child road death figures ‘disastrous’

Campaigners call on Gordon Brown to take action

New road accident figures released are ‘disastrous’ news for Britain’s children, according to safety campaigners.

Latest Department for Transport statistics show deaths among child pedestrians are up 13 per cent, while deaths of child cyclists have shot up 55 per cent.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)said Prime  Minister Gordon Brown had to now make road safety a top priority.

It said the issue needs to become a fundamental part of education, health and environmental policies as well as transport.

Accident figures

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA Head of Road Safety, said: ‘The figures are disastrous for vulnerable road users. It is appalling that we are seeing more children killed on our roads.

‘There is an increase in deaths on built up roads – up two per cent – and that is where children, cyclists and pedestrians spend most of their time.

‘These figures emphasise a real need to focus on making our roads safer for vulnerable people so that they can walk and cycle without fear.’

The full figures show the number of people killed in road accidents fell by one per cent to 3,172 in 2006.

Drink drive limit

There were 31,845 killed or seriously injured, down one per cent, and the total road casualty figure was down five per cent to 258,404.

But there was also a five per cent jump in motorcycle fatalities, which RoSPA said was very disappointing after a fall in deaths for two years in a row.

It wants motorcycle training improved to help riders develop the skills and experience to ride the larger and more powerful machines they are now using.

RoSPA said it looked forward to government consultations on improving the ways people learn to drive and also reducing the drink drive limit.

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