Kill your speed: Tunbridge Wells motorists urged to drive at 20mph in built-up areas

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By kentsussex | Tuesday, November 20, 2012, 11:05

Tunbridge Wells motorists are being urged to reduce their speed to 20mph in built-up areas, in a bid to cut the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads.

The message comes from road safety charity Brake, as it reveals every day four adults and one child (age 0 to 17) are run down and killed or seriously hurt when on foot or bike in London and the South East.

Each year the charity dedicates one week to raising awareness of road dangers. The theme for this year's Road Safety Week, which gets under way today, is 'Slower speeds = happy people'.

Brake is calling on drivers to slow down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops. This, the charity explains, will save lives, as it gives motorists a good chance of stopping in time in an emergency.

Brake will also be raising awareness of the importance of making it safer for people to walk and cycle in their community.

Last year in London and the South East 88 people were killed on foot and 1,127 were seriously injured. Of these victims, 27 per cent (332) were children: nine child pedestrians were killed and 323 suffered serious injuries.

Meanwhile 17 cyclists were killed and 670 suffered serious injuries. Of these victims, nine per cent (60) were children: one child cyclist was killed and 59 suffered serious injuries.

In 2011 pedestrian deaths and serious injuries went up significantly across the UK, and for the first time in 17 years. Pedestrian deaths increased by 12 per cent, while serious injuries climbed five per cent.

While cyclist deaths decreased by two per cent in 2011, serious injuries increased by 16 per cent.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, says: "Everyone in London and the South East should be able to walk and cycle in their community without fear or threat: it's a basic right, and GO 20 is about defending that.

"The 2012 Games helped us all realise the importance of being able to live active lifestyles. Critical to this is making our streets and communities safe places we can use and enjoy.

"Anyone who drives can help bring this about: pledge to GO 20 in communities, even where the limit's still 30 - you'll be helping to protect people around you, and you'll hardly notice the difference to your journey.

"We're also calling on government and more local authorities to recognise the need for 20mph, and the huge demand for safe walking and cycling, and GO 20."

To find out more about Road Safety Week, visit www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.

      

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