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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 November 2007, 08:04 GMT
Many children 'know crash victim'
Speed limit sign
Brake wants speed limits in some urban areas to fall to 20pmh
More than one-third of children know someone who has been hit by a car and 75% feel "plagued" by fast traffic in their communities, a survey suggests.

Road safety group Brake, which quizzed 16,116 children for the survey, vowed "not to rest" until 20mph zones were common around schools and homes.

A petition seeking such zones is being delivered to Downing Street by children whose siblings died in crashes.

The government said progress had been made in reducing casualties.

Children aged from five to 15 were surveyed by Brake in the UK as part of National Road Safety Week.

The youngsters delivering the petition to Downing Street will be joined by children who have been injured in crashes.

'A disgrace'

Brake chief executive Mary Williams said TV campaigns and local authority measures were not enough.

"In a civilised society it is a disgrace that we allow children to die on roads," Ms Williams said.

If a child's hit at 20, there's a good chance they'll survive; hit at 40, they're nearly dead every time
David Jones, whose daughter Natalie was killed in a road crash

"We will not rest until there are statutory 20mph safety zones around all communities. This will stop deaths and transform communities."

David Jones's daughter, Natalie, from Bury in Greater Manchester, died after she was hit by a car travelling at 61mph in a 30mph zone.

He told BBC Radio Five Live that lower speed limits would help reduce deaths.

"If a child's hit at 20, there's a good chance they'll survive; hit at 40, they're nearly dead every time," Mr Jones said.

Chelsea Warner was hit along with two teenage friends outside her school in north London.

Speaking before joining the group at Downing Street, she said: "It was the most frightening thing you can imagine. One man's decision to drive dangerously changed our lives forever."

Road Safety Minister Jim Fitzpatrick said child road casualties had fallen dramatically since the 1990s, but "still far too many children are killed or injured on our roads".

He said the government had introduced a child road safety strategy earlier this year to tackle the problem.

"We are continuing to make progress at reducing casualties across the board, but clearly there is no acceptable level," Mr Fitzpatrick said.

Brake is also running an online road safety survey seeking parents' views on what should be done to reduce child road death and injury.

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