Half of Scottish drivers admit to speeding in 20mph areas

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Road safety charity Brake is calling on drivers in Scotland to #SlowDown this Beep Beep! Day as survey reveals half of Scottish drivers (49%) admit to speeding in 20mph areas.

The new Scotland sample from 2,000 drivers also shows that eight in 10 (79%) think traffic is too fast in their neighbourhood for the safety of children on foot or bike.

Research has found children cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles travelling faster than 20mph, so may believe it is safe to cross when it is not. More than five children are seriously hurt or killed every day in the UK, with the majority (80%) being on foot or bicycle at the time.

The findings revealed today (May 10) come as more than 50,000 2-7 children aged 2-7 take part in a Beep Beep! Day run by Brake and Churchill Car Insurance. The project for nurseries, schools and childminders engages little ones with road safety including, critically helping them to raise awareness among parents and the wider community about protecting children, particularly those on foot or bicycle, by slowing down.

The event, now in its 14th year, coincides with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week’s #SlowDown campaign, which aims to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and encourage drivers in all countries to slow down to protect road users. Beep Beep! Days are also happening in countries including Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, Cameroon and South Africa this year.

Five hundred children are killed on roads globally every day – a figure three quarters (75%) of Scottish drivers surveyed underestimated – showing the importance of raising awareness about the situation across the world. That’s why this year’s Beep Beep! Day includes a range of special resources to help children to understand how people travel around the globe and to highlight the importance of drivers slowing down where children live, walk and play.

Brake and Churchill’s survey also reveals that nationally nearly three-quarters (73%) of 25-34 year olds are likely to drive at 25mph or more in a 20mph area, whereas fewer than half (45%) of 55-64 year olds say they would do so. Men (61%) admit to driving at those speeds more than women (43%). The 25-34 age bracket of drivers gave the highest results in terms of thinking that traffic travels too fast in their community too (83%).

To arrange to attend or set up pre-recorded interviews, contact Dave Nichols on 01484 559909 or news@brake.org.uk

It’s not too late for schools and nurseries to take part. Simply register at www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday, call 01484 550061 or email: beepbeep@brake.org.uk

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake, said: “All children have the right to play safely and live a healthy life without fear – rights that are universally recognised by the United Nations and world leaders. Yet, in the UK, one of the most developed countries in the world, our children are often denied these rights because of the lethal danger posed by fast traffic. That’s why, in a week when the UN is asking people across the world to #SlowDown on roads, we’re calling on UK drivers to take the lead in making roads safer for children – by driving at 20mph or less and taking more care in communities. The Beep Beep! Day project engages kids in this life-saving cause, helping them learn about road safety issues and, critically, inspire their parents and drivers to reduce danger on our roads, by actions such as slowing down.”

Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance, said: “We are very proud to be supporting Beep Beep! Day once again this year. Too many children die or are seriously injured on our roads each week. Beep Beep! Day is a great way of starting to talk to young children about road safety, as well as raising awareness among drivers, including parents and grandparents, of the need to drive with extreme care when young children are about.”