Half of drivers admit to speeding in 20mph zones

Child safety zones around the city of Sheffield
Darnall area signs and roads
A 20mph zone sign
Child safety zones around the city of Sheffield Darnall area signs and roads A 20mph zone sign

Road safety charity Brake is calling on Wigan drivers to slow down as a survey reveals nearly half of drivers admit to speeding in 20mph areas.

The new North West sample from 2,000 drivers also shows that three quarters think traffic is too fast in their neighbourhood for the safety of children on foot or bike.

Over the last 10 years, Wigan Council has systematically introduced 20mph zones across the borough, firstly outside schools and then onto many housing estates and other minor back roads in a bid to reduce road casualties.

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 per cent) being on foot or bicycle at the time.

The findings revealed this week come as more than 50,000 children aged two to seven 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, coincided 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 were also happening yesterday 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 68 per cent of North West drivers surveyed underestimated – showing the importance of raising awareness about the situation across the world. That was why this year’s Beep Beep! Day included 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 of 25 to 34-year-olds are likely to drive at 25mph or more in a 20mph area, whereas fewer than half of 55 to 64-year-olds say they would do so. Men (61 per cent) 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 per cent).