Can children be adapted to road traffic?
What a child needs to be like, to be well adapted to road traffic…..
…. minimum 1 metre 50 in height,
…. having the body proportions of an adult: with a somewhat small head and the balance point around the stomach/pelvis area. Adults don´t fall over as much as children do,
…. having a 180° field of vision,
…. being able to do several things at once and understand complex situations,
….having the abilities of a trained athlete with lightning fast reactions but curbing their natural drive to move, play and leap around,
…. always paying attention and being good at following rules,
….having no curiosity whatsoever.
No child can be adapted like this, and so road traffic must be adapted to children. Where kids are walking or cycling, 50 km/h (30 mph) is definitely too fast.
Why 20mph School Safety Zones can have only a minimum impact on child road safety
Take the UK, for example: The average radius of school safety zones is just 300 metres, yet the average distance travelled to school is 1.8km. Hence the school safety zones apply to only 17% of the journey.[i] And as they leave the school safety zones, drivers are told they can increase their speed to 50 km/h (30mph). Obviously many do so. No wonder then, so many children are injured or killed on the road in spite of these school safety zones.[ii]
Instead of focussing on school safety zones, we should be ensuring that children are given better conditions for walking and cycling for the whole route from their home to school. It’s time to recognise that we need community-wide safety for children and not just in the last 300 metres of their school journey.
In Germany, the number of children dying in road accidents while they were walking in urban areas increased by 22% in 2010 compared to 2009.[iii] Sadly, we might always have to keep on reading statistics like these unless we introduce 30 km/h (20 mph) everywhere in areas where our children live.
For more information see 20splentyforus.org.uk