IN THE West Midlands three children a day are killed or injured on our roads.
Trying to reduce that shocking number are children from Lady Katherine Leveson School in Knowle who stepped out on Wednesday in an attempt to slow speeding drivers and break a world record for the largest walking bus.
Around 150 pupils at the Fen End Road West school marched from their school gates at 10am joining tens of thousands of other children across the UK who simultaneously took part in the event co-ordinated by road safety charity Brake.
The 500m walk aims to raise awareness about the huge number of children killed and hurt on foot by fast traffic, and to raise funds for the charity’s work supporting families bereaved and injured by road crashes.
Brake is calling on local authorities to tackle child deaths and injuries on our roads, including funding 20mph safety zones around every school and residential area.
Mary Williams, chief executive of Brake, said: “By now, there can be no driver in the UK who doesn’t know that the faster you drive, the less time you have to react, the harder you hit, and the more likely it is that a child will die or be maimed for life.
“Brake supports parents whose children have been killed by speeding drivers and families whose children have lost limbs, been paralysed, and been permanently and horrendously brain injured by speeding drivers.
“Through this event we are urging drivers to take time out to think of these children and to make a commitment to always drive at 20mph or lower around schools and communities. You never know when a child might make a mistake and run out; your slower driving could save their life.”
Youngsters at the primary school have a better reason than many for undertaking the walk as they, with staff, governors, parents and members of the community, have battled for a zebra crossing as well as a replacement crossing patrol person after the previous one left last year.
School head Ann Byrne said: “While I can understand it can be difficult to recruit crossing patrol people, my concern is for our children.
“Despite our idyllic rural location, cars do not obey the 20-mile-an-hour speed limit and we have had near accidents. Through our revised school travel plan and a council scheme, we are bidding for a zebra crossing and a crossing patrol person in order to keep our children safe.”
* To donate to Brake or fundraise for the charity visit www.brake.org.uk or calling 01484 559909.