Campaigners call for 20mph blanket speed

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A West Yorkshire based road safety charity is calling on political parties to commit to a 20mph default urban speed limit.

Brake has added its voice to the call of organisations around the world to #SaveKidsLives as part of the United Nations’ third Global Road Safety Week this week.

Brake, supported by tyre manufacturer Bridgestone, said there is widespread support among parents for a 20mph urban speed limit, which is even higher among those who have already experienced the benefits.

Four in five parents who already live in widespread 20mph areas support changing the default, compared with seven in 10 in non-20mph areas.

As well as calling for government action, Brake is asking all drivers to make their own personal commitment to the #SaveKidsLives campaign by pledging to stick to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “It is a global travesty that so many children around the world are killed and injured on roads every day, and denied their right to safe, healthy, active travel.

“Even in the UK, a developed country with a comparatively good road safety record, thousands of children are killed and seriously injured every year.

“As the #SaveKidsLives campaign makes clear, we need meaningful, sustained, long-term action to create a better world for our children, both in the UK and across the globe.

“We are appealing to UK drivers to do their bit by Going 20 in communities, and to the UK government to change the national default urban speed limit to 20mph.”

Road safety campaigners have already called for an urgent citywide slash in speed limits in residential areas of Leeds.

The Yorkshire Evening Post revealed last month there were 1,937 road traffic collisions in Leeds, resulting in a total of 2,543 casualties in 2014.

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Hundreds injured on city’s roads

The YEP revealed in 2014, there were 1,937 road traffic collisions in Leeds, with a total of 2,543 casualties.

Of the total casualties, 337 people were killed or seriously hurt.

Pedestrians made up 404 of the injured, and 253 were children.

Leeds City Council is currently implementing the lower speed zones in communities around schools, and the local authority told the YEP this has already led to a “promising downward trend” in accidents.

The council has also pledged to slash serious injuries and deaths on the city’s roads by half by 2026.