- 10 young children (aged seven or under) are killed or seriously injured on British roads every week
- Meaning by 15 May 2023 the equivalent of a class  of young children will have been killed or seriously injured on our roads
- Nearly 2,000 educators across the UK are today (26 April) taking part in Brake’s Beep Beep! Day – the highest number on record
- That’s more than 100,000 young children in one day learning how to be safe around the roads with help from the popular animation ‘Timmy Time’
Figures show that in 2021, 512 children aged seven or younger were killed or seriously injured on British roads . That’s one young child every 17 hours. That is the equivalent of a whole class of young children (27) being killed or seriously injured every 19 days. This must stop.
That’s why today, more than 100,000 young children (aged 2-7) are taking part in Brake’s Beep Beep! Day – a special event run by nearly 2,000 schools, nurseries and childminders, to teach road safety basics through fun activities. They will also raise awareness among parents, carers and the wider community about keeping young children safe near roads.
Beep Beep! Days highlight the importance of young children holding hands with an adult while walking near or crossing roads at safe places. They also help children and their parents and carers understand why it’s vital that young children are always sat in suitable child seats while travelling in a car – even on very short journeys.
Brake has also published the results of a survey it carried out with 2,030 parents and carers of children aged 2–11 to understand behaviours and concerns they may have about their children’s journeys.
In 2021, 6 children aged seven or under were killed and 159 seriously injured while travelling in cars . Now, even though the law requires the use of approved child seats, about one in seven (14%) parents and carers surveyed told us that their child rarely or never sits in a child seat when travelling by car.
Our children watch us, copy us every day. So when we cross between parked cars, don’t use a child seat or park on the zig zags outside school, we have to think about the message that sends to our children.Lucy Straker, campaigns manager, Brake
Similarly, the safest places to cross the road are on designated crossings, which are designed to slow or stop traffic for pedestrians. It’s also widely accepted that crossing roads between parked vehicles can be hazardous, obstructing the view of both those crossing and those driving. Despite this, more than 35% of parents and carers admit to crossing roads between parked cars sometimes, and 14% told us they do so often. Almost two-fifths (37%) of people told us they sometimes or often park on the pavement, even though 70% of respondents agree that it’s dangerous to do so!
Nearly a third (31%) said it was ok for drivers to stop on double yellow lines, or zig zag lines outside school.
Lucy Straker, campaigns manager at Brake, said: “Our children watch us, copy us every day. So when we cross between parked cars, don’t use a child seat or park on the zig zags outside school, we have to think about the message that sends to our children.
"We, as parents and carers, know these choices aren’t right, we know we are doing them because we are pushed for time or there seems like no other option, but our children don’t know that – they will think that it is ok.”
When asked who should take the most responsibility for teaching children about road safety, parents and carers were overwhelmingly the top choice for most respondents, with more than four-fifths (83%) of respondents ranking them first (76%) or second (7%).
Educators were also a very popular choice, ranked first or second by more than two-thirds (68%) of respondents.
Straker continued: “Beep Beep! Day is a great opportunity to start a conversation with our children about how to be safe around the road and why it is so important. I would like to thank everyone who is taking part – and especially the kids – for making this the biggest Beep Beep! Day yet.”
More than three-quarters (77%) of people told us they would like to walk or cycle more often with their children. When asked what factors would encourage them to walk or cycle more, the most popular reasons given were if they had more time (37%) or the journey was shorter (36%). Safety factors were next highest ranked by respondents, who told us they needed safe cycle paths (34%), pavements and footpaths (33%) to enable them to walk or cycle more often.
- Schools, pupils and their characteristics, Academic year 2021/22 – Explore education statistics – GOV.UK
- Department for Transport (2022) Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2021 and related data sets