Road safety measures save lives

FIFTEEN years ago the UK had a terrible guilty secret – we killed more child pedestrians every year than any other EU nation.

Road safety campaigners fought a long hard battle to force government to protect our children and eventually we won.

The Blair administration agreed to halve the number of children killed and seriously injured on our roads within 10 years.

As was Mr Blair’s way, he set a target. The average number of children killed and seriously injured between 1994 and 1998 was 6,860. The roll out of more 20mph zones, more speed bumps and speed cameras began. As motorists we all had to watch our speed more carefully.

Despite a growth in the population this target was achieved a little early.

In 2007 the number was down to 3,090. Crucially police reports showed that the number of children killed by speeding motorists had dropped from around 130 in 1998 to 31 in 2007.

To help people get the scale of this abuse and harm into perspective it would help if I pointed out that on average, paedophiles take and murder six children per annum.

Now the Conservative Lib-Dem government has announced that it is to slash funding for speed cameras and, crucially, has indicated that speeding around town is socially acceptable by suggesting that speed control amounts to ‘a war on motorists’.

Well there is only one war going on – and that is a war on children.

A war so violent and barbaric that it forces parents to keep children indoors, limiting their exercise; adding to the obesity epidemic and creating a toxic childhood – playing often violent computer games inside the comparative safety of the home.

If Messrs Cameron and Clegg think that harming children this way represents their view of a ‘big society’, that this represents ‘freedom with responsibility’, then I tell them that their morality and values are as twisted as is humanly possible.

I also tell them this – if they kill more children over the next four years I will do everything in my power to bring them to trial for manslaughter. In my view, anyone who wilfully and deliberately kills a child, for whatever reason, should go to prison for life. And life should mean life.

Jon Fuller, address supplied

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