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Children pleading for safer roads

Thousands of children will take to the region's streets today in a plea to make highways safer for walking and cycling.

The initiative is part of the Giant Walking Bus, a campaign co-ordinated by the Yorkshire-based road safety charity Brake and webuyanycar.com.

The event aims to give children a voice, calling on drivers and the Government to make their streets safer for walking and cycling, to enable them to live healthy, active lifestyles.

The thousands of kids out on the streets today should send a clear message to everyone: kids want to be able to get out and walk and cycle, and by not making our streets safe, we are denying them the fun, active childhoods they deserve.

"This has serious implications for their long-term health and wellbeing, the burden on our NHS, the environment, and our society as a whole. If we are going to create an environment fit for our children we need to put them - not motor vehicles - first."

– Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive

Brake wants drivers to slow down to 20mph or less around homes, schools and shops and also wants to see local authorities continuing to roll out 20mph limits.

Brake also wants the Government to make 20mph the national urban default.

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Charity's warning over drivers breaking rules of road

Two in three drivers admit to breaking the rules of the road, say Brake Credit: PA

Two thirds of drivers admit to breaking traffic laws when behind the wheel, that's according to a new study by the road safety charity Brake.

It surveyed a thousand drivers and while almost all of them believe they are comparatively safe, the research found that over confidence and complacency is leading to widespread illegal risk taking on roads.

Children launch 20mph campaign

Schoolchildren in Rotherham are launching a campaign today to bring the speed limit down to 20mph in built up areas. They are being joined by the police and bereaved campaigners. Brake, the road safety charity, said by lowering the speed limit to 20, drivers have more time to react.

Studies show that when 20 limits replace 30 there are fewer casualties among pedestrians and cyclists. A survey of 424 children in Yorkshire and Humberside revealed four in ten children said they had been hit or nearly hit while walking or cycling.

Hull was the first city in the UK blaze the 20mph trail in the 90s. York is now set to make all residential streets 20mph by 2014, and Sheffield decided this summer to roll out 20mph limits across the city, starting in residential areas around schools.

Calls for tougher fines for drivers who flout law

Fines should be higher for selfish drivers Credit: Calendar news

It is claimed the vast majority of drivers want to see much higher fines and tougher enforcement to tackle the subculture of risky and selfish motorists who repeatedly flout laws and get away with it.

A survey by the Huddersfield-based charity Brake and Direct Line revealed nearly eight in ten drivers (78%) are in favour of fines of £200 or more for traffic offences such as speeding, using a mobile phone, or careless driving.

This is more than double the potential increase to £90 set out in recent government proposals. Half of those surveyed think fines should be £500 or more. Drivers are also fed up with habitual offenders, who use loopholes to keep their licence.

More than three in four (78%) think it's wrong that some drivers who tot up 12 points are allowed to dodge a ban under an 'exceptional hardship' clause. In October 2011, Brake revealed that more than 10,000 drivers in England and Wales were driving with 12 points or more on their licence.

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Leeds MP wins award for road safety campaign

Greg Mulholland Credit: Calendar News

The MP for Leeds North West gained the award from Brake in recognition of his campaign for automatic licence suspension for drivers who have killed or are caught at twice the drink-drive limit.

The campaign was launched by the family of Jamie Still, a sixteen-year-old who was killed by a drink driver in January 2011. The driver was charged with causing death by dangerous driving, but allowed to keep his licence for eight months while he awaited trial.