Slow your pace, it's not a race Saint John NB

Pedestrian safety applies to all Canadians, but when it comes to child pedestrian safety, the numbers really hit home. According to Safe Kids Canada ...

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Slow your pace, it's not a race

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Drivers need to slow down in residential neighbourhoods - it can mean a child's life or death

(NC)-Pedestrian safety applies to all Canadians, but when it comes to child pedestrian safety, the numbers really hit home. According to Safe Kids Canada, child pedestrian incidents are a leading cause of injury-related death for Canadian children under the age of 14. A staggering 2,412 child pedestrians are injured each year and approximately 30 are killed, usually crossing the street at an intersection within 5 kilometres of their home.

Most child pedestrian injuries take place at the same time: between 3 - 6 pm, Monday to Friday. According to a new national survey from Safe Kids Canada, more than half of Canadians drive during this time of day, and 52 per cent of these drivers drive above the speed limit in residential neighbourhoods - where most collisions with child pedestrians take place. In addition, 14 per cent admit to driving 10km/hour or more over the speed limit. Given that posted residential speed limits range between 40 and 50km/hour, this translates into a speed of at least 50 or 60km/hour in residential areas.

Speed reduction plays a key role in child pedestrian safety. Studies have shown that a child pedestrian struck by a car traveling at 50 km/hr has an 80 per cent chance of being killed vs. someone hit at 30 km/hr. So to kick off Safe Kids Week 2008, Safe Kids Canada is asking all Canadians to drive the posted speed limit in residential areas - and no more.

The 2008 Safe Kids Week campaign - Safe Roads, Safe Kids - runs from May 26 - June 1 and is sponsored by Johnson & Johnson. More information on why drivers should slow down, and on how to become a Community Pace Car, can be found at www.whatstherush.ca.

-News Canada