What are safe streets for kids?

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Separate our kids from fast moving traffic

According to the Australian Safe System Approach there are several guiding principles:

  1. People make mistakes. The transport system should not result in death or serious injury as a consequence of errors on the roads.
  2. Human physical frailty. There are known physical limits to the amount of force our bodies can take before we are injured.
  3. A ‘forgiving’ road transport system. A Safe System ensures that the forces in collisions do not exceed the limits of human tolerance.

30km/h is the maximum speed where our children can “mix” with traffic. On streets with higher speed limits they need crossings and footpaths. That is why the UN has mandated 30km/h speed limits in areas where cars mix with people walking or cycling and many countries around the world have been implementing this.

According to the NSW Centre for Road Safety, in a crash between a car and somebody walking, there is a less than 10 per cent risk that the person will be killed at 30 km/h, 40 per cent risk at 40 km/h, and a 90 per cent risk at 50 km/h.

A car travelling 30km/h and 1s reaction time will come to stop after 13m. A car travelling 50km/h with the same reaction time will still travel 50km/h at that point and needs another 27m to stop. 

In 2017, Prof Plumert found that children up to their early teenage years had difficulty to cross a busy road with 40km/h traffic safely with collision rates as high as 1 in 20.

A study by researchers at Royal Holloway, University of London reveals that primary school children cannot accurately judge the speed of vehicles travelling faster than 20 mph (30km/h).

See more research on https://30please.org/references/

Cone of Vision at different speeds. Credit: Claudio Olivares Medina