Parents 'putting children at risk'

Many parents are putting their children at unnecessary risk when travelling on Britain's roads, research claims.

Most children who should be in a child seat are not and 65% of parents even fail to check that seat belts are correctly done up, according to research by road safety charity Brake.

The survey of more than 7,000 children aged nine to 11 from throughout the UK, released as part of Road Safety Week, also found half of children get scared in cars due to the speed of the driver, and 60% think that the roads around their homes are dangerous.

About two thirds of children (69%) said they had been in a car with too many people in it, so they were "squished in" without their own seat belt.

And while the vast majority of children have a bicycle (87%), only four in ten (39%) child cyclists said they wore a cycle helmet.

Mary Williams OBE, chief executive of Brake, said: "We all need to take a moment daily to think of the reality of road death and injury, take a hard, cold look at our behaviour on roads and improve it, for the sake of our own loved ones and others, whether that's by slowing down, not overtaking, switching off our mobiles, belting up our children in child seats, or holding their hands. Stop. Imagine. Change."

Copyright © Press Association 2008