Wearside schoolchildren are calling on drivers to slow down after it was revealed that 70% of North East motorists admit to speeding in 20mph areas.
Road safety charity Brake this week urged drivers to #SlowDown on Beep Beep! Day as the survey revealed seven in 10 admit to going over the limit – the highest figure across the UK and well above the national average of 52%.
A fifth (17%) admit to doing this once a day or more.
The new North East sample from 2,000 drivers also shows that more than three quarters (77%) think traffic is too fast in their neighbourhood for the safety of children on foot or bike.
Research has found children cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles travelling faster than 20mph, so may believe it is safe to cross when it is not.
More than five children are seriously hurt or killed every day in the UK, with the majority (80%) being on foot or bicycle at the time.
The findings revealed come as more than 50,000 children aged between two and seven take part in a Beep Beep! Day, run by Brake and Churchill Car Insurance.
The project for nurseries, schools and childminders engages little ones with road safety including helping them to raise awareness among parents and the wider community about protecting children, particularly those on foot or bicycle, by slowing down.
Among those involved has been Oxclose Community Nursery, in Washington.
Headteacher Julie Heron said: “The children have had a great time doing lots of activities relating to road safety.
“All of the resources provided by Brake have really enhanced the learning experience for them.
“The children at the nursery will be going to primary school next year and that’s a big jump so we just want to heighten that awareness of how important it is to be aware of cars, especially with fewer crossing patrols around these days.”
Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake, said: “All children have the right to play safely and live a healthy life without fear – rights that are universally recognised by the United Nations and world leaders.
“Yet, in the UK, one of the most developed countries in the world, our children are often denied these rights because of the lethal danger posed by fast traffic.
“That’s why, in a week when the UN is asking people across the world to #SlowDown on roads, we’re calling on UK drivers to take the lead in making roads safer for children – by driving at 20mph or less and taking more care in communities.”