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New safety push to reduce road deaths

PUBLISHED: 02:46 27 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:43 03 March 2010

SIXTEEN young lives were lost last year on the region's roads. Road Safety Week this week aims to encourage drivers to slow down to reduce this startling figure.

SIXTEEN young lives were lost last year on the region's roads. Road Safety Week this week aims to encourage drivers to slow down to reduce this startling figure.

Slowing down by just five miles per hour can save a life according to the organisers of the week-long awareness programme.

Last year 16 children lost their lives, in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire with two of these deaths coming in Suffolk.

One of these tragic deaths was that of 14-year old Copleston pupil Alex Sinadinos.

Alex was killed crossing Foxhall Road at the junction of Britannia Road at 8.10pm on Friday 26 January 2001. He was in collision with two cars as he crossed the road.

Alex's death triggered a campaign by local parents who organised a petition in favour of a crossing on the road's busy junction with Britannia Road.

The road now has a zebra crossing, which is vital in safely conveying children across the busy stretch of road.

Craig McCartney, who taught Alex at Copleston High, said the new crossing was much needed

He said: "The safety measures in place on that stretch of road are important as the road is used by mums and other groups of people. It means motorists slow down and it gives students extra time to cross the road."

Road Safety Week is organised by Brake, the road safer charity, with its partners Direct line, Green Flag, Nationwide, Renault and Sainsbury's.

Safety campaigners behind the awareness week say that travelling even a few miles slower can make all the difference – at 35mph you are twice as likely to kill a child you hit compared with at 30mph.

Mary Williams OBE, chief executive of Brake said: "The death of a child is particularly devastating. The UK's child casualty rate on roads is one of the worst in Europe and Brake urges everyone across East Anglia to slow down during Road Safety Week and every week for the sake of our children."

As well as the two children who lost their lives, on Suffolk roads in 2001, a further 354 were injured, 42 seriously. Among all ages there were 53 deaths and 3,197 injures in Suffolk last year.

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