Reminders for pedestrians and cyclists to don high-vis gear for the darker evenings of winter skirt around the key issues of road safety, says Sustrans.
Instead, says the charity, as many as 580 deaths and serious injuries among children could be prevented by introducing 20mph speed limits into urban areas where 30mph is the current limit.
Presenter Miranda Krestovnikoff has added her voice to Sustrans’ calls, acting as ambassador for the Free Range Kids initiative, designed to get more children out of the car and onto bikes or their own two legs.
Krestovnikoff said: ‘Britain’s approach to road safety is deeply flawed. Dressing our children in high-visibility clothes from head to toe does not tackle the source of the danger.
"What we need is to reduce traffic speeds in residential and urban areas to 20mph, and invest far more in creating safe walking and cycling routes, to school and beyond. If we don’t then our children will be denied the freedom we so enjoyed, and miss out on so much that makes childhood special."
Keeping children from walking and cycling is having a detrimental effect on their health and wellbeing. Thirty years ago 80 per cent of seven to eight year olds walked or cycled to school on their own. That figure has since been reversed, with 80 per cent of children of a similar age accompanied by an adult – increasingly in a car. As a result, children are less independent and less physically active.