Barnardo's and Transport 2000 have called on the Government to cut speed limits in residential areas and near schools to 20 miles per hour.
The call follows their joint launch last week of Stop, Look and Listen: Children Talk about Traffic, a report showing that more than 3,000 children aged 15 or under were killed or seriously injured on UK roads in 2003.
The charities also want other safety measures implemented to protect children in built-up areas. They want speed cameras installed in deprived areas with large numbers of child pedestrians; all new housing developments to include play areas for children; investment to educate drivers to make them think before they speed; and more funding for traffic calming measures in areas of high deprivation.
The report found that children in deprived areas that do not have adequate play facilities are more exposed to traffic and five times more likely to be injured.