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City law firm's pledge over road safety films.

Byline: EMMA MCKINNEY Consumer Correspondent

A LAW firm in Birmingham is battling to bring back popular road safety films that have been axed by the coalition government.

The Department of Transport has sparked controversy after announcing TV adverts teaching children to safely cross roads are being ditched after 60 years.

Whitehall has slashed road safety budgets by 80 per cent in the last four years, leaving too little for a public information film.

It will see the end of a TV tradition which has featured characters including Tufty the squirrel, the Green Cross Man, cartoon hedgehogs and even Dr Who. Tufty, seen in the first government safety films in 1953, sparked a nationwide Tufty Club with two million members.

But this year's budget for road safety campaigns is just PS3.6 million, against nearly PS19 million in 2008-09, a Freedom of Information request by motoring magazine Auto Express found.

With only PS78,000 for child and teenager safety, offi-cials will focus on literature and net campaigns. Neil Greig of the Institute of Motorists called the move "derisory".

And now solicitors from DBS Law, based in Broad Street in Birmingham city centre, have pledged to replace the films.

The business is in talks with TV executives in an bid to use some of its marketing budget to put road safety films back on our screens.

DBS Law's Managing Director Rob Bhol said: "The money saved will be insignificant compared to the misery that will be suffered by every parent that loses a child in an avoidable road accident."

The decision comes as official figures show road casualties have started to increase for the first time in a decade.

Over 3,000 children were killed or injured while crossing roads in the UK in 2011, including Birmingham teenager Hope Fennell, aged 13, who was killed in an accident involving a lorry in High Street, Kings Heath in November 2011.


Dave Prowse, the green cross code man, guiding a group of children. Left, Charley Says.
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Apr 12, 2013
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