According to the Daily Mail television adverts teaching children how to cross roads safely have been scrapped for the first time in six decades despite a rise in the number of deaths.
Campaigns featuring characters such as Tufty the Squirrel and the Green Cross Code man have helped save thousands of lives.
But warnings about the dangers of traffic will become a thing of the past after budget cuts forced the Department for Transport to ditch TV and cinema adverts.
Helping hand: Tufty the Squirrel became so popular that a nationwide Tufty Club was formed, which at its height had a staggering two million members
Pressure groups last night called on Ministers to reverse the decision. Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: ‘While road safety must face its share of cuts, road accidents are an enormous financial burden that the country can ill afford.
‘Investing in preventing road casualties makes a significant economic contribution and helps save lives and prevent injuries.’
Dave Prowse, who played the Green Cross Code man for more than a decade, said: ‘We had a fantastic effect on reducing road accident figures and we need the same thing now as the traffic situation is worse than ever.’
‘Stop, look and listen’: Green Cross Code man taught pupils to be careful before stepping off the pavement
He pointed out the Government could save money by simply repeating old public information films in which he starred as a white and green-clad superhero who appeared by busy roads to stop children being hit by cars.
Shadow Transport Secretary Maria Eagle said: ‘This Government must take responsibility if these cuts mean more children are killed or injured on our roads.’
The first road-safety film was broadcast in 1948 to teach people how to use zebra crossings. Five years later a character called Tufty Fluffytail was introduced by RoSPA to teach children how to cross the road. Later clips featured puppets and were narrated by actor Bernard Cribbins. Read more of this post