As many as 30% of parents think their children are at greater risk from speeding traffic in the UK than in most other European countries, a new survey shows.
And 70% of mothers and fathers fear for their own safety while pedestrians, the poll by road safety charity Brake and Churchill Car Insurance found.
Also, 83% were worried about the safety of children on streets around their homes because of fast traffic, while 91% would like drivers to go more slowly and carefully in their neighbourhood.
The survey of 2,000 people also revealed that 74% thought more should be done to slow down traffic around schools and community facilities.
Brake campaigns director Julie Townsend said: "We all want to live in safe communities where everyone is able to get out and about. Unfortunately many children can't do this without having to negotiate streets plagued by fast traffic that poses a serious risk to their safety.
"It's time that all drivers took responsibility and slowed down to 20mph or below when driving in communities, so everyone, especially children, get to enjoy their local neighbourhood safely.
"We're also calling on local authorities to follow the lead of places like Portsmouth and put in place more widespread 20mph limits, which are a cost-effective way to help make our communities safer, healthier, and more family-friendly places."
Tony Chilcott, head of Churchill Car Insurance, said: "While parents can teach children how to cross the road safely and warn them of the dangers when out playing, the lives of their loved ones are very much in the hands of drivers and whether or not they are willing to slow down. Speed limits are a maximum and not a 'must do'."
Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: "Britain has some of the safest roads in the world, but if we are to continue to reduce casualties then everyone has a role to play.
"Local authorities are able to implement 20mph limits outside schools or on other roads where they feel it is appropriate and they are best placed to make these decisions using their local knowledge. Whatever the speed limit, drivers have a responsibility to observe it and drive safely, particularly where children are likely to be using the roads."