SHOCKING new figures show that many Calderdale children are scared to be passengers in cars.
A survey discovered that young passengers are frightened by poor standards of driving - and in many cases it is their parents who are behind the wheel.
Calderdale Council commissioned the survey after comments were made by pupils in schools.
Researchers spoke to 600 11-year-old pupils across the area.
They discovered that a third of the children - 200 - had been scared while they were a passenger in a car.
In 50 of these cases, their parents were driving.
In 50 more cases it was a brother, sister or other relative.
In 30 other cases it was a professional, such as a bus or taxi driver.
Peter Shepherdson, Calderdale Council road safety officer, said: "It is a major concern.
"A number of children had been told off for saying the driving was scaring them. They had been told things like, `When you can drive you can criticise' and `Stop being so soft'. What an appalling example to set for the next generation."
In one case, he said a parent stopped the car and told their child to walk the three miles home if they didn't like how the car was being driven.
Mr Shepherdson said: "This child was in tears as the account was given. `I won't tell him again,' is what the child said.
"The results of this survey are probably underestimated as a number of children will not have felt able to admit feeling fear in front of the class."
In 2003, 63 children aged 16 and under were injured as car passengers.
Mr Shepherdson believes this could be reduced if drivers listened to their children's concerns.
He said: "Children need to feel safe when they are driven and whoever the driver is, he or she should set them an example of what safe driving is all about."
The children's reasons for being afraid were:
* Fast driving.
* Aggressive driving.
* Driving too close to other vehicles.
* Failing to stop at signals.
* Driving on the wrong side of the road while using a mobile phone.
* Driving with no licence, tax or MOT.
* Drink driving.
* Being forced to share a seatbelt with someone else.
Two thirds of the children who said they were afraid also said they were unable to discuss their concerns with the driver.