Changes in the circumstances of groups in society that do not have an effective voice to influence public policy development have been revealed in my research on children’s lifestyles. Parents now allow their children to travel on their own to school and for leisure purposes at a much later age than in previous generations, and there has been a marked reduction in children’s overall activity outside the home free of overt adult supervision. This freedom has tended to be withdrawn largely on account of parental fears of road crashes and ‘stranger danger’. Road accidents are an inadequate measure of road safety: a primary reason for the marked decline in child casualties on the road is not the fact that roads have become safer but that children’s independent travel has been dramatically curtailed.