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Kill your speed, not a child

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Safety of our children is everyone’s concern – it is great to have confidence in the school crossing patrol… and a key aim of Wigan Council is to ensure that residents, particularly children, can walk and play safely on their streets.

Local lollipop man Darren Browne saved the day when Louis, a 4-year-old boy, ran from his mother and into the path of an oncoming lorry. Darren managed to grab the boy and pull him to safety.

Although Louis did have to attend his local hospital for minor bruising on his foot, the incident could have been much worse if it was not for Darren’s quick actions.

Unfortunately, people like Darren are not always around to prevent such accidents happening. Our school crossing patrol is an invaluable safety measure but more needs to be done to keep our children safe on the roads.

Tragically, in 2011, 8 lives were lost due to road traffic accidents on Wigan’s roads.

Evidence suggests that if a 20mph speed limit were in place, this would lead to fewer collisions and fatalities. A pedestrian struck by a vehicle travelling at 20mph is likely to suffer slight injuries. At 30 mph they would be severely hurt and at 40mph or above they are likely to be killed. Or consider this:

“Hit a child at 40mph and 9 out of 10 children will die”

“Hit a child at 20mph and 9 out of 10 children will live”

Thankfully, a campaign “Twenty’s Plenty”, backed by Wigan Council, encouraging drivers to reduce their speed, is gaining momentum. Hundreds of people have pledged their support so far and 20mph signs have already been put up in Leigh with a view of being placed in streets across the whole borough by 2014.

You can pledge your support at www.wigan.gov.uk/20mph

Remember ‘Kill your speed, not a child’.

By Laura Rogers

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