Some ‘road safety’ news from the last few days –
In Sussex –
A 61-year-old man has sadly died from injuries sustained when he collided with a white Ford Focus on the eastbound carriageway of the A27 at Chichester, between the Stockbridge roundabout and the Whyke roundabout on Friday 20 January. Police and emergency services were called to the scene at around 5.30pm but sadly the man was pronounced dead at the scene. A 42-year-old woman, from Bognor who was driving the Ford Focus was uninjured.
Sergeant Melanie Doyle from the Road Policing Investigation Team said: “This is sadly the third road death on the A27 since Friday 2 December, 2011 [all pedestrians]. We are currently working to locate the next of kin for the deceased man in this latest fatal. Following the first two fatal collisions Sussex Police officers visited the area and provided people who are living near to the road with high visibility jackets. We would encourage anyone walking in the area at night to wear these jackets to help prevent another tragedy. The area where these three deaths have taken place is very dark at night, making it very dangerous. All pedestrians should try to use the pedestrian crossings along the A27. This may add a few minutes to your journey, but it could save your life. Officers have been in the area talking to local residents and giving advice on how to keep safe while walking near to roads at night. Police have also been monitoring the road during the hours of darkness to ensure that drivers are complying with the speed limit.We have also been talking to the district council and the Highways Agency to see if there are any measures that can be put in place to prevent any further tragic deaths.
In Cambridgeshire –
‘Dangerous’ speed cut scrapped
Plans to slash the speed limit on the A10 between Cambridge and Ely have been scrapped after they were branded “potentially dangerous”.
Highway chiefs had proposed to introduce a 50mph maximum along the length of the route but councillors and residents argued this was unenforceable and could actually cause accidents by triggering frustration among motorists.
In Stoke-On-Trent –
A drink-driver who treated city streets ‘like a racetrack’ has been jailed for killing a taxi driver and his passenger in a head-on collision. James Appleby, who was driving his late father’s Jaguar XK8 sports car after a visit to a lap-dancing club, reached 112mph on a 30mph road in the seconds leading up to the crash.
After the collision, Appleby managed to climb out of the window of the £60,000 coupe, which had a top speed of 155mph, and walk to a nearby friend’s house despite having a broken ankle, broken wrist and fractured rib. He was arrested there and taken to hospital, where at 4am he was found to have 133mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood, well over the legal limit of 80mg. Police established through ‘forensic techniques’ that Appleby had maintained an average speed of between 83mph and 91mph for the mile before the crash, and reached 112mph 550m before the collision point.
Appleby was jailed for nine years after admitting two counts of causing death by dangerous driving, two counts of causing death while uninsured, drink-driving and failing to stop at a crash scene. He was also fined £100 after driving himself to court for an earlier court hearing into the matter, despite still having no insurance, and was banned from driving for six years.
From Tyne & Wear –
Car ‘drives into man’on Washington pavementPolice are seeking a motorist they believe deliberately drove into a man on a pavement in Tyne and Wear. The 21-year-old was with friends in Washington, early on Sunday, when he was hit by an Audi A3 with blacked-out windows which had mounted the kerb. The vehicle then drove off at speed without stopping, leaving the victim with head injuries.
And from Guildford –
Woman Seriously Injured As Car Hits House
The bay window of a house in Aldershot Road damaged when a car went into it. A young woman is in a serious condition in hospital after her car hit a house in Guildford. The crash happened in the early hours of Sunday morning (yesterday) after the driver lost control of her Vauxhall Astra on Aldershot Road in Woodbridge Hill. A wall under the bay window of the house collapsed. The woman, who is in her twenties, was taken to the Royal Surrey County Hospital. It is believed the car was travelling up A323 Aldershot Road when it went off to the right colliding with two parked vehicles before hitting the house.
Thanks to @katsdekker, @thecyclingjim and @scsmith4 for the stories
I wrote to Sussex plod protesting their use of the term “collide”. If you consult a dictionary, you will find that the term describes the coming together of two objects in a violent manner, but also that it strongly implies that the two objects are of comparable size, speed, momentum. So how can a pedestrian “collide” with a car?
He could run into a parked car at speed – that might just about justify the term. He might bump into another pedestrian on the pavement – that would certainly be a collision as the two objects are comparable.
The Sussex report should have said:
“A 61-year-old man has sadly died from injuries sustained when he was knocked down by a white Ford Focus on the …..”
Pedantic? I don’t think so. The word is clearly being used to permute the truth and give it a gloss which it doesn’t deserve – an implication that somehow the pedestrian is at least partly responsible for his own misfortune. Perhaps he was – but no specific facts are cited in the Sussex report which could lead you to conclude that empirically.
I note that Sussex plod have been handing out high-vis to people unfortunate enough to have to live with this road. Have they issued eye-test vouchers to drivers along this stretch?
The comments by the police officer on the first incident are depressing. Nothing about modifying driver behaviour to make the road safer.
Ah, but the 61-year-old who was killed was a homeless person, quite possibly drunk, and thus not worth worrying too much about. These poor sods apparently have to camp on the other side of the A27 from their charity-run hostel or day centre in the town.
A very sad reflection on society. I suppose we’ll always have homeless people, but we could perhaps try to look after them a little better than we do. If anyone is a “vulnerable road user”, they are.
Par for the course for our media unfortunately. A 14 year old boy was knocked down by a bus while trying to cross the road in my home town last year. The local paper’s website reported that he ‘collided’ with the bus! I left a comment similar to Paul M’s and, to be fair, they changed the wording of the article.