Wisbech: Appeal For Lower Speed Limits

A step-dad from Wisbech is backing a new campaign following the death of his step-son by a speeding driver.

Jamie Butcher was walking home from Wisbech town centre in February 2011, when he'd stopped at a pelican crossing.

As the 22 year-old started to cross the road, he was struck down by a car travelling at nearly twice the 30 limit there, killing him.

Jamie's Step-dad Steve Green told Heart: "Jamie just didn't stand a chance, if the driver had been going at 30, it's likely Jamie would have been injured, but he probably would have survived."

Today, a new campaign called 'Go 20' starts today (Monday) to try and get drivers to go even slower, especially around schools and playgrounds, even when the limit is higher.

Steve says: "There's nothing to say you have to drive at 30 miles an hour - you've got to remember 30 is a limit. 

It's not always safe to drive even at 30.  

For example if a child runs out from between parked cars or from a garden or a hedge, are you going to be able to stop?"

The campaign launched today comes at the start of Road Safety Week which is appealing to drivers to GO 20, to bring about a legacy of safe walking and cycling.

Brake, the road safety charity, is appealing to drivers to slow down to 20mph or below in communities.

It is also calling for widespread 20mph limits in built up areas, so children, families and adults can walk and cycle for their health and enjoyment, and as a cheap and sustainable travel choice, without their lives being endangered.

A survey of 476 children in East Anglia by Brake and partners Brain Injury Group and Specsavers reveals how reveals how children are affected by danger from fast traffic:

Nearly three-quarters (74%) say drivers need to slow down around their home and school

Two thirds (67%) say they would be able to walk and cycle more if roads in their neighbourhood were safer

Four in 10 (42%) say they have been hit or nearly hit while walking or cycling, and nearly half (45%) worry about being hurt by traffic when out and about.

Why Go 20 - according to Brake:

Fewer casualties: at 20, drivers have much more time to react, to help them stop in time if they need to, like if a child runs out. Studies show that when 20 limits replace 30, it means fewer casualties among pedestrians and cyclists [2].

More walking and cycling: danger from traffic is a major barrier in enabling more people to walk and cycle. Town and city-wide 20 limits have resulted in more people walking and cycling.

Healthier, happier people: More walking and cycling means healthier people, and more enjoyable outdoors activity for kids and adults. It helps communities interact and be communities.

Less pollution: GOing 20 means lower emissions from vehicle journeys. Plus if more people can switch their commute or school run to foot or bike, it means less polluting traffic.

Lower costs: Poor health from inactivity costs society dearly[5]. Road casualties cost even more, due to the suffering and burden on health and emergency services[6]. Preventing casualties and improving health means GOing 20 pays for itself many times over.It also helps people save money by choosing the cheapest ways to get about: foot and bike. 

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