Road Safety News

New north east campaign urges road users to ‘look out for each other’

Thursday 25th February 2016

A teenager who survived after stepping off a bus into the path of a car has given her support to a new Road Safety GB North East campaign that is urging road users to ‘look out for each other’.

Emily Armitage was 15 when she leapt off a bus and, distracted by her mobile phone, ran into the path of a car

CCTV footage shows how she was thrown into the road like a rag doll – her head and elbow leaving impressions in the car windscreen and her shoes ending up in a nearby field and garden.

Amazingly, Emily (pictured), now aged 19 years, suffered no major injuries, but she still endures pain in her legs and back and suffers anxiety over what happened.

She is backing the Road Safety GB North East region campaign which urges everyone to take care on the roads and look out for each other, especially at times of higher risk. The campaign is supported by the region’s 12 local authorities, police forces, fire crews and police and crime commissioners.

Emily said: “I should have waited until the bus had moved off before attempting to cross the road, but I didn’t – I thought it was safe to cross and I just ran straight in front of the bus and into the path of an oncoming car.

“Everything happened so quickly, I didn’t know what had hit me. I realise that if the driver had been going any faster, I would have been killed.

“I want to support the campaign because I want people to know how easily it can happen.

“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I was extremely lucky, but others may not be so fortunate. I hope this campaign can save lives.”

The latest regional figures show that during the past five years there have been 26,996 road traffic collisions on roads in the north east – resulting in 37,790 injuries, 326 fatalities and 3,953 serious injuries.

While the total number of injuries fell by 8% in the period 2010-2015, in the 12-months from December 2014 to November 2015 the number of fatal and serious injuries reached a peak – increasing by 12% compared with 2010.

The majority of people injured were car occupants (62%) but the most seriously injured were motorists (35%), pedestrians (27%), motorcyclists (19%) and pedal cyclists (12%).

‘Failing to look’ was the most common contributory factor, leading Road Safety GB North East to launch the new ‘Look Out for Each Other’ campaign.

Paul Watson, chairman of Road Safety GB North East, said: “You may be the greatest driver in the world, with a terrific safety record, but you could still be involved in a serious collision due to a mistake by someone else.

“Accident figures never make good reading. We are urging everyone to take extra care when on the roads, and to make sure they act safely. Crucially, we want everyone to anticipate other people’s poor judgment.

“Take a second longer at junctions to look for bikes, slow down when approaching stationary buses, be cautious if you can see children playing by the side of the road. It’s common sense, but we don’t always do it.

“You may not be at fault in a collision, but the trauma, and maybe even the guilt, will live with you forever if serious injuries and fatalities result.”



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Not good crossing behaviour by victim. Should drivers be allowed to overtake a bus, from which passengers may be alighting? What's the problem with waiting behind? What's the speed limit on that residential road? Are there any pedestrian crossings, and if so are there enough of them?

Agree (3) | Disagree (0)

Could I just add that I would criticise the car driver to some extent in this video - obviously a bus stops to let off passengers - a driver should therefore be wary of alighted passengers trying to cross the road albeit in an unsafe manner. Obviously a pedsestrian is invisble from one side of the road if they are behind or in front of the bus. Thus, I think more caution and an even lower speed could have been used by the driver when passing the bus, but it's easy to be wise after the event and when it is someone other than yourself that's involved. This is what hazard perception is about and why you shouldn't simply 'stick to the speed limit' and think that the limit is always safe.
Paul Biggs, Staffordshire

Agree (12) | Disagree (2)

Every drivers' worst nightmare! Most cars have ABS, so there shouldn't be any tyre smoke - clearly the car came to a halt in a very short distance. Highway code stopping distances, based on a 1960s car with drum brakes all round, have been halved by modern cars. I remember being in almost the exact same situation in the mid 1960s as a passenger in my Dad's Ford Cortina Mk1 (with front disc brakes) when a young girl ran out from behind a line of parked cars that we were passing - my Dad braked instanty and as hard as possible - we hit her, she went down, then got up and ran off! The police were called but there was no victim to be found - I guess she would've had some bruising on her right side at least. That taught me lessons as a pedestrian and as a future driver.
Paul Biggs, Staffordshire

Agree (15) | Disagree (0)

I thought the same thing initially Pete, but I think it is actually a plume of exhaust smoke rather than tyre smoke and also, it's not coming from the front tyres as you'd expect nor does the nose dip. On the other hand, the one vehicle in the clip from which you would expect to see such evidence of extreme braking, is the one which hit the girl - but there isn't any. It would have been interesting to read the driver's statement. Although 'make sure you can stop in the distance you can see to be clear' is a valid message, it should be qualified with '...and will remain clear until you pass' to avoid hitting slower-moving and hitherto concealed pedestrians/cyclist/animals etc.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (3) | Disagree (6)

Interesting to see the braking of the approaching car with what looks like tyre smoke and a slight skid. What speed was that vehicle doing approaching a stopped bus with a passing vehicle!
Peter City of Westminster

Agree (2) | Disagree (4)

We can easily estimate the car's speed. The driver does not start to brake until after the collision and then stops in about the cars length. Wouldn't that put the driver's speed at less than 20mph anyway?

Maybe the message is to ‘look out for each other’ because, ultimately, that's what prevents collisions? What might concern us is that lowering the speed limit might distract drivers from watching the road ahead, and that might increase the chance of a similar or worse collision in the future.

If scientific trials are used when interventions are made (such as changing the speed limit), we will then know whether the positives outweigh the negatives such that a benefit has actually been achieved.
Dave Finney, Slough

Agree (14) | Disagree (3)

"I realise that if the driver had been going any faster, I would have been killed." Quite possibly, but if the driver had been going slower and thinking more, he/she would have been able to avoid contact altogether. The message 'look out for each other' is obviously the right message, but (to drivers) it should also mean '...and make sure you can stop'. The clip is a good ad for '20s Plenty'
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (6) | Disagree (18)