In part two of our ‘20 is Plenty’ campaign to bring in a 20mph speed limit on Blackburn’s residential roads, local government reporter Bill Jacobs went to meet families who went through agony after their children were knocked down by vehicles.
ALMOST two years ago Parween Rafiq and Sayed Rizli faced their eight-year-old son Zuhair being hit by a minibus and rushed to hospital.
The couple who live in Logwood Street, Bastwell, don’t want anyone else to go through the agony they did so are backing the ‘20 is Plenty‘ campaign.
Parween, 32, said: “He was hit at about 30 to 40mph. He had only gone out to play with other children.
“He moved out of the way and was hit by the side of the minibus and suffered a broken nose and cheekbone. If he had been hit full on he would have been far more badly injured or died.
“He still suffers migraines and I am still recovering from depression. We want him to play with his friends but worry all the time.
“This campaign for a 20mph residential limit and better driving has to succeed. We don’t want other families to go through what we have. We want our children to be safe. Young drivers speed through the neighbourhood. It’s just not right.”
Stocktaker Sayed, 36, said: “I dread to think what would have happened if Zuhair had been hit full on.
“It gets worse when the weather is sunny. The children want to play out and the drivers just go crazy.
“It a real warren of Victorian terraced streets round here.
“We are 100 per cent behind this campaign.
“No-one driving safely would go faster than 20mph down roads like these. Our children’s lives are too important. We know what it is like when your eight-year-old is knocked down.”
Parween added: “Zuhair celebrated his tenth birthday last week. Thank goodness he is alright.”
PAIN OF LOSING HER IS STILL THERE
PAUL Houston lost 12-year-old daughter Amy when she was run over in November 2003 by a failed asylum seeker.
Since then, he has campaigned for uninsured and disqualified drivers like Aso Mohammed Ibrahim who cause death to be automatically charged with manslaughter.
Paul today backs our call for 20mph speed limits in all residential areas having successfully persuaded Blackburn with Darwen Council to bring one in on the part of the Fishmoor Estate where his daughter died.
The 43-year-old said: “I am 100 per cent behind this campaign.”
“After 10 years, the pain is still there. It never goes away.
“I believe Amy was hit at close to 40mph.
“If she had been hit at 20 she might have survived. The street now has a 20 limit but we shouldn’t have to wait till a child is killed. A child’s death in a road accident is so unnecessary.
“No-one in their right minds would drive at above 20mph in the warrens of Victorian terraced streets around Blackburn and Darwen. It’s just not safe. At 30mph, they just can’t stop or react fast enough.
“No driver wants to have the death of a child on their conscience for the rest of their lives.
“I can’t bring Amy back, but if this campaign means that no other family needs to go through what we went through, she will not have died completely in vain.”
SISTERS KNOCKED DOWN OUTSIDE THEIR HOME
SAIFULLAH Shinwar and his wife Rashida are also parents who have had to see their children taken into hospital after being hit by a vehicle.
Five-year-old Fiza suffered a fractured skull and leg injuries and seven year-old Habiba shock and bruising when they were knocked down while playing outside their Hardman Street, Mill Hill, home.
Factory worker Saifullah is thankful that the car was only travelling at 15mph when it hit them.
He said: “We are so lucky. If it had been travelling faster they could have been much more seriously injured or killed.
“I fully support 20mph zones across all residential areas of Blackburn with Darwen.
“The speed limit outside our house is 30mph so the car could have been travelling much faster.
“It could have been much worse. We need 20mph zones so all drivers are careful in streets like ours.
“Children want to go out to play, especially in good weather.
“This campaign could save lots of families pain and worry.
“It was bad enough for us as it was.”
WE WERE THROWN IN TO THE AIR
EMMA Matthews and her son Leighton Cawdrey are still recovering from being hit at just over 30mph on Skipton Road, Colne, a year ago and know they are lucky to be alive.
They were on their way to Park Primary School when they were struck by a car and had to be airlifted to Leeds General Hospital for life-saving treatment.
Leighton, then aged 10, snapped his femur and had facial injuries, while she suffered a broken pelvis.
Emma, 32 from Colne, is fully behind the campaign for 20mph speed limits in residential areas after her and her son’s horrific accident opposite the town’s King George V park.
She said: “We were both thrown into the air and witnesses thought we were both dead. We were lucky to be alive. We didn’t know how serious the injuries were “He’s had metal rods in his leg for the last year, which have just come out. He loves playing sport but he hasn’t been allowed to play football or anything.
“He’s only really started getting back to normal in the last couple of weeks, but they still don’t know if it’s going to affect his growth, due to his femur being broken on one side.
“It’s 30mph on that bit of Skipton Road. Since the accident the council have agreed to put a crossing there, but it hasn’t gone in yet.
“I would definitely support a 20mph limit on residential streets and roads near schools. Drivers definitely go too fast on residential streets so I think it could make a difference.”
especially on that road.
because there’s a big park there. I don’t think I’d be scared of going out and crossing the road if it was 20mph.
“We got hit at 32mph and I think the driver of the car got a caution.”
THE Lancashire Telegraph’s 20 Is Plenty campaign aims to change the attitude to driving in East Lancashire by persuading the councils to:
- Take a strategic decision to introduce 20mph speed limit zones in all residential areas and near schools over five years, supported by signs and appropriate physical traffic management measures;
- Announce a programme to roll out the 20mph zones within five years starting with a pilot this summer;
- Pledge to improve road safety education for schoolchildren, especially primary pupils;
- Commit with Lancashire Police and county council to make speed awareness courses available to all motorists convicted of breaking 20mph limits;
- Educate motorists of the dangers of driving above 20mph in residential areas changing driver psychology and empowering safe drivers.