HELEN BACH COLUMN: Why 20 really is plenty in built-up areas

I was in the kitchen at the back of my house, when, from the main road nearby, I heard the screech of brakes, a thud and then a scream, writes Helen Bach.

By Graham Tebbutt (Edited by)
Friday, 11th March 2022, 9:23 am
Updated Friday, 11th March 2022, 9:24 am
Drivers should take notice of speed limits , particularly around houses and schools
Drivers should take notice of speed limits , particularly around houses and schools

I ran out of the front door to find a child lying on the road, a man shaking and saying “he came out of nowhere”, and other neighbours also rushing to the scene to help.

It was horrific, one of everybody’s worst nightmares.

An ambulance was swiftly called as other neighbours and I assessed the situation.

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We did our best to comfort both the boy – who, miraculously, seemed uninjured – and the driver, who looked like he was going to pass out with shock.

It was nobody’s fault really. The driver hadn’t been speeding, he’d gone to overtake a parked car and the boy had walked into the road, seemingly unaware of the traffic.

Apparently he’d bounced over the bonnet and landed in the road.

He didn’t break any bones, but he was probably quite bruised from the experience, and we all know it could have been so much worse.

It haunted me for a long time; that’s not me being dramatic, but it was a genuinely shocking experience and one that I never want to happen again.

This all happened about 10 years ago, and since then the traffic and on-street parking has got so much worse, and many people drive far too fast.

At the time, I campaigned for a 20mph speed limit on my road – home also to a primary school – but I was told that because it wasn’t enforceable, there was no point!

However, ever since then, I’ve always driven around the area in which I live at no faster than 20mph.

So, to all those numpties who drive two inches from my back bumper and try to intimidate me into going faster, I drive at that speed because I will never forget the sound of a child being hit by a car outside my house and what I dealt with that day.

That’s why, in built-up

areas, 20 really is plenty.