Posters bid to cut driving speed

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Shocking images showing injured children are being featured in a new campaign to encourage drivers to obey new 20mph limits being rolled out across Lancashire’s residential areas.

The posters on billboards and bus shelters highlight Department for Transport research that shows a person hit at 30mph is seven times more likely to die than a person hit at 20mph.

The 20mph signs have now been installed on more than half of the county’s residential roads, including some in Lancaster and Morecambe, as part of Lancashire County Council’s programme to establish 20mph as the new limit on all such roads and outside schools by the end of 2013.

Casualty records in Lancashire show 68% of accidents in which people are seriously killed or injured are recorded in 30mph areas, and 79% of these are either on foot or cyclists.

Coun Geoff Driver, leader of Lancashire County Council, said: “Although accident rates have fallen in recent years, figures show that some parts of Lancashire have among the worst accident records in the country.

“The images used in the campaign are hard-hitting because our research suggests they will be an effective way of encouraging drivers to recognise the serious consequences the 20mph areas are designed to guard against.

“The new limits will only add a short time to most car journeys and the message is that taking an extra minute or so could be enough to save somebody’s life.”

A senior paramedic from the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust advised the county council on the type of injuries that, from their experience, a child could expect to suffer if knocked down by a car at 20mph, or higher speed.

Ian Walmsley, NWAS sector manager for East Lancashire, said: “In my 30-year career I’ve attended many accidents where people have been hit by cars, and those involving children are often the most distressing.

“There is nothing more harrowing than turning up to a scene where a child has been killed and you know that by reducing the speed by just 10mph could have saved their life.”

Lancashire Constabulary is also supporting the campaign by highlighting the link between speeding and accidents which result in death or injury, and the knock-on impact upon families.

PC Jason Moore, Family Liaison Officer, said: “My most difficult task is having to meet a family and deliver the most devastating news imaginable – that their child has died.”