Dark evenings alert to drivers and pedestrians

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WIGAN road safety experts are reminding motorists to take extra care in the borough’s residential areas as the clocks go back and schoolchildren are on their half term break.

Statistics compiled by Wigan Council show an increase in accidents involving child pedestrians in Wigan borough during the winter months, when there are more hours of darkness. As school closures for half term mean more children are likely to be out and about in residential areas, motorists are being urged to take more care and reduce their speed.

Wigan Council’s 20mph speed limit on residential streets has already been implemented across some parts of the borough with a second phase of the campaign due to start in November. Research has shown that dropping your speed from 30mph to 20mph reduces the chances of fatally injuring someone from 20 per cent to just 2.5 per cent.

Council leader Lord Smith, said: “When I was made aware of the difference that driving at 20mph made in increasing road safety, I felt strongly that we should implement this in our residential areas.

“We want our borough to be a safe place for our residents and have been working closely with Greater Manchester Police on the introduction of Wigan’s 20mph scheme.

“While the 20mph speed limit is legally enforceable by the police, we are working hard to make people think about the implications of speeding.

“We hope our campaign will change people’s attitudes when travelling on our residential streets.

“With autumn upon us and the clocks going back, it’s darker earlier and harder for motorists to see potential hazards.

“Between 2008 and 2012 there was one child pedestrian killed and 43 injured during the winter months in Wigan borough, and we are determined to reduce this – but we need our motorists to help us.”

Figures published by ROSPA show around 400 people a year are killed in crashes in which someone exceeds the speed limit or drives too fast for the conditions, and the majority of pedestrian casualties occur in built up areas.