We should all learn road safety lesson

Stephen Morgan MP

Portsmouth South MP Stephen Morgan: Hectic start, but election is just the beginning

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As a driver – and I unashamedly consider myself to be a good one – I constantly get annoyed at pedestrians not looking for cars coming their way when they cross the road.

Most of the time it’s because they are surgically attached to their mobile phone.

Sending that text message or updating their status on Facebook or Twitter seems to be far more important than looking out for a vehicle that could mow them down.

Other times when a mobile phone is not involved I can only put it down to pure stupidity.

But many times I have had to slam my foot down on the brakes so as not to hit someone who thought it okay to walk across a busy road without looking.

So just like it was drilled into me by my parents when I was a child, it 
is now my turn to teach my children the importance of safety near 
roads and how they must always stop, look and listen.

It really is simple. First you find a safe place to cross where you can see clearly in all directions, look around for traffic coming your way, wait until any cars have passed and when it is safe to do so, cross the road.

Surely just common sense?

When I walk my daughter Caitlin to school, I’m impressed when I see other children who have run ahead of their mum or dad but know that they must stop when they get to the road.

So if young children know what 
to do, why can’t some adults get it right?

But of course road safety works both ways and as a pedestrian – and I unashamedly consider myself to be a good one – I constantly get annoyed at drivers going way too fast, especially during the school run.

My daughter Caitlin’s school sits next to a busy road that is clearly marked as having a 20 miles per 
hour speed limit.

But on the walk to school every morning, at a time when the pavements are full of young children, 
I’m witnessing cars travelling at what I estimate to be double that speed limit.

I’ve even seen some irresponsible drivers having a conversation on their mobile phone.

Maybe they are running late for work and maybe that phone call was important, but is it really worth breaking the law and putting lives at 
a greater risk?

We’re told that a child being hit at 20mph and 30mph is the difference between life and death.

So road safety is not just down to the drivers and not just down to 
the pedestrians, but down to every-
one who uses those roads and pavements.

I’ll continue to educate my children on its importance and I urge that you do too.

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