Road Safety News
Friday 26th February 2016

New north east campaign urges road users to ‘look out for each other’

A teenager who survived after stepping off a bus into the path of a car has given her support to a new Road Safety GB North East campaign that is urging road users to ‘look out for each other’.

Emily Armitage was 15 when she leapt off a bus and, distracted by her mobile phone, ran into the path of a car

CCTV footage shows how she was thrown into the road like a rag doll – her head and elbow leaving impressions in the car windscreen and her shoes ending up in a nearby field and garden.

Amazingly, Emily (pictured), now aged 19 years, suffered no major injuries, but she still endures pain in her legs and back and suffers anxiety over what happened.

She is backing the Road Safety GB North East region campaign which urges everyone to take care on the roads and look out for each other, especially at times of higher risk. The campaign is supported by the region’s 12 local authorities, police forces, fire crews and police and crime commissioners.

Emily said: “I should have waited until the bus had moved off before attempting to cross the road, but I didn’t – I thought it was safe to cross and I just ran straight in front of the bus and into the path of an oncoming car.

“Everything happened so quickly, I didn’t know what had hit me. I realise that if the driver had been going any faster, I would have been killed.

“I want to support the campaign because I want people to know how easily it can happen.

“I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I was extremely lucky, but others may not be so fortunate. I hope this campaign can save lives.”

The latest regional figures show that during the past five years there have been 26,996 road traffic collisions on roads in the north east – resulting in 37,790 injuries, 326 fatalities and 3,953 serious injuries.

While the total number of injuries fell by 8% in the period 2010-2015, in the 12-months from December 2014 to November 2015 the number of fatal and serious injuries reached a peak – increasing by 12% compared with 2010.

The majority of people injured were car occupants (62%) but the most seriously injured were motorists (35%), pedestrians (27%), motorcyclists (19%) and pedal cyclists (12%).

‘Failing to look’ was the most common contributory factor, leading Road Safety GB North East to launch the new ‘Look Out for Each Other’ campaign.

Paul Watson, chairman of Road Safety GB North East, said: “You may be the greatest driver in the world, with a terrific safety record, but you could still be involved in a serious collision due to a mistake by someone else.

“Accident figures never make good reading. We are urging everyone to take extra care when on the roads, and to make sure they act safely. Crucially, we want everyone to anticipate other people’s poor judgment.

“Take a second longer at junctions to look for bikes, slow down when approaching stationary buses, be cautious if you can see children playing by the side of the road. It’s common sense, but we don’t always do it.

“You may not be at fault in a collision, but the trauma, and maybe even the guilt, will live with you forever if serious injuries and fatalities result.”