Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

thelawnet
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Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby thelawnet » 10 Mar 2012, 12:44am

See here:
http://www.thisislocallondon.co.uk/news ... sh_victim/

Witnesses told how the schoolboy was crossing the road on his bike, with his sister and nanny, when he collided with a black cab.

Amin Adbulla works at Suroor Market, a mini supermarket, just opposite where the crash happened, in Robin Hood Way near the busy A3 junction.

He said: “The nanny was with the younger sister, the boy was on his bike. He comes out in front of the taxi and hits the side of the taxi.

“The taxi driver gets out, I call the ambulance and come out to see if he’s OK.

“I say ‘Ali open your eyes’. The taxi driver puts his coat over the boy. It’s a terrible accident. They are a very good family, it’s so sad.”


Commentary here:
http://lcc.org.uk/articles/death-of-eig ... eet-design

If you see the little map on the side, he was killed in a little one-way street outside shops, the sort of place that we are likely to allow kids to cycle, because it appears safe. Unfortunately there is a 30mph speed limit there.

Obviously a terrible experience for family and for the nanny, but as the article above notes, the cab driver who was the other party in the collision, should not be the focus of investigations, we don't know the full story and we shouldn't speculate, but what definitely IS criminal is that it is not safe for children to get to school because of the dominance of the motor car, and the result of that of course is even more people driving to school.

I do feel that the 'school run' is profoundly antisocial and destructive, clogging residential roads with unnecessary journeys and setting children up for a life of obesity and diseases caused by a sedentary lifestyle. Unfortunately the 'right to drive' is seen as far too important so road pricing would be very unpopular, but I would personally like to see journeys taxed by length, with short journeys at peak times taxed very highly, say £5 for a 1 mile journey made at 8:30am, with proportionately lower charges off-peak or for longer distances. We already 'tax' people to travel on trains at busy periods, it is only fair that similar charges should apply on the roads.

My kids (4 and 9) do sometimes cycle to school, I don't feel that it is entirely safe there is a busy A-road (30mph residential, but a through A route nonetheless) to cross, and the crossing promised years ago has never materialised, drivers go along it at 40mph+, very few people will stop for a cyclist or have any consideration or empathy, even for children. I prefer to take them on my own bike, which I have no doubt is safer, but my wife is unable to bring two children on her bike, so they have to go on their own. I am quite aware of the behaviour of children of bikes - not taking the right line at junctions, changing position without doing a shoulder check, hopping from road to pavement with great nonchalance, riding in the gutter, etc., but unfortunately a substantial number of drivers don't know or don't care, and will not drive near child cyclists with the appropriate amount of care, passing them as if they are experienced adults.

daveg
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby daveg » 10 Mar 2012, 9:51am

Truly tragic. And some sympathy for the cab driver too. Who knows the effect on him?

I live near a school so we are swamped by parked cars twice a day. There are so many hazards around at that time it amazes me constantly that there are few accidents. Cars parked in really bad places; children just pop out from nowhere. Mum's with prams also add to the mix.

It's made worse as all this takes place where five roads meet and junctions get obstructed by parked cars, and the once everyone has got little Johnny in the back, there is 5 minutes of total gridlock until it all sorts itself out.

I don't complain about all this, its just the way it is, but living near it we try to avoid driving through it, and on the bike, if I happen to be riding through then I slow to walking pace when I'm normally blasting the home straight at 20 mph or so.

It's all about common sense to me, but then this is largely aquired as we get older and the world that we live in is so "me first because I'm worth it" centred that accidents like this continue to happen.

Sad that this happened, even sadder that it will happen again.
If it wasn't for cars, there wouldn't be the amount of tarmac that there is.

bigdaddy183
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby bigdaddy183 » 10 Mar 2012, 10:16am

The amount of traffic and parked cars could be reduced at a stroke by imitating the rest of Europe and insist that primary age children go to their local school. This used to be the case here before the Thatcher reforms of the 1980's invented the school run.

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meic
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby meic » 10 Mar 2012, 10:24am

This is the nightmare case that we parents dread and have to risk in order to let our kids grow up and develop. So often when you cycle along "guarding" your child on a bike in front of you, you are aware that they can do something unpredictable at any moment.
One of the reports says that this is the first such accident in that age group for 6 years but I am pretty sure that is only because most parents have decided not to let their kids anywhere near the roads on bikes.

It is hard to say "You can not keep them wrapped in cotton wool" at this stage and of course the parents are wishing, right now, that they had done exactly that. Unfortunately the tyranny of the car means that society has chosen that it is willing to let a few children be killed each year inorder to allow motorists to make good progress.

Now the poor boy has paid the extortionate price for his error and the parents will be putting themselves through hell because they were the unlucky ones for whom the risk became a reality.
I wish there was something that could be done to convince them it was the right decision to make at the time, even if it did turn out so wrong in the end.
Yma o Hyd

reohn2
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby reohn2 » 10 Mar 2012, 11:10am

daveg wrote:Truly tragic. And some sympathy for the cab driver too. Who knows the effect on him?

Quite!
Terrible news


even sadder that it will happen again.


One can only hope not.
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daveg
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby daveg » 10 Mar 2012, 1:36pm

even sadder that it will happen again.


One can only hope not.[/quote]

Totally agree that we should hope not, but when I see the kids coming out of school, the cars parked cars creating hazards and the lack of awareness of those driving moving vehicles I worry that there are lots of accidents just waiting to happen.

The school near me painted zigzags preventing parking immediately near the school (correctly) but is just moved the cars 200 yards further away and into an area less suited to parents parking up. It possibly created more problems than it solved. That's not to say that the zigzags shouldn't have been put there, it's about car drivers leaving cars half on pathways, blocking junctions etc, and all for the sake of being 50 yards nearer to the school. No one seems to think that there may be consequences to their actions.
If it wasn't for cars, there wouldn't be the amount of tarmac that there is.

reohn2
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby reohn2 » 10 Mar 2012, 4:50pm

daveg wrote:
even sadder that it will happen again.


One can only hope not.

Totally agree that we should hope not, but when I see the kids coming out of school, the cars parked cars creating hazards and the lack of awareness of those driving moving vehicles I worry that there are lots of accidents just waiting to happen.

The school near me painted zigzags preventing parking immediately near the school (correctly) but is just moved the cars 200 yards further away and into an area less suited to parents parking up. It possibly created more problems than it solved. That's not to say that the zigzags shouldn't have been put there, it's about car drivers leaving cars half on pathways, blocking junctions etc, and all for the sake of being 50 yards nearer to the school. .

I totally agree.

No one seems to think that there may be consequences to their actions

That goes for a significant number of UK society IMO.
Its ironic that I've just got in from an afternoon out with two of my grandsons and my son in law,on turning onto our estate there were three boys about 10 to 12 years old playing on the road,I sounded my horn to let them know of my presence as I trundled toward them at 15mph,two of them moved to the footpath,one stood directly in the path of the car and stared at me as if willing me to run him down.
I stopped the car and got out to try to speak to him,which was met with abusive language and gesticulation.
If i'd have done that when I were 16 let alone 10 or 12 I would have been in for a good hiding either from my father who would surely have found out pronto,or from the driver.
The problem is the kid knows I don't stand a chance,thats the single most fundimental problem with UK society as I see it.

PS,I'm not for one moment saying that's what the child in Kingston was doing but commenting on the state of our society and the lack of respect and reponsibilty of a significant number of its members.
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daveg
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby daveg » 10 Mar 2012, 5:20pm

reohn2 wrote:I stopped the car and got out to try to speak to him,which was met with abusive language and gesticulation.
If i'd have done that when I were 16 let alone 10 or 12 I would have been in for a good hiding either from my father who would surely have found out pronto,or from the driver.
The problem is the kid knows I don't stand a chance,thats the single most fundimental problem with UK society as I see it.

PS,I'm not for one moment saying that's what the child in Kingston was doing but commenting on the state of our society and the lack of respect and reponsibilty of a significant number of its members.


I suspect we are of an age, but I can't see the obsession with schools teaching to get up league tables and politicians forever bleating on about choice when what we really need is for youngters to be taught the fundamentals of simply getting along with others.

But we digress significantly here. It's still tragic when a child loses their life. I would not know how to start coping with that.
If it wasn't for cars, there wouldn't be the amount of tarmac that there is.

PRL
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby PRL » 10 Mar 2012, 9:34pm

reohn2 wrote:Its ironic that I've just got in from an afternoon out with two of my grandsons and my son in law,on turning onto our estate there were three boys about 10 to 12 years old playing on the road,I sounded my horn to let them know of my presence as I trundled toward them at 15mph,two of them moved to the footpath,one stood directly in the path of the car and stared at me as if willing me to run him down.
I stopped the car and got out to try to speak to him,which was met with abusive language and gesticulation.
If i'd have done that when I were 16 let alone 10 or 12 I would have been in for a good hiding either from my father who would surely have found out pronto,or from the driver.
The problem is the kid knows I don't stand a chance,thats the single most fundimental problem with UK society as I see it.



Cars do need a second "excuse me" horn. The standard "parp" does sound very Mr Toad and is good at getting people's backs up. One reason why I prefer to speak to pedestrians ahead rather than ring a bell.

thelawnet
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby thelawnet » 10 Mar 2012, 10:01pm

reohn2 wrote:Its ironic that I've just got in from an afternoon out with two of my grandsons and my son in law,on turning onto our estate there were three boys about 10 to 12 years old playing on the road,I sounded my horn to let them know of my presence as I trundled toward them at 15mph,two of them moved to the footpath,one stood directly in the path of the car and stared at me as if willing me to run him down.
I stopped the car and got out to try to speak to him,which was met with abusive language and gesticulation.


Had something like this today, was driving the car somewhere near Harrow, a ruffian of about 9 or 10, on crutches, moved into the road as I was passing, my wife was slightly alarmed by this; I saw him in my rear view mirror holding a glass bottle high in the air to be sure it would smash in the road.

PS,I'm not for one moment saying that's what the child in Kingston was doing but commenting on the state of our society and the lack of respect and reponsibilty of a significant number of its members.


No it's really not relevant in the slightest tbh.

pga
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby pga » 10 Mar 2012, 11:49pm

This week the Guardian devoted one issue's centre page to listing British military killed in Afganistan. I understand that a greater number of cyclists have been killed on our roads than military deaths in Iraq and Afganistan over the same period. Maybe the Guardian could list them as well.

Motor vehicles kill every year 1.2 million people throughout the world and the number is rising all the time, especially in fast growing economies such as China and India, which are rapidly embracing the car and throwing away the bicycle. The effect on those they leave behind is devastating.

We have a long way to go to make our roads safe for cyclists.

reohn2
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby reohn2 » 11 Mar 2012, 7:49pm

daveg wrote:I suspect we are of an age, but I can't see the obsession with schools teaching to get up league tables and politicians forever bleating on about choice when what we really need is for youngters to be taught the fundamentals of simply getting along with others.


Spot on! IMV

But we digress significantly here. It's still tragic when a child loses their life. I would not know how to start coping with that.

As a father of three and grandfather of eight I don't know how I could come to terms with that kind of loss.
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iviehoff
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby iviehoff » 15 Mar 2012, 2:58pm

What I really hate is the "one incident means we have to change the law" type of campaign. It's bad enough when people you disagree with do it, but to maintain the moral high ground one shouldn't really shouldn't stoop to it oneself. What is even worse is that the details here are not known, so we can't even say whether a 30mph or 20mph speed limit has anything to do with it.

Children are disproportionately more frequent cycling casualties. A proper approach should be possible, rather than anecdata. Catalogue the incidents, with details, investigate the role of speed limit, quantify what the expected benefit is.

Children will still die in cycling accidents with 20mph speed limits. How do you know 20 is the best compromise solution?

If the purpose of 20mph speed limits is to save children on bicycles, should they be temporary limits disapplied at times when they shouldn't be out?

daveg
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Re: Death of 8-year-old cycling to school in Kingston

Postby daveg » 15 Mar 2012, 5:38pm

iviehoff wrote:What I really hate is the "one incident means we have to change the law" type of campaign. It's bad enough when people you disagree with do it, but to maintain the moral high ground one shouldn't really shouldn't stoop to it oneself. What is even worse is that the details here are not known, so we can't even say whether a 30mph or 20mph speed limit has anything to do with it.

Children are disproportionately more frequent cycling casualties. A proper approach should be possible, rather than anecdata. Catalogue the incidents, with details, investigate the role of speed limit, quantify what the expected benefit is.

Children will still die in cycling accidents with 20mph speed limits. How do you know 20 is the best compromise solution?

If the purpose of 20mph speed limits is to save children on bicycles, should they be temporary limits disapplied at times when they shouldn't be out?


Legislatation may be part of the problem. Firstly, from my observation you can impose as many rules as you want but it relies on people abiding by them. I remember aroad adjacent to my place of work being made one way. Granted most observed it but a significant number didn't. Likewise, there rae speed limits just about everywhere but how often do you see them disregarded?

Second, because we know there are rules in place we tend to rely upon them for our safety, despite knowing that there will be a significant number of people disregarding the rules.

Experiments to remove signange seem to have the effect of reducing incidents probably beacuse all users excercise considerable caution.

I don't put this forward as a universal solution but I do wonder if it might serve better than more legislation and more regulation.
If it wasn't for cars, there wouldn't be the amount of tarmac that there is.