Saturday, 28 March 2009

Speed terrorism

A SPEEDING driver who mounted a pavement narrowly missing a pedestrian before crashing through a woman’s hedge was lucky not to kill someone, residents have said. The motorist was heading towards Harlow along Parkside, in Matching Tye, when his car left the road and ploughed into the hedge of Denise Steele, 70.

She said: “He came straight across the road on to the footpath, hit a sign post, and went straight into our hedge, and then ripped our wrought iron gates apart. He came to rest 45 yards up the road. Five minutes later in the area where he mounted the pavement there would have been ten or 12 primary school children. It’s a very dangerous situation.”

Lorry driver Terry Green, 38, of Rainbow Road, Matching Tye, had to leap out of the way when he saw the motorist heading straight for him. He said: “If I hadn’t have jumped out of the way he would have hit me. It’s only because he hit a bump on the road and it made me turn round that I’m here. I jumped back and fell on the floor.

“That was the closest I’ve ever come to dying. I was in shock afterwards. Everything happened so quick it’s only when I got home and sat down I thought ‘I can’t believe what’s happened’.”

After exchanging insurance details with Mrs Steele, the motorist drove off in his damaged car leaving her to sort out her broken property.

[She should have called the police, who could have breath-tested the driver, investigated if a mobile phone was in use at the time of the crash, and also investigated the driver’s speed.]

She also called for greater traffic measures on the road adding: “We have got a 30mph limit which is rarely obeyed. We have continuous speeding through our village.”

Matching Parish clark Ernie Fenwick said he was aware of the incident and two vehicle activated speed sign were due to be installed in the next couple of months following a grant from Essex County Council.

[Vehicle activated speed signs, which aspire to slow down lawless drivers by advising them they are breaking the limit, are a farce and simply a symptom of an unwillingness to take speed crime seriously. Install speed cameras. And treat speed crime as a very serious offence, which merits an immediate disqualification from driving.]

He added: “We have had complaints that some people go at an excess speed and where the accident occurred there’s a playing field where children dash across the road. If there had been kids there it would have been quite nasty.”