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City daily highlights road safety ‘crisis’

A city daily is highlighting what it called the road safety ‘crisis’ on its patch after a spate of deaths from dangerous driving.

The Birmingham Mail is backing grassroots calls for additonal safety measures – including lower speed limits – in a bid to curb what it says are “preventable tragedies” in the city.

The Reach plc title splashed on the issue yesterday with the headline ‘Stop the fatal road carnage’ and a double-page spread on pages 4&5

The inside piece highlighted some of the people whose lives have been cut short as a result of road accidents over the past year.

Posting on X, Mail editor Graeme Brown wrote: “Entirely had enough of the people driving on West Mids roads putting everyone else at risk in their tonnes of metal.

“We report on it every day – the latest person killed for having the temerity to cross the road. I think it is time we start calling it out much, much, better.

“If these were gun or knife deaths, it’d be a national scandal. A life is a life, though.

Graeme told HTFP: “We have been focusing a lot on road violence for the last six months or so now, on the back of lots of concerning incidents. We’re working with BSfB and other charities, such as RoadPeace, to try and draw attention to what we think is a concerning situation.”

In an opinion piece, community reporter Nathan Clarke wrote: “Birmingham is in the midst of a road safety crisis – and we’re not learning our lessons. Every year 25 lives are lost on our roads – with 400 more people seriously injured.

“In any other circumstance, a recurring loss of life on this scale would be met with swift and resolute action – but when it comes to road violence, too often we move on like nothing happened.”

A grassroots campaign called Better Streets for Birmingham has staged numerous protests over the issue urging regional leaders to reduce speed limits.

The city council has proposed cutting speed limits across 25 main roads from 40mph to 30mph in spite of accusations from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak that councils bringing forward such measures are waging a “war on motorists.”

Commented Nathan: “This current Conservative government has repeatedly shown contempt to families whose lives have been changed forever by road violence.

“I’m sure if you asked the bereaved loved one of anyone killed in a preventable collision who the real victim of this so-called ‘war’ was, they’d give you a very different answer.”