THE SISTER of a Redditch teenager hit by a car has backed a campaign encouraging motorists to slow down.
Nicholas Andrews was just 17 when he was killed while walking along a grass verge next to the Birmingham Road in Mappleborough Green to get to a shop. He suffered serious head injuries and died in hospital five days later.
The driver was not charged as the specific details of the crash could not be confirmed, and a verdict of ‘accidental’ death was recorded.
Now his sister Helen has spoken out in support of the Look Out For Each Other campaign, launched by road safety charity Brake as part of Road Safety Week, in a bid to encourage motorists to change their behaviour and be more aware of pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.
“Nicholas’s death has been horrendous for me and my family. We think about him every day. He was the best big brother anyone could ever ask for. He was so popular, funny and kind, and he could always make you laugh even if you felt like the world was ending – which, for me, it did when he died.” she said.
“The house was so empty and silent. I hated it. This huge personality, this beautiful person with the most wonderful smile, was gone. This Road Safety Week, we are asking all drivers to be as vigilant as possible to protect others. I always take care to look out for cyclists and pedestrians when I am driving as they can easily make mistakes, which they don’t deserve to die for.”
Analysis of figures released by the charity show in 2013 almost 1,700 people were fined for speeding or careless driving offences in Redditch and another 541 in Alcester, Studley and Bidford.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, said: “When drivers use roads without care for others the consequences can be tragic and horrific – people killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, because of a moment of impatience or selfishness. And there are wider consequences if we don’t look out for each other on roads – people afraid to walk and cycle or let their kids walk and cycle, and unable to get out and enjoy their community and live active lifestyles.
“That’s why, instead of making our streets stressful, risky places, we’re asking all road users to look out for and protect each other, particularly the most vulnerable – that means drivers sticking to 20 or below in towns and villages, looking carefully at junctions, and being considerate. Ultimately, we’re all just human beings trying to get around, with equal right to use the roads, not competing tribes.”