CHINGFORD: Fears over future of accident prevention

Sean Lacy (front left) and fellow pupils calls on drivers to slow down

Sean Lacy (front left) and fellow pupils calls on drivers to slow down

First published in News

A MOTHER who watched in horror as her son was run over outside a school says road safety teaching must be protected from council cuts.

As pupils at Longshaw Primary in Longshaw Road, Chingford, called on drivers using nearby roads to slow down during an event on Tuesday, it emerged that the authority is planning to stop its accident prevention work in schools.

Unison say schools will be asked to take on the responsibility, but specialists within the council’s accident prevention unit fear the work may be sidelined.

The event at Longshaw, which was organised by charity BRAKE to mark Road Safety Week, had added meaning for Kathleen Sheehan, 28, of Connnigton Crescent, and her six-year-old son Sean Lacy.

In February this year, Miss Sheehan watched in horror as her son was hit by a passing car outside the school as he stepped out into the road to meet her.

She said: “It was horrific. I saw the car coming so I knew it was going to happen, but couldn’t do anything to stop it.

“He fell on to the bonnet and then under the car and was run over.

“it has been nine months since it happened and I still have flashbacks and nightmares.

“He is quite strong, but I haven’t got over the trauma of seeing my own child get run over.

Both of Sean’s collar bones were broken, as was his left shoulder blade.

His right leg, which was snapped in half, is still being held together by metal plates and he spent months in a wheelchair.

Sean’s lung burst during impact and he was blind for five days after the accident.

Unison say the council is scrapping visits to schools, which see specialist officers educate pupils on the dangers of crossing the road, to save money.

A number of jobs are expected to be lost and there is concern among the team that schools may not have adequate time, money or expertise.

But Miss Sheehan believes money should be found in the budget to protect children’s safety.

She said: “I think teaching accident prevention in schools is very important.

“When Sean started to recover, we kept our own scrap book and we went to the school to talk to the kids to try to make them a little bit more aware what does go on - to show them that this kind of thing could happen, if you don’t watch what you are doing.

“You can’t take risks when it comes to children, there has got to be something within the budget to provide this kind of thing “It is only when you go through it that you realise the importance of it. if I had never happened to me, I wouldn’t have given it that much thought.

“But now I have gone througn it, I realise that you do need to make sure children are aware of the dangers.”

Cllr Clyde Loakes, cabinet member for environment, said: "Huge central government cuts mean Waltham Forest Council has to save more than £65 million over the next four years. These cuts are going to affect every aspect of the Council’s work.

"Over the last three years the number of road traffic accidents in Waltham Forest has decreased significantly, due to the work of our highways design team and the Accident Prevention Unit.

"As part of a council-wide review of service provision we have reviewed the services provided by the Accident Prevention Unit.

"Our proposals are to integrate Road Safety into the Highways Project Team where we can focus on combining road safety with accident prevention designs on streets.

Road Safety Education, just one of the strands in this area will be provided by schools which will be encouraged to do more to deliver the road safety message.

"When schemes are developed schools, community groups and disability groups will be consulted to help address their specific issues and areas of concern."

Click here to follow the Waltham Forest Guardian on Twitter

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

5:45pm Tue 23 Nov 10

Cllr Matt Davis says...

We could get an awful lot of school Road Safety visits for the £350 000 + that Cllr Robbins chose to spend on getting rid of the previous Council Chief Executive for party political reasons.

Never forget that any and all cuts in Waltham Forest are entirely the decision of Cllr Robbins and his Labour colleagues. They could choose to cut Cabinet member's allowances, or the cost of the WFN propaganda sheet, or they could choose to cut road safety visits to schools. You can see which they have chosen.
We could get an awful lot of school Road Safety visits for the £350 000 + that Cllr Robbins chose to spend on getting rid of the previous Council Chief Executive for party political reasons. Never forget that any and all cuts in Waltham Forest are entirely the decision of Cllr Robbins and his Labour colleagues. They could choose to cut Cabinet member's allowances, or the cost of the WFN propaganda sheet, or they could choose to cut road safety visits to schools. You can see which they have chosen. Cllr Matt Davis
  • Score: 0

9:56am Wed 24 Nov 10

Robert19 says...

Cllr Matt Davis wrote:
We could get an awful lot of school Road Safety visits for the £350 000 + that Cllr Robbins chose to spend on getting rid of the previous Council Chief Executive for party political reasons.

Never forget that any and all cuts in Waltham Forest are entirely the decision of Cllr Robbins and his Labour colleagues. They could choose to cut Cabinet member's allowances, or the cost of the WFN propaganda sheet, or they could choose to cut road safety visits to schools. You can see which they have chosen.
Yet another example Cllr Davis of playing politics around the edge of what is going to be a massive loss of services in this country. It is the poor who are being hit the most. I presume you support the government's assault on low income individuals and families through cuts in social care, removing housing rights, two tier education provision etc. So why don't you come clean rather than trying to stir it up about an important service that is going to be cut but just one small example of the awful decisions that will have to be made. Fiddling (instrumentally) while Rome burns comes to mind.
[quote][p][bold]Cllr Matt Davis[/bold] wrote: We could get an awful lot of school Road Safety visits for the £350 000 + that Cllr Robbins chose to spend on getting rid of the previous Council Chief Executive for party political reasons. Never forget that any and all cuts in Waltham Forest are entirely the decision of Cllr Robbins and his Labour colleagues. They could choose to cut Cabinet member's allowances, or the cost of the WFN propaganda sheet, or they could choose to cut road safety visits to schools. You can see which they have chosen.[/p][/quote]Yet another example Cllr Davis of playing politics around the edge of what is going to be a massive loss of services in this country. It is the poor who are being hit the most. I presume you support the government's assault on low income individuals and families through cuts in social care, removing housing rights, two tier education provision etc. So why don't you come clean rather than trying to stir it up about an important service that is going to be cut but just one small example of the awful decisions that will have to be made. Fiddling (instrumentally) while Rome burns comes to mind. Robert19
  • Score: 0

11:37am Wed 24 Nov 10

hotredman says...

Good, I would rather see money saved than spent. The least public money spent the better as it only costing us and our children more in debt.

Parents like this need to be the ones educating their children, common sense has a lot to play with it. Too many parents out their foolish pulling their children across the road, or even pushing their buggy out in the road expecting traffic to stop, shear lunacy. In some countries this kind of act would be classed as jay walking.
Good, I would rather see money saved than spent. The least public money spent the better as it only costing us and our children more in debt. Parents like this need to be the ones educating their children, common sense has a lot to play with it. Too many parents out their foolish pulling their children across the road, or even pushing their buggy out in the road expecting traffic to stop, shear lunacy. In some countries this kind of act would be classed as jay walking. hotredman
  • Score: 0

11:46am Wed 24 Nov 10

Pamella says...

Bring back the Green Cross Code Man!

'First, find a safe place to cross. then stop. look left, look right, then left again before crossing the road'
Bring back the Green Cross Code Man! 'First, find a safe place to cross. then stop. look left, look right, then left again before crossing the road' Pamella
  • Score: 0

12:34pm Wed 24 Nov 10

katsheehan says...

I am a bit disappointed with hotredmans comments, I completely agree that education should begin at home as it should not be left down to the school/council to ensure children are safe on or around the roads near the school they attend but then you come across as obviously not having any children of your own as if you did I don't think you would be making the same comments. I have never pulled my son across the road nor expected traffic to stop for either of us. My son is a bright young lad who is not what I would call stupid at all and does not mess around near roads, I have always tried to reinforce looking before crossing the road. Yes, I am the mother of the boy who got run over and I would never have imagined this would happen in a million years but accidents can and do happen. At the end of the day he was only 5 when the accident occured so how much common sense do you expect a child to have?
Plenty of money has been wasted in public spending in other areas but having gone through what I have has made me realise that tackling the road safety issues through schools and just generally having the roads made safer is definatly a good thing. Being a driver myself, all we want to do is reduce the speed limit in these areas and keep making children aware. Parents and schools need to work together on this one.
I am a bit disappointed with hotredmans comments, I completely agree that education should begin at home as it should not be left down to the school/council to ensure children are safe on or around the roads near the school they attend but then you come across as obviously not having any children of your own as if you did I don't think you would be making the same comments. I have never pulled my son across the road nor expected traffic to stop for either of us. My son is a bright young lad who is not what I would call stupid at all and does not mess around near roads, I have always tried to reinforce looking before crossing the road. Yes, I am the mother of the boy who got run over and I would never have imagined this would happen in a million years but accidents can and do happen. At the end of the day he was only 5 when the accident occured so how much common sense do you expect a child to have? Plenty of money has been wasted in public spending in other areas but having gone through what I have has made me realise that tackling the road safety issues through schools and just generally having the roads made safer is definatly a good thing. Being a driver myself, all we want to do is reduce the speed limit in these areas and keep making children aware. Parents and schools need to work together on this one. katsheehan
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree