Demonstration for safer Birmingham streets after girl, 4, dies in crash in Highgate

Campaigners will take to the streets of Birmingham following two fatal road incidents at the weekend - including the death of a young girl in Highgate
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City campaign group Better Streets for Birmingham are holding a rally on Saturday (April, 20) to demand safer streets for the city.

The event comes after the tragic death of a four-year-old girl in Highgate on Sunday (April 14) who was killed after being hit by a car. The girl was fatally struck as she walked along a pavement with two women and another child.

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Paramedics were called to the scene on Upper Highgate Street, in Highgate just before 10pm. Teams battled to save the child but she was confirmed dead at the scene while two women were taken to hospital with serious injuries. A second child was also assessed by ambulance crews but did not require any further treatment.

It was the second fatal road incident to happen in the West Midlands on Sunday. A man also died after a crash in Oldbury the same evening when a car hit fencing along Stone Street at just after 8pm. The man was tragically confirmed dead at the scene and another person was taken to hospital and remains in a serious condition.

Better Streets for Birmingham, a campaign group, aiming to improve road safety across the city, had a arranged for a national day of action to take place on Saturday, April 20, prior to the weekend’s tragic incident.

Where will the demonstration take place?

Better Streets for Birmingham is part of Safe Streets Now - a grassroots coalition of community groups across the UK, backed by national road safety organisations.

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The group is urging for road safety campaigners to gather in their local areas across the city to stand up for road safety. Campaigners are also urged to gather at the Yardley Wood Road / Wake Green Road crossroads at 2.30pm on Saturday to take part in the protest. The protest is expected to include bike rides, chanting and sign waving.

What has the organisation said about the demonstration?

Matt MacDonald, the co-chair for Better Streets for Birmingham, told BirminghamWorld: “We’re going to be at the corner of Yardley Wood road on Saturday and Wake Green Road to demand safer streets for everyone who uses them.

“These roads are endlessly plagued by speeding, racing and other forms of inconsiderate driving which pose a constant risk to residents and children attending schools in the area, who are often also forced to pick their way through cars strewn across pavements when they arrive or leave.

“People are often kept awake late into the night by the sound of engine revving and exhausts, and many have woken up to find serious damage to their properties from collisions which have ensued. The headteacher of a local primary school exists in a constant state of anxiety that one of his children will be seriously injured or worse, on a road which he describes as “an accident waiting to happen”.

Police investigate as girl, 4, dies in road collision in Highgate, BirminghamPolice investigate as girl, 4, dies in road collision in Highgate, Birmingham
Police investigate as girl, 4, dies in road collision in Highgate, Birmingham
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“It's clear, from the horrifying collisions that took place over the weekend, including one in which a four-year-old child was killed, what can happen if this situation continues unchecked.”

Matt said urgent action is needed from national and local government to prevent further tragedies. He said “These are exactly the type of incidents we are trying to prevent when we call for measures to calm traffic, to protect people outside of motorised vehicles or to ensure dangerous drivers face lengthy bans. We need urgent and sustained action, from the council, the regional authority and national government to put a stop to these preventable tragedies for good.”

What has West Midlands Police said about road safety following the fatal crashes?

In wake of the tragic fatal collisions on Sunday, the force has reminded the public of Operation Triton, which is a dedicated road safety strategy aimed at tackling danerous driving across the region. The campaign involves focused operations in key areas, tackling the “fatal four” and preventing harm to the most vulnerable road users.  The fatal four includes:  • Speeding  • Drink and drug driving  • Using a mobile phone while driving  • Not wearing a seatbelt  A statement from the force, read: “Sadly, we have had two fatal collisions in the last 24 hours, but this underlines why the issue of road safety is so important.

“It is crucial that all road users act in a responsible manner, acknowledging the dangers that can be presented on roads. It is also vital that proper care is taken at all times and that drivers and riders act in a responsible manner befitting the risks they can present to others on the roads.

“We will continue our push to Vision Zero but to achieve this goal, we will need the support of all partners, communities and road users.”

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