‘Toxic car culture’ in Birmingham puts people’s lives in danger, says councillor after Kings Heath crash
A Birmingham councillor has spoken out about car usage in the city after a woman and child were injured in a road collision on Kings Heath High Street
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“A toxic car culture” is putting people’s lives in real danger, a councillor has stressed, following a collision involving a young boy and a woman on Kings Heath High Street.
The child remains in a “critical but stable condition” in hospital while the woman was rushed to Queen Elizabeth Hospital for further treatment.
Police and paramedics were called to the pedestrian crossing near The Old Court Pub at around 8.50am on Thursday (June 15). A 27-year-old man has since been arrested on suspicion of ‘causing serious injury by dangerous driving and driving whilst unfit through drink/drugs’. He has since been released on bail.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service, Cllr David Barker (Brandwood and Kings Heath, Lab) said: “The woman and young child involved were simply on their way to school and were crossing what’s a pedestrian crossing. What’s scary is they couldn’t have done anything about it – there’s a real increase in the city of the number of incidents like this in Kings Heath; Moseley has been suffering as well.
“What I’m also finding is there’s a weird culture of drivers in high-speed cars showing off for videos on social media. I just fear reckless driving is down to the lack of consequences given the police have fewer resources than they’ve ever had. Residents here and across the city are starting to lose faith.”
Asked what measures could be introduced to stop incidents and collisions happening in Kings Heath, Cllr Barker added: “There’s very little that can be done. We’ve got pedestrian and red-light crossings all along Kings Heath High Street given how busy it is. Drivers are jumping red lights and it’s simply not on. It’s frustrating.
“I just feel so awful for the family, as well as those who witnessed the collision. I, for one, will try my damndest to stamp out this toxic car culture that’s not only breaking the law but also putting people’s lives in real danger.”
Dad Mat MacDonald witnessed the aftermath of the collision after dropping his children off at their school on Thursday morning. He said urgent change was needed to ‘keep people safe.’
“It’s terrifying,” he told us. “I can’t begin to imagine what the family and friends of the victims are going through,” he said. “People are terrified to let their kids out these days, we’re prisoners in our own homes because there are so many people who use their cars without due consideration of the rules that are designed to keep us safe.
“We’re running a campaign called ‘B is for Better’ all around the extent that road rules are routinely broken in Birmingham. Wherever we look we find swathes of examples of people not adhering to the rules of the road and unfortunately incidents like this are a direct consequence of that.
“This is why we’re campaigning so hard because we don’t want our children to be injured or even worse when they leave their homes in the morning. We don’t want people walking the streets in fear – we need changes that will make our city safer for everyone.”