Letters: Vehicles not cyclists cause more deaths on pavements

The scene of an incident in Stamford Hill in north London where a car is reported to have mounted th

A car was reported to have mounted a pavement in Stamford Hill striking a number of pedestrians - Credit: PA

Pavement deaths caused by cars

K Fallon, Islington, full address supplied, writes:

A sense of weary deja vu gripped me recently as I heard an opinion that Islington “pavements are unsafe because of the lack of care by cyclists and users of scooters”.

Such views are as common as they are misconceived. 

In fact the real danger we face, even on our pavements, is from motor cars. Of the 548 pedestrians killed on UK pavements in the last 13 years, 542 of the deaths involved motor vehicles. The oldest and youngest are most at risk from drivers on pavements, with 28 per cent of pavement deaths among the under-fives. Road and weather conditions rarely play a part, with three quarters of collisions in daylight and most on dry roads, with no winds and three quarters in 30mph zones.

The scene in Guildford, Surrey after a car mounted the pavement next to the entrance of a shopping c

Pedestrians were injured when a car mounted a pavement outside of a shopping centre in Guildford - Credit: PA

One crash caused 21 pedestrian casualties, among them a 16-year-old girl, when a young man drove at 47mph in a 30mph zone and swerved at a group of 30 school children to frighten them. He lost control, and ploughed into the children, receiving a custodial sentence but only a temporary ban for the 21 killed or injured.

Pavements should be a safe place for us, yet one person is killed by a driver every week while on the pavement or verge.

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It is a popular and lazy trope to berate cyclists, skateboarders and others while ignoring a deadly danger so normalised, that drivers can kill or maim 21 children and not receive even a lifetime driving ban.  

Please let us draw a distinction between what are normally annoyances, and a real and far too common threat, one that leaves families bereaved and lives wrecked.