This Saturday, road safety campaigners will descend on Highbury Park and Kings Heath High Street to demand that the authorities act to make the high street a safer place to prevent more unnecessary deaths and injuries.
The protest march is held in the name of Hope Fennell, a 13-year-old schoolgirl killed in a collision with a lorry on Kings Heath high street in November 2011.
Hope was run over by Darren Foster’s lorry as she pushed her bike across a pedestrian crossing. Seeing that the light was green for the traffic, Foster moved his vehicle off. He did not know that Hope had begun to cross the crossing on a red light and was in front of his cab. Foster was not charged with causing Hope’s death because the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) did not have evidence to prove he was at fault.
Foster pleaded guilty to dangerous driving (for texting whilst driving in the period leading up to the crash) and for perverting the course of justice (for deleting text messages immediately after the crash). He received 2 and 4 months in prison for the offences. He also received a 1-year driving ban and must sit an extended re-test before re-obtaining his licence.
The campaigners are demanding that Birmingham City Council and the Highways Agency take action to limit the access of HGVs to the high street and to improve road safety at accident hotspots and pedestrian crossings.
The procession will begin at the Alcester Road entrance to Highbury Park at 11:30am and will proceed towards the collision location. Anyone who wants to demand safer roads is invited to join.
The procession has been promoted by CTC, the national cycling charity; Brake; and RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims.