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To let my kids play football in the road?

(170 Posts)
sandyballs Fri 19-Apr-13 23:09:56

It's a quiet road and they are 12 so not little. I've told them to keep the ball low and avoid parked cars and I've watched them and they do. They're also good at looking out for cars coming.

They told me tonight that a neighbour freaked out at them saying how dangerous it was and to get out the road. She has much younger kids. I'm just pleased weather is nicer, evenings are lighter and they're outside and not on some kind of screen. AIBU?

tiggerkid Tue 22-Jul-14 18:26:41

No matter how quiet the road is, you must have witnessed at least once instance when someone appears out of nowhere speeding by at 120 MPH without so much as a blink. All it takes is split second for someone, who isn't concentrating, fell asleep at the wheel, drunk driver or simply someone, who couldn't care less to drive through that road and you will have to live with your choice and its consequences for the rest of your life. Think about the possibility of that happening and it's neither impossible, nor improbable, and then your view of whether it's reasonable to let your kids play in the road may change forever.

bambibunny Tue 22-Jul-14 17:41:08

IMHO YABVVU where i am is a busy road & every house has a garden with 3 parks within a 5 min walk and yet every child seems utterly incapable of using them they much rather boot their footballs( all leather/plastic) at all the houses and the parked cars, one girl in particular when she hasn't got her 15 siblings to play with loves booting them at passing cars.

i have already had to replace my 3 front windows as they have been smashed in, car windscreen and both wing mirrors cause they have had footballs bounce off of them & i can't afford to keep replacing them, needless to say not a single parent has offered to replace/pay/fit for anything new and i get " oh they're only kids leave em alone", its bad enough its the height of summer and i have to keep everything shut to try & blot out the screaming shouting crying & constant thud thud thud.

whatever happened to a child should be seen & not heard, think about someone else for a change & the stress/cost your brat is inflicting on them instead of me me me me me me me & my brat

acogzell Thu 27-Feb-14 14:45:45

I have really bad problems with a family over the road from me. Her kids are alwsys out in the roaf with a hard case ball. There friends all come over and they have a football match, not only r they noisy the ball is bashing against my fence, car, door and windows. Kids should be allowed to play out and have fun but not damaging neighbours property. About four of us compained to the housing association about the kids causing trouble. It stopped for a while, then when i had a new car it started up again. Then when my neighbour had new car they were throwing the ball at her new car. I don't come home till its dark as im sick of the arguments when they see my car on the drive out they come with hard case ball. Ended up falling out with mom as she couldn't see problem as kids out next day with ball. They judt doing it to wind me up now.

EmmelineGoulden Sun 21-Apr-13 23:56:49

Those roads were designed much more for horses, pedestrians and gyglists than they were for modern cars.

I'm playing a bit of devils advocate on this thread, because I do of course realise that we use cars, mainly, to try to get from A to B faster. And I will swear my back teeth off sat behind a "Sunday driver".

But cars aren't the only use of roads. Historically they have not even been the main use. This demand that other users should give up their rights to road space is a matter of appropriating land for a narrower use than it once had, basically so we can drive faster. Yet in driving faster we make those roads less safe. And an insistence on such a change is a matter of demanding that some people (pedestrians amoung others) lose out while others (drivers) gain.

In the context of the OP we're talking about children stepping out of their house and being less welcome and unsafe in the space around them. Posters' protests about them playing in the street are two fold: the kids endanger the cars - so the kids should go; and the kids are endangered by the cars - so the kids should go.

It is a very entitled view of the use of public space and places the convenience of drivers above all other concerns. Fundamentally I disagree with it because I think the way cars make our residential areas more hostile to pedestrians, and especially children, should be addressed not encouraged. Accepting residential streets as truely shared space would help with that.

IntheFrame Sun 21-Apr-13 23:15:46

Er apart from people do actually work/live get from A to B in the country! Not everyone in Hampshire gets on a train to work in London from Monday to Friday - and go jogging at the weekends.

BegoniaBampot Sun 21-Apr-13 23:08:58

doesn't really sound like nthey are designed for cars either then if they are windy and single lane. so maybe we shoud ban the cars that cause the harm and designate them for walkers and leisure goers. sounds no less weird.

IntheFrame Sun 21-Apr-13 23:02:00

No one can drive too fast on the twisty roads we have near us. The roads are single lane with obscured views. They are just dangerous roads and not designed for a whole army of Sunday leisure users.

The point is in the same way as the kids playing football in residential roads. They cause a nuisance because they aren't designed for ball games.

EmmelineGoulden Sun 21-Apr-13 22:49:34

They get installed in urban areas but that doesn't mean the principles don't apply elsewhere. We see it for cyclist safety too. The thing that makes cyclists safest is having more cyclists on the road. The reason it works is because it forces car drivers to realise they don't, in fact, own the road and there are going to be obstacles to their journey.

The horse rider and cyclist and joggers (and tractor) you met on the country road are important in stopping car drivers from driving too fast along such roads. The more common those 'inappropriate' users are, the more drivers expect to meet them and so the less they make erroneous assumptions about how they can safely drive.

IntheFrame Sun 21-Apr-13 22:39:43

Most of the mixed space stuff is designated though - either through design or signage.
You can't just make a car park mixed use.

And most is urban - not many tractors with large sprayers in the cities.

WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 21-Apr-13 22:17:59

50 minute walk to the park or risk spending hours in casualty and weeks on crutches (or worse).

Is it a difficult choice to make?

EmmelineGoulden Sun 21-Apr-13 22:15:09

Experiments in Europe have shown that mixed use space becomes safer when there are lots of people doing what some here are calling 'inappropriate' things on the road because drivers stop feeling like the roads are only for cars, and so they start driving more safely. And in the end, that's what cuts down pedestrian injuries, drivers driving more cautiously. Pedestrians already use a lot more caution than drivers when they use roads (those kids playing football in the road are probably more aware of the traffic on the road than most drivers would be while driving). Motorways are only for cars, but residential roads are not. The more drivers get into the mindset that the only thing that should be on a road is another car when there can be other types of users, the more people get killed.

That's why you're seeing more and more mixed use space in cities. It's not because the planners got bored. It's because road safety experts have discovered that car/pedestrian seperation is a false reality in many situations. And all road users need to start seeing spaces as being places they need to negotiate with all other road users. Removing signs that indicate the road is all for them (such as differentiated road surface and right of way indicators) forces drivers to be far more cautious when they are driving and that cuts injuries.

BegoniaBampot Sun 21-Apr-13 21:51:09

what is inappropriately though. thought a road was for transport as has been mentioned here. most rural roads don't have pavements. guess if someone doesn't have a car but wants to get from A-B they should just stay at home as roads are for cars. doesn't matter that the cars aren't driving safely and with due care - roads are for cars and anyone else who doesn't have a big shiny new car can fuckety off. yes, i've been out (in my shiny big fancy car) imbibing a few wines but car rules and anyone else can suck it.

IntheFrame Sun 21-Apr-13 21:35:23

However I think adults now use the roads inappropriately too. At 9,00am driving 5 minutes along the country roads that surround our semi rural estate I had to slow down serve round 8 adults jogging, 2 horses and at least 5 sporty cyclists 2 abreast . I really felt for the poor tractor driver who had a sprayer on the back and all the filthy looks he got.

Yes I realise all of them are allowed to but they are roads and not an extension of the gym. It's a pain every Sunday when the suns out. When one of them gets knocked down it's totally the drivers fault.

I don't mind the horses by the way seeing as how we are in the countryside. I don't have an answer but it's too busy down south.

BegoniaBampot Sun 21-Apr-13 21:26:22

and when there aren't parks that nearby, or people don't have decent sized gardens if gardens at all then todays kids are missing out on the fun, exercise and companionship that we and all the generations before us took for granted because people are less community minded,less tolerant and more materialistic.

evansthebread Sun 21-Apr-13 21:20:22

Just to add that I've fought park closures wherever I've lived. When the communities I've lived in have got together after their parks being threatened with closure due to non-use/misuse, the parks have been kept open, in good order and used by the local youngsters.

Smiles all round.

expatinscotland Sun 21-Apr-13 21:18:44

' folk who would probably ban any kid out playing locally within shouting distance of their house because the street is for their cars and not the those who actually live there. and i'd imagine most of the streets we are talking about are quiet residential street not argyle street on a friday night.'

And yet this poster just wrote about how her friend was killed on a quiet dead end street and another about how her daughter was hit by a car on a quiet street.

A road by definition is for cars, cycles, motorbikes, vehicles and unfortunately, we cannot police which car or vehicle it is that uses them and their level of care and caution. Vehicles who don't live there can use the street as that is what it is for.

It's not a playground or play area and if people use it for that then sadly there are all too often negative consequences.

evansthebread Sun 21-Apr-13 21:17:47

Seriously not Bah Humbug, Begonia. Playing in the street is a real danger to kids - no matter how quiet normally.

If all the parents got together and trotted down to the park occasionally, just to make sure its a safe environment for them, and reported any potential thuggery to all involved, I'm pretty sure it would be safer than being a potential death trap due to drunk driving/boy racing/police chases.

BegoniaBampot Sun 21-Apr-13 21:13:37

because every kid has a park on their doorstep. some parks aren't safe - the nearest to us was full of drunks, some kids were assaulted, one raped and now is full of muscled tattooed charmers with their scary looking dogs. i'm not saying that kids should be allowed to run riot damaging people's property but there is such a bah humbug feeling here, folk who would probably ban any kid out playing locally within shouting distance of their house because the street is for their cars and not the those who actually live there. and i'd imagine most of the streets we are talking about are quiet residential street not argyle street on a friday night.

expatinscotland Sun 21-Apr-13 21:09:31

Oh, evans! How awful. Happens so often, too.

evansthebread Sun 21-Apr-13 21:08:11

Expat - no, sadly. Even as youngsters we all KNEW. The angle, the absolute silence for a few moments.

Only child, parents devastated. As were we all.

ssd Sun 21-Apr-13 21:03:10

but what do the kids do if the nearest park is 50 mins walk away?

expatinscotland Sun 21-Apr-13 20:58:14

evans how awful! Hope your friend made it.

evansthebread Sun 21-Apr-13 20:47:29

Park all the way for me. As a kid, we lived in a quiet street, quite long and dead end. All the kids played out there. It was the done thing. Until one day, one of my friends was hit by a car being driven by a drunk driver.

It was something I will never forget. The blood on the driver when he staggered out of the car. The angle my friend was lying at, half on, half off the pavement. No one ever thought that something like that could have happened on a quiet afternoon in the middle of the school hols. None of us knew the driver. He was so drunk he'd got lost and then hit the accelerator instead of the brake when he saw us.

If you have access to a park use it. Around here they've been trying to close them saying the kids don't use them. If you think you need to, pop there yourself periodically to make sure all's okay.

Better safe than sorry.

thermalsinapril Sun 21-Apr-13 20:45:16


WorrySighWorrySigh Sun 21-Apr-13 20:35:28

My DD was cautious, they all watched out for cars, until the day she forgot. She was 11 at the time. It was bad enough but it could have been an awful lot worse. When car and human connect it is the squidgy organic thing which comes off worse.

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