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to be disappointed with Mumsnet's victim road safety victim blaming

(54 Posts)
GoldenGoat Mon 17-Nov-14 12:48:00

The main killer of children in traffic accidents is cars/other motor vehicles. In fact, the people driving those motor vehicles.
The road safety article on the MN homepage at the moment focuses entirely on teaching children road safety, and I am in no way arguing that this is not important. We do need to teach children to stop, look, listen. To not just step in to the road. To try looking up from their phones occasionally.

However nowhere in that article does it ask adult drivers to consider their speed, to drive and park considerately near schools in particular, to not just whizz around corners when they can see pedestrians approaching a corner.

AIBU to think that MN should be representing both sides of this and calling for safer streets as well teaching children road safety? As the article currently stands, it is essentially victim blaming.

The article if you haven't seen it.

grocklebox Mon 17-Nov-14 12:50:56

yabu. Its road safety tips for CHILDREN, who don't drive cars. Not every aspect of every thing has to be covered at all times.

ChimesAndCarols Mon 17-Nov-14 12:52:40

victim blaming

This ^^ seems to be the new buzzword on MN lately.

No, I don't think MN should represent both sides of this. It is not an article about driving is an article about road safety for children!

TheCraicDealer Mon 17-Nov-14 12:54:20

From looking at the article it looks like tips for parents to help impart sensible habits to their children when using the pavements and crossing the road. As children cannot drive it would miss the point of the article to include points on drivers' awareness.

Drivers are targeted in a number of other ways, ranging from hazard perception tests when you're learning to drive, to high-profile advertising campaigns which are ongoing.

TheIronGnome Mon 17-Nov-14 12:54:24


grocklebox Mon 17-Nov-14 12:54:32

It's like arguing that an article on vegan cooking should have a recipe for roast beef. Very silly.

Boomtownsurprise Mon 17-Nov-14 12:57:03

Dunno about yours but my 4year old can't drive and won't for years.

This article is about helping me teach my dc to be safe not about my driving. Or did you just not bother reading the article you so diligently highlight so you could write a snippy post....

kelda Mon 17-Nov-14 13:00:45

YABU. I teach my children never to trust a car driver and to look out for themselves as much as possible.

Comito Mon 17-Nov-14 13:05:51

YABU. The ideal thing would be to write a separate article aimed at motorists on improving observation, obeying traffic laws and considerate and safe driving. Not try and crowbar it into an article about teaching children road safety out of some dogged insistence on equal coverage.

SecretNutellaFix Mon 17-Nov-14 13:07:09


Yes, the drivers involved should be taking more care, but the onus is on the pedestrian to make sure that they are not in a situation where they could be injured.

At the end of August I saw a car hit a bloke crossing over the dual carriageway, albeit at a pedestrian crossing. The driver of the car was going above the speed limit. HOWEVER, the lights for pedestrians to cross were still on red and the grown man made the decision to try and beat the traffic by running from behind me and across to the central part of the crossing point.

I was very careful to explain to police exactly what I saw and in this case the bloke who got thrown 15 ft up and 15 ft across the road could have avoided his severe injuries had he just stopped and paid attention to what the traffic signals were telling him. Which was STOP.

Andro Mon 17-Nov-14 13:11:51

YABU - with road safety everybody has a responsibility to act in a safe manner (and ensure children who are too young to take that responsibility are suitably supervised). Teaching children how to be as safe as possible is essential, driver safety and responsibility is a different (though equally essential) matter.

Nomama Mon 17-Nov-14 13:12:38

YY to the victim blaming comment, Chimes

Where does that come from? It always seems to mean that you can't teach a person to take care of themselves in any way shape or form, if the harm you anticipate is done by someone else.

So, walk down the middle of the road, leave your doors and windows side open, wander down dark alleyways alone and a tad drunk and on and on...

The idea of being responsible for your own actions seems to be being greatly undermined in the fervour to get 'the bad guy (sorry) person ' after the fact.

I'll always go with the idea of preventive measures, myself: walk on pavements without heaphones blasting and actively being aware of my surrounding, to lock up whatever doors and windows I have that have locks, and to go home with friends when a tad drunk!

Bloodybridget Mon 17-Nov-14 13:18:00

And I guess reminding parents and carers to teach road safety by always using the safest crossings themselves, instead of attempting to cross main roads any old where with tiny kids and pushchairs in tow as I see every bleeding day, would be victim blaming too??

whois Mon 17-Nov-14 13:23:37

Op, your post is stupid.

Victim blaming? Yes actually, if a litre kid runs out without looking in front of a car traveling at 30 miles an hour and get hit then it is actually the kids fault.

It's not like the driver would have thought "oh goody, here is my perfect opportunity to hit a small child and get away with it cost everyone will blame them for not looking".

Unlike rape, where the perpetrator makes a concious decision to rape.

Sarkymare Mon 17-Nov-14 13:29:33

I agree with everything that has been said about victim blaming (from PP not OP)

As has been said, children don't need to know to consider their speed and parking because they don't drive. So to them it is just useless information.

There's nothing to be huffy about here and it is certainly in no way 'victim blaming'

Johnogroats Mon 17-Nov-14 13:39:09

I cycle carefully past a secondary school on the way to work. Those kids would benefit from some road safety basic as look before you cross the road. It is only because I cycle cautiously that I haven't taken them out and been injured myself.

OP you are being daft. Advice to drivers/ adult road users is important, but that s not the focus of the article.

Seriouslyffs Mon 17-Nov-14 13:43:45

It's easier for me to educate and inform my children than to change the behaviour of every driver who might be on the roads near them.

GoldenGoat Mon 17-Nov-14 14:06:46

Oh you lot do make me laugh. So if your child is hurt by somebody driving, it's their own fault?

As I said in my post, I do think we should teach children to safe but I'm also disappointed that MN is ONLY taking that angle and not campaigning to improve road safety. The only way to stop children being killed by people driving cars is to slow down cars in residential areas and enforce those driving dangerously.

The onus should never be on people to not get killed. We all have a duty of personal responsibility, however when you're in charge of a 2 tonne machine that is capable of killing people, you have the most responsibility compared to other vulnerable road users.

As an organisation that represents millions of parents and therefore millions of children, I'd expect MN to do more to improve road safety.

And yes it is victim blaming to say that if somebody is killed in the road it is entirely their fault. Nobody has to drive fast in residential areas but they do.

But in this car-centric society I'm clearly unreasonable to expect anybody to slow down. It's far more important to get to somewhere 10 seconds earlier than to save a life. Silly me

Nicknacky Mon 17-Nov-14 14:12:59

If my child runs out in front of a car, then yes it is my child's fault and not the driver. Harsh as that may sound! A driver doesn't have to be speeding or driving dangerously for a pedestrian to be killed.

Do you really think it's ALWAYS the drivers fault no matter what the actions of the pedestrians,

Seriouslyffs Mon 17-Nov-14 14:15:13

You're really not reading the replies. No one has said that it's the child's fault. This is Mumsnet. A site for parents of children, the vast majority of whom don't drive.
I can't control the drivers but I can advise my children to cross at crossings, not wear both headphones when crossing the road etc.

BertieBotts Mon 17-Nov-14 14:18:48

FGS, I can see the point you're trying to make, it's not subtle.

Car drivers are always held accountable for injuries or death caused to pedestrians. It's an offence to drive away from an accident. You would never, ever have a case thrown out because a child hadn't looked properly when crossing the road. Perhaps if it was a clear suicide e.g. jumping off a motorway bridge.

Rape convictions don't work this way which is why all of the talk about victim blaming and making it the perpetrator's responsibility. Also, a penis is not a gigantic heavy metal object travelling at speed. The driver is in control of the vehicle but some things, such as stopping distance, are not under his/her control. Accidents can happen, rape is never an accident.

wheresthelight Mon 17-Nov-14 14:19:27

it isn't always the drivers fault. both the law and the highway code accept that a pedestrian has a duty of care not to cause a hazard in the road.

drivers are constantly bombarded by instructions and campaigns to make them aware of the need to drive safely be it about kids, cyclists or motorbikes however no where is there anything that points out to pedestrians, cyclists or bikers that they also have a duty of care and a responsibility to be safer

manicinsomniac Mon 17-Nov-14 14:20:10

Oh you lot do make me laugh. So if your child is hurt by somebody driving, it's their own fault?

Yes. (assuming the car was on the road where it should have been, the child was off the pavement when they shouldn't have been and the driver wasn't drunk, texting or otherwise distracted.)

The severity of the injuries and whether or not they are fatal is more dependent on the speed of the car so blame is more of a grey area.

But a simple case of a child stepping out in front of a car without looking is the child's fault.

Sometimes victims actually are to blame!

Nicknacky Mon 17-Nov-14 14:22:05

bertie if you mean deemed to be at fault by "held accountable" then you are incorrect. A driver won't always be prosecuted in a collision involving a pedestrian it entirely depends on the situation.

Driving away from an accident is a separate element altogether and "fault" doesn't come into play then.

MellowAutumn Mon 17-Nov-14 14:23:06

Stupid op to be honest smile Hope that helps

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