Have you heard?

Have you heard?

If you hadn’t already heard, over the next three years in Calderdale, most streets where people live will have 20mph speed limits. Why? Simple…Because we want our streets to be safe and pleasant, wherever we live and however we choose to travel. We are launching the campaign ‘Love our streets’, because we think it’s important to tell you the facts about 20mph and give you the tools and advice to help you.

Do you love our streets?

You may wonder what on earth ‘love our streets’ has to do with 20mph speed limits in Calderdale, right? The idea certainly isn’t that everyone drives around with a fixed smile and hugs each other… though that would be nice, we don’t have to go that far. The idea is that by driving at 20mph, you will be loving our streets and helping everyone – children, parents, wannabe cyclists, walkers, older people, and people who use wheelchairs. What you might not realise is that by doing 20mph you could be making such a big difference to everyone, but this also raises the question…who are we behind the wheel?

Are our hearts behind the wheel?

From the second we get up to the second our heads hit the pillow many of us are rushing. We’re rushing to work, rushing when we’re at work, rushing lunch down, rushing to get home, rushing to get the tea, rushing tea down, rushing to get the washing done – always rushing! Our attention and priorities are focussed on what we’re doing at that point. The same time that we’re rushing to work is the same time children are making their way to school all around Calderdale. At the same time we’re rushing home, children have finished school and could be playing out. We are all using the streets at different times for different things and should feel safe in doing so. We also take however we’re feeling with us – whether it’s happy, fed up, angry, relaxed, upset, in a rush, and we get behind the wheel. It is a known fact that our attitudes impact on our driving behaviour and we’d be in denial to think it doesn’t. We’re human after all.

Do we really care about others when we’re behind our wheel?

Or (and be honest!) do we feel so protected in our own space that sometimes our own needs, attitudes and behaviours come before anyone else in the streets that we’re rushing through? This isn’t a question of blame and it’s not just about road collisions. It’s about our attitude behind the wheel every time we drive. Is there an unfair balance of power on the roads between drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, children, wheelchair users and older people?  At any point in our lives we could be that cyclist if we fancy taking it up, we could be (will be!) the older person trying to cross the road safely, or have children or grandchildren that just want to play out where they live.

Keep a watch!

Changing our hearts and minds won’t happen overnight. There are so many benefits to 20mph but you can browse these and take the quiz…maybe win yourself a Car CCTV Camera! We chose these as prizes because many of you told us that you were worried that if you drove at 20mph you would experience (or have experienced) aggressive behaviour from the driver behind. Car CCTVs come in all shapes and sizes and are becoming more common, with prices starting from as little as £20 (Amazon as at April 2015) it could be a good investment! Read the various reviews and tell us what difference it made to you and more importantly keep coming back – we will have a quiz every quarter and you can enter as many times as you like as long as you get 100% correct! Give it a go, there are only 10 questions!

Remember to follow us to keep up to date with what’s going on in our streets!

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