This CCTV footage shows the moment a teenager stepped off a bus and ran into the path of a car - she has now supported a new North East road-safety campaign, which includes Northumberland.
Emily Armitage was 15 when she leapt off a bus and, distracted by her mobile phone, ran into the path of a car, causing her to bounce off the windscreen. CCTV footage shows how she was thrown into the road like a rag doll – her head and elbow leaving impressions in the car windscreen and her shoes ending up in a nearby field and garden. Amazingly, Emily, now 19, suffered no major injuries, but she still endures pain in her legs and back and suffers anxiety over what happened.
She is now backing the region-wide campaign, which includes Northumberland, by Road Safety GB North East, which is urging everyone, whether they are drivers, pedestrians or cyclists, to take care on the roads and to look out for each other, especially at times of higher risk.
According to figures released as part of the campaign, Northumberland has the second-highest accident figures in the region, from the period December 2010 to November 2015 - beaten only by County Durham. In this time, there was 5,381 accident-related injuries in the county, with 78 fatalities and 692 serious.
Supporting the campaign, Emily, of Lingdale, east Cleveland, said: "I should have waited until the bus had moved off before attempting to cross the road, but I didn’t – I thought it was safe to cross and I just ran straight in front of the bus and into the path of an oncoming car.
"Everything happened so quickly, I didn’t know what had hit me. I realise that if the driver had been going any faster, I would have been killed.
"I want to support the campaign because I want people to know how easily it can happen.
"I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. I was extremely lucky, but others may not be so fortunate. I hope this campaign can save lives."
Road Safety GB North East is launching the campaign with support from the region’s 12 local authorities, police forces, fire crews and Police and Crime Commissioners. This includes Northumberland County Council and Northumbria Police. They are taking a joined up approach, with targeted campaigns during the next two years highlighting some of the greatest risk factors and most vulnerable road-users, to ultimately lower casualty and accident figures.
The latest figures show that during the past five years there have been 26,996 road-traffic collisions on the region’s roads – resulting in 37,790 injuries, 326 fatalities and 3,953 serious injuries.
From 2010 to 2015 there was a decrease of 8 per cent in the total number of injuries, however, last year, from December 2014 to November 2015, the number of fatal and serious injury accidents reached a peak – increasing by 12 per cent from 2010. The majority of people injured were car occupants, accounting for 62 per cent, but the most seriously injured were motorists (35 per cent), pedestrians (27 per cent), motorcyclists (19 per cent) and pedal cyclists (12 per cent).
Failing to look was the most common contributory factor, leading Road Safety GB North East to launch the new Look Out for Each Other Campaign, with County Durham recording the highest accident figures, followed by Northumberland, Newcastle, Sunderland and Gateshead.
Road Safety GB North East Chairman Paul Watson said: "You may be the greatest driver in the world, with a terrific safety record, but you could still be involved in a serious collision due to a mistake by someone else.
"Accident figures never make good reading. We are urging everyone to take extra care when on the roads, and to make sure they act safely. Crucially, we want everyone to anticipate other people’s poor judgement.
"Take a second longer at junctions to look for bikes, slow down when approaching stationary buses, be cautious if you can see children playing by the side of the road. It’s common sense, but we don’t always do it.
"You may not be at fault in a collision, but the trauma, and maybe even the guilt, will live with you forever if serious injuries and fatalities result.”
Northumbria Police Motor Patrol’s Chief Inspector, John Heckles, said: "We fully support this road safety initiative to encourage motorists to be vigilant, to look out for each other, and drive safely to help reduce casualties on our roads across the region. Operation Dragoon will continue to target dangerous drivers and help to educate the people of the North East about how to stay safe on our roads and look after the most vulnerable road users."