The death of 14-year-old Lucia Porter in a car crash on Saturday night on the Switchback road near Peel has prompted a 16-year-old to draw up a petition to improve both the safety of the road and accident awareness of young people.
Lewis Barritt, who lives in Port Erin, said he was involved in an accident there last summer and was inspired to act after hearing of the tragedy.
‘We were all OK but we were lucky. We were going up and the car launched in the air,’ he said. ‘After Saturday I thought something obviously has got to be done so I decided to start this petition. Because there have been quite a few accidents there I thought something would have been done already and nothing has been done.’
He wants a speed limit to be enforced (at the moment it is an advisory limit of 40mph), speed bumps, cat’s eyes and reflective bollards would also help to alert drivers – especially those unfamiliar with the road – to the dangers it poses.
He said: ‘There should be something that tells you what the road is like – there are crests or corners.’
The Castle Rushen High School student said he drew up the online petition on Sunday. Twenty-four hours later it had amassed 900 signatures. ‘I did not expect it to take off like this,’ he said.
The petition, to the Department of Infrastructure’s road safety team, reads: ‘I have asked for an enforced speed limit to be put in place and for other traffic-calming measures such as speed humps and reflective posts. I have not asked for the Switchback to be a one-way road as this would cause drivers to be less considerate of their surroundings as they do not have to worry about oncoming traffic. I have also put forward that the education of driving safely/passenger safety should be brought to the lower (school) years (8/9) as the current education of year 11s doesn’t seem to be effective due to some students already driving.’
Comments made on the petition’s Facebook page include: ‘Any road that is proven over time to be dangerous needs to be looked at from a modern point of view,’ wrote Martin Corris.
Ricky Rooney: ‘No more tragedies, although education is key peer pressure and showing off are also killers.’
Steve Corrin: ‘Had a very serious accident there when I was 17, hard to read that road at any speed.’
On Facebook search for: ‘Isle of Man government make the switchback safer.’
>>Editor’s note: Due to the nature of some of the comments made when they were allowed on this story, we have reluctantly decided to remove comments.
There is a continuing police investigation into the accident in which Lucia Porter was killed on Saturday.
Many of the comments made on the story did make valid points on the issue.
To have your say, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will try to include some in Tuesday’s Examiner.
Comments posted on iomtoday.co.im are post-moderated. That means that nobody at Isle of Man Newspapers sees them before they are published online.
Letters in the papers are obviously seen and evaluated before they are published. We ask that anyone who writes a letter for the paper provides a name, home address and daytime telephone number for verification purposes, even if they ask to remain anonymous in print.