Police condemn youngsters playing ‘chicken’

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Police in Wigtownshire are highlighting the need for young people to think about their own safety and that of other road users, and in particular of the dangers of young people playing “chicken” with moving vehicles.

Police have seen a recent increase in the number of reports received from drivers advising of young people crossing roads in a dangerous manner. Two incidents which are of particular concern to police involved young persons running in front of vehicles on the towns Stoneykirk Road and London Road.

Temporary Sergeant Clark Logie from the Crime Reduction Unit said: “Fortunately no-one has been injured as a result of this behaviour yet, but if this continues it is only a matter of time before a young person is seriously injured or worse.

“Reducing road traffic collisions is a policing priority and it is alarming to think that young pedestrians are deliberately putting themselves at risk by running in front of cars to impress their friends.

“When crossing the road legitimately it is sometimes difficult to judge the speed of approaching vehicles even when they are driving within the speed limit. When we have a situation where people are deliberately leaving it to the very last second before crossing the road, they are putting themselves at major risk. It is madness. All it takes is to mistime it slightly or to trip or stumble and there is a real risk of serious injury.

“People also need to think about the consequences if a vehicle swerves to avoid them, and collides with something or someone else. It is not funny. To be blunt, it’s stupidity.

“How to cross the road safely is something we are all taught from an early age, with good reason. While collisions can and do occur from time to time, due to pedestrians not paying enough attention or losing concentration momentarily, for someone to deliberately put themselves at risk is hugely worrying.

“Police would urge anyone who is considering taking part in such an activity to consider the consequences, and just don’t do it. We would ask parents to please speak to their children and try to make sure they understand the dangers. The last thing we want is a young person to be killed on our roads.”