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Posters of girl, 11, in intensive care to be used to slow drivers in Lincolnshire

By Lincolnshire Echo  |  Posted: September 04, 2012

  • Speed cut plea: Donna Sleight, left, and her sister Abigail Binns are backing a campaign to see the speed limit along Swinhope Road, Brookenby, reduced after the youngster was knocked off her bike and seriously injured. Picture: John Jenkins

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Graphic images of an 11-year-old girl lying in intensive care will feature on roadside posters in a bid to get drivers to slow down.

Donna Sleight was knocked off her bike just yards from her front door in Swinhope Road, Brookenby, near Market Rasen.

Despite being given between a 5 to 10 per cent chance of survival from swelling and a bleed on the brain, she was home within a week of the crash on July 25.

Luckily, the driver was travelling under the speed limit of 60mph.

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But Donna's sister Abigail Binns, is supporting a residents' campaign to get the limit lowered by putting up the posters.

Supported by Brookenby Parish Council, they are appealing to Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership to get the limit halved.

Childcare professional Ms Binns, 23, is Donna's legal guardian.

"The signs are going up on private land at either end of the half-mile stretch where we want the speed limit reduced," she said.

"We know that you can't just put signs up by the roadside without permission, so I contacted the landowners and they said we could go ahead.

"There will be four posters, 30in by 20in, with the aim of using them as a scare tactic.

"Donna has even helped with the design. And we've already collected 1,000 signatures on a petition calling for the speed reduction."

The photographs were taken while Donna was unconscious in intensive care at Sheffield Children's Hospital.

But her recovery was so swift that despite bruising to her arms, legs and face, and the loss of two front teeth, she was allowed home on Tuesday, July 31.

"I'm really happy that the posters are going up because they could prevent a repeat of what happened to me," she said. "I know how lucky I was and people have been amazed when I've asked them to sign the petition that I'm the girl who nearly died.

"My sister says the residents in Brookenby have been trying for 10 years to get the 60mph limit taken away and I know she won't stop until it's happened."

Brookenby Parish Council clerk Helen Pitman confirmed that the elected members were fully behind the campaign.

"It was decided at the August meeting of the parish council that it would support all the efforts made by residents within the law to reduce the speed on Swinhope Road down to 30mph," she said.

Steve Batchelor, of the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said: "At this time, Lincolnshire Police are continuing their full and thorough investigation into the circumstances of this collision.

"Once that process has concluded, we will be able to consider whether it is appropriate for any alterations to be made."

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  • Roadscource  |  September 05 2012, 1:49PM

    Im sure motorists do not intentionally run children over, so maybe the warnings and education would be better directed at children and their use of highways as play areas which after all convey vehicles weighing up to 45 tonnes !

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  • Gnome_Chomsky  |  September 04 2012, 8:48PM

    Is there an ethical question about taking photographs of an 11-year old child unconscious after being hit by a car? Apologies to those involved, as I'm sure you have all suffered terribly, but Donna might feel very different about the use of sensitive images taken without her informed consent when she reaches 14 or older.

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  • Lincoln Satellite  |  September 04 2012, 5:13PM

    What a great idea to distract motorists from looking at the road. What are the posters going to say - Look what happens when you drive below the speed limit?

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  • rascall1  |  September 04 2012, 8:08AM

    Highways have the powers to reduce speeds limits within its own guidelines. So it should not need to go to central government for approval. I refer to a child who was lost at thorpe on the hill lincoln they reduced that 3 months later under speacial powers in i think 2001 or 2002.

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