Top race driver backs The 20 Effect

British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) driver James Cole, 25, has become the latest ambassador for the city’s speed reduction campaign, The 20 Effect.

Although James is more accustomed to driving at speed on the track, he has spoken of his support of 20 mph speed limits on residential roads and how it is an important campaign that can potentially save lives.

James Cole said: “I’m a big supporter of reduced speeds on our residential roads; something that The 20 Effect is championing. It’s because of this I have come on board to help spread the message even further. Lowering speed limits to 20mph in residential areas will reduce collisions and save lives; it will make our streets safer and more pleasant for everyone.

“I want to help get this message across in any way that I can; and I aim to highlight, that there is a place for speed; it’s on the track, not on our streets.”

Whilst the main influence of James Cole’s representation is linked to his professional capacity, he is no stranger to injury both professionally and being hit by a car when he was 11. The accident left him with serious head injuries and he was hospitalized for an extended period of time. Since then, James has been an advocate for road safety and slower speeds on residential roads.

James continued: “As a child I was hit by a car on a residential street doing 28-29 mph. The collision resulted in a severe head injury, taking me a year to recover from it. This has given me the passion for raising awareness around road safety.”

20 Effect - James Cole - BTCC

The health benefits are obvious with The 20 Effect and it is the health and safety elements that James will be looking to put across in his work with the scheme. Cumulatively, race car driving is safe as a whole in relation to statistics; due to the fact that it takes place in a controlled environment in specially prepared cars built for high speed. Precautions are necessary in all kinds of driving, something that is evident in James’ line of work. His support for the campaign will add a different viewpoint and will help further the message of 20 mph on residential roads.

James was at Stanley Park over the weekend, as part of Liverpool International Music Festival, to show his support for The 20 Effect. James was there to highlight the safety precautions that are in place for driving at speed and discuss why speed should be left on the track.

Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport, Councillor Tim Moore, said: “It’s great news that James has come on board to show his support for the campaign. Some young people will see the work he does on the track and think that they can emulate it on our roads; James is there to explain why this shouldn’t happen. He will be an excellent ambassador for our campaign and ultimately, help us push our road safety messages to an even wider audience.”

The 20 Effect is a campaign run by Liverpool City Council in partnership with Merseyside Police and the Fire Service, created to influence behaviour change around proposed reduced speed limits on residential roads.

Everyone can show their support by ‘liking’ the campaign on Facebook or ‘following’ the campaign on Twitter, and most importantly; by driving at 20mph on residential roads.

MAIN IMAGE: James Cole joins Sgt Paul Mountford of Merseyside Police and local children in Anfield to promote The 20 Effect.


About The 20 Effect Campaign

• The 20 Effect is a speed reduction campaign designed to influence safer driving and heighten awareness for 20mph limits in residential areas. The campaign is run in joint partnership by Liverpool City Council and Liverpool Primary Care Trust.

• In Liverpool, children face the country’s second highest risk of serious injury or death on the roads. If the city gets behind 20mph speed limits, it will create safer streets, healthier places to live and ultimately, save lives. Statistics are from the MAST report of 2010.

• The increase from 31% to 70% of roads going to 20mph could prevent at least 54 collisions every year and save £5.2m in costs associated with these incidents.

• Driving at 20mph around Liverpool’s residential areas could cut serious casualties by approximately 22%.

• Research shows that a pedestrian has only 50% chance of surviving if they are hit by a car at 30mph, compared to 90% if travelling at 20mph.

• Liverpool has been divided up into seven areas, and these are being prioritised based on the number of collisions. The scheme will cover the majority of residential roads, including roads outside schools on strategic routes, where possible.

• The 20 Effect campaign has been built in partnership with Liverpool City Council, Liverpool Primary Care Trust, Mersey Travel, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service and a number of resident and community action groups.

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