TRAUMATIC: Just walking to the school bus stop at busy Rous Road is frightening for Debbie Halliday, pictured with daughter Amber, 9. Now the family has lost its dog in a hit-and-run accident.
TRAUMATIC: Just walking to the school bus stop at busy Rous Road is frightening for Debbie Halliday, pictured with daughter Amber, 9. Now the family has lost its dog in a hit-and-run accident. CATHY ADAMS

Busy Lismore road puts kids' lives at risk

DEBBIE HALLIDAY kept her three kids home from school yesterday 'due to a death in the family'- a death caused by speeding.

While the family member was a dog, the death of their beloved Penny - a two-year-old miniature pinscher - frightened Mrs Halliday.

“It could easily have been one of my three kids hit by that car,” she said. “People just have to slow down.”

Mrs Halliday has been trying to slow drivers down in Rous Road since moving into their home six years ago.

“I stand outside my house some mornings and I'd say 85 per cent of people are doing well over 50km/h (the road's speed limit),” she said.

“I wave my hands to slow them down and sometimes I get the finger and cop abuse.

“People have stopped visiting our house because it's just too dangerous to get out of our driveway.”

Mrs Halliday said she often had to walk her three young children along a 100-metre strip of Rous Road to their school bus stop. The road has no footpath and there had been some close calls with speeding vehicles.

Even while sitting on the side of the road, holding her dying dog, Mrs Halliday said cars were still speeding as they went past her.

Lismore City Council cut the speed limit in Rous Road - used heavily by commuters travelling from Wardell to Lismore - from 60km/h to 50km/h in June.

International and Australian research shows reducing speed limits can slash the number of deaths and the severity of injuries resulting from road crashes.

The council's road safety officer Salina Runge said a 50km/h speed limit reduced stopping distances by 10 metres when compared with vehicles travelling at 60km/h.

“Ten metres can be the difference between a crash occurring or not. It could help save a life,” she said.

However, Mrs Halliday said the lower speed limit had not helped.

Inspector Greg Moore said police had stepped up patrols of marked and unmarked police cars in Rous Road.

Unfortunately, there would always be drivers who disobeyed the road rules, he said.

“Drivers who ignore the speed reduction will find themselves with greater penalties and greater loss of demerit points,” he said.

Following a ceremony to bury Penny in the Halliday's backyard, which included a few moments' silence and the reading of a poem about the dog by eight-year-old Sonya, Mrs Halliday walked to her letter box and continued to wave at drivers to slow down.



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