Ann drives a safety appeal

Ann Holgate, mother of muscular dystrophy sons Kristian and Connnor
Ann Holgate, mother of muscular dystrophy sons Kristian and Connnor

JUST over two years ago Rastrick teenager Kristian Holgate died a month after he was thrown from his wheelchair while travelling in a specially adapted cab.

Now his mother, Ann, is the driving force behind a campaign to encourage taxi drivers and other specially adapted transport providers to secure wheelchair users safely.

The appeal, ‘Safety on the Move’, will be launched on Friday June 24 by Calderdale Council’s road safety team and Ravenscliffe High School, Halifax.

Ann and her husband Kevin, are still seeking answers after their son died a month after he was involved in an accident in March 2009.

He suffered from muscular dystrophy and was being taken to Huddersfield New College when he suffered a cut head and a fractured left leg in the incident.

Ann wants to ensure the safety of all wheelchair users as they are transported around the district and beyond by ensuring that the wheelchair and passenger are properly restrained.

“No family should have to go through what we have,” said Ann.

“Taking simple steps to ensure that wheelchairs and their occupants are properly secured cold help prevent a tragedy. It only takes a few seconds to put a seat belt on - and for wheelchair users, those few seconds of extra care could be the difference between life and death in the event of a crash.

“We as a family want everyone to think about their safety on the move.”

All hackney carriage drivers and Calderdale Access buses will receive a sticker to display on the back of their vehicle with the message ‘We Care. We Will Secure Your Chair’.

Wheelchair users will also receive their own sticker for the back of their wheelchairs with the message ‘Please Care. Secure My Chair.’

For further information about Safety on the Move contact Bridget Kusyj, Calderdale Road Safety Team on 01422 392144.

* Is Ann’s campaign a good idea? Can safety be improved for disabled people on public transport? Write in or email your letters to the Echo at: stephen.firth@brighouseecho.