I don’t know about you, but I always feel a bit nervous if I have to drive under a bridge that has people standing on it, especially if they’re hanging around the sides and watching the traffic underneath. I dread the thought of a missile coming crashing through my car windscreen and causing a dangerous incident, maybe even a fatality. Sadly, throwing missiles at passing vehicles is a popular ‘sport’ for some mindless individuals, and it’s extremely difficult to catch anybody in the act as the perpetrators are off and away before anyone can realistically give chase.
A recent occurrence involved yobs who were situated on a footbridge over the M60 between junction 19 and junction 20, and close to Middleton and Blackley. Apparently three individuals described as teenagers around 14 years old, male and white, were seen to be dropping bricks and stones onto passing traffic, which is a very dangerous thing to do as these idiots were knowingly putting innocent motorists’ lives at risk.
An HGV that passed underneath the bridge at around 9:30 pm, en route to Stockport, was hit by a large missile, most probably a heavy stone, which cracked the HGV windscreen on the passenger side and caused the lorry driver to swerve and then stop his vehicle. The missile had been dropped from a height of 20 feet onto the windscreen, and although the driver was unhurt, he was badly shaken by the incident, which could have ended a lot more badly than it did if his reactions had not been quick enough.
Police are investigating the incident, and have issued a series of warnings to both parents and children to point out how dangerous these types of activities are. Throwing missiles at vehicles poses a danger not just to the vehicle that may sustain damage to the windscreen, bodywork or other parts of the vehicle from the impact. There is another, even bigger danger in the effect that witnessing such an incident is liable to have on other motorists. Drivers will be distracted, and on our busy roads, that means real danger to other vehicles and drivers on the same route, and can even cause multiple vehicle pile-up and fatalities.
What can we do about it?
These types of incident are not particularly common, thankfully, but according to police, the number of incidents does tend to increase during school holidays and on the longer, lighter evenings of summer. Police are therefore asking the parents of teenagers and young ‘adults’, who may have too much time on their hands, to keep an eye on their activities to ensure they don’t cause a major disaster in pursuit of ‘a bit of fun’ to liven up their days.
If you are a parent, do you really know what your teenagers are up to on these long, light evenings? It may be worthwhile asking a few questions because you never know, you may just help to prevent someone getting a nasty shock, or even save a driver’s life.