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New safety measures on busy Hartlepool road where boy was fatally injured

Highways chiefs have installed new signs on a busy Hartlepool road where a young boy was knocked down last year to try to get motorists to stick to the speed limit.

Two speed activated signs are now in place on Marina Way in an effort to stop drivers breaking the 30mph limit.

One of the two speed warning signs in Marina Way, Hartlepool. Picture by Frank Reid

One of the two speed warning signs in Marina Way, Hartlepool. Picture by Frank Reid

It comes after nine-year-old Ethan Owens was hit by a Range Rover vehicle travelling at almost 40mph in February last year.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesman said: “Following the fatal accident on that section of road last year, we considered road safety options in conjunction with the police and we have installed two electronic vehicle-activated signs on that section of road – one sign in each direction.

“These signs display the 30mph symbol and the speed camera image, to encourage slower speeds on the road.”

Teesside Crown Court heard how Ethan was struck by Zoe Bennison, 26, after he followed a friend who ran across the road when the pedestrian light was on red.

Ethan Owens, who died eight days after he was knocked down in Hartlepool.

Ethan Owens, who died eight days after he was knocked down in Hartlepool.

Bennison was travelling at a minimum speed of 38mph, the court heard.

Ethan, who had dreamed of becoming a fireman, was treated in James Cook Hospital in Middlesbrough for eight days, before doctors took the decision to turn off his life support machine.

Bennison pleaded guilty to causing the death by careless driving.

She was sentenced in October to nine months in prison, suspended for 18 months and was also banned from driving for two years.

Marina Way was also the scene of another collision in October when a silver BMW collided with the metal barriers near McDonalds.

The emergency services attended the incident, which did not involve any other vehicles, and no one was hurt.

Although speed was not said to have played a role in the incident, Mail readers at the time described the road as a danger and called for action to be taken.

On the Mail’s Facebook page, Michael Walback posted: “I think they should put up a speed camera seeing as though it’s quite a accident-prone road.”

Andy Simms added: “I often see cars driven at speed on this road, especially coming off the bridge.

“This is one of the most pedestrian dense roads in the town with two crossings on.”

Ray Fowler wrote: “You’d be surprised just how many drivers think Marina Way is a 40mph road when in fact it’s 30mph from Middleton Road, right through to the pedestrian crossing at Tesco in Belle View Way. Then it changes to 40mph.”

Mark Newton said: “I’d put a speed camera there.”