While this death is quite different from the austerity-suicides seen in recent months, it is nonetheless the direct result of the disastrous budget cuts the British government has been making.
A local council in Wiltshire, England made the decision in 2011, coincidentally a year after the austerity-driven British coalition government came into power, to turn off the street lights on a road between midnight and 5:30am saving £300,000 ($465,000) annually. The same road also lacks a path for pedestrians.
While one councillor reportedly called this decision ‘foolhardy‘, their efforts alone were not enough to prevent the implementation of this austerity driven decision – a decision that would prove fatal for 31 year old, mother of five Cheryl Richards.
he Independent reports that she was ‘walking home along Wiltshire’s A361 at approximately 2am on 27 September last year when she was struck by an Audi A3 driven by 23-year-old Lee Sullivan’.
Cheryl died after suffering immense head trauma. While the driver did have alcohol in his system, the coroner ruled that Cheryl had been walking in the middle of the road ‘due to a lack of street lights‘, which made it impossible for the driver to miss her.
Independent councillor Ernie Clarke said ‘one death is one death too many’.
Far too many.
Will protest be enough to stop austerity? (Photo)
Austerity related deaths are, unfortunately, nothing new for ‘modern’ Britain, as there are regular reports of austerity-suicides due to the devastating effects cuts are having on people’s lives. The North of England recently started a petition to join Scotland, primarily brought about by the anti-austerity message of the victorious Scottish National Party in the recent election.
The BBC, on the other hand, is simply looking to exploit austerity victims, as it seeks to establish a game show where those who produce the least will be ‘eliminated’.
The loss of human life to save money is absolutely unacceptable and our thoughts are with the family of Ms. Richards.