Daily Telegraph Tuesday 11 January 2005

Anti-bullbar campaign launched


By David Crawshaw


THE family of a Melbourne boy killed by a four-wheel-drive has begun a campaign to ban bullbars from vehicles in urban areas.


Shahid Hajher, seven, died in his sister's arms in the NSW south coast town of Kiama on January 3 after he was hit by a four-wheel-drive fitted with a bullbar.


His cousin, Farid Rawan, has become a lobbyist and is calling for a ban on bullbars on vehicles in NSW's urban areas.


Mr Rawan, a Sydney computer engineer, hoped Shahid's death would not be in vain.


He yesterday launched an email petition urging people to support a ban on bullbars on urban vehicles.


It was "ridiculous" for urban motorists to fit their cars with bullbars, Mr Rawan said.


"I'm sure in the country there's a big argument for them to prevent kangaroos coming through the windscreen," he said.


"I don't know how often that happens but in the city there's just no reason to have a bullbar."


Mr Rawan said his cousin was a gentle and brilliantly talented child.


"Shahid was one of the most innocent and sweetest kids I have ever met," he said.


"If he was in the house for a day it would light the whole house up."


The Pedestrian Council of Australia has backed Mr Rawan's campaign.


Council chairman Harold Scruby said bullbars were a factor in up to 12 per cent of pedestrian deaths, but police and the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) were not enforcing standards regarding unsafe bullbars.


But motorists would gain demerit points for unsafe bullbars from March 1, he said.


Lake Illawarra police supervisor Sergeant Bryan Rugg said today police were unlikely to press charges against the driver of the four-wheel-drive that hit Shahid.


Comment was being sought from the office of NSW Police Minister John Watkins and the RTA.




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