‘Collisions don’t affect one person – it is like dropping a stone into a pond, the ripple effect touches so many people’s lives.’

Ben with his Dad, Rob Ben in his hospital bed

Rob from Steeple talks about his life-changing experience of speeding and how it’s the motivation behind his work with Community Speed Watch.

In the early hours of 22nd August 2017, police officers entered Rob’s home and woke him up (He is profoundly deaf) to escort him urgently to Broomfield Hospital. On the way, officers explained that his 20-year-old son had been involved in a collision and was in hospital. He had been driving too fast, had hit a tree, and has subsequently sustained very serious injuries.

Rob says: “I was in shock, being escorted at high speed to Broomfield, I was aware it was critical.

“When I arrived at Broomfield, I was told to spend as much time as could with him. They could see how badly injured he was, and they weren’t sure he was going to survive. That was so painful.”

Rob’s son had broken two parts of his skull, shattered his left eye socket and had broken his lower spine in three places. He had 14 broken bones, needed blood transfusions, ruptured his spleen and bowels, his kidney and liver had stopped working and he lost cranial fluid.

Five years later, he is still in rehabilitation and suffers from a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) due to stopping the car so quickly. He suffers from memory loss and chronic fatigue and is still today, 7 years later, unable to work full time.

Three years after the collision, Rob wanted to help spread the message that speeding ruins lives and decided to volunteer with his local Community Speed Watch group. He feels as though he’s making a difference and although the majority follow the speed limit, a minority speed, which makes local residents feel unsafe.

He says, “We have noticed since the pandemic that there are more speeders on the roads. Houses physically shake as they thunder past, and I know it affects the quality of life of our small community. Young families have moved away because they felt the roads weren’t safe for their children.

“We don’t want to catch speeding drivers. We want to prevent them from speeding, so our roads are safer for all road-users. I see our role as preventative.”

Rob feels he’s making a difference and would love to prevent anyone else from experiencing the effects of his son’s collision. He adds;

“Speeding really doesn’t get you anywhere quicker. Is it really worth the risk? You might not see it as a risk, but I have seen first hand how it can literally shatter lives.”

Rob works part time as an Electrical Engineer and is Vice Chairman and Treasurer for Maldon Canoe Club. He enjoys white water kayaking and coaching and is authorised to use the Olympic course at Lee Valley. He is Treasurer for the Stone Sailing Club where he has been a club member for over 10 years.

Could you make a difference like Rob and volunteer with the Community Speed Watch scheme? For more information visit, Community Speed Watch – saferessexroads.org.


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