Articles Tagged ‘campaign - Brake the road safety charity’

Linda Riordan, MP for Halifax, March 2008

march08Linda Riordan, MP for Halifax
Linda Riordan MP is campaigning to reduce speed limits on local roads, following the tragic death of a constituent.

In August 2006, two-year-old Connor Graham was knocked down and killed on Claremount Road, Halifax. Claremount Road has a 30mph speed limit, without any speed camera or traffic-calming measures even though Stepping Stones Nursery, which Connor attended, is situated on the road.

Linda has joined Connor’s family and friends in campaigning for a 20mph speed limit on Claremount Road, and other roads around schools or homes. Over the past year she has met Calderdale Council a number of times to urge them to take action to improve safety, but has been told that the road is not a priority as there have not been enough crashes on it where excessive speed has been a factor.

On 14 March 2008 Linda supported Connor’s family, friends, teachers and nursery leaders in a silent protest at the lack of action being taken by Calderdale Council. The event was attended by Brake’s road safety mascot, Zak the Zebra. Media were invited to attend on the day and the campaign was covered by BBC Look North, Yorkshire Post, Halifax Courier and Pulse FM. Linda also gave an interview for ITN Calendar news.

Linda has stepped up her campaign by tabling several questions in Parliament, which have yet to be answered, about reducing the default urban speed limit to 20mph. Linda has also called for an adjournment debate on the need to reduce the default speed limit around schools and homes.

Linda says: “I am joining my constituents in their campaign to reduce speed limits around schools, nurseries and homes to 20mph. A few miles an hour can mean the difference between life and death and by reducing the urban default limit to 20mph, the Government could save lives and prevent untold suffering for families like Connor’s.”

Read more about Brake’s ‘Watch out there’s a kid about’ campaign to stop child death and injury. [Take action][4] by adding your name to Brake’s petition for 20mph speed limits around schools and homes.

If you know of a dangerous road in your area, let Brake know by calling our Zak the zebra hotline on 08000 68 77 80, and Brake could help you campaign for road safety improvements.

[4]: /community/watch out theres a kid about/funding for 20mph zones

‘Drive less, live more’ campaign launched by Brake, as devastating UK-wide health effects of driving are revealed

Monday, 23 November 2015

Brake, the road safety charity

Contact 01484 550067 / 07976 069 159, or e: news@brake.org.uk

  • Released today: 75% of drivers surveyed think people in the UK use their cars too much
  • Air pollution is estimated to kill 52,500 people in the UK each year
  • 43% of adults in England don’t meet the recommended 150 minutes of exercise per week. Cycling or a brisk walk to work can meet these recommendations.
  • Five deathsand 64serious injuries happen daily on UK roads, up 4% on the previous year

A national campaign launched today (23 November) by the charity Brake at the start of Road Safety Week calls on drivers to drive less, live more. The campaign aims to make roads safer, especially for people on foot and bike; save money; make communities more pleasant; protect the environment; and improve public health. Media are invited to campaign launch events – see box below.

As part of the campaign, Brake and partners AIG and Specsavers today reveal statistics confirming the devastating effects on health and wellbeing of driving, including the extent of air pollution, the shocking number of deaths it causes, and levels of ‘inactivity’ across different parts of the UK.

A map of the UK showing statistics for each local authority is now live at roadsafetyweek.org.uk/drivelessmap for your analysis.

Brake, Specsavers and AIG are also today launching results of a survey of 1,000 driving adults (23 Nov):

  • Eight in 10 (79%) admit to driving on journeys that could be made on foot, bicycle or by public transport.
  • A large majority of people surveyed see overuse of cars as a problem, but point the fingers at others: 75% think people use their cars too much, but only 30% think they are guilty of this.
  • 85% of those surveyed believe people overall should reduce car use, for a variety of reasons: 52% to reduce air pollution and noise, and half (50%) to protect the environment and stop climate change.
  • Significant numbers agreed their driving was detrimental to their own/family’s health (31%), and their family’s finances (28%).
  • The most commonly cited factor people said would help persuade them to drive less (37%) was making public transport in their area more frequent, accessible and convenient.

Full results are at the bottom of this release.

Filming, photo and interview opportunities:

Media are invited to attend the main launch in London or media calls across the UK in Glasgow, Bristol, and York. Find out more fromnews@brake.org.uk.

Main launch event:

WHERE:Horse Guards Parade, London SW1A 2AX   WHEN: 8:30am-11:00am 23 November

FILMING/PHOTOS:Met Police and their Cycle Safety Team will be running exchanging places, with cyclists and pedestrians given the opportunity to sit in an HGV and learn about their blind spots first hand. There will also be a spinning class with London’s Santander bikes, demonstration of BMW Electric bikes, Cemex’s new Econic truck which provides better safety for cyclists, and HaveBike's mobile cycle workshop.

INTERVIEWS:Brake campaigns director, Gary Rae (07748 674851), Met Police spokesperson Inspector Dave Osborne (07921 067 383), vox pops with members of the public.

OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPHS from the event will be provided from mid-afternoon on the same day. Contactnews@brake.org.uk to confirm expected upload time. To set up pre-record filming and interviews with Brake, emailnews@brake.org.uk.

 

Why drive less, live more?

Every day five people die on UK roads, and 64 more are seriously injured – every one causes needless devastation, trauma and suffering, which Brake witnesses through its victim care services [1][2]. The vast majority of these serious casualties, which went up by 4% last year, are down to driver error.

Brake believes road safety isn’t just about driving safely and legally or using the green cross code, although these are important. It’s about making our streets safe and pleasant for everyone to use freely, and doing everything we can to protect ourselves and people around us. A big part of that is driving less, as little as possible, or not at all if you can.

It’s common for people to habitually walk the few metres from their front door to their car and drive, even if they’re only going round the corner. A quarter of car journeys (23%) are less than two miles [3]. People who walk or cycle often have to face busy, noisy streets, full of pollution and fast traffic. Is this the way we want it?

Walking, cycling or using public transport not only helps to make our streets safer, more pleasant and less polluted, it has personal benefits too. It can save families a lot of money, help people live healthier, more active lives, reduce stress and illness, and help people connect with their communities.

That’s why Brake is asking everyone to consider how they use roads, and to see if they can drive less, live more, and walk, cycle or use public transport instead, to help make our roads and communities safer, happier, healthier and less polluted places.

Members of the public can show their support for the drive less, live more campaign by:

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns at Brake, said: “Our Road Safety Week theme of ‘drive less, live more’ makes clear the link between improving road safety, preventing casualties, protecting people and the planet, and our choice of transport. We understand that not everyone has freedom of choice in the way they travel, hence we continue to have a strong year-round focus campaigning for a safer environment for walking and cycling through our GO 20 campaign. We also support the efforts of partner organisations that are campaigning for better public transport. But our main aim through this November’s Road Safety Week is to help people consider the options open to them, and better understand the benefits of driving less, to road safety, health, personal finances, communities and the planet.

“Road Safety Week has become the most crucial fixture in our calendar for raising public awareness of road safety, and it has also become a crucial fixture for many educators, road safety professionals, and employers around the country too. We believe this year’s theme is a critical one for all of us, providing a chance to show how road safety is a bigger issue than many people think.”

Specsavers co-founder, Dame Mary Perkins, said: “Specsavers is proud to continue to work with Brake to support Road Safety Week, a timely reminder of the dangers on our roads. As winter approaches, bad weather and dark nights impact on visibility affecting pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike. But we hope this doesn't discourage people from walking and cycling at this time of year. We would urge all road users to ensure they have regular eye tests in order to keep both themselves and their loved ones safe and to cut down on the amount of preventable collisions on our roads.”

Stuart Sutherland, Casualty Profit Centre Manager at AIG, commented: “We are delighted to be supporting Brake in the dedicated work it does to promote road safety in the UK. This partnership is one of a number of road safety initiatives across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa as part of AIG’s Together for Safer Roads objectives. It reflects our commitment as a company to working around the world alongside partners in business, government and the community to make our roads safer and prevent unnecessary death and injury.”

More facts about driving and its impact:

  • By 2040 the number of cars on England’s roads is set to increase by 39% compared to 2010 and traffic delays by 61% [4].
  • Nearly a third (27%) of UK CO2 emissions come from road transport [5]. Air pollution is a major killer: there are an estimated 29,000 deaths from particulate matter pollution in the UK [6], 5,000 of which are attributable to road transport [7], and an additional 23,500 deaths from NO2 [8]. Much of the UK still exceeds EU standards on NO2 emissions; and in those areas where levels are too high, 80% of emissions are due to road transport, mostly cars and vans [9].
  • Fear of traffic can discourage people from walking or cycling, so it’s a big public health issue. A Brake survey found one in three non-cyclists (35%) would cycle their commute if routes were safer [10].
  • Only 22% of journeys and 3% of miles travelled in Britain are on foot, and only 2% of journeys and 1% of miles travelled are by bike [11].
  • One in five cars on the road during the morning rush-hour is doing the school run. Half of children are now driven to school [12], yet the average school run for primary schools is just 1.5 miles [13]. A Brake survey of UK schoolchildren found three in four (76%) would like to walk and cycle more [14]. Children who are encouraged to walk, cycle, scoot or skateboard to school tend to engage more with their community, stay healthy, and arrive alert, relaxed and ready to start the day [15].
  • One in four adults in England are obese and a further 37% are overweight [16]. The cost to the NHS of people being overweight is estimated at £4.2 billion per year [17]. The Chief Medical Officer recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate physical exercise a week, yet 43% of adults in England don't do this [18].
  • Incorporating activity like walking, jogging and cycling into everyday life is effective for losing weight [19], and can help guard against asthma, depression, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and some cancers [20].
  • People who take the bus or train to work instead of driving have a lower BMI and healthier bodyweight [21].
  • Nearly half of households in England could be struggling with car-ownership costs [22]. Driving less can save money: for example, a family can save £642 per year by swapping a car-based school run for walking or cycling [23].

Notes for editors:

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs. Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Road Safety Week
Road Safety Week is the UK’s flagship event to promote safer road use, coordinated annually by the charity Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country. Road Safety Week 2015 takes place 23-29 November, with support from the Department for Transport and headline sponsors AIG and Specsavers.

AIG
American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading global insurance organisation serving customers in more than 100 countries and jurisdictions. AIG companies serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers through one of the most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks of any insurer. In addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement services in the United States. AIG common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Specsavers

  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world. The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director
  • Specsavers has more than 1,600 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand
  • Total revenue for the Specsavers Group was £1.7 billion in 2011/2012
  • More than 20 million customers used Specsavers globally in 2011/2012. As of end March 2012, Specsavers had 16,138,076 customers in the UK and 928,582 customers in the Republic of Ireland
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners. Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
  • Specsavers employs more than 30,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain’s most trusted brand of opticians for the eleventh year running by the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey 2012
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers - 10,800,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2011
  • Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK
  • Specsavers sold more than 290 million contact lenses globally in 2011/12 and has more than a million customers on direct debit schemes. Specsavers' own contact lens brand - easyvision - is the most known on the high street
  • The hearcare business in the UK has established itself as the number one high street provider of adult audiology services to the NHS
  • Specsavers supports several UK charities including Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Sound Seekers, the road safety charity Brake, the anti-bullying charity Kidscape and Vision Aid Overseas, for whom stores have raised enough funds to build a school of optometry in Zambia and open eyecare outreach clinics in much of the country

End notes:

[1] Reported road casualties in Great Britain 2014, Department for Transport, 2015

[2] Police recorded injury road traffic collision statistics: 2014 key statistics report, Police Service of Northern Ireland, 2015

[3] National Travel Survey 2014, Department for Transport, 2015

[4] Road Transport Forecasts 2013, Department for Transport

[5] Local authority carbon dioxide emissions estimates 2012, Department of Energy & Climate Change

[6] Estimating Local Mortality Burdens associated with Particulate Air Pollution, Public Health England

[7] Public Health Impacts of Combustion Emissions in the United Kingdom, MIT

[8] Tackling nitrogen dioxide in our towns and cities, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

[9] Tackling nitrogen dioxide in our towns and cities, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs

[10] Commuters call for safer streets for cycling, to enable more to get on their bikes, Brake

[11] National Travel Survey 2012, Department for Transport, 2013

[12] Donabie, Anna, Transport: Social Trends 41, Office for National Statistics, 2011

[13] Donabie, Anna, Transport: Social Trends 41, Office for National Statistics, 2011

[14] Kids want to get active: thousands march for safer streets, Brake, 2014

[15] The school run, Sustrans

[16] Statistics on Obesity, Physical Activity and Diet: England, NHS, 2013

[17] Tackling obesities: future choices – project report (2nd ed), Foresight Programme of the Government Office for Science, 2007

[18] Public Health Outcomes Framework, Public Health England, 2014

[19] Start Active, Stay Active: a Report on Physical Activity from the Four Home Countries’ Chief Medical Officers, Department of Health, 2011

[20] Benefits of exercise, NHS, 2015

[21] Associations between active commuting, body fat, and body mass index: population based, cross sectional study in the United Kingdom, BMJ 349 :g4887, 2014

[22] Locked Out: Transport poverty in England, Sustrans, 2012

[23] Estimate by Sustrans based on figures from the AA, DfE school statistics, DfT National Travel Survey, DEFRA & DECC GHG conversion factors and the Bike Station, June 2014

Full survey results:

Survey of 1,000 UK adult drivers carried out by Surveygoo on behalf of Brake, September 2015:

Q.1 On average, do you think people in the UK use their cars? (tick one)

Far too much  28%

A bit too much 47%

About the right amount 25%

A bit too little  0%

Far too little 0%

Q.2 On average, do you think you personally use your car? (tick one)

Far too much 6%

A bit too much 25%

About the right amount 57%

A bit too little 10%

Far too little 3%

Q.3 Do you think people in the UK should reduce their car use, and if so, why? (tick as many as you think apply)

Yes, to protect the environment and stop climate change 50%

Yes, to make roads safer, especially for people on foot and bike 31%

Yes, to save money 40%

Yes, to improve public health 39%

Yes, to reduce air pollution and noise 52%

Yes, to help support local businesses 11%

Yes, to make their communities more pleasant and interact with people more 25%

No 15%

Q.4 Do you think you PERSONALLY should reduce your car use, and if so, why? (tick as many as you think apply)

Yes, to protect the environment and stop climate change 28%

Yes, to make roads safer, especially for people on foot and bike 16%

Yes, to save money 36%

Yes, to improve public health 21%

Yes, to reduce air pollution and noise 26%

Yes, to help support local businesses 6%

Yes, to make their communities more pleasant and interact with people more 13%

No 38%

Q.5 Do you think your own car use has any negative effects on you and/or your family, and if so, what? (tick as many as you think apply)

Yes, it is making me/us less healthy 31%

Yes, it is putting me/us in danger on the roads 12%

Yes, it is costing me/us too much money 28%

Yes, it is making me/us less likely to meet people and engage with the local community 11%

No 46%

Q.6 Do you think your own car use has any negative effects on society, and if so, what? (tick as many as you think apply)

Yes, it is contributing to making people less healthy because it creates pollution 38%

Yes, it is contributing to making people less healthy because it discourages them from walking or cycling 30%

Yes, it is contributing to putting people at risk on the roads 14%

Yes, it is contributing to costing society money, for instance because of road building costs or delays caused by congestion  21%

Yes, it is contributing to making our community less pleasant and/or sociable 15%

No 39%

Q.7 Would any of the following persuade you to use your car less? (tick as many as apply)

Driving cost more 18%

Public transport in my area was cheaper 32%

Public transport in my area was more accessible, frequent and convenient 37%

Walking and cycling in my area was safer and more pleasant 23%

More was done to convince me driving was harmful to me and my family 9%

More was done to convince me driving was harmful to society 4%

More was done to convince me driving was harmful to the environment 5%

Other people used their cars less 8%

None of the above - I will not/cannot use my car less 35%

Q.8 Choose the statement that most applies to you (tick one)

I never make journeys by car I could make by foot, bike or public transport instead 22%

I often make journeys by car I could make by foot, bike or public transport instead  18%

I rarely make journeys by car I could make by foot, bike or public transport instead 29%

I sometimes make journeys by car I could make by foot, bike or public transport instead 32%

 

‘GO 20’ interactive quiz launched to promote the benefits of 20mph limits

30th November 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, has produced a free interactive e-learning resource to promote the benefits of 20mph limits, and to raise awareness about the importance of people in cars slowing down around homes, schools and shops to protect more vulnerable road users. The ‘GO 20’ interactive resource can be used by community groups, educators, road safety professionals, or anyone who wants to find out more about how 20mph limits can benefit their community.

As shown in Brake’srecent research on 20mph limits, reducing limits from 30 to 20mph has been shown to reduce casualties [1] because drivers have more time to react to unexpected events and emergencies. At 30mph, if a child runs out three car lengths ahead, you will hit the child at almost full speed, with a high chance of killing or injuring them. At 20mph you should be able to stop in time. Children also benefit from slower speed limits because they struggle to judge the speed of vehicles over 20mph, so often make mistakes crossing roads with faster traffic [2].

A 2014 Brake survey found that eight in 10 people (78%) think 20mph should be the norm around schools, on residential streets, and in village, town and city centres [3]. Brake is calling on local authorities to listen to public opinion and implement widespread 20mph limits in their own areas [4]; and on drivers to slow down to 20mph to keep vulnerable road users safe.

The open-access ‘GO 20’ resource challenges users to test their understanding of 20mph limits, and can be used to facilitate discussion and present the facts on the importance of drivers slowing their speed. Brake is especially encouraging community campaigners to use the‘GO 20’ resource to raise public awareness and inspire local authorities to introduce 20mph limits in their areas.

Access the resource online now atbrake.org.uk/go20interactive.

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns said: “Everyone should be able to walk and cycle in their communities without being put in danger. Reducing speed limits from 30 to 20mph where we live, work and play protects the most vulnerable – children, older people, disabled people and anyone on bicycle or on foot. Brake’s new ‘GO 20’ e-learning resource shows the benefits of driving more slowly. It’s a powerful tool that demonstrates how 20mph limits put people first, creating safer streets and healthier, happier communities. The resource is freely available to road safety practitioners, campaigners and educators to help them talk about a really important issue, because the fact is, speed kills.”

The facts

Every day five children and 20 adults are killed or seriously injured while walking or cycling on UK roads [5]. Every casualty is devastating.

Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes and casualties. Reducing traffic speeds is crucial to road safety. It has been estimated that for every 1mph reduction in average speeds on urban streets, crash rates fall by an average of 6% [6].

The faster they drive, the less chance drivers have of being able to stop in time in an emergency. And if they can’t stop in time, they will hit with greater impact, increasing the chances of causing serious injury or death. A vehicle travelling at 20mph (32km/h) can stop in time to avoid a child running out three car-lengths in front. The same vehicle travelling at 30mph (48km/h) will not be able to stop in time, and will still be travelling at 28mph (45km/h) when they hit the child [7].

When traffic is slower and roads are safer, people feel much freer to run, walk or cycle. Brake surveys have found that three in four schoolchildren (76%) would like to walk and cycle more, but worry that they might be run over while doing so [8]; and that three in four (74%) UK parents say their family would walk more if the safety of nearby roads was improved [9].

When traffic is slowed to 20mph in communities, research shows people are friendlier with their neighbours, feel safer in their area, and take part in more community activities [10][11].

Read more atwww.brake.org.uk/facts and download ourresearch report on 20mph limits.

Brake’s campaigns

Through itsGO 20 campaign, Brake is part of a broad coalition of charities calling for 20mph limits to become the norm in our cities, towns and villages. Ultimately, we want the government to change the national default urban speed limit from 30 to 20mph. In the meantime, we are calling on local authorities to GO 20 by implementing widespread 20mph limits in their own areas; and on drivers to help make our roads safer by slowing down to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops, even where the limit is still 30mph.

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through nationalcampaigns,community education,services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November,Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider ofsupport to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs. Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK andNew Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, orThe Brake Blog.


Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

End notes

With many thanks to Rod King, Founder & Campaign Director of 20's Plenty (www.20splenty.org), for his assistance with the interactive resource.

[1]20mph speed reduction initiative, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2001

[2]Reduced sensitivity to visual looming inflates the risk posed by speeding vehicles when children try to cross the road, University of London, 2011

[3]Eight in 10 back 20mph limits as charity takes campaign to parliament, Brake, 2014

[4]GO 20: Towards changing the urban default speed limit to 20mph, Brake, 2015

[5]Reported road casualties Great Britain 2014 annual report, Department for Transport, 2015

[6] Speed, Speed Limits and Accidents, Transport Research Laboratory, 1994

[7] Stopping distances,The Highway Code, Driving Standards Agency, 2015

[8]Kids want to get active: thousands march for safer streets, Brake and webuyanycar.com, 2014

[9]Bereaved family back Beep Beep! initiative for safer roads for kids as survey reveals parents’ fears from fast traffic, Brake and Churchill, 2012

[10] Hart, J. and Parkhurst, G.,Driven to excess: Impacts of motor vehicles on the quality of life of residents of three streets in Bristol UK, World Transport Policy & Practice, 17 (2), 2011

[11]The contribution of good public spaces to social integration in urban neighbourhoods, Swiss Natural Science Foundation, 2006

Advice for older drivers

shutterstock 207340717

It is common for older people to suffer from medical conditions, slower reaction times and a reduced ability to multitask that can impair your ability to use roads safely, especially if you drive. This may be a gradual process, so you may not notice straight away that your driving is affected.

The older you are, the more important it becomes to take the greatest possible care on and around roads. Older people typically suffer worse injuries in crashes, and have lower survival rates, because their bones tend to be less strong and they may not respond to emergency treatment as well.

Drivers must renew their licence at age 70, and every three years after that, confirming to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) that their eyesight meets current standards, and that they do not have any medical conditions that may affect their driving.

However, Brake advises older drivers to go further than this: ensuring you are fit to drive, and potentially deciding to stop driving if and when needed, is crucial to keeping yourself and other people around you safe.  Follow the advice below and ensure you keep up-to-date with changing road rules: refresh your knowledge by buying or downloading a current copy of the Highway Code.

Risks for older drivers

Eyesight

If you drive, you need to be certain that your eyesight is good. Many people suffer from deteriorating eyesight as they age, and eye diseases are also more common among older people.

While older drivers are less likely to speed, they are more likely to crash in built-up environments, such as at junctions, often due to a failure to see something and react in time. Poor eyesight can be a particular problem at night, as night-time vision begins to deteriorate from around the age of 50, so restricting your driving to daylight hours can be safer. It is also wise to get tinted glasses made to your prescription for driving on bright days, as older eyes are similarly affected by dazzling sunlight.

Getting professional eye tests at least annually – free in the UK to those aged over 60 – is very important. Don’t assume you’ll notice an eyesight problem – vision can deteriorate significantly without you noticing. As well as checking vision over distance, professional tests can also check for problems in your central or peripheral vision, and catch conditions before they get worse. It’s therefore vital for older drivers to get their eyes tested with an optician annually, or straight away if you think there might be a problem.

For more information, read our advice on eyesight.

Medication

If you are taking any medication, only drive if you are certain that it doesn't affect your ability to drive. It is an offence to drive, or attempt to drive, while unfit through over-the-counter or prescription drugs. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you’re unsure. If you’re advised, or the label says, not to drive if you feel sleepy or impaired, assume that the medication could affect your driving and don’t drive: it’s impossible to accurately judge whether you’re impaired. If you’re taking medication that can affect driving, stop your driving, not your medication: coming off some medicines could put you more at risk.

Hearing

Good hearing is important for driving, warning drivers of potential hazards or an emergency vehicle approaching. Hearing begins to deteriorate slightly from age 30-40, and the rate of deterioration increases as you get older. Older drivers should have hearing tests at least annually, and straight away if you notice any problems with your hearing.

Movement

Older people may suffer from joint and muscle stiffness, which can make it more difficult to turn in your seat to check blind spots or to make sure that the road is clear before reversing. In many cases, adjusting seat and steering column positions can help, along with extra blind spot mirrors and technological solutions such as power steering and automatic transmission. Doing 15-30 minutes of daily stretches and physical exercise can also improve your flexibility, range of motion and coordination.

Tiredness

Whatever your age, getting a good night’s sleep beforehand, and taking regular breaks while driving (of at least 15 minutes at least every two hours, preferably more), helps you stay alert and focused. You may also find it helps to avoid driving long journeys and at times of the day you’re most prone to drowsiness (like mid afternoon and late at night). It’s also important to know what steps to take if you feel tired at the wheel.

Time to stop driving?

OldLadyDrivingNo-one likes to feel that they are losing their independence or to worry that their quality of life may be affected if they no longer drive. However, when balanced against the risk of injuring yourself or someone else in a crash, you may reach a time when it’s a good idea to consider stopping driving.

If you think you may be beginning to lose concentration, have slower reactions, or lose your memory, or are feeling increasingly anxious about driving, consider discussing the subject with family members to see if they have any concerns; and make an appointment with your doctor to talk about your continuing fitness to drive. You might also find that having your driving assessed at a mobility centre can help you to make a decision.

If you decide to stop driving, you can still be active and mobile without relying on car travel. Public transport can be a cheap, easy, sociable and stress-free alternative. Pensioners are entitled to significant discounts, including free off-peak bus travel in England – see Age UK’s information on transport concessions for older people.

You can also call your local council and ask about any local community bus services you can use.

As well as protecting yourself and other road users, using buses or trains could save you money (no more road tax, insurance, maintenance costs, or petrol and parking costs) and help reduce pollution.

Campaign in your community

Retired people can make great campaigners, as they often have the experience, skills, patience and time to make a powerful difference in their community. If your community suffers from speeding traffic, a lack of pavements or safe crossing places, or limited public transport services, find out how to campaign in your community to make it a safer, healthier, more sociable place.

Updated September 2015

Awards for outstanding contributions to road safety announced at Brake’s 20th anniversary reception

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

Awards recognising the contributions of parliamentarians, campaigners, educators and volunteers in tackling devastating road crashes and casualties were presented by road safety charity Brake at its annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, supported by Direct Line. The event marked the beginning of Brake’s 20th anniversary year.

The Awards were presented by Deborah Johnson, chair of Brake’s board of trustees, and Paul Geddes, chief executive of Direct Line Group, which sponsored the awards and reception. The reception was attended by Brake supporters and partners, including parliamentarians, corporate partners, road safety professionals and volunteers working in their communities to improve road safety.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“In the past 20 years, Brake has grown and developed a great deal, but we remain as dedicated as ever to our fundamental mission: to help create a world free from the senseless and preventable pain and trauma caused by road death and injury, and to enable people to get around safely and sustainably.

“Our work would not be possible without the dedicated individuals and partners who work alongside us, campaigning to prevent casualties and make our communities safer, fundraising in support of our work, and helping us support families devastated by road crashes. This year, as every year, we thank everyone who has supported Brake and spoken out for road safety. The winners of these awards have gone above and beyond, showing great determination to make a difference in their communities and across the country, and achieving real results. We are very pleased to be able to recognise their efforts.”

Paul Geddes, chief executive, Direct Line Group, commented: “Brake does a great job in promoting road safety awareness in Parliament, in the media and around the UK, so we are very happy to sponsor Parliamentarian of the Year. As a business and as the UK’s leading motor insurer, we also work hard to spread the message of safe driving as part of our commitment to road safety.”

Road safety minister Robert Goodwill said:“The UK has some of the safest roads in the world and, like today’s award winners, the government is determined to improve our record further. That is why we have made significant commitments to road safety through new THINK! campaigns, improved education and enforcement, including the new drug driving offence which will take effect in March 2015.”


Susan Elan Jones, MP for Clywd South, received Brake’s Parliamentarian of the Year Award. Susan was recognised for campaigning to improve justice for bereaved and injured victims of road crashes, in line with Brake’scrackdown campaign.

Susan Elan Jones has been campaigning for tougher jail terms for drivers who kill and injure since the tragic death of a child in her constituency in 2009. She has been at the forefront of parliamentary debates on the subject throughout the year, setting the tone by bringing forward her own Driving Offences (Review of Sentencing Guidelines) Bill, with cross party support, in January.

Susan Elan Jones said: “Brake is an outstanding campaigning organisation - and I am absolutely delighted to receive this award. We remain determined in our quest to work with Brake to secure some measure of justice for the family of those people so tragically killed or seriously injured on our roads.”


Mandy Stock received Brake’s Campaigner of the Year Award.Mandy’s husband,Paul Stock, was killed in 2012 while walking near his home by a disqualified motorcyclist, who was sentenced to just 18 months in jail – the maximum the judge could give him because he pleaded guilty. Mandy has since campaigned, with the help of her MP, Richard Graham, to allow judges to hand out higher sentences to disqualified drivers – who have no right to be on the road in the first place – who kill. As a result, the government announced in May 2014 that maximum sentences for disqualified drivers who kill and injure would be increased.

Mandy Stock said: “I am delighted to receive this award, which was totally unexpected. I am thankful for those who have helped and supported me, especially my brilliant sister, Sue. The law failed us, and it was obvious to us that the law had to change. Thankfully, the people in a position to change things listened.”


Carly Lewin received Brake’s Fundraiser of the Year Award.Carly’s boyfriend, Steven Moore, was killed in 2010 by a drink driver, who was also unlicensed and uninsured. Carly has been fundraising for Brake since 2011, organising events including walks and football matches, but last year decided she wanted more of a challenge. She ran the 2014 London Marathon for Brake, in memory of Steven, having never run before, and raised over £14,000.

Carly Lewin said: “I am determined to keep working in Steve’s memory, both to raise awareness of how drink driving can ruin so many lives, and to fundraise to support Brake’s work and help stop this happening to someone else.”


Northumbria Police PC Jami Blythe received the Educator of the Year Award.Jami is the lead for Northumbria Police’s ‘Road Sense, Common Sense’ project, which works directly with schools across the region to deliver road safety lessons and send children home with important messages to their parents about how they can keep them, and other road users, safe.

Jami Blythe said: “I am very proud to receive this award, which is also testament to the hard work of Becky Frankel and Violet Atkinson, who have been a massive inspiration for me. Educating young people is being embedded in our road safety work, and we will continue to work with Brake to reach this audience.”


Students from Conisborough College in Catford, London, received an award for winning Brake’s road safety competition for young people.The students’ winning entry was a short film about the dangers of mobile phone use while driving, inspired by their own experiences and a road safety workshop delivered by a teacher trained through Brake’sengaging young people programme. The film was researched, scripted and produced by the students with help from Film in School.

Mathew Lloyd, drama teacher at Conisborough College, said: “It was a great feeling when we were told that we'd won the competition. We're proud that we have been able to turn something that has affected us so deeply into something positive.”


Notes for editors:

Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education,services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by UK Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England No 1179980. UK Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com.

Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley, February 2009

feb09Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley, is stepping up her campaign for urgent improvements to pedestrian safety on the A580 East Lancashire Road as she is concerned that proposals suggested by Wigan and Salford Councils do not go nearly far enough.

Katie Gallagher, 14, became the third young pedestrian to die on the road in recent years when she was hit by a car on 14 January 2009. Barbara has joined with Katie’s friends and family to campaign for Wigan and Salford Council to take steps to improve safety on the dual carriageway.

Barbara is calling on Wigan Council to introduce a filtered pedestrian crossing at the Chaddock Lane junction, where Katie was killed, and is urging both councils to introduce an enforced 30mph speed limit along those stretches of the road in the more built-up areas where Katie’s death occurred. Barbara is also calling on both councils to undertake a full investigation into pedestrian safety measures and identify road safety hotspots on the A580 where improvements, such as pedestrian push-button facilities, can be introduced.

She has also taken her fight to local newspapers, Manchester Evening News and Wigan News, in order to highlight the importance of the campaign and gain extra support.

As a result of the campaign, the councils have promised to reduce speed limits from 60mph to 50mph, but Barbara has pledged to continue to lobby the councils stating that their proposals do not go nearly far enough. During the last five years there have been 172 collisions resulting in 11 serious injuries and one death on the Salford section of the road and so Barbara is calling on both councils to look more widely at crashes and fatalities and consider what improvements can be made.

Brake will keep you updated with the progress of Barbara’s campaign.

Barbara Keeley MP said: “I want to see speeds along the built-up sections of this road brought down to 30mph. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph has an 80% chance of survival, whereas a pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 40mph has a 90% chance of being killed.

“It is the responsibility of both Wigan and Salford councils to protect pedestrians crossing the East Lancashire Road. I want both councils to conduct urgent investigations to see where pedestrian safety can be improved.”

If you know of a dangerous road in your area, call Brake’s Zak the zebra hotline on 08000 68 77 80 or report the road online, and Brake could help you campaign for road safety improvements.

Beep Beep! Days 2015 - what happened

 

Read on to find out about Beep Beep! Days that took part in 2015, helping children aged 2-7 learn about road safety and raising valuable funds for Brake's work too. Find out more tips for your Beep Beep! Day.  

 Beep Beep infographics

DSC 0578crop CopyCopyCorrine Foster Childminding ran a Beep Beep! Day on our first national date in March 2015. Fifteen children from the childminders took part in the event learning road safety basics. Using support from Brake, including using our template press release, local papers The Dronfield Eye and The Dronfield Advertiser covered the event. 

 

 

 

Funkidoo Childminding in Bath ran a Beep Beep! DayDSC 0772 copycopy in March. Lucy Giffen from Funkiddo childminding chose to run a Beep Beep! Day fundraiser after a recent bereavement due to a road crash in the local area, to help support Brake's campaigns for safer roads to prevent future tragedies. 50 children took part in their event which was supported by the local fire and rescue service who bought a fire engine for the children to look at. 

 

IMG 2315Diana Pawsey ran a Beep Beep! Day on the second national date of the year in July at her childminding setting. Using one of Brake's new bumper resource packs they ran a range of events for the children, including using the activity cards to teach the children road safety songs, which they now sing on their walk to and from school. They also raised £20.00 to support Brake's campaigns and support services. 

 

 

 

 

Eardisley CE Primary SchoolIn March twent-six children from the nursery and reception classes of Eardisley CE Primary School ran a Beep Beep! Day. Using the bumper resource pack from Brake they ran a range of road safety activities, learning about being safe around roads in the school playground, creating posters to display in a 'road safety window' to show to parents, made traffic light biscuits, and learned road safety songs.

 

 

  

Larbert Day Nursery resized

 The children at Larbert Day Nursery in Falkirk enjoyed a whole week filled with activities for Road Safety Week. They were visited by the local lollipop lady, fire brigade and police to learn some road safety basics while engaging with their community. They ran a Beep Beep! Day on the final national event of the year, and enjoyed riding their bikes round the nursery gardens, while fundraising for Brake. 

Brake concerned about suggestion of raising licence renewal age

3 March 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk

In response to reports the Department for Transport may consider increasing the age at which drivers must renew their licence from 70 to 80, Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:

"It is concerning the Department for Transport is considering raising the age for licence renewal: regulation that's in place for good reason. At this age, conditions that can significantly impair your ability to drive safely become much more common, so it's essential we have robust procedures to ensure older drivers are not inadvertently putting themselves and others in grave danger. Licence renewal prompts older drivers to check and self-certify they are fit to drive. Brake is calling on government to strengthen fitness to drive regulation to help prevent needless tragedies, such as through compulsory eyesight testing throughout your driving career and health checks for older drivers. Brake recommends older drivers visit their GP and have sight and hearing tests at least annually – or sooner if they notice a problem – to ensure they are fit enough to continue driving and not unwillingly putting lives on the line when they get behind the wheel."

Read about Brake's Sharpen up campaign to ensure all drivers' eyesight is safe to drive.

Brake
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake criticises first motorway pub as a dangerous temptation

21 January 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

In response to news of a pub opening at a motorway service station in Buckinghamshire today, Ellie Pearson, Brake spokesperson, said:

"The opening of a pub on a motorway is deeply concerning, as it presents a potentially deadly temptation to drivers. Drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our road, causing devastation to families and communities every day. It is vitally important that messages about the dangers of drink driving are as strong and clear as possible, so drivers know it's not okay to have even a single drink ahead of getting behind the wheel. Research clearly shows that even small amounts of alcohol can be lethal if you're driving, so our advice to drivers is simple: never drink any alcohol if you're driving – not a drop."

Read about Brake's Not a drop, not a drag campaign.

Brake
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

 

Brake's Giant Walk 2015 - what happened

On 10 June 2015 tens of thousands of children from hundreds of primary schools across the UK walked for safer roads, to encourage drivers to GO 20 around schools, homes and shops to protect children and other cyclists and pedestrians. The event also promoted the benefits of walking and cycling, and raised awareness of the fact that in the UK every day four children are seriously hurt or killed while walking.

A big thank you to all the schools that took part, helping to teach pupils about road danger and the benefits of sustainable, active travel, promoting road safety to parents and drivers in the wider community, and raising valuable funds for Brake.

See below for examples of what our star schools in 2015 did on the day, and see more pictures on our facebook page.

E Little Plumstead Primary School 2Little Plumstead Primary School in Norfolkhad a whole school assembly where they learned about car stopping distances and some road safety basics, before setting off on their Giant Walk. Older children paired up with the younger ones to walk through the streets around the school, and parents stayed to watch the very long crocodile of children carrying banners they had made at home. Over 200 children took part, and raised an amazing £507.50 on the day.

 

Ripley Junior School in Derbyshire had aEM Ripley Junior School 2 great afternoon of activities which included road safety talks in class, before hitting the streets with local police and parents also getting involved. They managed to raise a fantastic£668.03 to support Brake’s campaigns for safer roads and to support bereaved and injured victims of road crashes.

 

 

NE Barmston Village School 1 resizedBarmston Village Primary School in Sunderland incorporated their Giant Walk into their Health and Safety Week activities, where they learned how to keep themselves safe through road safety talks in class, and roleplaying in the playground. Children dressed as police officers and directed the others on bikes and scooters around road crossings drawn on the playground, baked traffic light biscuits, and drew pictures of all the fun things they had done to take home.

 

NW Trinity St Peters 2 resized250 children from Trinity St Peter's in Merseyside raised a brilliant £341.59, using their Giant Walk to initiate aparking pledge with the local community: allowing parents to park on unoccupied driveways. Alongside the walk and road safety talks in class, the children created and displayed a massive banner highlighting the importance of road safety outside their school.

SperrinviewSperrinview Special School in County Tyrone invited their local police officer to speak to children about the importance of road safety, who then escorted them on their Giant Walk. The school is on an extremely busy road, with many drivers going at 40mph, so the children made and carried posters encouraging them to GO20. The school also raised a fantastic £338 for Brake alongside their walk.

 

Aboyne Primary School in Aberdeenshire were the top fundraisers this year, raising an amazing £1296.34. They made banners to take on their Giant Walk, and calledfor safer roads in their community and around the school grounds when dropping off and collecting children.

SE Gresham Primary School 1Parents, volunteers and staff joined 240 children atGresham Primary School in Croydon for aRoad Safety afternoon packed with fun activities, including the local road safety officers from the council joining the children for an assembly. After roleplaying on road crossings they drew on the playground, the children headed out for their Giant Walk, chanting slogans and rhymes, and raising £65.30.

 

 

 

Children of all ages at Woolacombe School in Devon got involved in classroom activities before the Giant Walk, from Year 6 studying graphs in maths lessons, to Year 4 making road safety leaflets to share with the younger children. The older children also joined thePolice Liaison Officer for a speed workshop, using a speed gun outside the school to stop speeding drivers. Younger children made placards and banners for the walk, and the school raised £94.60 on a 'Wear Something Bright' day.

WM St Brigids Catholic Primary School 3 resizedSt Brigid's Catholic Primary School in Birmingham used their Giant Walk as an opportunity to involve the whole school community in the School Council's ongoing campaign for a reduced speed limit outside the school. Before the walk, the school councillors conducted a road safety survey and collected signatures on a petition to enforce a 20mph speed limit. They also held a protest which was supported by local councillor Steve Booton, and representatives from their MP Richard Burden's office. On the day of their Giant Walk, the children made banners and posters to carry, and were joined by their local community police officer, and raised a brilliant £430.14.

Shortbrook Primary School in Sheffield invited parents to join their children on a walk to the local park, where they hada huge family picnic. The fantastic event got the whole school involved, with children from nursery to Year 6 joining the Giant Walk, and raised an amazing £806.83 for Brake.

Brake’s Roads to Justice campaigners hand in petitions at Downing Street calling for stronger criminal driving laws

25 October 2016 
news@brake.org.uk

Two families involved in Brake’s Roads to Justice campaign will be heading to London on Thursday to hand over their Change.org petitions, both of which have reached an impressive 100,000 signatures.

Richard and Ceinwen Briddon from West Wales and Lorraine Allaway from Long Preston near Skipton will hand their petitions in to 10 Downing Street as they campaign for tougher criminal driving laws.

Richard and Ceinwen’s daughter Miriam Briddon, a 21-year-old university student, was killed instantly when a drunk driver veered onto her side of the road. The driver was charged with causing death by careless driving while under the influence of alcohol. He was jailed for five years, and will serve just two and a half years in prison.

Lorraine’s husband Robert was killed by a drink-driver while riding his motorbike in the Yorkshire Dales. The driver was two and a half times over the legal blood-alcohol limit and on the wrong side of the road when he hit Robert. He was jailed for four years and eight months, so will be out of prison and free to continue living his life in just two and a half years.

A Brake survey conducted in July 2016 found that 91% of people questioned agreed that drivers on drink or drugs who kill should be charged with manslaughter, which carries a possible life sentence. At present almost half of drivers convicted of killing are not jailed at all [i]. The average prison sentence for a driver who has killed someone is less than four years[ii].

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake, said: “As we have witnessed far too often, there are too many families, like the Allaways and the Briddons, who suffer the loss of a loved one in devastating circumstances, and then witness our judicial system turning their back on them.

“The petition handover shows that the public are behind us, with both petitions gaining a huge amount of support. The Prime Minister has already told us we will be getting a review into criminal driving this year. Her government must now give us a definite timetable for action to avoid any more families suffering terrible injustices.”

Lorraine Allaway said: “I am hoping to get a debate regarding sentences for criminal drivers who kill when I hand over my petition on Thursday. I vowed on the day my husband’s killer was sentenced that I would campaign to get the law changed regarding sentencing of drivers who kill vulnerable road users and I will continue to campaign until the sentencing for these drivers has been changed.”

Richard and Ceinwen Briddon said: “We named the petition ‘A Moment for Miriam’ as we were asking people to take a moment of their time to read about Miriam and to sign our petition. The amount of signatures we received in a just two months was phenomenal. We are truly amazed at how quickly we crossed the 100,000 mark and we are very grateful to everyone that has signed and shared our campaign.

“We will never have justice for Miriam. The present sentencing guidelines and the law is an insult to her life and a disgrace to us left behind to pick up the pieces. When an innocent life is taken, the punishment should reflect the seriousness of the crime. 

“We are calling on the government to review and change the guidelines that determine sentencing of drink drivers that kill.”

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

Brake’s director of campaigns and communications Gary Rae will be accompanying Richard and Ceinwen Briddon and Lorraine Allaway for the handover at 2pm on Thursday 27 October, outside No 10 Downing Street.

About Roads to Justice

Deaths and serious injuries on our roads cause terrible suffering every day. Families often suffer three times over: a loved one dies or endures appalling injuries; the offender gets away with a pitiful penalty; and shattered victims fail to get the help and support they need.

Drivers who kill or maim all too often receive lenient sentences. We need the government to redefine criminal driving: drivers who pose a serious threat must face serious charges and serious penalties. We also need solid investment in road-traffic policing, to crack down on dangerous drivers and enforce the law. 

Support for road-crash victims is a grossly under-funded area. When someone dies in a crash, their mum, dad, wife, husband, partner, brother, sister, daughter or son are often left to struggle through their loss alone. We need the government to invest in specialist support, offering prompt and comprehensive help to families when the worst has happened.

That is why Brake launched Roads to Justice, calling for tougher charges and penalties that reflect the suffering caused; investment in road-traffic policing; and for government-funded support for road crash victims whose loved ones have been violently killed or have suffered life-changing injuries. 

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaignscommunity education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

[i] Criminal justice system statistics quarterly: December 2014, Ministry of Justice, 2015

[ii] Criminal justice system statistics: motoring pivot table analytical tool for England and Wales, Ministry of Justice, 2015

Campaigning for safe cycling

Winn Solicitors is pleased to support Brake. Visit our site>

cycle4life_8More than 16,000 people are killed or injured while cycling on Britain’s roads each year. Brake wants to encourage you, through this site, to help us campaign for increased awareness of the dangers faced by cyclists, safer facilities for cyclists, and slower traffic. You can make a difference and save lives!

You can make a difference! here’s how


<< Cycle For Life home page

 

 

 

 

 This page is kindly supported by:

Winn solicitors

Cheshire Fire Service Cadets receive national road safety award for film project to help save young lives

15 January 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service Cadets have been presented with a national award recognising their contribution to tackling young driver crashes and saving young lives as part of road safety charity Brake's 2young2die campaign.

The cadets, from Congleton, Sandbach and Runcorn, received the 2young2die award at road safety charity Brake's annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, sponsored by Direct Line Group (photo attached).

The 2young2die competition encourages young people to get creative and promote life-saving road safety messages to peers and the wider community through powerful, original campaign films and adverts. The aim is to promote awareness about how young people and drivers of all ages can protect themselves, their friends and the wider community around them on the roads.

The winning 2013 entry, which was researched, scripted, produced and starred-in by the cadet team, is a series of three short films on the themes of speeding, drink driving and seatbelt use. The films were developed as part of the Fire Cadet Road Safety Video Project, set up after the tragic death of Congleton Fire Cadet, Hayley Bates in a road crash in September 2010. The project has been such a success it will now be run annually, with films produced by cadets used by fire crews in workshops with local schools and colleges throughout the year.

The cadets' films were shown at a special premiere at Cineworld in Runcorn in October 2013. At the event, young people had the opportunity to use a driving simulator and get road safety advice from fire officers. There was also a car on display in which a young driver lost his life, donated by his family and now known as the 'Think Car'.

One of the cadets' films, 'Had a Drink? Think Don't Drive', was shown as a trailer before all showings of films rated 15 or over on 9 October 2013 at Runcorn Cineworld.

Brake is inviting young people, educators and youth workers to register now for the 2014 competition, by visiting www.2young2die.org.uk/competition to get a free e-action pack.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Young drivers are involved in one in four serious road crashes, and often young people themselves are the tragic victims. But young people can also have a big impact in helping to promote road safety and put a stop to needless casualties. The Cheshire Fire Service Cadets have shown great dedication to spreading vital road safety awareness and their powerful messages are reaching a large audience, so we are delighted to present them with this award. We are also urging more young people, colleges and schools to get involved in the 2young2die competition, to make a difference in your community and support Brake's work helping families devastated by crashes."

Laura Wheelton, fire cadet watch manager at Congleton, said: "Our friend and fellow cadet Hayley was killed in a terrible road crash involving speed, so it's something that has affected us personally and that's why our film focuses on the consequences of driving too fast. We wanted to pass on the message that speeding needs to stop. We're enthusiastic about making more films to help get through to people with important messages that could save someone's life. We were so pleased to find out we had won the 2young2die award. We're proud that we have been able to turn something that has affected us so deeply into something positive."

Paul Hancock, chief fire officer at Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: "I am thrilled that the Cadets have won this fantastic award for a project I know they are passionate about. It makes us even more determined to continue working alongside young people to raise awareness, promote responsible road use, and help stop the tragic loss of young lives we see on our roads."

Brake
Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 63 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (17-23 November 2014), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line Insurance Group plc
Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.

Communities plagued by traffic

lollipopladyPlagued by speeding traffic? No safe place to cross the road? Inadequate pavements and no cycle paths? Want to help educate local drivers and children about how to use roads more safely? Then do something about it!

Visit our community campaign kit full of tips and advice on running your local campaign. 

Support Brake's national campaigns in government to stop the carnage.

Help Brake and spread the road safety word by fundraising for the charity in your town or village.

 

Community campaign kit

So, you want to make streets in your area safer for local people, and prevent needless deaths and injuries? This guide to running a community campaign gives you lots of useful advice to get started.

You, your family, and people of all ages in your community have a right to be able to use roads without fear or threat. You can make a big difference by getting together with others and shouting loud and proud about road safety.

Getting improvements for your town or village and helping local people to use roads safely may take time, but it's amazing what can be achieved – and there are lots of examples of communities making big improvements, reducing casualties, and enjoying the benefits of safer streets.

The information and advice given in these pages will help to give your campaign the best possible chance of success.

Setting up a road safety group

Online campaigning

Organising a petition

Holding a demonstration

Getting in the media

Road safety events

Lower speed limits and safer road design

The Brake mascot - Zak the Zebra

If you want to campaign for 20mph in your community, please get in touch with www.20splenty.org for tools and advice.

Stephanie_DaviesThis page is dedicated to the memory of Stephanie Davies, 35, lollipop lady and mother of two, who was knocked down and killed by a bus while on duty outside Seedley Primary School in Liverpool Street, Salford.

Stephanie left behind her husband Martin, five year old daughter Anna, and son Adam.

    

 

 

 

 

 

Community leaders

The Car Buying Service are proud to sponsor this page. 

If you run a local club or are a community or faith leader then you are at the heart of your community, and will be very aware of any road safety problems or concerns in your locality.

You're also in a great position to harness community spirit and make a difference, by leading campaigns for road safety measures and encouraging local drivers to drive slowly and safely to protect people on foot and bike.

There are lots of ways you can work with Brake and make use of our events and resources to take action on road safety and make a difference:

Visit our community campaign kit for guidance on running a road safety campaign, calling for measures like lower speed limits, safe pavements, paths and crossings.

Take part in Road Safety Week, an ideal time to launch a campaign or run awareness-raising activities to improve road safety. Register here and get a free email action pack to help you.

Encourage and help local schools, nurseries and colleges to take part in our educational and awareness-raising events: Beep Beep! Day for nurseries, Brake's Giant Walk for primary schools and our engaging young people training for secondary and colleges educators.

Run a fundraiser for Brake, which can also help to rally support for road safety and raise awareness. Check out our fun fundraising ideas.

As well as taking action for road safety locally, you can make a difference by backing Brake's national campaigns to improve road safety and levels of support for suddenly bereaved people, or joining us as a Friend of Brake

This page is kindly sponsored by

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Crackdown

CAMCrackdownhashRoad deaths and injuries cause utter devastation to families and communities. Yet drivers who kill, harm and endanger are often let off with grossly inadequate penalties, compounding the suffering of bereaved and injured victims and leaving many feeling betrayed by the justice system. Almost half of drivers convicted of killing are not jailed; only one in seven is sentenced to five years or more.

Crimes that can and do lead to death and injury – like speeding and mobile phone use at the wheel – can be effectively deterred through strong enforcement and penalties. Yet traffic policing numbers are decreasing, and penalties for these crimes remain woefully low.

Get the facts on criminal charges following a road death or serious injury.

What needs to be done?

We call for tougher charges and penalties for driving offences, to appropriately reflect the suffering caused, provide desperately needed justice for victim families, and deter risky driving behaviour.

In the case of deaths or injuries, this means: revised charges to stop drivers being let off on lesser 'careless' driving charges; much stiffer penalties for hit and run and disqualified drivers; and stronger sentencing guidelines, allowing judges to hand out maximum sentences in the most serious cases.

We also need tougher penalties for drivers who endanger through risky driving behaviour – such as speeding and mobile phone use – to send a message that these are serious crimes, deter risky drivers and protect the public. Law-breaking drivers must also know they will be caught, which means we need more dedicated traffic police to stop them.

Find out more about our calls on charges and penalties and UK traffic policing levels.

What can I do?

Find out what you can do to help our other campaigns.

Campaign news

Brake welcomes tougher sentencing for drivers who kill, 22/05/2015
Brake backs police plea for lower drink drive limit, calls for greater priority for roads policing, 19/05/2015
Make traffic policing a priority, says charity, as half of drivers flout traffic laws, 28/04/2015
Brake hails justice for victims of disqualified drivers as tougher sentences come into effect, 13/04/2015
MP wins national road safety award for campaign for justice for victims of criminal driving, 27/03/2015
Better justice for road crime victims: Brake supports launch of MP's manifesto for change, 20/03/2015
Charity urges CPS to take on recommendations as inspectors find victims being failed, 04/02/2015
Brake urges investment in traffic police in response to falling numbers and rising casualties, 09/02/2015
Brake joins call for cross-border enforcement to save lives on UK roads, 18/07/2014
Brake welcomes increase in fines for motorway speeding and phone use at the wheel, 11/06/2014
Government figures show ongoing lack of justice following road deaths and injuries, 27/05/2014
MP wins national award for campaign for tougher sentences for banned drivers who kill, 14/05/2014
Brake welcomes tougher penalties for unlicensed drivers who kill and injure, 06/05/2014
This isn't justice: four in five support tougher penalties for killer drivers, 21/03/2014
Clwyd South MP wins national road safety award for tougher sentences for drivers who kill, 10/02/2014
Two in three drivers admit breaking traffic laws in Brake and Direct Line survey, 09/10/2013
Risky law-breaking by drivers won't be tolerated, as new fixed penalty fines come into force, 16/08/2013
Traffic police cuts could mean deadly, drunk and drugged drivers get away with it, 09/07/2013
Charity welcomes fixed penalty for careless driving, but calls for higher fines, 05/06/2013
Deadly drivers beware: boost for Justice for Jamie campaign, 20/03/2013
Greg Mulholland MP named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Year, 17/01/2013
Drivers demand tougher justice for traffic offenders, 20/09/2012
Karl McCartney MP wins road safety award for campaign to tackle uninsured driving, 06/02/2012
Huge roads policing cuts put public at risk, warns charity, 23/01/2012
Karl Turner MP wins Brake and Direct Line annual national campaigner award, 13/01/2012
Brake responds to the Labour Party Justice review, 12/01/2012
MP wins Brake award for campaign for justice for serious injury victims, 31/10/2011
Brake calls for drivers with 12 points to be banned, revealing 10,000 are still driving, 19/10/2011
Brake welcomes new offence of causing serious injury by dangerous driving, 07/10/2011
Brake responds to consultation on causing death by driving offences, 19/04/2007
Brake responds to CPS consultation on prosecuting bad driving, 16/03/2007

Cycle for life campaign

Bolt Burdon Kemp sponsor the Cycle for Life campaign. Visit their website site here> 

Cycling has grown in popularity in recent years, and deservedly so: it’s a healthy, cheap, green, socially responsible way to get about. But sadly, as cycling levels have risen, so have cyclist deaths, most notably in the capital, and the UK lags behind other EU countries in protecting cyclists. It’s vital we make our roads safer for cyclists, to protect those already cycling, and enable more people to do so.

What needs to be done?

The government has committed to encouraging people to cycle to improve health and reduce CO2. But Brake is concerned it is not doing enough to improve cyclist safety: it has a responsibility to ensure cyclists are not subject to unacceptably high risks. We need investment in engineering measures to protect cyclists: more traffic-free and segregated cycle paths on commuter routes and connecting homes with local facilities, and widespread 20mph limits in communities.

The government should provide greater funding and direction to local authorities on implementing these measures. We also need greater awareness among drivers, who should look out, slow down and give a wide berth for cyclists, especially at junctions, on busy commuter routes, and on bends on rural roads. Commercial vehicle operators should ensure drivers are well trained in this, and have the latest devices fitted to vehicles to reduce blindspots.

Brake also urges cyclists to do everything they can to reduce risks, including choosing the safest routes possible.

What you can do:

Click like above to spread the word on Facebook
Whether you're a driver, cyclist or both, make Brake’s Pledge
Write to your MP calling for action on safer cycling, including the steps outlined above
Sign up in support of The Times' campaign for cities fit for cycling
Sign up to our fortnightly e-bulletin, for updates on our campaigns and how you can help
Campaign for 20mph limits and safer cycling routes in your community with Brake’s help
Employers: back the campaignand get guidance on promoting safe cycling

Campaign news:

Charity calls for safer streets for cycling as Tour de France kicks off, 28.06.13
Make streets safer for cycling to deliver Olympic legacy, say national campaigners, 28.03.13
Brake welcomes 'crossrail for cyclists' as London leads the way on safe cycling 08.03.13
Dennis the Menace backs safe cycling for kids through free resources, 21.02.13
Commuters call for safer streets for cycling, to enable more to get on their bikes, 02.05.12
Fleets share best practice on cyclist safety at Fleet Safety Forum annual conference
, 29.02.12
Brake and Metropolitan Police join forces to tackle truck blindspot casualties
, 3.02.12
The Times launches campaign to make 'cities fit for cycling'
, 3.02.12
MP wins road safety award for child cycle helmet campaign, 31.08.11
Brake backs James Cracknell’s campaign on cycle helmets, 18.08.11
Safer routes are the key to getting one in five of us cycling, according to Brake and Direct Line, 27.05.11
Bereaved family’s campaign to cut ‘blind spot’ cyclist casualties backed by Team GB members, 14.02.11
Cambridge MP Julian Huppert wins Brake award for safer cycling campaign, 11.02.11

Campaign sponsored by:

Bolt-Burdon-Kemp

Driving for Zero

Campaigning for zero tolerance of impaired driving

Driving for Zero is Brake's campaign for zero tolerance of impaired driving. It tackles issues relating to alcohol and drugs calling for "none for the road". It also tackles driver tiredness, poor vision and other impairments relating to health. 

One in eight deaths on British roads still involves a driver over the alcohol limit [1], and in 2015 arrests for drug driving soared after a new law enabled police to arrest people who tested positive to illegal and some legal drugs. Many more drivers are impaired by tiredness, poor vision and ill health.

What are we calling for?

Driving for Zero aims to save lives through evidence-led, legislative interventions, including:

  • a lowering of the drink drive limit to an effective zero tolerance level across the UK
  • an extension, to Scotland and N. Ireland, of the England and Wales law prohibiting drug driving
  • compulsory eyesight tests for drivers
  • rigorous enforcement of laws relating to impairment, including driving hours, and tough penalties for offenders

We are also working to

  • Tackle impairment within commercial fleets, including driver health checks and technology that prevents and warns of impaired driving.
  • Educate law-abiding drivers about how to avoid low-level driver impairment, which can also cause crashes

 Take action

Visit our Driving for Zero campaign pages

 

Driving for zero: alcohol and drugs

Despite decades of campaigns, one in eight road deaths still involves a driver over the limit. Because the UK's drink drive limit is high, there will be more, unrecorded, casualties involving drivers impaired by alcohol but under the current limit - all countries in Europe apart from Malta have a lower drink drive limit than the UK (excepting Scotland which reduced its drink drive limit in December 2014).  

Drug driving is also a widespread menace: since the introduction of a law in March 2015, allowing police to test and arrest in England and Wales for certain illegal and legal drugs, there has been an 800% increase in arrests despite limitations in testing equipment and levels of policing. Get more facts on drink driving and drug driving and scroll down for what we need, how to take action, and more campaign news. 

However, despite the legislation that the government has put in place in 2015, the police have been limited in their ability to detect drug-driving at the roadside. This is due to the absence of Home Office type-approved roadside drug-screening devices. The type approval procedure aims to ensure devices meet government standards. Currently, there are only two devices that have type-approval, and they are only capable of screening for cannabis (THC) and cocaine. Other commonly detected drugs (notably MDMA /ecstasy) have no type-approved testing device. 

What are we calling for?

  • An effective zero-tolerance drink-drive (20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood), in line with evidence even one small drink affects driving. It should be none for the road.
  • The extension of the England and Wales drug driving law to Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Stepped-up and targeted enforcement, giving police the strategies, staffing and equipment to test and convict at effective levels to deter.
  • Type-approved roadside screening devices for all banned drugs, with priority given to a device that screens for MDMA (ecstasy). 

Take action

Campaign news

Brake's Roads to Justice campaigners hand in petitions at Downing Street calling for stronger criminal driving laws, 25/10/2016
Brake joins road safety groups and emergency services to call for lower drink-drive limits
, 10/10/2016
Urgent action needed as drink-drive death figures stall
, 04/08/2016
Just one shot could ruin your tournament
, 09/06/2016 
Brake responds to Northern Ireland drink-driving consultation
, 26/05/2016
Convictions up, but shocking numbers still drug-driving
, 29/02/2016  
No one loves a drunk driver, 11/02/2016
Government must learn from Scottish drink drive laws, 10/02/2016
New laws catch more reckless drug drivers than ever, 28/01/2016
Shocking numbers of drivers risked lives in Scotland last Christmas, 21/01/2016
Brake urges rugby fans to kick the risk of drink-driving into touch, 18/09/2015
Britain still struggling to break the drink drive habit, 01/08/2015 
Brake urges drivers: 'not a drop not a drag', as police launch drink and drug drive crackdown, 01/06/2015 
Brake backs Police Federation plea for lower drink drive limit, 19/05/2015 
Drug drivers beware: zero-tolerance law in force today welcomed by campaigners, 02/03/2015
Myth-busting 'sober up' e-learning resource launched, 22/01/2015
Brake echoes police calls, warning young people of dangers of drink and drug driving, 21/01/2015
Charity welcomes reduction in Scotland's drink driving rates, 09/01/2015

End notes

[1] Provisional estimates involving illegal alcohol levels2014 (final figures) and 2015 (provisional figures), Department for Transport, 2016
[2] David Phillips et a, University of California, No safe combination of drink driving, British Medical Journal, Injury prevention, January 2014
[3] ETSC, BAC drink driving limits across Europe, June 2016
[4] www.gov.uk, Drug drive arrests on the rise, February 2016
[5] Preliminary Drug Testing Devices A Guide to Type Approval Procedures for Preliminary Drug Testing Devices Used for Transport Law Enforcement in Great Britain, Home Office, 2012
[6] Approved drug-testing devices, Home Office, 2015