Articles Tagged ‘crash - Brake the road safety charity’

50 years, 25,000+ dead, since first anti-drink drive ad

Friday 7 November 2014

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

"Don't ask a man to drink and drive" – that was the plea of the government's first ever public information film on the dangers of drink driving, 50 years ago. Since then, drink drivers over the legal limit have killed at least 25,000 people and seriously injured at least 130,000 in the UK [1] – but as these casualties have only been recorded since 1979, the complete figures are likely to be tens of thousands higher.

Casualties have fallen dramatically since the first drink drive ad, but drink driving remains one of the biggest killers on our roads. Brake, the road safety charity, is using the anniversary to highlight the ongoing menace of drink driving and call for zero-tolerance to help stamp it out for good. See calls for action below.

With its appeal to women not to let their partners drink drive, the 1964 advert is a product of its time, but its message remains as relevant as ever. To this day, men account for more than three quarters (77%) of drink drive casualties [2]. What has changed is the message about how much is too much, with research having demonstrated the huge danger of drinking even small amounts and driving [3]. While the 1964 advert warns of the risks of drinking four to six whiskies, today Brake's not a drop campaign urges people to stay off the alcohol altogether if driving.

Drink drive (over the legal limit) casualties have steadily decreased, from 1,640 dead and 8,300 seriously injured in 1979, to 230 dead and 1,200 seriously injured in 2012 (latest available figures) [4]. They now account for one in eight road deaths (13%) compared with a quarter in 1979 [5].This is partly thanks to public education campaigns such as those by the Department for Transport's road safety agency, THINK! – it's estimated these prevented almost 2,000 deaths and over 10,000 serious injuries from 1979 to 2009 [6].

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Public education is critical to tackling road deaths and injuries, not just those caused by drink driving, so it is vital the government continues to fund this work. However, it is shocking that even though drivers are now well informed of the dangers, many continue to get behind the wheel after a drink, causing an unacceptable death toll and horrendous suffering for those who are left bereaved or injured. That's why we need a zero-tolerance drink drive limit – to send a clear message that any amount of alcohol makes you unsafe to drive – with tougher penalties and enhanced traffic policing to enforce it. Think – how many more lives will be destroyed or ruined if we don't act now?"

Brake campaigns for a zero-tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml blood through its not a drop, not a drag campaign, and is urging all political parties to make this a key manifesto commitment for the 2015 general election. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, hashtag #NotADrop.

Facts
One in eight deaths on UK roads are caused by drink drivers over the current legal limit [7] of 80mg alcohol per 100 ml blood. Drivers with even 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol in their blood [8]. This is because even small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times, judgment and co-ordination. Alcohol also makes it impossible for drivers to assess their own impairment because it creates a false sense of confidence and means drivers are more inclined to take risks and believe they are in control when they are not [9]. Find out more.

Brake's advice
Even very small amounts of alcohol affect drivers' reaction times and hazard perception, making them much more likely to crash, even if they don't feel drunk or even tipsy. The only way to ensure you're safe is to not drink any alcohol before driving, and never drive the morning after having more than one or two drinks. As a passenger, only accept a lift with a driver who's had no alcohol at all.

Planning ahead to get home safely will help avoid getting into an awkward or risky situation, such as having to refuse a lift from a driver who has had alcohol. If you're getting a lift back from a BBQ, party or night out with someone, make sure they are 100% on board with not having any alcohol at all. Always have a plan B just in case a designated driver lets you down, or arrange from the outset to get a taxi or public transport instead.

Calls for government action
Brake calls for a zero tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood, to send a clear message that it should be none for the road. This allows for naturally occurring alcohol in the body, and is a limit set by numerous other countries including Sweden, Poland and Greece. The EU recommends a limit of no more than 50mg, and within the EU only Malta shares the UK's limit of 80mg. Governments in Scotland and Northern Ireland have announced intentions to reduce their limits to 50mg, and in Northern Ireland, newly qualified drivers and commercial drivers will have a zero tolerance limit of 20mg.

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 campaigns, 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 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.

End notes
[1] Reported drink drive accidents and casualties (estimates): Great Britain, annually from 1979, Department for Transport, 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras51-reported-drinking-and-driving 
[2] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2012, Department for Transport, 2014
[3] Review of effectiveness of laws limiting blood alcohol concentration levels to reduce alcohol-related road injuries and deaths, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010
[4] Reported drink drive accidents and casualties (estimates): Great Britain, annually from 1979, Department for Transport, 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras51-reported-drinking-and-driving 
[5] Reported road casualties in Great Britain: estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2012 (final), Department for Transport, 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/341271/drink-drive-final-estimates-2012.pdf 
[6] Department for Transport: How thirty years of drink drive communications saved almost 2,000 lives, Institute of Practitioners in Advertising, 2012 https://gcn.civilservice.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Department_for_Transport_How_thirty_years_of_drink_drive_communications_saved.pdf 
[7] Reported road casualties in Great Britain: estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2012 (final), Department for Transport, 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/341271/drink-drive-final-estimates-2012.pdf 
[8] Review of effectiveness of laws limiting blood alcohol concentration levels to reduce alcohol-related road injuries and deaths, National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, 2010
[9] ibid

Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter

AndrewGriffithsAndrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, has been given anational road safety award by the charity Brake and Direct Line Group for his campaigns to reduce speed limits to improve safety on a number of roads in his constituency including theA38 andA50.

The A38 and A50 are both major arterial routes that run through Andrew’s constituency, and both have seen fatal crashes in recent months, along with a number of other collisions and near misses.

In September, Willington man James Clarke was killed on the A38 when his car broke down on the inside lane. He tried to push it on to the roadside verge to put it in a safe position, but was hit by a passing vehicle, suffering injuries from which he later died in hospital. In October, two men were killed and another seriously injured on the A50 in crashes involving HGVs.

Andrew has previouslysuccessfully campaigned to reduce the speed limit to 60mph on some parts of the A38, as well as closing risky gaps that allowed drivers to cut across the dual carriageway, following the deaths of two sisters on the road in 2012. Andrews wasrecognised by Brake for his campaign at the time.

Now, following the most recent casualties, Andrew is calling on the Highways Agency toextend the lower 60mph limit along the entire stretch of the A38 that runs through his constituency, as well ascalling for speed enforcement measures on the A50.

A multi-million pound engineering project is in the pipeline for the A50, but this could take years, and Andrew is keen to prevent further crashes before then. As well as seeking to prevent the devastating impact of road casualties on families and communities, Andrew recognises the economic benefits of improving road safety, as the succession of the crashes on the A38 and the A50 has had serious implications for local businesses in his constituency.

Andrews has already gathered thesupport of Staffordshire Police and Fire chiefs behind his campaign, and is optimistic about repeating thesuccess of his campaign in 2012.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“It is good to see Andrew keeping up his record of campaigning to make roads in his constituency safer, and we are pleased to recognise him as road safety parliamentarian of the month. Crashes like those happening with alarming regularity on the A38 and A50 have a devastating impact on families and communities, but they can be prevented. Reducing speed is proven to reduce casualties, so we are fully behind Andrew’s calls to reduce and enforce speed limits on these roads, and we urge everyone driving in the area to take the responsibility to slow down and look out for each other. We wish Andrew every success with his latest campaign.”

Accepting his award, Andrew Griffiths, MP for Burton and Uttoxeter, said: "I'm really pleased that my efforts to make the A50 and A38 safer have been recognised. This is the second time I have received the award and I'm really pleased my efforts have been recognised by the country's biggest road safety charity."

Andrew Potter - I will love you forever

Andrew PotterDear Andrew

I have never felt pain like I did on that Friday evening, 21st November 2008, when I found out that you had been knocked off your motorbike whilst riding home from work, and had been killed.

My world stopped at that moment and I had to see you. I went to the hospital and you just looked like you were asleep, I expected you to sit up and tell me you were okay, but you didn't.

For the first couple of days after the accident I was just numb, I couldnt stop crying and kept hoping I would wake up from this horrible nightmare and find you lying next to me in bed. You would then give me a kiss and a cuddle and reassure me that it was just a bad dream. Unfortunately that was not to be.

For the next couple of weeks I survived on adrenaline alone, waking early and staying up until late, sorting out paperwork and keeping myself constantly busy.

In the week of the funeral I seemed to find some kind of inner peace which gave me the strength to get through that day. Hundreds of people turned up at your funeral - you didn't realise you were so popular did you! I received so many sympathy cards, everyone loved you Andrew and you were described on so many cards as “a true gentleman”, “a family man who adored your wife and kids”, “larger than life” and “the life and soul of the party”. That just about sums you up really but I would describe you as simply “the best person in the whole of the world”.

I feel you around me all of the time and am sure that you are looking after me and the kids. If I am unsure of what to do in a certain situation, the answer just pops into my head as if you put it there. I think you are also giving me some of your personality and I am a better person because of it.

We had the best marriage ever, 6 years of pure bliss. We had some fantastic holidays in our caravan, we had some fun parties and barbecues, we really lived life for the moment and for that I am eternally grateful. We were soulmates, best friends and everyone who met us could see the depth of our love for each other. We were really lucky to have what we had together, even though it was short lived, and even now, knowing the bitter ending, I would still want to do it again - to experience that special love that we had, or rather have, because we still love each other just as much now as when you were alive.

Our 2 beautiful children are a credit to you, they both have your confident and outgoing nature and are really clever, just like you. Daniel is the image of you and every time I look at him I see you smiling out of that gorgeous face. Eva has your eyes, the exact shade of blue as yours, and the same way of looking at you as if she can see right into your soul.

I miss you sweetheart, every second of every day and would give anything in this world just to see you and hold you one more time. Please keep looking after us and give me the strength to be the best mum ever to our children.

Love you forever sweetheart

Mandy

Andy McLean – Missed So Much

Andy McLeanIt was around six thirty on a sunny 11th September 2010 night, when the police came to my business to break the tragic news they had to tell me.  My 22 year old son Andy Mclean had been on his way home from the farmers market where he worked every week when a French driver on the wrong side of the road ploughed into his Vauxhall Nova killing him instantly.  I could not believe what they were telling me and told them over and over again there must have been some mistake but they assured me they were 99% convinced it was Andy.

They then asked me to come with them to make a formal identification of my boy, as ,being his dad, I was next of kin.  The 30 min drive to the police mortuary seemed an eternity; so many things to do; so much I had to hold myself together for; how could I break this news to his mother; partner and his beloved Gran?  I had to know and be sure it was him before I did anything.   All too soon we had arrived and I was an emotional wreck. I was shown in to the viewing room and it was undoubtedly my oldest son Andy. I wept uncontrollably as the police let me have just a few minutes with him - separated by a pane of glass.

My mind thought back his 22 years over that few minutes we spent together; his birth; bathing him; putting him to bed; watching him grow from a baby to a boy to a man. The pain and grief I felt in trying to tell the family what had happened devoured me and I could no longer hold back my hurt, anger, disbelief and when the tears came they didn’t stop.

Andy was at the happiest time of his life when he was taken from us.  He was an apprentice mechanic working with a great boss and friend.  He was recently engaged, had his own place ,and was out doing what he loved most... driving his Nova.  I didn’t realise until the days in the run up to his funeral, just what a popular lad he was.  The 58 sympathy cards on the table, the endless visits from people, calls, emails from New Zealand; texts and so it went on. I prayed to God that my son had not suffered and questioned him over and over again why he had to take a Andy from us.  Answers I will never ever get.

The funeral, I don’t remember too much about.  I stared at his lovely coffin throughout the service, my mind playing his life over to me like a video; the flowers; the 300 people that attended; and finally laying him to rest in the cemetery.

I thought of my fortunate 44 years and how my son would never be married, have kids or enjoy life as I had and I was so angry at God for not taking me and give Andy his young life, as I would have gladly have died to save him.

I watched my family ripped apart; their pain; their sorrow and I was powerless to do anything to help them cope. I lost myself in alcohol for days on end, I didn’t wash, shave or some days even dress.  My way of coping I told myself, and the whiskey in my glass agreed,  My only function in the morning ,to light my fire and find the bottle.   The days spent alone I spent crying, unable to answer the biggest question on my mind, WHY???!!!

I had to go to the place of the crash.  I stood and looked at the beautiful scenery at the spot my son left this earth. I stood out on the road and looked in both directions... clear visibility both ways.   How could this have happened?  As I looked I saw an oncoming car approach me from the same direction in which Andy had been travelling from; suddenly it disappeared from sight and a few seconds later appeared again.  The police had told me there was a hidden dip in the road and when Andy was in the dip, he could not have seen the oncoming car until both cars met on the crest of the hill.  Then it was too late.  But Andy had seen it and had steered for the verge on the left, but as the French driver was on the wrong side of the road, he also steered for the left... straight into Andy. 

The questions came again, if only he had a puncture; if only he was late in getting away from the market; if only his car wouldn’t start and he had to borrow my jeep; would it have been different?

It’s now nearly 3 months since my beloved son was killed and we still think of him every day.  We still cry most days and the pain will never go away.

Anne McGuire, MP for Stirling, July 2012

annemcguireAnne McGuire, MP for Stirling, has been named Road Safety Parliamentarian of the Month by the charity Brake and Direct Line for her work highlighting the need to improve safety among foreign drivers to prevent devastating crashes. Anne’s call for action comes after the death of Andrew McLean, who was killed by a young French driver visiting the UK in September 2010.

Andrew McLean, 22, was a food delivery worker from Carnwath, South Lanarkshire. He was driving home from work when a car came towards him on the wrong side of the road. Andrew swerved to avoid the car, but the oncoming 23 year-old French driver instinctively steered in the same direction. The two cars collided, and Andrew died instantly. The other driver pleaded guilty to causing death by careless driving. He was sentenced to 200 hours’ community service and given an 18-month driving ban.

Andrew’s family wanted to campaign for the government to improve safety among foreign drivers, including looking at how they could be stopped from driving on the wrong side of the road. This led Andrew’s grandmother Mrs Billet to contact Anne McGuire about the family’s concerns.

Anne raised the issue in a parliamentary question in November 2011, asking how many fatal road crashes had involved a foreign visitor driving on the wrong side of the road. The minister responded that “inexperience of driving on the left” was recorded as a factor in 55 fatal crashes in five years, but specific statistics on driving on the wrong side were unavailable.

In July 2012, Anne secured an adjournment debate in Parliament, where she called for the government to establish the facts about foreign drivers on the wrong side of the road. She also highlighted possible measures, such as appropriate warnings at points of entry and devices fitted to vehicles to warn drivers when they are in the wrong lane.

Road safety minister Mike Penning welcomed Anne’s debate and highlighted the importance of listening to families campaigning on road safety whose family members have been involved in road crashes. He has agreed to meet with Andrew’s family and Anne in October to discuss their campaign further. Read the debate.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “Anne has brought an important road safety issue to Parliament’s attention following a terrible tragedy. It’s vital for all drivers to know the rules of the road and stick to them; this includes drivers from abroad, who must ensure they understand UK speed limits, road signs and that we drive on the left. We urgently need to investigate ways of helping foreign drivers to drive safely on UK roads, to prevent further needless loss of life and the anguish that follows. We’re pleased to present this award to Anne, and to back Andrew’s family in their campaign for action.”

Anne McGuire, MP for Stirling, said: "With increasing number of foreign drivers using Britain's roads, it is important that we know whether there is a major problem.  At the moment, we are just not sure. I welcome the Minister's frankness in stating that he was surprised at the lack of meaningful statistics. Any lapse of concentration from those who are used to driving on the right hand side of the road can result in tragedy, and we should look at what measures are needed to ensure their safety and that of other drivers and road users.”

Anthony Newmarsh - the perfect son

Anthony NewmarshKilled aged just 17

Anthony was a very special and genuine person, he was loving, caring, thoughtful and hardworking. He had an extremely humorous side to him - he loved to tell and play practical jokes. It was lovely to see a teenage lad with so much innocence and naivety.

He was desperate to pass his test and got himself a part time job whilst at college which he used to save and save his wages to buy his first car, his pride and joy and his access to independency.

He was the perfect son and brother who never let a day pass without saying ‘I love you’.

His friends have described him as the kindest, cheekiest and sweetest person whose smile always lit up a room and brightened and cheered up everyone’s day.

Anthony was born on 25th June 1989 making him 17 years old when he died.

He was killed around 1100 hours on Friday 17th November 2006 on the A439 Warwick Road, at Ingon, near Stratford-upon-Avon, Warwickshire.

The death of Anthony has had a vast effect on the lives of everyone who had the pleasure to meet him. It is almost impossible to describe the devastation and hurt it has caused.

The loneliness and emptiness his death has left is immeasurable. The family home is now silent and missing that fun loving young teenager always shouting ‘mom’ or ‘dad’ because he wanted something. To see your parents break down and become a shell of who they once were as a result of losing a child is shattering. No parent should ever have to bury their children, there is no logic, no reason, no understanding.

His girlfriend Ebonnie and her family have also been deeply affected; their worlds also turned upside down- her life will never be the same after losing her first love.

It hurts to think we will never see him grow as a man, we will never see him in his Police uniform, never see him set up home or get married and be a father, all opportunities he could and should have had the choice to take, but now never will.

The words -WHY, WHY, WHY- are always going around our heads, why our Anthony- it never gets any easier, the void just gets bigger and bigger. Anthony is in our thoughts every second of every minute of every hour of every day- The hearts of our family will never stop aching for the lovely young man who was tragically taken from us.

The saying is correct that you really don’t know what you have until it has gone- and what we do know is that Anthony was our rock and now he has gone and we will never have the chance to tell him we love him ever again.

Anwen Busby - An Amazing Friend

Anwen was an amazing friend. She died in a car crash along with Jai Burkes in Ponterwyd, Aberystwth.   Three other passengers were also injured.

I will never forget her cheeky laugh and her gorgeous face.

Sleep tight my beautiful friend, keep shining and i'll see you again one day.

xxxx

Ashley Brixey - life is precious

Ashley BrixeyAshley was killed 2004 aged 20. He was in a car being driven by his friend

*His mum Clare tells her story: *

Ashley had gone out on the Saturday night with some friends. He was supposed to be staying out that night but for some reason, which we don’t know why, they headed back.

Ashley got into the back of a car; a 17-year-old girl got into the passenger seat and Ashley’s friend Richard got into the driving seat - twice over the legal driving limit and with an abusive level of drugs in his system after taking ecstasy.

Richard lost control of the car on a left-hand bend, and the car went up an embankment, through a garden fence and landed upside down in a swimming pool.

The 17-year-old girl was thrown from the car into the pool and managed to get out. The driver also got out but Ashley had been knocked unconscious during the crash and couldn’t get out by himself. The emergency services got Ashley out of the car and tried to revive him unsuccessfully. Ashley drowned.

The police officer came to our door at 3 o’clock in the morning. Ivan, my husband, got up thinking it was Ashley, but the officer told us that Ashley had been in a serious road incident and died.

I just went into shock. I just wanted to curl up in a corner and die.

Since Ashley’s death I don’t react in the same way to things. A lot of things don’t seem as important any more.

If Ashley taught me anything it is that life is precious. I feel closer to him when I am laughing because that’s what he did every day.

The driver of the car was charged with death by dangerous driving and was sentenced to three years in prison.

I wanted Richard to go to prison as an example to others but it didn’t matter to me what sentence he was given because it’s not going to bring Ashley back. Richard’s real sentence will be having to live with the knowledge that he killed my son - his friend.

Brake comments on increase in drink-driving crashes in 2016

News from Brake
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
 
The Department for Transport has published provisional estimates [1] on personal injury drink drive crashes in Great Britain for 2016 [2]. These show a statistically significant rise in all key crash data, relating to at least one driver being over the alcohol limit: the number of fatalities; the number of killed or injured; and the total number of crashes [3].
 
Commenting on the statistics, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “These figures must be a wake-up call to the Government, forcing them to act now to eradicate the menace of drink-driving from our roads. The number of drink-drive related deaths, injuries and total crashes in 2016 have all increased from levels which were already unacceptable. This deeply concerning trend highlights the urgent need for the Government to enforce an effective zero tolerance drink-driving level across the UK [4].
 
“Research has shown even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe driving - drivers with just 20-50mg alcohol per 100ml of blood are at least three times more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol at all [5].
 
“The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive. Only by changing this perception can we eradicate the needless loss of life caused by alcohol on our roads. Brake is calling for the Government to implement an effective zero tolerance drink-drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, making clear to drivers that not a drop of alcohol is safe.”
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors
 
[1] Updated 2016 final estimates for casualties in reported drink-drive accidents are scheduled to be published in August 2018.
[3] “Provisional estimates for 2016 show that between 200 and 280 people were killed in accidents in Great Britain where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, with a central estimate of 240 deaths… An estimated 9,050 people were killed or injured when at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit… The total number of collisions and accidents where at least one driver was over the alcohol limit rose by 6 per cent to 6,080 in 2016”
 
About Brake
 
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport 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 educationservices 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.
 

Brake Family Liaison Officer Handbook: Visiting the scene of a crash

For those people who are told of their bereavement while somewhere else, such as at home or at work, there is often an urgent psychological need to go to the scene of the crash as soon as possible. This is because many people have a need to understand what has happened as soon as possible. Usually this need follows a more primary need to see a loved one's body, although not everyone wants to see their loved one's body.   

Is it practical?   

In some cases visiting the scene of a crash right away isn't practical. It may be that the scene of the crash is a very long way away, in a different county or even country. It may be that emergency vehicles are still at the scene. It may be that the crash location is simply not safe to visit; most particularly if it occurred on a motorway.    

Should a visit be delayed?   

It may be advisable to ask a family if they would consider delaying a visit to the crash scene for at least a few hours if not days. There may be more urgent things to do, such as informing other family members or caring for children. The stress of getting in a car, even if a family is being driven by the police, and being taken to the scene, is a great deal to bear on top of the terribly shocking news they have just received.    

It is highly appropriate to advise, in particular, close family members not to drive themselves when they have only just found out about their bereavement. They should not drive while in a state of shock. If your force allows it, and it is safe to do so, it is much more appropriate to drive a family yourself, at the appropriate time. This is a useful service that the police can offer, and can help you ensure their visit is conducted in safety as roadsides can be dangerous places.    

There have been instances in particular of large groups of people, such as school friends, visiting the scene of a loved one's death and placing themselves in danger by doing so. Police can help by offering, if possible, to shut a road for a few minutes while a short memorial service is held at the scene, or while a large group of mourners visits the scene. Offering such services can be extremely helpful in building a strong relationship of trust and support between the police and a family.    

If a death happens very close to home       

In some cases, particularly cases of children dying on foot or bikes, the death happens very close to home. There are many cases of family members finding out about a loved one's death so quickly that they are able to rush out and be with them at the roadside, either before or after emergency services arrive. In instances such as this, families often find it very hard to continue living so close to where their loved one died. They may have to pass the scene every day on their way to work or school. Some families find this becomes too much to bear, and end up moving house. Others cannot afford to do so, or do not want to because of community ties. The stress placed on a family living close to where a loved one died should be recognised by FLOs.        

Click here to go to our briefing on roadside memorials.

Brake launches ‘look out for each other’ campaign as extent of selfish driving across East Midlands is revealed

Monday 17 November 2014

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

  • A fixed penalty for ‘careless driving’ or speeding is issued in the East Midlands every six minutes
  • One third (32%) of primary school children in the Midlands have been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while on foot or bike

Road safety charity Brake is today launching a campaign calling on all road users to look out for each other, to help stop the five deaths and 61 serious injuries that happen daily on UK roads [1][2], and particularly to protect people on foot and bike. The campaign is being backed by a bereaved family from the East Midlands, where 148 people were killed and 1,731 seriously injured last year. See case study below.

The call comes at the start of Road Safety Week, coordinated by Brake, during which thousands of schools, companies and communities will be raising awareness and police across the UK will be stepping up traffic enforcement to deter and catch drivers putting others at risk.

As part of the campaign, Brake and partners RSA and Specsavers are today (17 Nov) revealing statistics showing shocking numbers of drivers risking lives by flouting traffic laws. 89,829 fixed penalty notices were issued for ‘careless driving’ and speeding offences in the East Midlands in 2013– one every six minutes. 88,499 were for speeding and 1,330 for careless driving (a fixed penalty newly introduced in August 2013). Embargoed figures are available by postcode, including the top 10 worst postcode areas[3].

This lack of patience, consideration and responsibility towards other road users can and does result in tragedy. It can also stop the most vulnerable from exercising their right to healthy, active, sustainable travel. Results of Brake’s survey of over 400 Midlands primary school children[4], released today, show:

  • four in five (82%) think roads in their community can be dangerous for walking and cycling;
  • one third (32%) have been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while on foot or bike.

Brake is calling on all road users to look out for each other, and particularly urging drivers to protect kids and adults on foot and bike – by slowing down to 20mph in communities, looking longer and taking it slow at junctions and bends, and giving people plenty of room and consideration. See below for more advice and facts showing why these steps are important.

Members of the public can show their support for thelook out for each other campaign by:

 Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“When drivers use roads without care for others the consequences can be tragic and horrific – people killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, because of a moment of impatience or selfishness. At Brake we witness the suffering that results, daily, through our work supporting people affected by road death and injury. And there are wider consequences if we don’t look out for each other on roads – people afraid to walk and cycle or let their kids walk and cycle, and unable to get out and enjoy their community and live active lifestyles. That’s why, instead of making our streets stressful, risky places, we’re asking all road users to look out for and protect each other, particularly the most vulnerable – that means drivers sticking to 20 or below in towns and villages, looking carefully at junctions, and being considerate. Ultimately, we’re all just human beings trying to get around, with equal right to use the roads, not competing tribes.”

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport, the Association of Chief Police Officers’ national lead for roads policing, added:“Our officers and staff do a vital job in enforcing important safety laws and protecting the public on the roads. Road Safety Week is a great opportunity for forces and partners to engage with their local communities to deliver important road safety messages and undertake enforcement activities in support of Brake’s week.”

Road safety minister Robert Goodwill MP added his support, saying:“Cycling and walking are healthy ways to get around and are good for the environment too and I want more people to be able to make this choice for their journeys. At the same time we want to ensure cyclists and pedestrians are safe. That is why in the Cycling Delivery Plan I announced our proposals for the next phase of work on cycle and pedestrian safety. This includes cycle-proofing our roads and wider transport infrastructure, a review of regulations, the need to highlight best practice to local authorities, an update to the national design standards and a review of the driving test.”

Peter Collins, group and UK head of corporate responsibility at RSA, commented:“A lack of patience or consideration for others on the roads can sometimes lead to dangerous, if not life threatening situations. Prevention is better than cure, so taking the time to look out for each other; being careful and considerate to all road users whether in vehicles, on bikes or on foot can help keep Britain's roads safe for everyone."

Specsavers founder Dame Mary Perkins says:“Specsavers stores have been proud to support Road Safety Week for a number of years. Good eyesight is essential to road safety, which is clearly recognised by this year's theme, ‘look out for each other’. But ‘looking out for each other’ isn’t just about keeping your eyesight up to scratch; it’s about keeping your mind sharp and being aware and considerate of everyone around you, especially vulnerable people on foot and bike who need that bit of extra protection. Specsavers stores will be doing their bit to raise awareness, and helping make sure people can be seen on the road.”

Case studies:

Find out about all the bereaved and injured volunteers supporting Road Safety Weekhere.

Timothy Igoea, 45, from Heighington, Lincolnshire,was crossing the road on a spring day when he was hit on the back of the head by a van wing mirror. He subsequently died in hospital. Find out more.

Timothy’s brother, Gary Igoea, lives in Lincoln. He says:“Tim’s death affected everybody in so many different ways. He was a truly special man; there are not many people you will meet in life like him. There was a strength about him that would dumbfound anyone, especially after his first crash; he almost pushed his disabilities to one side in his determination. I am so proud to have had a brother like Tim – when most people would have crumbled, he stayed strong. He had an incredible passion for life and he was taken from us and his family too early. That’s why, this Road Safety Week, I want to tell people that when you get into a car, it’s like holding a loaded gun: you have the power to destroy both the life of the victim and the lives of their family and friends. So please, look out for each other, don’t be complacent, and be courteous on the road.”

Facts and advice:

‘Vulnerable road users’ (pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders)account for half (49%) of road deaths in the UK [5].

In the UK in 2013, 405 people were killed and 5,160 seriously injured walking, and 113 people were killed and 3,185 seriously injured cycling [6]. That's 24 people a day killed or seriously injured on foot or bike – one every hour.

Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes, and especially in protecting vulnerable road users. If something unexpected happens – such as a child stepping out suddenly – it is a driver’s speed that determines if they can stop in time, and if they can’t, how hard they will hit. Every 1mph reduction in average speeds causes, on average, a 5% reduction in crash rates[7], anddrivers who speed are nearly twice as likely to have been involved in a crash[8]. Advice for drivers: stick to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops. Your stopping distance in an emergency will be half what it is at 30mph, and in busy urban areas you won’t notice a difference in your journey time. You’ll save on fuel, vehicle wear and emissions.

Vulnerable road users are often at risk from vehicles manoeuvring, such as at junctions, where they may not be seen in a blind spot. 75% of cyclist collisions occur at or near junctions when vehicles are turning [9]. Advice for drivers: take it really slow at junctions and bends, look longer and carefully check mirrors before manoeuvring. Always assume a pedestrian or cyclist may be there; never just assume it’s safe to turn.

Traffic around homes, schools and shops, which could often be redirected to roads with fewer people walking or cycling, puts vulnerable road users at risk. Advice for drivers: consider your route and if you can minimise driving in communities. Consider if you need to make your journey by car at all: could you walk, cycle, or take public transport? Studies show active travel makes you happier as well as healthier [10].

Fear of traffic discourages people from walking or cycling, so it’s a big public health issue. 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]. A Brake survey of UK schoolchildren found three in four (76%) would like to walk and cycle more [12]. Another survey found one in three non-cyclists would cycle if routes were safer[13].

Up to 95% of crashes are caused by driver error[14]. Thereforeit is vital drivers take responsibility to protect themselves and everyone around them. Everyone can commit to do this by making the Brake Pledge to follow six simple rules to help prevent devastating road crashes, atwww.brake.org.uk/pledge

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.

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 2014 takes place 17-23 November, with support from the Department for Transport and headline sponsors RSA and Specsavers.

RSA

With a 300-year heritage, RSA is one of the world's leading multinational quoted insurance groups. RSA has major operations in the UK & Western Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and Latin America and can write business in around 140 countries in total. Focusing on general insurance such as motor, home, pet and commercial cover, RSA has more than 21,000 employees serving 17 million customers worldwide. In 2013 its net written premiums were £8.7 billion.

Since 2011, RSA's 'Fit to Drive' campaign has worked to highlight the important issue of eye health and driver safety in the UK. http://www.rsagroup.com/

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 2013, Department for Transport, 2014
[2] Police recorded injury road traffic collision statistics: 2013 key statistics report, Police Service of Northern Ireland, 2014
[3] Analysis by Brake of data provided by the DVLA, September 2014 https://www.dropbox.com/sh/et6pjj56i2w2guo/AABDJE4mN_5nlr7i5eGoixVja?dl=0. These figures are combined totals of the following careless driving offences: CD10: Driving without due care and attention; CD20: Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users; CD30: Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users, and the following speeding offences: SP10: Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits; SP20: Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles); SP30: Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road; SP40: Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit; SP50: Exceeding speed limit on a motorway; SP60: Undefined speed limit offence.
[4] 'Hands up' survey of 433 primary school children (aged 7-11) from schools in the Midlands participating in Brake's Giant Walking Bus, carried out between January and May 2014. When asked 'do you think roads in your neighbourhood can be dangerous for kids who are walking or cycling?', 82% said yes, 18% said no. When asked 'have you ever been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while walking or cycling?', 32% said yes, 68% said no.
[5] Reported road casualties in Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014
[6] ibid
[7] Speed, speed limits and accidents, Transport Research Laboratory, 1994
[8] The speeding driver: who, how and why? Scottish Executive, 2003
[9] Reported road casualties in Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014
[10] Walking or cycling to work improves wellbeing, University of East Anglia, 2014 http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2014/september/active-commuting-benefits 
[11] National travel survey 2012, Department for Transport, 2013
[12] Kids want to get active: thousands march for safer streets, Brake, 2014 http://www.brake.org.uk/news/1230-gwb2014 
[13] Speed in built-up areas, Brake and Direct Line, 2013 http://www.brake.org.uk/assets/docs/dl_reports/DLreport-Speed-section2-urbanroads-2013.pdf 
[14] Dimensions of aberrant driver behaviour, Uppsala University, Sweden, 1998

Brake responds to hand-held mobile phone consultation

Department for Transport consultation on changes to the Fixed Penalty Notice and penalty points for the use of a hand-held mobile phone whilst driving

Response from Brake, the road safety charity

Brake’s position on mobile phones and driving

Brake welcomes this consultation and its acknowledgement that change is needed but believes none of the options go far enough to make our roads as safe as they could be.

Driving is a highly unpredictable and risky activity, so it requires full concentration at all times. From its extensive work with bereaved and injured road crash victims, Brake understands the devastation caused by people who kill and seriously injure because they couldn’t wait a few more moments to make a phone call.

Evidence shows that mobile phone use at the wheel is a widespread and dangerous activity that results in needless loss of life and devastation to many families every year. Brake constantly scans international research to learn from the best practice of road safety professionals worldwide. This research, when combined with Brake’s long experience in the road safety field, points to policies that can be deployed to address the problem.

On the basis of this evidence, and Brake’s experience supporting traumatised road crash victims, Brake recommends the government:

• ban use of hands-free phones at the wheel, in line with evidence that they increase crash risk just as much as using a hand-held phone, due to the distraction of the phone conversation.
• implement much higher penalties for any driver using a phone of any type at the wheel. We support an increase from the current £100 fixed penalty fine to at least £500-1,000 and at least six penalty points – so drivers take it seriously.
• work across department and with police to ensure increased and adequate resourcing for traffic enforcement, including by making traffic policing a national policing priority.

Some key evidence supporting this position includes:

• Drivers speaking on phones are four times more likely to be in a crash that causes injury, on a hands-free or hand-held phone[i]. Their crash risk remains higher than normal for up to 10 minutes after the call[ii].
• Drivers using phones have slower reaction times and difficulty controlling speed and lane position[iii]. They brake more sharply in response to hazards, increasing the risk of rear-end crashes[iv].
• Some drivers mistakenly believe that talking on a hands-free kit at the wheel is safe[v]. Research shows hands-free calls cause almost the same level of risk as hand-held[vi], as the call itself is the main distraction. Brain scanning has confirmed that speaking on a hands-free phone makes you less alert and less visually attentive[vii].
• Laws that only ban hand-held phones are less effective in reducing crashes, because many drivers simply switch to hands-free phones, so are still distracted[viii]. A Brake and Direct Line survey found that following the UK’s introduction of a ban on using hand-held phones at the wheel in 2003, between 2006 and 2014, the proportion of UK drivers using hand-held mobile phones dropped from 36% to 13%, but those using hands-free rose from 22% to 32%[ix].
• Talking on a phone while driving has been shown to be worse than drinking certain amounts of alcohol. Driver reaction times are 30% slower while using a hands-free phone than driving with a blood alcohol level of 80mg alcohol per 100ml blood, and nearly 50% slower than driving under normal conditions[x].
• Reading and writing messages while driving – such as texting, emailing or social networking – is even more distracting than talking on a phone. Texting drivers have 35% slower reaction times and poor lane control[xi]. One study found texting drivers were 23 times more likely to crash than drivers paying attention[xii].
• Reaching for a mobile phone can be an irresistible temptation for some. In the UK, experts have warned of increasing levels of smartphone addiction by users who are unable to go without checking their phone for short periods or through the night[xiii]. Even the sound of a mobile phone ringing has been found to cause distraction and increase crash risk[xiv].

A survey of 1,000 drivers in a report for Brake and Direct Line[xv] found that nearly half of drivers (47%) want fines for mobile phone use at the wheel increased to £500 or more, while a further 31% want the fine more than doubled to £200.
Brake also believes that further work is needed by government to address the wide issue of driver distractions, including in response to emerging technologies, and to raise driver awareness. See our fact page on the topic.

Option 0 - Do nothing

Brake believes that Option 0 is not a viable option; as acknowledged in the DfT’s own background research to this consultation, the current penalties are failing to stop many drivers from breaking the law.

According to the consultation’s background information in 1.24 What is the problem sectionin 2014, using a mobile phone whilst driving was a contributory factor in 21 fatal accidents (crashes), but it is broadly believed that mobile phone use is dramatically underreported due in part, because of the difficulty in proving that the driver was using a mobile phone at the time of the accident. It is clear, however, that a number of high profile accidents have mobile phone use recorded as a contributory factor.

Behind every one of these numbers is a family and community torn apart by a sudden, violent and preventable death. Another 84 people in that year were reported as seriously injured in mobile phone crashes, some in life changing ways, taking the total reported numbers of people killed and seriously injured in mobile phone crashes to 105: two people every week.

Brake agrees with the DfT’s assertion that these statistics are likely to be greatly under-reported, from both our experience supporting road crash victims, academic research on the risks of phone use at the wheel, and our own behavioural surveys. A 2014 study by Brake and Direct Line[xvi] found almost half of drivers (45%) admitted talking on a mobile at the wheel in the previous year. One in eight (13%) are breaking the law by using a hand-held phone. This was significantly down from 2006 when 36% admitted to doing it, three years after it was banned, but remains a significant minority. This appears to show the current penalties deter some drivers, by no means all. At the same time we found increasing use of hands-free kits, which is a major concern for reasons stated above.

Brake believes the public would support much stronger action and penalties, and respond to stronger penalties and enforcement. This is supported by the latest British Social Attitudes study 2014 [xvii] where it states “67% of people agree that the law on using mobile phones whilst driving is not properly enforced”.

Option 1 - Increasing the Fixed Penalty Notice by 50% from £100 to £150 for all drivers (including HGVs)

Brake’s position on Option 1 is that this level of fine is not a significantly increased deterrent. We are calling for a much higher penalty of at least £500-1,000, so drivers take it seriously. The current levels of fines for using a mobile phone behind the wheel are more comparable with parking penalties than with something like drink driving, whereas the danger is much more akin to the offence of drink-driving as outlined above.

People face much higher fines for many minor offences that pose no threat to human life. For example, the fine for not having a TV licence is up to £1,000, ten times higher than the current fine for using a mobile phone while driving. Many bereaved and injured road crash victims agree that such a low level of fine is insulting, and unhelpful to efforts to raise awareness about the seriousness of this crime. We believe that increasing the fine by just £50 is inadequate in addressing this. Recent research by Brake and Direct Line, as quoted above, shows large majority of drivers support fines of above this level too.

International evidence is clear that tougher penalties pose a stronger deterrent and help to reduce traffic offending and the larger the increase in the fine the greater the drop there will be in that offending[xviii].

Option 2 - Increasing the penalty points from 3 to 4 for non HGV drivers and from 3 to 6 for HGV drivers where the offence was committed in a Large Goods Vehicle

Brake would welcome a doubling of penalty points to six for HGV drivers caught on phones, but if this is seen as the optimum deterrent, we would question why this could not also be implemented for drivers of other vehicles. Brake would strongly recommend this move is extended to drivers of all vehicle types, to ensure the maximum deterrent and make clear this offence is unacceptable no matter what vehicle you are driving.

There appears to be strong evidence for the public favouring this move in the DfT’s consultation notes in 1.22 What is the problem section, stating a YouGov poll in 2014 showed 73% of drivers are in favour of doubling the penalty points for those caught using a mobile phone while driving.

Option 3 - Increasing the FPN by 50% from £100 to £150 for all drivers AND, raising the penalty level from 3 to 4 penalty points for non-HGV drivers and from 3 to 6 penalty points for Large Goods Vehicle licence holders who commit the offence whilst driving a HGV

Option 3 is Brake’s preferred option but we believe this still does not go far enough. As stated previously we are calling for a much higher fixed penalty notice of £500-1,000, and a substantial increase in points to help ensure a real impact on driver behaviour. We believe doubling the points to six for all drivers caught using a mobile phone at the wheel would be a much stronger deterrent and make our roads safer.

This is a valuable opportunity for the government to make a real and tangible difference to the safety of our roads and we would urge the DfT to carefully consider our arguments and look at strengthening Option 3 to include six penalty points and a fine of £500-1,000 for all drivers who commit this dangerous offence that has the potential to end lives. Every life saved prevents the immeasurable cost to families who lose loved ones, and saves society the financial cost of £1.84 million[xix].

CASE STUDY

Imogen Cauthery, from Crouch End in London, was just nine years old when she suffered devastating life changing injuries after being hit by a car in 1996. The driver, who was talking on a mobile phone at the time, didn't even stop to check if she was alive. Her life was only saved because a local doctor saw the crash from his window and rushed to provide CPR, but Imogen then remained in a coma for 10 days.

Imogen suffered long-term debilitating injuries including brain damage that affects her memory and her ability to achieve her ambitions. To this day she continues to experience epilepsy seizures caused by the crash, and almost died a second time because of the condition. The crash also deeply affected Imogen’s older sister, who witnessed it.

Imogen, now 28, has given her comments on the consultation to Brake.

“There is already so much evidence on the dangers of mobile phone use and the government is fully aware of stories like mine and many other people’s; something has to be done. The new penalties certainly aren’t tough enough. You have to give drivers more points or take their licences from them completely. There needs to be a bigger fine, as well, of at least a thousand pounds. I get so jealous of my friends now, who I went to primary school with. They are doctors or at university studying maths and I’ve got so many difficulties. I do exercise in the morning and then I volunteer and then I’m bored, bored, bored. I want so much more from my life that I cannot have because of my injuries. I have two lives, my first one from 1987-1996 and my second one from 1996 onwards. That’s how it is now until I die and I certainly want my first life back. But that can never happen because someone couldn’t wait to make a phone call.”

[i] Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study, University of Western Australia, 2005
[ii] Association between cellular-telephone calls and motor vehicle collisions, Massachusetts Medical Society, 1997
[iii] Using a hands-free mobile whilst driving can be more dangerous than drink driving, Transport Research Laboratory, 2009
[iv] Stopping behaviour of drivers distracted by mobile phone conversations, Queensland University of Technology, 2013
[v] Mobile phone use: a growing problem of driver distraction, World Health Organisation, 2011
[vi] Using a hands-free mobile whilst driving can be more dangerous than drink driving, Transport Research Laboratory, 2009
[vii] Speaking on a hands-free phone while driving makes you less alert and less attentive, University of Toronto, 2013
[viii] Handheld cell phone laws and collision claim frequencies, Highway Loss Data Institute, 2010
[ix] Driven to distraction: mobile phones, Brake and Direct Line, 2014
[x] Using a hands-free mobile whilst driving can be more dangerous than drink driving, Transport Research Laboratory, 2009
[xi] The effect of text messaging on driver behaviour: a simulator study, Transport Research Laboratory, 2008
[xii] Driver Distraction in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operations, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 2009
[xiii] The Communications Market 2011, Ofcom, 2011
[xiv] Influence of personal mobile phone ringing and usual intention to answer on driver error, Aston University, 2012
[xv] http://www.brake.org.uk/assets/docs/dl_reports/DL-Risky-Business-2013-section-3.pdf
[xvi] http://www.brake.org.uk/assets/docs/dl_reports/DLreport-DrivenToDistraction-sec2-MobilePhones-2014.pdf
[xvii] https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/481877/british-social-attitudes-survey-2014.pdf
[xviii] http://www.swov.nl/rapport/Factsheets/UK/FS_Penalties_in_traffic.pdf
[xix] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/ras60-average-value-of-preventing-road-accidents
table no RAS60001

Brake welcomes government THINK! campaign highlighting dangers of country roads

Thursday 9 October 2014

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

Brake, the road safety charity, is backing the Department for Transport's latest multimedia campaign launched today (9 October), which shows how country roads are deadlier than many of us think.

The campaign reveals that three in five fatalities (60%) occur on country roads, yet many drivers remain oblivious to the risks. In a survey for THINK!, the government's road safety campaigns unit, a worrying quarter of drivers (25%) admit to having had a near miss on a country road.

Brake, has been campaigning on road safety issues and supporting bereaved and injured crash victims for nearly 20 years. Brake's own survey, published this summer, revealed one in three drivers (33%) admit driving too fast for safety on country roads, by speeding, taking bends fast or overtaking. See more stats from the survey, and read Brake's.

In 2013, 895 people were killed on non-built up roads, up 1% on 2012, and 6,554 seriously injured [1].

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:"We welcome the focus the Department for Transport is giving to this vital issue. Both our campaigns highlight that too many drivers are not treating our country roads - and the people that use them and live near them - with respect. The so-called ‘open road' is a dangerous road, often full of unexpected hazards.We are urging drivers to slow down on country roads, staying well within limits and slowing right down for villages, bends, brows and bad weather. It's about being prepared for the unexpected, looking out for people on foot and bike, and respecting the countryside and other people's right to enjoy it."

Brake campaigns for slower speeds on country roads through its rural roads not racetracks campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, hashtag #RuralRoadsnotRacetracks.

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.

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties Great Britain: main results 2013, Department for Transport, 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/324580/rrcgb-main-results-2013.pdf . Non-built up roads refers to those with speed limits over 40mph.

Brake welcomes lower EU road injury targets

News from Brake
8 June 2017
news@brake.org.uk

European Union transport ministers have formally agreed today to set a target of halving the number of serious injuries on roads in the EU by 2030 from their 2020 level. This is in addition to the existing target to halve the number of road deaths on EU roads by 2020 from the 2010 baseline [1].

Responding to the news, Mary Williams, CEO for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "We warmly welcome today's EU announcement, which will help focus efforts across Europe to reduce needless road deaths and injuries. Targets are essential. They focus governments' minds on the crisis, and the need for urgent steps to be taken by them to save lives. All governments should focus on measures that drive towards zero casualties through a safe systems approach. We particularly call for measures that protect pedestrians and cyclists, such as segregated road space, 20mph (30km/h) limits and vehicle design improvements, such as intelligent speed assistance (which restricts the speed of vehicles below limits) and advanced automated emergency braking systems (currently under consideration by the EU).

"It's a disgrace that there are currently no UK targets for casualty reduction. Brake applauds Highways England for setting its own target of a 40% reduction in the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on the Strategic Road Network. We are calling for a UK target to be set as an urgent priority for the incoming government."

The Sustainable Development Goals call for the number of deaths and injuries from road crashes to be halved by 2020 worldwide.

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 educationservices 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. 

[1] EU press release: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2017/06/08-tte-serious-injuries-road/?utm_source=ETSC&utm_campaign=112cefa453-20170608_serious_injury_target_council&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3a7b55edbf-112cefa453-301916645

Charity urges government action as figures confirm stalled progress in road casualty reduction

Thursday 25 September 2014

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

The government's official annual road casualty report, out today, has confirmed figures showing disappointingly slow progress in reducing road casualties in the UK. 1,713 people were killed in 2013, at a rate of five a day, 2% fewer than in 2012. 21,657 people suffered serious injuries, at a rate of 59 a day, 6% fewer than in 2012. Provisional figures were released in June – see Brake's full reaction.

Brake, the road safety charity, welcomed the reduction, but stressed that the government needs to do much more to reduce casualties faster. The figures continue a trend that has seen progress in reducing road casualties plateau since 2010. From 2007 to 2010, deaths on UK roads fell by 1,096. From 2010 to 2013, they have fallen by only 137.

As in previous years, the most common recorded cause of road crashes in 2013 was the driver or rider failing to look properly, highlighting the relevance of this year's Road Safety Week theme: look out for each other. Road Safety Week, the UK's flagship road safety event, coordinated by Brake, takes place 17-23 November 2014.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Road casualties in the UK are falling – but they are not falling nearly fast enough. Since 2010, progress has stalled dramatically. At this rate, it will be many more decades before we reach the only acceptable number of casualties on our roads, and that number is zero. The government needs to take far more proactive action to drive casualties down faster, including a zero-tolerance drink drive limit, a 20mph default urban speed limit, and graduated driver licensing to tackle young driver crashes."

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 campaigns, 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 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.

Child seats and fittings

Key facts

  • In 2015, 11 children under the age of 12 years old were killed while travelling in cars in Great Britain, 200 were seriously injured and there were 5,093 child casualties (reported to the police) in total. [1]
  • A study of Thames Valley and Hampshire revealed that in 2014 the number of children unrestrained in both the front passenger seat and rear passenger seats were lower than in 2008/9; [2]
  • Properly restrained infants are on average 12.7 times less likely to present to a trauma centre following a motor vehicle crash [3];
  • In the event of a crash, rear-facing child seats can reduce the likelihood of death and injury in young children and small infants by up to 90% [4];
  • As of March 2017 manufacturers are not allowed to develop booster cushions or backless booster seats for children shorter than 125 cm or weighing less than 22kg, parents that have already purchased booster seats matching these specifications can continue to use them for their child [5].

Introduction

In 2015, 19 children under the age of 15 were killed while travelling in cars in Great Britain and 315 were seriously injured [6].

When a child is present in a moving road vehicle it is essential that the appropriate child restraints are used. Children are one of the most vulnerable road users, no matter how they travel. Their undeveloped frames are open to more severe injuries and ill-prepared to absorb the violent crash forces of a vehicular impact. Appropriate child restraints are designed to distribute crash forces with minimal damage to the soft tissues, cradle the vulnerable head and neck of the child and restrict their movement during and after impact.

Child restraints are a vital passive safety system and their effect cannot be underestimated. In 2015, a study of Thames Valley Police Authority and Hampshire Constabulary indicated that the percentage of child passengers unrestrained within a vehicle on the road had actually increased between 2008/9 and 2014 in the front and rear passenger seats [7].

It is important that the public are aware of the danger that children are in if they are not using the appropriate restraints, fitted correctly within the vehicle. An adult seat belt is not designed to protect a child. Using a properly fitted child restraint that is appropriate for the child’s size and weight reduces the risk of fatalities, and can prevent the most serious injuries in many situations [8].

Find out more: Read our advice for drivers on belting up and choosing safer vehicles.

Legal framework

In the United Kingdom, drivers are legally responsible for making sure that all passengers in their vehicle under the age of 14 are appropriately restrained. Children under the age of 12, or below 135 cm tall, are not allowed to use an adult seat belt without ‘additional restraints’ (child seats, booster chairs and booster cushions), except under legally ‘exceptional’ circumstances. [9]

Brake and other road safety professionals, strongly advise that drivers and parents ensure that all children under 150 cm tall use proper child restraints, as we believe that adult seat belts do not provide sufficient protection to children below this height [10].

Exceptions to the legal requirement for child restraints in moving road vehicles include [11]:

  • Taxis, hire cars and mini buses: When the child is travelling in a taxi, hire car or mini bus and a travel seat is unavailable the child is not require to wear an appropriate restraint. However. If a child-seat is fitted within the vehicle it should be used.
  • Unexpected journeys: There are legal exemptions for short, unexpected but necessary journeys – for example an emergency hospital visit. This exemption is only applicable if the child is over the age of three and there are no correct child restraints available. If the child is under the age of three they cannot legally travel in the vehicle without appropriate child restraints.
  • Emergency vehicles: Children can travel in emergency service vehicles, such as police cars and ambulances, without using child restraints if appropriate restraints are not available.

Regulating child restraints

Child seat development and classification is primarily legally controlled by United Nations ECE Regulation No.44 and the more recent United Nations ECE regulation No.129, introduced in 2013. Each of these regulations specify standards that both child restraints and the vehicles they are placed in must adhere to, to ensure children using the restraint are to remain secure and protected when on the move.

Currently, only EU-approved child car seats can be used in the UK, recognisable by the capital ‘E’ label in in a circle fixed to the product. This regulation will undoubtedly be affected by the UK’s decision to leave the European Union in 2017, and it is important that safeguards are put in place to ensure that child restraints maintain a high standard of protection [12].

UN ECE Regulation 44 [13]

This legislation stipulates that child restraints should be approved to a required technical standard, based on the child’s height and weight as opposed to age. It sets out general specifications for child seats, the criteria for type approval and frontal crash testing and the product approval process and qualifications.

The regulation specifically requires all road vehicles to be fitted with a pair of ISOFIX ‘anchorages’ to be installed in vehicles, designed to withstand a static load of 8 kN (KiloNewtons) without deforming.

Read more: On ISOFIX systems below.

UN ECE Regulation 129 (i-Size) [14]

In 2013 UN ECE 129, known as the ‘i-Size’ legislation, was introduced to run parallel with Regulation 44, introducing two important changes to child seat legislation.

First, child restraints under the i-Size legislation are classified according to the height of a child as opposed to the weight. This was based on the assessment that it would be a more effective means of assessing the degree of protection a child seat would provide children, whose height can vary and may not always relate to their weight.

Second, the i-Size regulation requires children to travel in rear-facing child seats for longer, and these restraints can be used by parents of any age of child within the height boundaries of the product. These seats must be used for any child under 83 cm tall (typically around 15 months old). As rear-facing child seats have been proven to be safer, Regulation 129 has been a welcome development [15].

Currently, the ‘i-Size’ child seats will only fit in approved vehicles, the number of which will increase over the coming years. Eventually they will become available for all types of child seat. Brake recommends parents purchase seats meeting i-Size regulations if these are available for their vehicle.

Additional restrictions introduced include the requirement that forward-facing child restraints will not be designed to accommodate a stature below 71 cm and a convertible seat in rear-facing configuration must accommodate children up to 83cm tall.

This legislation has also introduced a requirement for these child seats to be evaluated in side-impact tests, using more advanced crash dummies that take the fragility of the child into account. A study into the new testing criteria found that analysis is now more closely focussed on the level of protection provided for the most vulnerable regions of a young child’s body in a road crash, the head/neck, abdomen and chest. [16]

ISOFIX

The ISOFIX is a system, developed in the 1990s, provides purpose-built latches in new vehicles to enable child restraint systems to be affixed in a manner that prevents incorrect fitting and the consequences that can emerge as a result. It is widely regarded as the safest option for child restraints, and UN ECE Regulation 44 clearly specifies that ISOFIX connectors must be able to withstand a static force of 8kN [17]. 

However, a recent report from the European Council, assessing the benefits and feasibility of new technologies and the measures in place for vehicle occupant safety, highlights a problem with the ISOFIX system. The report questions whether the static load requirements of the ISOFIX is appropriate to ensure the safety of the child, as the regulations fail to consider the dynamic load rating (the level of impact force) a vehicle could experience during a crash. As a result, it is difficult to determine if the technology designed to reduce the impact of a road crash on the fragile body of a child, would adequately protect a heavier child in those situations. [18]

The EC report endorses increasing the ISOFIX anchorage strength in vehicles, possibly to 9kN or 11kN, as the most cost-beneficial solution. A decision that could prevent parents from prematurely switching their children from child seats to booster seats and the injuries that can accompany this in the event of a road crash. [19]

Although it has been a requirement for all new cars to have ISOFIX anchor points fitted, models purchased or developed before 2013 still do not have the required fittings. This accounts for many of the cars currently on the roads in the UK. [20]

Types of child restraint

There are a range of child restraint systems available, each appropriate for different sizes and weights, the legal standard for child seat labelling. Studies have shown that choosing child restraints on the basis of age is dangerous, as children do not experience growth at the same rate and two children of the same age can be markedly different in terms of height and weight [21].

The decision on which child restraint to choose should not be rushed, instead it should be carefully based on how appropriate the restraint is and whether it complies with UN legislation.

More information on the types of child restraint currently on the market is available below:

Rear-facing child seats

Rear-facing child restraints are commonly used for children weighing between 0-13kg, preferred by parents of very young or small children to ensure their safety in a moving vehicle [22]. Research suggests that rear-facing seats reduce the risk of death or injury in a crash by up to 90% [23].

These restraint systems are increasingly being equipped to carry older children following the introduction of the I-Size restraint [24].

If a rear-facing child seat is fitted in the front passenger seat it is vitally important that that the driver checks if there is a front passenger seat air bag, and if there is that it is disabled. If an airbag deploys with a rear-facing child restraint in that seat, it is likely that this will result in catastrophic head injuries for the child and could kill them. If the air bag for the front passenger seat cannot be switched off, rear-facing child seats MUST be placed in the rear passenger seats of the vehicle [25].

Rear-facing child seats are generally grouped into three categories, relating to the height or weight of the child [26]:

  • Group 0: Rear-facing child restraints classed as ‘Group 0’ are suitable for children weighing 0-10kg, a figure generally understood to be appropriate for new-born children up until the age of 6-9 months. However, this is not always the case and it is important that parents purchase a car seat on the basis of weight or height, not age, which can be inaccurate.
  • Group +0: Rear-facing child restraints identified as ‘Group +0’ are systems designed to support and protect children weighing between 0-13kg.
  • I-Size: The rear-facing ‘I-size’ restraints determine suitability based on the height of the child as opposed to their weight. I-Size child restraints were developed in response to UN ECE Regulation 129 and are designed to fit in any car. This system is seen by many road safety professionals as the most appropriate way of matching a child to a restraint as parents in particular are more likely to be aware of their child’s height rather than their weight.  

Forward-facing child seats [27]

Forward-facing child seats, also known as Group 1 child seats, are suitable for children weighing between 9-18kg. This is typically understood as referring to children between the ages of 10 months and three to four years old.

Forward-facing child restraints integrate a ‘five-point seatbelt’ to protect the child within the vehicle. Some of these seats are capable of being fitted in both the front passenger seat and the rear passenger seats, however, if the child restraint is fitted in the front of the vehicle, the passenger air bag (if present) MUST be switched off.

Combination seats [28]

These are car seats that can be both forward and rearward facing. Group 0+ and 1 can be used for children weighing between 0-18 kg and Group 0+, 1 and 2 are appropriate for children weighing from 0-25kg.

High-backed booster seats [29]

High-backed booster seats are designed to be suitable for children weighing between 15-25kg, typically aged 4-6 years. Older children can use booster seats, or booster cushions, and those designed for older children (Group 1, 2 and 3) can carry children weighing 9-36kg.

These seats allow the use of the vehicle’s existing three-point seat belt to secure the child safely. Booster seats have a back and provide side protection, giving greater protection if the vehicle is in a side-on collision.

Booster cushions

These are suitable for children 22-36 kg, typically aged 10-12 years. These are cushions that enable the vehicle’s fitted three-point seatbelt to fit across the child’s hips and shoulders. They don’t have the back and sides of a booster seat. [30]

Remember: As of March 2017, new laws will be implemented that prevent manufacturers from developing booster cushions and backless booster seats for use by children shorter than 125cm or weighing less than 22kg [31].

These new regulations will not affect existing models of booster seats, and those currently in use that meet the pre-2017 standards can still be used. [32]

According to TRL, one of the main reasons for this change in regulation is “to ensure that in side impact, a child is either protected by the child restraint or the vehicle restraint system… children under 125cm…will not be positioned in such a way that the vehicle can provide protection and therefore this role must be fulfilled by the child restraint”. [33]

Parents should pay close attention to manufacturer’s labels and instructions when purchasing a booster seat, ensuring that it is appropriate for the child’s height and weight and adheres to the new legislation.

Take action: See our campaign pages and find out how you can get involved.

Fitting child restraints

Child passengers in crashes are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured if the child is not properly restrained in their child seat. Problems in fitting the restraints include loose straps, and children being placed in a restraint too large for them. The ISOFIX system is an attempt to prevent the child restraint being incorrectly fitted within the vehicle and evidence suggests that they have largely been successful in doing this. [34]

A study in 2014 assessed US crash data from collisions involving child car passengers over a five year period. The report found that that properly restrained infants were 12.7 times less likely to present to a trauma centre after a motor vehicle crash. However, the likelihood of traumatic brain injuries in infants involved in a high speed crash was similar among properly restrained and improperly restrained infants. Clearly indicating that effective restraint systems are one aspect of a wider system, and if children are to travel safely we must have safer roads, safer vehicles and safer drivers. [35]  


End notes

[1] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016
[2] The effectiveness of roads policing strategies, TRL, 2015
[3] Stewart, C. et al., Infant car safety seats and risk of head injury, 2014
[4] Jakkobson, L. et al. Safety for the Growing Child – Experiences from Swedish accident data, 2005
[5] New child car seats, Department for Transport, 2017
[6] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016
[7] The effectiveness of roads policing strategies, TRL, 2015
[8] Elvik R et al., The handbook of road safety measures, (2nd ed.), 2009
[9] Seat belts: the law, gov.uk, updated 2016
[10] Ibid
[11] Ibid
[10] Regulation No 44 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE) — Uniform provisions concerning the approval of restraining devices for child occupants of powerdriven vehicles (‘Child Restraint Systems’), United Nations, 2010
[11] Uniform provisions concerning the approval of enhanced Child Restraint Systems used on board of motor vehicles (ECRS), United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation 129
[12] Child car seats: the law, Department for Transport, 2017
[13] Regulation No 44 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE): Uniform provisions concerning the approval of restraining devices for child occupants of power-driven vehicles (‘Child Restraint Systems’), United Nations, 2010
[14] Regulation No 129 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE) — Uniform provisions concerning the approval of enhanced Child Restraint Systems used on board of motor vehicles (ECRS), European Commission, 2014
[15] UN Regulation 129 Increasing the safety of children in vehicles: For policy-makers and concerned citizens, UNECE, 2016
[16] Cuerden, R. et al., New UN regulation on child restraint systems – assessment of amendments to the new regulation, front and side impact procedures and Q-Series dummy family injury criteria: Final report, TRL, 2014
[17] Regulation No 44 of the Economic Commission for Europe of the United Nations (UN/ECE): Uniform provisions concerning the approval of restraining devices for child occupants of power-driven vehicles (‘Child Restraint Systems’), European Commission, 2010
[18] Hynd, D. et al, Benefit and Feasibility of a Range of New Technologies and Unregulated Measures in the fields of Vehicle Occupant Safety and Protection of Vulnerable Road Users Final report, European Commission, European Commission, 2015
[19] Ibid
[20] End of life vehicles: average vehicle age, SMMT, 2016
[21] Cuerden, R. et al., New UN regulation on child restraint systems – assessment of amendments to the new regulation, front and side impact procedures and Q-Series dummy family injury criteria: Final report, TRL, 2014
[22] Vehicles: Child restraint systems, the Road Safety Observatory, 2015
[23] Jakkobson, L. et al. Safety for the Growing Child – Experiences from Swedish accident data, 2005
[24] UN Regulation 129 Increasing the safety of children in vehicles: For policy-makers and concerned citizens, UNECE, 2016
[25] The Highway Code: seatbelts and child restraints (Rule 101), Department for Transport, 2016
[26] Vehicles: Child restraint systems, the Road Safety Observatory, 2015
[27] Ibid
[28] Ibid
[29] Ibid
[30] Ibid
[31]New child car seats, Department for Transport, 2017
[32] Ibid
[33] Robinson, T.,Shining a light on the impending changes to car seat legislation, TRL, 2016
[34] Hynd, D. et al,Benefit and Feasibility of a Range of New Technologies and Unregulated Measures in the fields of Vehicle Occupant Safety and Protection of Vulnerable Road Users Final report, European Commission, 2015
[35] Stewart, C. et al.,Infant car safety seats and risk of head injury, 2014

Page updated: March 2017 

Christine Moore - please don't judge

Christine MoorePlease Don’t Judge

Please don’t judge me or say a bad name
There’s something unique about my brain
It suddenly shifted one night long ago
My head struck the window, a very hard blow

This crash was so fast like the blink of an eye
I ask the lord why? Why didn’t I die?
To understand this is a grand mystery
Something so awful had happened to me

I remember the headlights spinning around
In a matter of seconds there wasn’t a sound
I may get confused and get lost time to time
One person decided to commit a crime

My memory is fading more each day
If only remembering could be the old way
Behavior’s dramatic and often extreme
I pray to wake up in a nightmare or dream

One person decided to drink first then drive
Again & again. “Be happy you’re ALIVE”
I cannot fix whatever took place
My memory is pleading, please don’t erase

Acquiring an injury to the right of my brain
Some days a huge emotional drain
I don’t wish for pity or sympathy please
I’m gently pleading with delicate ease

Please don’t criticize or say I’m a lost cause
What I need from you is to stop and to pause
Just think for a moment how one’s life would be
A life with acquired brain injury

One last request to get this poem over
No matter what happens,
ALWAYS DRIVE SOBER!!

Thank you,
Christine Moore
from Canada

Christopher Price Jones - our rock

Christopher Price JonesIn Memory of Christopher Price Jones 18-12-50 to 22-2-08

Killed by a lorry driver, whilst travelling to work on his motorcycle, Abergavenny, South Wales. Age 58.**

Our father, our loving, caring, devoted and determined father, we will miss you as long as we live for the rest of our lives, no words can describe how much we are all missing you.God gave you a gift of life, which you then brought us into this world and gave us three children and gift for life, you made us become who we are now, and all our achievements we have done, we miss your warm heart, hands and a warm cuddle, your laughter and a smile on your face.

I Rachelle (daughter) will remember when I use to come down from North Wales and as soon as I use to walk through the door, dad would say and have a big chuckle “peace has ended”, I also remember the times when we use to go for a long walk, dad would always be 10 metres ahead, I use to say to him “where’s the fire” (as in “to slow down”).

The dedication shows that our father was a family man, hoping to enjoy the rest of his life with his wife and family and see the world, motorcycling touring like Ewan MacGregor, but bless his soul, he never got to enjoy it.

Dad you are our Guardian Angel, for Darlene (wife) Emma, Rachelle, Neil, your are our hearts delight, like a bright start you will always shine on us.

Christopher Price Jones

Christopher White - our heart aches

Christopher WhiteChristopher was killed in August 2007 aged 29 in a motorcycle crash.

Our hearts are sore, our eyes are red
The tears still come when we go to bed
We close our eyes to see your face
But you’re not here, you’re in another place
Your life was short but full of pleasure
Our memories we will always treasure
You’re a son, an uncle, a boyfriend, a brother
Your life was cut short like many others
God sent down to take you away
But you’re in our hearts everyday
In our lives there’s an empty space
A gap that no one can ever replace
God bless Goodnight Christopher xx
Until we meet again.xx

The following poem is for Christopher, with lots of love from Mum, Dad, Brothers, Sisters, Nieces and Nephews

Our heart aches
Our eyes they cry
We always ask the question why
Our son and brother
He was loving and was so kind
He’s always on our minds
The days are long
The nights are dark
He is forever in our hearts
We miss his smile
His handsome face
Our beautiful son and brother
We can never replace.
Fate hit our lives
They will never be the same again
We want him here with us to stay
There are no words that we can say
To help to take the pain away.

Corrine Thomas - Farewell

Corrine ThomasFarewell Corrine my darling daughter
By Olwen Sides

Corrine was 24 when she was killed in a car crash on 17th May 2008.

My beautiful daughter was taken away from us on the eve of her 25th birthday, along with two friends. She was one of the most special people you could ever meet. She left behind a 6 year old son, whom she made into one of the most remarkable little boys you could ever meet, she was such a dedicated mother but a cruel twist of fate means that he is going to have to grow up without her.

Corrine had so many friends it was amazing every time I went to her house there was always someone there having “a brew”, she loved to shop, she loved children, she loved animals, but most of all she loved her family.

She had everything to live for to she was training to be a teaching assistant, Corrine and her partner were getting their home the way they wanted it and would have dearly loved another child.

She also left behind a younger brother and sister, along with endless family who were so shocked a devastated by the sudden loss of such a happy determined person who was always there for them.

I not only lost my darling daughter, I lost one of my best friends. She was always there for everyone; a shoulder to cry on; a friend and sometimes a bit mad - a lovely person.

We all miss her so very much! The hole in all our lives is vast and our hearts are broken without her.

WHEN TOMORROW STARTS WITHOUT ME

When tomorrow starts without me, and I’m not there to see;
If the sun should rise and find your eyes all filled with tears for me;
I wish so much you wouldn’t cry the way you did today,
while thinking of the many things we didn’t get to say.
I know how much you love me, as much as I love you,
and each time you think of me I know you’ll miss me too;
But when tomorrow starts without me, please try to understand,
that an angel came and called my name and took me by the hand,
and said my place was ready in heaven far above,
and that I’d have to leave behind all those I dearly love.
But as I turned to walk away, a tear fell from my eye,
for all life, I’d always thought I didn’t want to die.
I had so much to live for and so much yet to do,
it seemed almost impossible that I was leaving you.
I thought of all the yesterdays, the good ones and the bad,
I thought of all the love we shared and all the fun we had.
If I could relive yesterday, I thought, just for awhile,
I’d say goodbye and kiss you and maybe see you smile.
But then I fully realized that this could never be,
for emptiness and memories would take the place of me.
And when I thought of worldly things that I’d miss come tomorrow,
I thought of you, and when I did, my heart was filled with sorrow.
But when I walked through heaven’s gates, I felt so much at home.
When God looked down and smiled at me, from His great golden throne,
He said, “This is eternity and all I’ve promised you”.
Today for life on earth is past but here it starts anew.
I promise no tomorrow, but today will always last,
and since each day’s the same day, there’s no longing for the past.
But you have been so faithful, so trusting, and so true.
Though there were times you did some things you knew you shouldn’t do.
But you have been forgiven and now at last you’re free.
So won’t you take my hand and share my life with me?
So when tomorrow starts without me, don’t think we’re far apart,
for every time you think of me, I’m right here in your heart.