Articles Tagged ‘DfT - Brake the road safety charity’

Brake comments as Britain’s road safety record stagnates

News from Brake
Thursday 27 September
 
Improvement in Britain’s road safety has stagnated, with the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads increasing marginally from 2016 - 2017, according to Government statistics published today [1].
 
Figures from the Department for Transport show that 1,793 people were killed in collisions last year,  the highest annual total since 2011 but with just one additional road death on 2016.
 
A total of 24,831 people were seriously injured last year - a rise of three per cent (from 24,101 in 2016), which has been attributed by the Government at least in part due to changes in the way many police forces now report collision data [1].
 
The figures also reveal that motorcyclists now make up 19% of all road deaths in Britain, up 9% on 2016 to 349 deaths, and pedestrian fatalities increased by 5% to 470.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
Today’s figures highlight the shocking lack of progress on road safety improvement in Britain. This stagnation must be arrested and yet the Government sits on its hands and rejects the introduction of policies which are proven to save lives - for the individuals, families and whole communities devastated by road crashes, this is simply not good enough.”
 
“Our most vulnerable road users, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, remain at dangerously high risk on our roads, paying the price for the dominance of the motor car in our lives. Pedestrian deaths increased to their highest level this decade whilst motorcyclists now account for nearly a fifth of all road deaths, despite their small numbers. The Government must invest in active travel to give people safe and healthy ways to get around and focus on improving the safety of our roads – starting with lower speed limits.”
 
“Our laws are only as strong as their enforcement and roads policing is fundamental to improving UK road safety. Shockingly, the number of traffic officers fell 24% from 2012-2017 and the stagnation in road safety performance shadows this trend. We urge the Government to make roads policing a national investment priority, with a visible police presence catching and deterring illegal driving and cameras preventing the scourge of speeding.”
 
“Casualty reduction targets are a proven catalyst for road safety improvement and yet, since 2010, the UK Government has rejected this approach. With the UK’s deterioration in road safety showing no signs of abating, we urge the introduction of national road casualty reduction targets as a priority. The Government must have its feet held to the fire on road safety.”
 
[ENDS]
 
 
Notes to editors:
 
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 comments on cycling offence announcement

News from Brake
Friday, 9 March 2018
 
The Department for Transport has published a report that finds there is a strong case for changing the law to tackle the issue of dangerous and careless cycling that causes injury or death. If this were to be introduced, it would bring cycling in line with driving offences.
 
Commenting on the announcement, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “Delivering justice for those who have lost a loved one on our roads is vitally important. Whether a crash was caused by a bike or a car makes no difference to the families devastated by such loss and so we welcome the move by the Government to provide parity in the law.”
 
The publication of the report comes alongside a call for evidence on the Government’s Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy. This is part of the Government’s drive to make cycling and walking safer, while encouraging more people to take up cycling at all ages.
 
Mr Harris said: “Getting more journeys to be taken by bike or by foot, rather than by car, can deliver significant personal and public health benefits. Brake welcomes this opportunity to improve the road environment for cyclists and pedestrians and urges the Government to not shy away from the big decisions, such as implementing and enforcing safer speed limits.”
 
A Brake and Direct Line report [1], published yesterday (Thursday 8 March), found that drivers are deterred from choosing to cycle by the nature of the current road environment. Drivers stated that the 60mph speed limit on single-carriageway A roads is too fast to assure the safety of cyclists and that both the warning signs and space available for cyclists are inadequate.
 
Drivers have called on the Government to address these concerns by investing in building segregated, tarmacked cycle paths alongside the single-carriageway A road network, prioritising this above any expansion of the road itself. Brake and Direct Line’s report finds that such investment would significantly increase the numbers of those cycling, as whilst 70 per cent of drivers state that they currently never cycle on single-carriageway A roads, more than half state that they would be persuaded to if there was a demarcated space for cyclists.
 
Mr Harris said: “Contrary to popular opinion, drivers have told us that they are willing to switch modes and cycle if safe facilities are available. We echo this call and urge the Government to prioritise investment in safe, segregated cycle routes.”
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors
 
 
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.

Urgent action needed as drink-drive death figures stall

News from Brake

4 August 2016

news@brake.org.uk

  •  In 2014, 240 people in Great Britain were killed in crashes where at least one driver was over the drink-drive limit, largely unchanged since 2011
  •  Drink-drive fatalities accounted for 13% of all road deaths in 2015
  •  Serious injuries where at least one driver was over the limit dropped by 3% cent between 2013 and 2014, the third consecutive annual decrease
  •  70% of drink-drive fatalities in 2014 were men, showing a worrying trend developing
  •  A quarter of all drink-drive deaths in 2014 resulted from crashes where the driver over the limit was 25-39.[1]

Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the government to take urgent action after figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) show little change in the number of people killed because of drink-driving. Government figures reveal that the number of deaths involving a driver under the influence of alcohol was 240 in 2014. That figure has been consistently been reported since 2010 and looks set to continue if the provisional estimate for the 2015 figures proves to be accurate (200-290 killed).

The DfT claim this consistency in drink-drive fatalities is a sign of stability in their work to reduce drink-driving since 2010, with drivers under the influence accounting for 13% of road deaths in 2014 and 15% in 2013.[2] Brake argue that the figures and the government approach have stagnated since the removal of road casualty reduction targets in 2010. Brake urges the government to consider the devastation that even a single death caused by drink-driving can bring and implement a zero-tolerance policy to drink-driving.

A road user group that has been over-represented in the government figures is men; 70% of drink-drive deaths in 2014 were males and 77% of those killed and seriously injured. This figure is a cause for serious concern and Brake is calling on the government to do something to increase awareness and compliance among male drivers in particular.

Unlike 2013, the age group shown as being especially at risk of dying in a drink-drive crash in 2014 was not the youngest age group (17-25) but 25-39 year olds. A quarter of drink-drive deaths in 2014 occurred as a result of a 25-39 year old behind with wheel over the legal limit. This demographic shift must be addressed if progress is to be made in road safety.

However, Brake cautiously welcomes the fall in 17-24 year old drivers dying as a result of drink-driving, which dropped from 25% to 21% between 2013 and 2014.

In addition, the number of people seriously injured by a drink-drive collision has fallen for the third consecutive year. This decrease (3%) is a promising sign, as is the reduction in the number of overall drink-drive casualties which has reached its lowest level on record (5,620). Brake cautiously welcomes this news, but urges the government to focus its attention on reducing drink-drive deaths as well as injuries on the roads.

Lucy Amos, research advisor for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “The statistics released today reveal a worrying level of stagnation in the number of people killed because of drink-driving, with the numbers remaining unchanged since the previous year. Drink-drive fatalities in the UK have now remained almost static since 2009 and it’s clear that decisive action is urgently needed to achieve further reductions in deaths and injuries. Through our work with bereaved families, we see the countless lives devastated when someone is killed by a drink driver, and it is for this reason that Brake is calling for a zero-tolerance drink-drive limit, the reintroduction of casualty reduction targets and greater prioritisation and resources for traffic policing to tackle the problem.”

Brake campaigns for an effective zero-tolerance drink-drive limit of 20mg alcohol per 100ml blood, through its not a drop, not a drag campaign.

Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #notadrop.

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

About Brake

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

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, orThe Brake Blog.

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

End notes

[1] DfT,Reported road casualties in Great Britain: Estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2014 (final) and 2015 (provisional), 2016
[2] DfT, Estimates for reported road traffic accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2013 (second provisional) Self-reported drink and drug driving for 2013/14, 2014