Articles Tagged ‘serious injury - Brake the road safety charity’

9,000 preventable injuries in last two years as government stalls on tackling young driver crashes

Wednesday 25 March 2015

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

Today (25 March 2015) marks two years since the government promised to overhaul young driver rules to tackle the devastating toll of deaths and injuries involving young drivers on UK roads.

It has been estimated that almost 9,000 injuries, 866 of them deaths or serious injuries, could have been prevented in this time if the government had introduced a system of graduated driver licensing [1].

Brake, the road safety charity, has condemned the government’s failure to deliver progress, and urged politicians of all parties to commit to putting young driver safety high on the political agenda early in the new parliament.

Brake is calling for the introduction of graduated driver licensing, which includes a minimum learner period (usually 12 months) and a post-test novice period with restrictions to limit exposure to risk, like a late-night curfew and restrictions on carrying young passengers. Such systems are used successfully in other countries including New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and many US states. It is estimated it could prevent 400 deaths and serious injuries a year in the UK [2].

Graduated driver licensing has widespread backing from experts and public alike. Brake recently (12 February 2015) joined other road safety experts, academics and insurers in signing an open letter in the British Medical Journal demanding action. More than two thirds (68%) of the public are in favour [3].

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said:“Tackling young driver crashes is one of the biggest challenges in ending the misery of deaths and serious injuries on our roads. Young drivers are greatly overrepresented in serious and fatal crashes, and very often it is young people themselves whose lives are lost or who suffer horrific injuries. It’s an epidemic that has to end, and we know that graduated driver licensing works in reducing these crashes.

“Evidence from other countries, the weight of expert opinion and the balance of public support are all behind graduated driver licensing. This government has continually kicked this issue into the long grass and failed to deliver its long-promised green paper on young driver safety. There is no excuse for the next government to repeat this failure to act.”

Brake campaigns for graduated driver licensing to stop young driver crashes through its too young to die campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #tooyoungtodie.

Read more about graduated driver licensing and facts on young driver crashes.

Notes for editors

Young driver crashes: the facts

  • Drivers aged 17-19 make up only 1.5% of UK licence holders, but are involved in 12% of fatal and serious crashes [4].
  • Drivers aged 16-19 are more than twice as likely to die in a crash as drivers aged 40-49 [5].
  • One in four 18-24 year olds (23%) crash within two years of passing their driving test [6].
  • Young male drivers are involved in many more crashes than young female drivers [7].

Brake

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

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

Follow Brake on Twitter or Facebook. Follow Julie Townsend on Twitter.

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] Graduated driver licensing: a regional analysis of potential casualty savings in Great Britain, RAC Foundation, 2014
[2] ibid
[3] Young driver safety: a public attitude survey, RAC Foundation, 2014
[4] New research highlights need for graduated driving licensing, Transport Research Laboratory, 2014
[5] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014, table RAS30025
[6] Young drivers at risk, The AA, 2012
[7] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014, table RAS30011

Beep Beep! Day: fundraising

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. The money you raise supports this vital work.

Funds raised for Brake through events such as Beep Beep! Day help us to support bereaved and injured victims of road crashes, to campaign on various issues including for 20mph limits and crossings in communities.

Fundraising ideas for Beep Beep! Days

There are many ways you can raise money for Brake as part of your Beep Beep! Day event. Below are a few examples of fundraisers that other organisations have run and you can find more examples on our fundraising pages:

  • Have a bake sale! Baking is back in fashion and is an easy way for children to raise money for Brake. Make your favourite cupcakes or try our traffic light biscuit recipe and then sell them to parents, staff and pupils.
  • Hold a bring-and-buy sale or fun day and invite parents and local residents to have a stall or attend on the day, with proceeds going towards Brake.
  • Have a fun dress-down day! Encourage all the children to come to school dressed in bright clothes and donate a pound to raise money for Brake.
  • Play 'name the teddy' and give children the chance to win a cute teddy bear. Download our Name-the-bear Sheet; choose a name for the bear and seal it in an envelope. Charge £2 per guess. When the sheet is complete, announce the winner, who wins the teddy and donate the funds to Brake.
  • Guess how many sweets are in a jar.  Find a glass bottle; fill it with sweets of your choice, decorate
    with a ribbon and make it look attractive, count the sweets and seal the answer in an envelope. Charge £2 per guess. When the sheet is complete, announce the winner, who wins the sweets and donate the funds to Brake.

How your fundraising can make a difference:

£10 allows Brake to provide a free picture book for a child who has been bereaved in a road crash, to help them begin understand their loss, and guidance to their carers

£50 enables us to operate our helpline for an hour, supporting people affected by road crashes

£150 enables Brake to train 20 people to become campaigners for road safety in their community

£450 helps Brake to coordinate a road safety media campaign in a local community to help make their roads safer

pdf-bookFunds also help us produce resources such as our 'Someone has died in a road crash books' (pictured), which help children who have suffered the death of a loved one in a road crash. To order a copy, call 01484 559909 or email admin@brake.org.uk. You can also go to www.suddendeath.org, a Brake project committed to sharing best practice research and resources for professionals working with people affected by sudden bereavement. 

Return to the main Beep Beep! Day page.

 

 

Brake backs European Day Without A Road Death

Tuesday 20 September
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, is asking all road users to play their part in the first “European Day Without A Road Death”, otherwise known as Project EDWARD, on Wednesday 21 September.

The project is supported by all 30 members of TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, and will highlight all the work being done by organisations to try and halve the number of road deaths in the EU by 2020.

It is hoped that Project EDWARD will encourage all road users to reflect on their behaviour and attitude, as this remains one of the most important barriers to lowering road deaths.

Brake, though, believes more can be done than just focusing on driver behaviour. Strong legislation and leadership from authorities and governments can play a much more vital part, for example the UK government bringing back casualty reduction targets, banning all mobile phone use in cars and introducing a zero tolerance drink-drive limit.

In 2015 1,732 people died on the roads in Great Britain and 22,137 more were seriously injured . A reintroduction of ambitious casualty reduction targets, axed in 2010, would be a key first step in an urgently needed fightback against road crashes, alongside a ‘vision zero’ approach that acknowledges that any road death is unacceptable.

There also needs to be more investment in safer systems to ensure that human error doesn’t cost lives, and that those who might wilfully endanger others through such acts as speeding and drink-driving are deterred by effective enforcement campaigns.

Alice Bailey, campaigns advisor for Brake, said: “Striving for zero road deaths is an ambitious but necessary long-term target. Preventable crashes tear apart families and communities and we should not accept any number. We must also acknowledge that the traffic causing these tragedies is a major contributor to carbon emissions, affecting the well-being and health of individuals and the planet. We should aspire to a world where governments, communities and companies work together to achieve zero road deaths and serious injuries, and streets that can be used without fear.”

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

More on Project Edward here: https://www.tispol.org/edward

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 campaigns, community education, servicesfor 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 Twitter, Facebook, 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 calls for reintroduction of casualty reduction targets, as road deaths and serious injuries rise

Thursday 24 September 2015

Brake, the road safety charity

news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the government to show strong leadership and reintroduce casualty reduction targets as the Department for Transport publishes its Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain Annual Report for 2014. It shows that 1,775 people died on the roads (a 4% increase on the year before). 22,807 more were seriously injured (a 5% annual increase).

Casualties of all severities rose to 194,477 in Great Britain in 2014, an increase of 6% from 2013, interrupting what was a steady downward trend since 1997.

Brake believes the reintroduction of ambitious casualty reduction targets, axed in 2010, must be a key first step in an urgently needed fightback against road danger, alongside a ‘vision zero’ approach that acknowledges that any number of road deaths is unacceptable.

People on foot and bike bore the brunt of the rise:

  • Pedestrian deaths rose by 12% to 446, accounting for three quarters of the overall rise in fatalities.
  • Serious injuries to cyclists rose by 8% to 3,401, continuing a long term trend that has been ongoing since 2004.

Worryingly, traffic levels in 2014 were 2.4% higher than in 2013. Air pollution is estimated to cause 24,000 deaths a year in the UK, half attributable to road transport [1].  The number of cars is set to increase by 43% by 2035 and traffic delays by 50% [2].

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “We should be under no illusions as to the seriousness of these figures. The government needs to get a grip of this situation, and it can start by reintroducing ambitious casualty reduction targets, with an ultimate aim of reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads to zero. We know from running our helpline for devastated road crash victims that every road death causes unimaginable human suffering, and every one is preventable. The increases in serious casualties among pedestrians and cyclists are especially horrifying, given the importance of protecting vulnerable road users and enabling people to walk and cycle more.

“At a time when car manufacturers have serious questions to answer on vehicle emissions, it is worrying to see a growth in vehicle traffic. The price for this is being paid by individuals, families and the planet, and it’s not a price worth paying. That’s why our theme for this year’s Road Safety Week, Drive less, live more, is focused on encouraging people to think again about why, when and how we drive private vehicles.”

Brake

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

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

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

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

End notes

 [1] The Cost of Air Pollution, OECD (2014)

 [2] Keeping the Nation Moving – Time to face the facts, RAC Foundation (2011)

 

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 as road fatalities reach four year high

News from Brake
Thursday 28 September 2017
news@brake.org.uk

There has been a rise in the number of people killed on roads in Great Britain, according to new Government statistics.

Figures out today from the Department for Transport show that 1,792 people were killed in collisions last year, up four per cent since 2015 and the highest annual total since 2011.

A total of 24,101 people were seriously injured last year - a rise of nine per cent (from 22,144 in 2015), which is being 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 there has been no reduction in deaths of people on foot,bicycles and motorbikes since 2012.

Commenting on today's report, Jason Wakeford, Director of Campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Today's figures graphically illustrate the daily carnage taking place on roads across Britain. On average, five people continue to lose their lives each and every day - a deeply worrying figure which has not improved for some six years.

"Progress on road safety has stalled, pressing the need for a road collision investigation branch, similar to those already in existence for air, rail and sea, so that lessons can be learned to prevent future crashes. Only through in-depth investigation, at a national level, can solutions be found to stem the needless deaths on the roads every day.

"New drivers continue to be involved in a disproportionally large number of collisions. Brake is calling for the introduction of a graduated licensing system, including a minimum learning period and restrictions for newly-qualified drivers, to help new motorists build up their skills and experience more safely and over a longer period of time. This approach has dramatically reduced young road casualties in countries including Australia, New Zealand and across many states in the USA.

"We are also calling for a review of speed limits on rural roads - where most deaths occur - and for 'Voluntary Intelligent Speed Adaptation', which helps drivers keep within the limit, to be fitted as standard to new cars as part of proposals being considered by the European Commission."

[ENDS]

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-annual-report-2016

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, or The Brake Blog.

Brake comments on huge leap forward for EU road safety

News from Brake
Thursday 17 May 2018
 
The European Commission has announced details of its Third Mobility Package. The package is wide-ranging and includes: a target to reduce deaths and serious injuries on EU roads by 50% between 2020 and 2030; a proposal that within 3 years all new models introduced on the market must have 11 advanced safety features, such as advanced emergency braking, lane-keeping system, over-ridable intelligent speed assistance or driver's distraction recognition [1].
 
Commenting on the announcement, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “This proposal is hugely significant, marking the next chapter in European road safety and putting us back on the path to vision zero – a world with zero road deaths and serious injuries.
 
“Every day, five people in the UK are killed and more than 65 seriously injured in road crashes, causing untold devastation to families across the country. These proposals will get the latest lifesaving vehicle technologies on our roads, a move long called for Brake, preventing crashes and helping reduce their impact. It is now up to the UK Government, and others across the EU, to ensure this proposal becomes law and they must deliver.
 
“Targets for a 50% reduction in EU road deaths and serious injuries between 2020 and 2030 are welcome and a positive step towards vision zero. UK road safety improvement has stalled in recent years and yet a number of proven road safety policy options remain unexplored. We urge the UK to follow the EU’s lead and implement national road safety targets, focusing the mind and helping push forward proven road safety measures.”
 
[ENDS]

Notes to editors 

[1] Third Mobility Package details here.
 
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 increase in drink-driving deaths and injuries

News from Brake
Thursday, 9 August 2018
 
The Department for Transport has today (Thursday 9 August) published statistics on drink drive crashes in Great Britain for 2016 [1]. This shows drink-driving deaths and injuries are at the highest level since 2012 and that there has been an estimated increase in the number of road deaths, the number of injuries, and the total number of crashes relating to at least one driver being over the alcohol limit. 
 
Commenting on the statistics, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said:
“How many more lives must be needlessly lost before the Government acts on drink-driving? Today’s figures show that drink-driving is an increasing blight on British roads and yet the Government sits on its hands and refuses to address the issue. The Government should put its money where its mouth is and align the law with the message from its 'Think!’ campaign: “if you’re driving, it’s better to have none for the road”. Only this zero-tolerance approach can create the change required to rid our roads of the menace of drink-driving.”
 
“The current drink-driving limit gives a false impression that it is safe to drink and drive – this is a dangerous message and one that couldn’t be further from the truth. Research has shown even very small amounts of alcohol dramatically affect safe driving - drivers with levels of alcohol in their blood just half the current legal limit are at least twice more likely to die in a crash than those with no alcohol at all.”
 
“Our current drink-driving law lacks clarity, is badly understood and supports the perception that mixing alcohol and driving is acceptable – this needs to change. 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
 
 

Final estimates of casualties in accidents involving at least one driver or rider over the drink-drive limit in Great Britain for 2016 show that:

  • between 220 and 250 people were killed in drink-drive accidents, with a central estimate of 230 fatalities
  • the increase in drink-drive fatalities since 2015 is not statistically significant, continuing a period of stability recorded since 2010
  • an estimated 9,040 people were killed or injured in drink-drive accidents, a rise of 7% since 2015
  • the total number of drink-drive accidents rose by 6% to 6,070 in 2016
 
[2] Brake ‘Driving for zero’ campaign
 
 
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 reported improvement in Scottish road safety

News from Brake
Wednesday, 13 June 2018
 
Transport Scotland has released provisional headline figures for road casualties reported to the police in Scotland in 2017 [1].
 
There was a total of 9,391 road casualties reported in Scotland 2017, 1,514 or 14% fewer than 2016 and the lowest number of casualties since records began in 1950.
  • 146 fatalities: 45 (or 24%) less than 2016
  • 1,580 seriously injured: 119 (or 7%) less than 2016
  • 7,665 slightly injured: 1,350 (or 15%) fewer than 2016

Commenting on the figures, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:

“These figures show encouraging progress in the safety of Scottish roads and this trend should hearten all road safety campaigners. Any reduction in casualties is to be welcomed, however, tragically 33 people are still killed or seriously injured on Scottish roads every week, so our work is far from done.”
 
“We urge the Government to build on this momentum and implement policies which will trigger the next step-change in road safety. We need safer speeds in towns and rural areas, we need Graduated Driver Licensing to protect novice drivers and we need far greater investment in cycling and walking infrastructure.”
 
“Brake’s vision is a world of zero road deaths and serious injuries and this can only be delivered through strong and bold leadership. Every road crash is preventable, tragic and causes devastation to the families of those affected. We owe it to them to ensure we learn from the lessons of the past and eliminate the tragedy of road death.”
 
[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 disappointed with government's Road Safety Statement as a missed opportunity to save lives

News from Brake
Immediate issue: 22/12/2015
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, has expressed disappointment with the Department for Transport's newly-published 'Road Safety Statement' (replacing its previous Road Safety Strategy). Despite calls by Brake and across the road safety sector for stronger leadership from government on preventing devastating road death and injuries following a recent increase in casualties, the Statement fails to include casualty reduction targets or a 'vision zero', which would make clear that the ultimate goal is to reduce deaths to zero. International evidence indicates that targets help to spur progress in road safety , and increasing governments and authorities (including Sweden, Scotland and London) are adopting vision zero approaches.

According to the DfT's Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain Annual Report for 2014 the number of people killed on our roads rose by 4% last year to 1,775, while those seriously injured rose by 5% to 22,807 people. Overall casualties rose by 6%, interrupting what was a steady downward trend since 1997. As national provider of support to bereaved and seriously injured road crash victims (through a helpline and support packs part-funded by the Ministry of Justice), Brake is acutely aware of the terrible suffering caused by every casualty.

Alice Bailey, campaigns officer at Brake, says: "We know from our work supporting devastated road crash victims that every death and injury sends out shockwaves of pain and suffering. We also know from international research and experience that there is far more the government could and should do, to prevent these casualties and enable everyone to get around safely and sustainably. There is some important recognition in this Statement of what good practice in road safety looks like, and the fact that road safety is an issue central to public health and sustainability – and that by improving road safety we can make economic gains too. Yet we're disappointed that the government has failed to include casualty reduction targets, an ambitious vision, or more decisive action on issues like young driver safety, pedestrian safety or drink driving, all of which remain desperately important."

Brake welcomes some aspects of the Road Safety Statement, including the government's recognition of the importance of a 'safe systems' approach. However, Brake believes the government could go much further in implementing evidenced policy to ensure senseless tragedies on our roads fall again, and everyone can get around safely, sustainably and healthily:

Walking and cycling – Brake welcomes the recognition that road safety is a public health and sustainability issue as well as being about casualty prevention, and the inclusion of protecting vulnerable road users as a priority. However Brake believes the government should do far more to ensure nationwide roll-out of traffic-free cycle paths, area-wide 20mph limits, and other measures to make roads more pedestrian and cyclist friendly. See Brake's recent response to the government's Walking and Cycling Investment Strategy and GO 20 campaign.

Mobile phones – Brake supports proposals for tougher penalties (four points and a £150 fine) for using mobile phones at the wheel of a car, but believes this does not go far enough, especially as many first time offenders will be offered educational courses instead. Brake recommends increasing fines to £1,000, to provide a stronger deterrent, and for hands free phones to be included under the ban, in line with research showing the dangers . See Brake's Drive Smart campaign.

Young and novice drivers – Government plans to make improvements to driver learning and testing are not unwelcome, but research shows the introduction of a new system of Graduated Driver Licensing – long recommended by Brake and recognised as best practice globally – would be highly effective in reducing crashes among young and new drivers. It's estimated it could prevent 400 deaths and serious injuries each year if implemented in the UK . See Brake's campaign.

Drink and drug driving – Brake backs the provision of funding to support effective enforcement of the new drug driving law, but is concerned by the ongoing lack of action by Westminster to crack down on drink driving, which remains one of the biggest killers on our roads. Brake advocates a zero-tolerance drink drive limit to make clear it should be 'none for the road'. See Brake's not a drop, not a drag campaign.

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 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.

Follow Brake on Twitter, Facebook, 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]Using a hands-free mobile whilst driving can be more dangerous than drink driving, Transport Research Laboratory, 2009

[1] Graduated Driver Licensing: A regional analysis of potential casualty savings in Great Britain, RAC Foundation, 2014

Brake joins the UN Road Safety Collaboration

News from Brake
Wednesday, 25 April 2018
 
Brake has been accepted as a member of the UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) [1], illustrating the global nature of the charity’s work and its commitment to a vision of a world that has zero road deaths and injuries.
 
Brake joined the UNRSC at the 25th meeting of the group, held in New York on 12-13 April. Brake has long played a global role in road safety, providing global best practice for at-work drivers through its Brake Professional initiative [2] and sharing its expertise on community engagement, campaigning and Road Safety Week [3] with international partners. The acceptance into the UNRSC marks the next stage of Brake’s global strategy and the charity’s vision to further contribute to road safety efforts worldwide.
 
Commenting on the announcement, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: 
“We are delighted to have been accepted as members of the UN Road Safety Collaboration and to join a committed and passionate group of road safety advocates with a shared vision to improve global road safety.
 
“This is a well-deserved endorsement of the increasingly global nature of Brake’s work and we look forward to playing an active role in the UNRSC moving forward.”
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors
 
[1] UN Road Safety Collaboration (UNRSC) – the UNRSC is an informal consultative mechanism whose members are committed to road safety efforts and in particular to the implementation of the recommendations of the World report on road traffic injury prevention. The goal of the Collaboration is to facilitate international cooperation and to strengthen global and regional coordination among UN agencies and other international partners to implement UN General Assembly resolutions and the recommendations of the world report thereby supporting country programmes.
 
[2] Brake Professional - Brake Professional is a global, not-for-profit initiative that promotes road risk management, coordinated by road safety charity Brake.
 
[3] Road Safety Week - Road Safety Week is the UK's biggest road safety event, coordinated annually by Brake, the road safety charity. Road Safety Week aims to inspire thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages during the Week and beyond. It also provides a focal point for professionals working in road safety to boost awareness and engagement in their work.
 
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 launches ‘Drive less, live more’ interactive resource to reduce car journeys and make streets safer in the run up to Road Safety Week

Wednesday 4th November
Contact e:
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, has produced a free interactive resource in the lead up to Road Safety Week 23–29 November 2015, with the theme'Drive less, live more'. Developed in partnership with AIG and Specsavers, the resource encourages everyone to make our streets safer, more pleasant places by reducing car journeys and walking, cycling or using public transport instead.

Every day five people die on UK roads, and over 60 are seriously injured – resulting in needless devastation, trauma and suffering1. The vast majority of casualties are down to driver error. Road safety isn’t just about driving safely and legally or using the green cross code, although these are crucial. It’s about doing what we can to protect ourselves and the people around us to make our streets safer. A big part of that is driving less, as little as possible, or not at all.

Many people walk the few metres from their front door to the car and drive, even if they’re only going round the corner. A shocking four in 10 car journeys are less than two miles2. Brake is asking everyone this Road Safety Week to consider how they use roads, and pledge to leave their car at home, at least for some journeys.

Walking, cycling or using public transport not only makes our streets safer by reducing traffic danger, but has personal benefits too. It can save money in car costs; help people live more active lives; reduce stress and illness; reinvigorate communities; and cut congestion and pollution.

The open-access‘Drive less, live more’ resource can be used to facilitate discussion about the importance of driving less. It can be used by anyone who works with drivers, including: fleet professionals and employers; driving instructors; road safety professionals and emergency services; teachers; community leaders; and by individuals directly wanting to see how they can help themselves and their community by driving less. Brake is especially encouraging families to use theDrive less, live more resource to reduce school-run and commuter traffic, and asking businesses to manage at-work journeys.

Access the resource online now atwww.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/drivelessinteractive.

Gary Rae, Director of Communications and Campaigns, said: Our new ‘Drive less, live more’ e-learning resource shows people the benefits of walking, cycling or taking public transport, particularly for shorter journeys. The resource is a powerful tool that shows that by driving less, you can improve road safety and prevent casualties, become more active, and protect the planet. The resource is freely available to road safety practitioners, employers, driving instructors and educators to help them raise awareness of the benefits of active and sustainable transport.”

The facts

By 2035 the number of cars on England’s roads is set to increase by 45% and traffic delays by 64%3.

Four in 10 car journeys are less than two miles – short enough to replace with a pleasant walk or cycle ride. Currently, one in five cars on the road during the morning rush-hour is doing the school run. Half of our children are driven to school4, even though the average school run for primary schools is just 1.5 miles5.

One in four adults in England is obese and a further 37% are overweight6. The cost to the NHS of people being overweight is estimated at £4.2 billion per year7. Incorporating activity like walking and cycling into everyday life is effective for losing weight8, and can help guard against serious illnesses such as asthma, depression, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and some cancers9.

Commuting by public transport can also improve overall fitness. People who take the bus or train to work instead of driving have been shown to have a lower BMI and a healthier bodyweight10.

Nearly half of households in England could be struggling with car-ownership costs11. Driving less can save money: for example, a family can save £642 per year by swapping a car-based school run for walking or cycling12.

Groups can register to take part atwww.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.

Road Safety Week

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

The theme of Road Safety Week 2015, 23-29 November, is about making our roads and communities safer, happier places for everyone, by encouraging people to‘Drive less, live more’.

Brake has been running this successful event for 17 years, growing its reach and impact. We now share our experience globally atwww.roadsafetyweek.org, to help others run Road Safety Weeks and similar events in other countries.

Five people die every day on UK roads and around 60 are seriously injured. Brake’s priority is tackling these devastating tragedies, and making our streets safe for people to use without fear or threat. Reducing traffic is an important part of this.

Brake’s main aim through this November’s Road Safety Week is to help people consider the options open to them, and better understand the benefits of driving less, to road safety, health, personal finances, communities and the planet.

About Brake

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

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or the BrakeBlog.


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 in Great Britain 2014, Department for Transport, 2015

[2] National Travel Survey, Department for Transport, 2010

[3] Road Transport Forecasts 2011, Department for Transport, 2011

[4] Transport: Social Trends 41, Office for National Statistics, 2011

[5] Transport: Social Trends 41, Office for National Statistics, 2011

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

[7] Butland B, Jebb S, Kopelman P, et al., ‘Tackling obesities: future choices – project report (2nd Ed)’, Foresight Programme of the Government Office for Science, 2007

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

[9] NHShttp://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/fitness/Pages/Whybeactive.aspx, 2015

[10] Flint Ellen, Cummins Steven, Sacker Amanda, ‘Associations between active commuting, body fat, and body mass index:  population based, cross sectional study in the United Kingdom’, BMJ 349 :g4887, 2014

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

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

Brake launches ‘look out for each other’ campaign as extent of selfish driving across West 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 West Midlands every six minutes
  • A third (32%) of primary school children in the Midlands say they 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 every day on UK roads [1][2], and particularly to protect people on foot and bike. The campaign is being backed by bereaved families from the West Midlands, where 156 people were killed and 1,642 seriously injured last year. Case studies below.

The call comes at the start of Road Safety Week, coordinated by Brake, during which thousands of schools, communities and companies are 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 senselessly risking lives by flouting traffic laws. 94,225 fixed penalty notices were issued for ‘careless driving’ and speeding offences in the West Midlands in 2013– one every six minutes. 92,732 were for speeding and 1,493 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 400 primary school children in the Midlands[4], released today, show:

  • four in five (82%) think roads in their community can be dangerous for walking and cycling;
  • a third (32%) say they 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.”

Ross Stephenson, road casualty reduction team manager, West Midlands Fire Service, said:“Our main aim is to reduce the number of people, especially young people, being killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions across the West Midlands. Over the past few years, West Midlands Fire Service has fully supported Brake’s Road Safety Week and we are pleased to have been given the opportunity to launch this year’s event in the West Midlands. We want the ‘look out for each other’ message to educate as many drivers, passengers and pedestrians as possible. We are urging drivers to slow down and for pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists to be fully alert to what is happening around them at all times.”

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.

Sarah Child, 26, from Great Barr, Birmingham, a daughter, sister and aunt-to-be, was killed by a speeding driver while crossing the road with her heavily pregnant sister, Claire. Find out more.

Avril Child, Sarah’s mother, says: ‘’Sarah was a kind, beautiful daughter, who loved life and had lots of things she wanted to do. She loved her family more than anything. She lived with Claire in a house divided into two flats – so Claire not only lost her sister, and was herself seriously injured, but she also lost her home – all before having her daughter, Evie Mae. This tragedy has turned our world upside down, all because of somebody not taking the care and attention to slow down or see my poor daughters crossing the street. There is nothing that can bring Sarah back, but I hope just one person reads this and it makes them re-think how they drive to prevent more road casualties. I hope that everyone looks out for each other following this year’s Road Safety Week, and in particular that drivers will slow down to 20mph in communities, look twice and take it slow at junctions and bends, and are considerate to vulnerable pedestrians and cyclists.’’


 

Nicholas Andrews, 17, from Redditch,was hit by a car while walking along a grass verge to go to the shop. Hesuffered serious head injuries and died in hospital five days later. Find out more.

Helen Andrews, Nicholas’ sister, says:“Nicholas’s death has been horrendous for me and my family. We think about him every day. He was the best big brother anyone could ever ask for. He was so popular, funny and kind, and he could always make you laugh even if you felt like the world was ending – which, for me, it did when he died. The house was so empty and silent. I hated it. This huge personality, this beautiful person with the most wonderful smile, was gone. This Road Safety Week, we are asking all drivers to be as vigilant as possible to protect others. I always take care to look out for cyclists and pedestrians when I am driving as they can easily make mistakes, which they don’t deserve to die for.”

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]. Therefore it is vital drivers take responsibility to protect themselves and people 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 criminal driving and sentencing consultation

Ministry of Justice consultation on driving offences and penalties relating to causing death or serious injury 

Response from Brake, the road safety charity, February 2017

1. Should there be a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving?

Serious injuries in road crashes must be taken seriously, with appropriate charges in place for causing them. For every death on the road there are more than ten times as many people seriously injured.

It is noted that there is an existing offence, introduced in 2012, of “causing serious injury by dangerous driving”. A new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving” would be welcomed within the current framework of careless and dangerous driving charges.

While welcomed, Brake notes that such a charge would unfortunately continue to ingrain in legislation the existing distinction between “careless driving” and “dangerous driving” and Brake continues to argue that the justifications for using this distinction in cases relating to death and injury are questionable. Brake does this in disagreement with the government (as stated in point 12 to 22 of the consultation). The difference between a driver “falling below” (defined in law as careless) and “falling far below” (defined in law as dangerous) the expectations of a competent and careful driver is not an easy assessment to undertake objectively and consequently causes variability in use of charges and penalties issued. The test lacks any benchmark for consistency due in large part to the variability of facts on a case to case basis. In reality, the line between below and far below is impossible to pin-point.

The consultation document makes reference to a small number of examples of practical application from the so-called “objective test” including in the list of “careless driving” offences. This includes such conduct as “turning into the path of another vehicle” or “being distracted by lighting a cigarette”. In these situations, and no doubt in others deemed “careless”, it is very difficult to understand how any competent and careful driver could consider such behaviour anything other than dangerous. The consequences of so-called “careless driving” are both life changing and life ending.

Public confidence in the existing terminology has been lost. The interpretation of the law by prosecution agencies and in the courts is being seen as arbitrary, misleading and unfair. The term ‘careless’ in itself is seen as a poor choice of language for offences resulting in such grave outcomes. This is raised by the government in section 27 and 28 of the consultation.

A minority of people convicted of death by careless driving are given a custodial sentence, and the average sentence is little over a year (see section 46 of the consultation).

Brake has long advocated for the term careless to therefore be considered for removal from legislation relating to death and serious injury from traffic offences. Driving that kills or injures is either legal or illegal. It is either safe driving or bad driving that endangers. It is not enough to simply advise the judiciary to refer to bad driving – the language of charges needs changing.

2. If yes, having regard to the maximum penalties for the existing offences of causing serious injury and assault, would either 2 or 3 years be an appropriate and proportionate maximum penalty for the new offence?

Neither two or three years are appropriate nor proportionate maximum sentences. Serious injury in a road crash is a wide definition that includes permanent and life-changing injury, notably paralysis, brain injury, loss of limbs, or facial disfigurement.

The consultation document rightly states that “though often thought of as a separate body of law, road traffic legislation is part of the criminal law and the severity of penalties available must not only take account of the relative seriousness of the range of traffic offences but must also be consistent with the penalties available in other areas of criminal law”.

These other areas of the criminal law include Sections 18 and 20 of the Offences Against the Person Act. Currently, ABH (Assault causing Actual Bodily Harm, section 20) is punishable by up to five years in prison and a possible fine and GBH (Grievous Bodily Harm), section 18) carries a potential life sentence. Sentences of three to 16 years for GBH are not uncommon. This means that a deliberately inflicted broken nose only can be subject to a prison sentence of several years while life changing injury of a road crash victim is being proposed as punishable by a sentence of only two or three years.

The differentiation between “deliberate intent” and “dangerous disregard” for the resulting injury is not relevant to the consultation as lack of intent has already been set aside as a factor in the application of existing “careless driving’ penalties. In road traffic collisions, it is reasonable to argue that failure to take care is a negligent act, as the risks of not doing so are so obviously great.

When considering the maximum sentence for a new charge of causing serious injury by careless driving, consideration must also be given to the current maximum sentence for the existing charge of causing death by careless driving, which currently is only five years. (RTA section 2b).

As stated in answer to Q1, in reality a minority of people convicted of causing death by careless driving are given a custodial sentence at all. If the current system of “careless” charges is to be kept and increased, the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving must be reviewed and raised respectively.

3 Do you think that the maximum penalty for causing death by dangerous driving adequately reflects the culpability of the offending behaviour or should it be increased from 14 years’ imprisonment to life?

The maximum sentence should be raised to life imprisonment. It cannot be right that the average prison sentence for a driver who has killed someone through bad or illegal driving is four years.

When we consider that the minimum sentence for domestic burglary with no additional charges of bodily harm is three years, in comparison to four years for causing the death of another human being when driving dangerously, it becomes clear that the level of sentencing for death by dangerous driving is inappropriately low. (Criminal justice system statistics quarterly: December 2015, Ministry of Justice, 2016)

4 Do you think that the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs should reflect the same culpability (and therefore the same maximum penalty) as causing death by dangerous driving?

Yes; driving under the influence of drink or drugs should be recognised as an avoidable action and those choosing to drive under the influence of either of these substances should be held accountable to the same degree as is deemed appropriate for death by dangerous driving. This is reflected in the current situation of 14 years’ maximum imprisonment for both death by dangerous driving and the separate charge of death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

An increase in the maximum penalty for death by dangerous driving should be accompanied by a similar increase in the maximum penalty for causing death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Brake does however additionally advocate the charge of death by careless driving under the influence of drink or drugs (RTA section 3A) to be changed to a charge of “causing death while driving under the influence of drink or drugs”. The term careless is unnecessary and misleading in this charge title.

There should similarly be a charge for “causing serious injury while driving under the influence of drink or drugs”.

These new two charges would be possible to bring in any case where a death or serious injury was caused and the driver had consumed above the legal limit of alcohol or drugs (those listed as illegal or illegal above certain doses). In other words, there should not be a need to prove the driving caused the death.

There is a precedent for this approach with the charge “causing death by driving: unlicensed or uninsured” RTA section 3ZB, which requires no need to prove carelessness nor dangerousness.

There are cases demonstrating the need for this change. Families have experienced a loved one being killed in a crash involving an intoxicated driver, but the driver “getting away with it” due to lack of witnesses to confirm bad driving. For example, the case of George Beresford.

Impairment by alcohol is one of the biggest killers on roads. In 2014, an estimated 13% of all road deaths in Great Britain resulted from crashes where at least one driver was above the alcohol limit [3]. A further estimated 25 road deaths per year are caused by drivers who are under the drink-drive limit, but who have significant amounts of alcohol in their blood [4].

Younger drivers (age 25-39) are a particular risk group; a quarter of drink-drive deaths in 2014 resulted from a collision with a drink driver within that age bracket. (DfT,Reported road casualties in Great Britain: Estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2014 (final) and 2015 (provisional), 2016.

Illegal or medical drugs was officially recorded as a contributory factor in 62 fatal road crashes and 259 crashes resulting in serious injuries in 2015 in Britain, but it’s estimated that the true figure is likely to be much higher. (Department for Transport, 2016, Reported road casualties in Great Britain 2015, table RAS50001). One in six bodies of dead drivers (18%) and 16% of the bodies of dead motorcyclists were found to have illegal drugs in their bodies, in research commissioned by the Department for Transport published in 2001. About 6% of dead drivers and dead motorcyclists had taken medicines that could have affected their driving (Transport Research Laboratory, 2001, The Incidence of Drugs and Alcohol in Road Accident Fatalities, report no. 495).

5 Should consideration be given to a longer minimum period of disqualification for offenders convicted of any causing death by driving offence?

Yes. However, ‘obligatory disqualification periods’ are not obligatory as it is possible for the courts to remove or significantly reduce the set period.

The courts should be able to impose longer disqualification sentences.

For offences relating to causing serious injury while driving it would be appropriate to impose bans of many years, commensurate with maximum prison sentences, but for a ban to follow any prison sentence, not to run concurrently. There should be lifelong bans for charges relating to causing death while driving.

At present, obligatory disqualifications often run concurrently with the offender’s custodial sentence. Unfortunately, this means that at the end of the prison sentence road traffic offenders are often able to begin driving straight away; the ban aspect of their sentence being therefore rendered theoretical only.

6 Are there any other driving offences relating to causing death or serious injury that you think should be changed?

Yes.

1. Punishment for killing or seriously injuring while interacting with screen technology (reading / messaging) or talking on a hand-held phone

At present, penalties for interacting with screen technology (reading / messaging) or talking on a hand-held phone and causing death or serious injury are addressed within sentencing guidelines with consideration of the level of distraction within the terms “ordinary avoidable distractions” and “gross avoidable distractions”. (Sentencing Guidelines Council, Definitive Guideline, Causing Death by Dangerous Driving).

Such distractions are not “momentary lapses of attention” (to use a term referred to in definitions of careless driving). They are conscious decisions to interact with technology unrelated to the driving task.

Brake considers sentencing guidance relating to ordinary / gross avoidable distractions to a large degree subjective and inadequate and advocates tough and clear legislation to deal with killing or seriously injuring while: a) Talking on a hand-held phone or similar device (which is illegal), or b) Interacting in other ways (reading / messaging things unrelated to the driving task) with connected screen technology either hand-held (illegal) or through HUD (heads up devices) / smart phones / in-built screens.

With regards to b) there could be exclusions put in place to not penalise drivers engaged in viewing certain limited and OE-fitted information directly related to the driving task and designed with due consideration to the human interface (eg visuals that are easy to read and pop up on your windscreen warning about the posted speed limit or road works ahead). Given the prevalence of GPS-driven routing information built into many vehicles this is also a likely exclusion.

Tough and clear legislation relating to screen technology or talking on a hand-held phone could be manifested as either: a) An automatic definition in law of the above behaviours as dangerous driving, and never careless driving, enabling them to result always in charges of death by dangerous driving or serious injury by dangerous driving; OR b) New charges on the statute books of killing or seriously injuring while engaged in the above behaviours and that do not require these behaviours to be defined as either dangerous or careless. Such offences would be similar to the separate, specific offence currently on the statute books for killing when driving unlicensed or uninsured (3ZB) which has no requirement to prove the standard of driving.

Either of the above proposed changes is timely as it is now technologically straightforward to identify if a driver involved in a crash was engaged in screen activity or talking on a hand-held phone at the time (as phone records can tell us so), so the time is right for an offence relating to this appalling and conscious choice of bad behaviour, particularly in light of the continued rise, and reliance, of people on smart phones and the fitting of heads-up screen technology in vehicles and availability of aftermarket heads-up devices.

A 2016 driver survey by Brake and Direct Line found more than one in three (38%) of drivers aged 25-34 admitted to regularly (several times a week or daily) reading or sending a text or instant message while driving. Nearly a third (31%) of drivers in this age range also admitted to browsing the internet, using social media or other apps while driving, at the same frequency of several times a week or daily.

To emphasise, and similar to our comments on drink / drug driving (see above), there should be no need to prove that the use of such technology caused impairing behaviour. The only requirement should be to prove the use of the technology at the time in the ways described.

Drivers who use phones, either hands-free or hand-held, have been found to be four times more likely to be in a crash resulting in injuries than drivers who are unimpeded by distraction. (Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study, University of Western Australia, 2005) Using a smart phone in whatever way diverts part of a driver’s mind from the driving task, both during the distraction, and after it has finished. It can take nearly half a minute to regain full attention and aside from mental distraction, any distraction that takes a driver’s eyes or hands off the road for any length of time (for example to check messages or scroll through music options) is potentially lethal. At 70mph a vehicle travels 31.5m (about the length of seven cars) every second and in that time a hazard could easily emerge and go unnoticed by a distracted driver. (Smartphone use and smartphone addiction among young people in Switzerland, Severin Haug, 2015)

2. Causing death by dangerous driving – the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment (section 1) Vehicular manslaughter in the UK is very rarely the basis of prosecution, yet the impact of death by dangerous driving and vehicular manslaughter is the same for the family or friends of the deceased. Although a life-long driving ban would be welcomed, a more severe custodial sentence would in many cases be more appropriate than 14 years.

3. Causing death by driving: unlicensed or uninsured – the maximum penalty is 2 year imprisonment and/or a fine (3ZB) Driving uninsured or unqualified implies a deliberate disregard for safety and other road users. A minimal sentence of two years imprisonment that can be substituted by a mere fine is an inadequate deterrent in no way representative of the seriousness of the crime and should be increased to levels commensurate with ‘causing death by dangerous driving’. There should be a similar charge of causing serious injury by driving: unlicensed or uninsured. Across the board, charges for serious injury as a result of specific actions by drivers should exist where there are charges for causing death by those specific actions.

4. Causing death while driving disqualified (currently 10 years’ maximum imprisonment / and/or fine) and causing injury while driving disqualified (currently 4 years’ maximum imprisonment and/or fine). (3ZC and D) The maximum penalties for offenders who cause death or injury when driving while disqualified should be significantly increased to levels commensurate with maximum penalties for causing death and causing injury charges for dangerous driving. If a driver has been disqualified, they should not be behind the wheel under any circumstances. The law must be particularly robust in the circumstance when it has already been disregarded.

7 Does the equalities statement correctly identify the extent of the impacts of the proposed options for reform set out in this consultation paper?

Yes.

Brake urges investment in life saving traffic police in response to falling numbers and rising casualties

Monday 9 February 2015

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

Brake, the road safety charity, is urging government to make traffic policing a national priority, in response to figures revealing that traffic police numbers in England and Wales have fallen by 23% in the past four years, from 5,635 in March 2010 to 4,356 in March 2014 [1]. This continues a trend, highlighted by Brake, which has been ongoing since at least 2008.

Critically, it is not just overall numbers of traffic police that are falling, but their strength as a proportion of all police officers, down from 3.9% in 2010 to 3.4% in 2014. Brake is concerned that this reduction in visible roads policing may be a factor in the increased road casualties recently revealed for the year ending September 2014.

Gary Rae, campaigns manager, Brake, said: "Effective, visible enforcement of traffic laws is absolutely critical to preventing road deaths and injuries. Drivers tempted to break the law need to know they will be caught, and that they won’t get off with just a slapped wrist. Traffic police numbers have been declining for years, and this may well be reflected in the increase in road casualties we are now seeing. Road traffic policing needs to be made a national priority, not a soft target for police cuts. Every extra traffic officer out on the road is an investment in saving lives and easing the strain on our other emergency services and on our struggling NHS.”

Brake campaigns for more dedicated traffic police and tougher penalties for law-breaking drivers through itscrackdown campaign. Tweet us:@Brakecharity, #Crackdown.

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] Figures were released by the Ministry of Justice in response to a parliamentary question from Jack Dromey MP to Michael Penning MP, Minister of State for Justice, 2 February 2015http://www.theyworkforyou.com/wrans/?id=2015-01-28.222445.h&s=speaker%3A24825#g222445.q0

Brake welcomes tougher penalties for unlicensed drivers who kill and injure

Tuesday 6 May 2014

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

Justice secretary Chris Grayling MP today announced that disqualified drivers who kill and injure will face much tougher sentences, with a maximum of 10 years for those who kill and four years for those who seriously injure. The current maximum sentence is only two years for a death, and there is no specific offence for causing a serious injury while disqualified.

The justice secretary also announced his intention to conduct a full review of driving offences and penalties. Read more.

Reacting, Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Brake has long campaigned for a shake-up of charges and penalties for risky and irresponsible drivers who kill and injure on our roads. Brake supports families who have been deeply and permanently affected by selfish and risky behaviour at the wheel and we frequently hear from these families that they feel terribly let down by our justice system. As such, we strongly welcome Chris Grayling's announcement of a thorough review this year.

The paltry sentences handed out for deaths and injuries caused by disqualified drivers, who have no right to be on the road in the first place, are one of the worst injustices in the current system, and Brake strongly welcomes the government's move to address this. Getting behind the wheel when you have been banned from driving is a deliberate and illegal choice, and too often leads to d evastating tragedies - the penalties must reflect this."

Find out more about Brake's Crackdown campaign for tougher penalties for drivers who kill and injure. Tweet us @Brakecharity, #Crackdown.

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, a Fleet Safety Forumpractitioner services, 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.

Brake's Kids Walk 2018 What Happened

On 13 June 2018 over 120,000 kids from schools across the UK walked for safer roads and to help Brake call for footpaths, cycle paths, safe places to cross, slow traffic and clean traffic; five important road safety messages so we can stop the 5 children who are being killed or hurt on our roads every single day! The event also promoted the benefits of walking and cycling to school within their community.

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

You can read our evaluation report here.

See below for examples of what our star schools in 2018 did on the day. Follow @Brakecharity on Twitter and use #BrakesKidsWalk for more pictures.

 

BKW2018 YH Penshurst Group 2More than 450 children from Penshurst Primary School walked around their community in Hessle, Hull. They held a school assembly the week before the walk, ensuring the kids were engaged with road safety. The pupils then made their own banners, including Kids Walk placards, to take on the walk along with the Brake posters from the action pack. Pupils from Hessle High School, Brake mascot Zak the Zebra and a safety officer from Humberside Fire and Rescue Service joined the walk and helped the children to campaign for safer roads. Their activities were captured by ITV Calendar and many local radio stations. The children also raised £1,000 for Brake through sponsorship.

BKW2018 E Arthur Bugler BrakePupils at Arthur Bugler Primary School in Essex raised £1,200 for Brake by getting friends and family to sponsor them for their Kids Walk. The school used the template sponsorship form in their action pack to encourage parents to give generously and support Brake’s work supporting road crash victims and campaigning for safer roads. The children carried banners and posters from their action pack during the walk, to show residents the things they need to keep them safe near roads. Brake mascot Zak the Zebra visited the school after the event to thank the children.

BKW2018 Rockingham Primary School 2

Corby Borough Council’s rural pride officer Suzanne Preston helped the children at Rockingham Primary School run their Brake’s Kids Walk. She was joined by their local neighbourhood wardens to talk to the kids about road safety. They ran an assembly for the school, talking about the health and planet-saving benefits of walking. During the walk, the kids were encouraged to hold up their hand when they spotted a road safety object.

“Brake’s Kids Walk provided a great way for us to discuss road safety from a different perspective and we helped make it relevant to the children's local area.” – Suzanne Preston, rural pride officer, Corby Borough Council.

BKW2018 SW The Castle Primary School 2Around 300 pupils from The Castle Primary School walked in crocodile formation around the school grounds to raise awareness of road safety in Tiverton, Devon. Children had banners and posters as they called for safer roads, so they can walk in their communities without fear of traffic and pollution. The school featured on their local BBC Spotlight evening news programme and also raised £217.34 for Brake.

“We have really appreciated having the opportunity to join in with such a worthwhile campaign. Keeping our children safe is paramount and this includes road safety.” - Sue Palk, high-level teaching assistant, The Castle Primary School

BKW2018 Wales St Helens 6Children at St Helen’s Catholic Primary School in Barry, Wales, made full use of the bilingual resources provided in the Kids Walk action pack. They proudly held up banners and posters in Welsh and English to make sure the whole community was aware of what they want to keep them safe. The children also made their own banners, calling on adults to keep them safe when using roads. Posters about the benefits of walking to school were displayed around the school. While on the walk, children talked to residents about why they were taking part and the importance of road safety.St Christophers School Wales


In Wrexham, St Christopher’s School held a Wear Your Stripes Day to raise funds for Brake. They also made traffic light biscuits and stripy cupcakes and collected sponsorship money for their walk, raising a fantastic £157 for Brake. In class they completed the action pack resources, to ensure that they were focused on road safety issues during their walk and made zebra masks to wear to look like our mascot Zak the Zebra.

BKW2018 London Salisbury Primary School2
The children and staff at Salisbury Primary School in London dressed in their stripiest clothes as they combined their Kids Walk with a Wear Your Stripes Day. The pupils designed their own banners and posters during classroom activities, before taking them on their walk to call for safer streets. They walked around the community close to their school to promote road safety measures such as 20mph speed limits and safe crossing places. Their fundraising activities helped raise £150 for Brake.

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Pupils from St Colm’s High School in Draperstown, Northern Ireland, teamed up with their local primary school – St Mary’s Primary School – to help them with their walk. Pupils involved in both schools used the resources from the action pack to help inspire other pupils and the local community about what they want to see to make their roads safer. They organised a walk around the local town, displaying banners to help raise awareness of important road safety issues. They even helped out the community by carrying out a clean-up of the town, litter picking as they went on their walk and the school donated £50 to Brake.

Zak 1PC Michael Goldie, school campus officer for Police Scotland, took Brake mascot Zak the Zebra on a tour of primary schools in East Renfrewshire. He visited Hillview, Neilston, St John’s, St Mark’s, and St Thomas’ primary schools, ensuring that more than 1,000 kids put their best feet forward to promote road safety and the health benefits of walking. PC Goldie delivered a number of assemblies before the pupils made their own posters and banners to take on the walk. Parents, volunteers from the local high school, school crossing officers from East Renfrewshire Council and emergency services joined the schools on their walks through the community. They walked to their local park to celebrate their achievements, where the police and fire services talked to the kids about road safety.

BKW2018 O Save Life Gambia 7
In Serrekunda, The Gambia, Save Life Gambia partnered with Maarif Turkish International School, the police and the WHO Country Office to run Brake’s Kids Walk. Parents joined the schoolchildren on their walk around the community, engaging them with road safety messages and calling for better safety measures to keep them safe from traffic. They printed out posters and banners from the online action pack and delivered an assembly, inspiring the children to talk more to adults about how they can keep them safe.

This project is kindly sponsored by: Co op

Kids walk foot border long

Call for zero road deaths as casualty reduction stalls

news@brake.org.uk

29 September 2016

Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the government to take action and reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries on our roads. In recent years it has become increasingly apparent that reductions in road casualties are beginning to stall. Brake is calling on the government to act now to prevent stagnation in the long-term.

The Department for Transport report published today confirms that outside of a few minor gains road casualty reductions have remained largely static; and while we welcome the slight drop in road deaths and serious injuries on our roads, more must be done to speed up the process of road casualty reduction.

Worryingly, vehicle traffic has risen by almost 2% in the last year, matched by a significant population increase of 15% over the past 30 years; meaning as well as the increased danger of crashes, we are seeing increased pollution [1]. Much of this increase is being attributed to light goods vehicles, many running on diesel, which of course we have now learned is much more damaging to the environment than previously claimed.

Lucy Amos, research advisor for Brake, said: “The report released by the Department for Transport reveals the danger of complacency and over-confidence. The UK currently has one of the best road safety records in the world, but this cannot be relied upon. No road death is acceptable and we must continue to work towards reducing death and injury on the roads without compromise.

This is why Brake is calling for the reintroduction of ambitious casualty reduction targets to act as a driving force for the fight against road death and injury at the national level; increased investment in road infrastructure to develop a safe and sustainable road network; and more resources assigned to road traffic police to ensure that legislation can be effectively enforced.”

Tweet us:@Brakecharity,

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, 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.

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016

Charges and penalties for drivers who kill, maim and endanger

This page outlines some of the most commonly-brought criminal charges and penalties for traffic offences in the UK; and Brake’s concerns about the inadequacy of many of them.

Read about support for road crash victims.

Careless Driving (Section 3 of the Road Traffic Act 1988)

This charge can be brought when driving 'fell below the standard of a careful and competent driver'. It is a trivial charge in its terminology, and in sentences handed out: usually a small fine in a Magistrates Court. Yet this charge is currently often brought in cases of serious injury and when driving is clearly bad, often because prosecutors feel there is a good chance of conviction, compared with bringing a more serious charge. Rather than being prosecuted for "careless" driving, those who drive badly should be prosecuted for dangerous driving, with a range of possible penalties depending on the level of danger posed. If a driver's bad driving resulted in injury or death, they should be charged with an offence that explicitly references that injury or death (see below).

Causing Death by Careless or Inconsiderate Driving (Section 2B of the Road Traffic Act 1988, amended by the Road Safety Act 2006, s. 20)

This charge can be brought when a driver causes a death because their driving 'fell below the standard expected of a careful and competent driver'. It was introduced after concerns were raised about the lack of mention of death in the Careless Driving charge. The maximum penalty is five years in prison and an unlimited fine, but in reality, and as predicted by Brake prior to this charge's introduction, which we opposed, much lower penalties are being imposed, and even the maximum is only just over a third that for 'Causing Death by Dangerous Driving'. Brake does not support this charge: it enables drivers who have caused enormous suffering to be let off with a paltry penalty. The word 'careless' is wholly inappropriate in the context of road deaths caused by bad driving, and insulting to bereaved families, as reported to Brake by families we work with through our support work. Brake believes that cases currently dealt with by Death by Careless Driving should be dealt with by this charge dealt with using the charge Causing Death by Dangerous Driving, with a variety of sentencing powers for judges according to seriousness of the offence.

CASE STUDY: On 31.03.10, The Star newspaper in Sheffield reported two cases of drivers let off for Causing Death by Dangerous Driving for killing by driving far too fast on bends. In the first case, Christopher Deaken-Frith admitted driving 'much too fast' down a Sheffield hill in frosty weather, ending the lives of his two passengers Liam Oliver and Sarah Kate O'Melia. Police estimated a driver would have been able to negotiate the bend 'with ease' if driving at less than 48mph. The speed limit was 30mph. Relatives stormed out of court when Deaken-Frith walked free with a suspended sentence for Causing Death by Careless Driving. In the second case, Nicholas Boothman crashed on a bend that he took at an estimated 50mph-70mph despite wet conditions and a sign warning drivers to take the bend at no more than 40mph. He killed passenger Robert Shaw, and seriously injured passenger Daniel Hallas, who had to have part of his leg amputated. He too walked free with a suspended sentence for Causing Death by Careless Driving.

Dangerous Driving (Section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988, amended 1991)

This charge can be brought when driving fell far below the standard expected of a careful and competent driving, where no death occurred. It is not often brought (the charge of Careless Driving being more common). Dangerous driving carries a maximum sentence of two years. This is currently sometimes brought when someone is seriously injured by dangerous driving, although this should cease with the introduction of Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving, as below. However, Brake believes cases currently prosecuted under Careless Driving should be dealt with under this charge instead, for reasons explained above, and the maximum penalty for Dangerous Driving should be higher, in line with the fact that dangerous driving can, and often does, result in death. It should be at least five years, with a variety of sentences handed out up to the maximum, according to the seriousness of the offence.

Causing Death by Dangerous Driving (Section 1 Road Traffic Act 1988, amended 1991) and Causing Death by Careless Driving under the influence of drink or drugs (section 3A Road Traffic Act)

The charge of Causing Death by Dangerous Driving is a much more serious charge than Causing Death by Careless Driving, with a maximum penalty of 14 years in prison, but its definition differs in only one word: it can be brought when driving 'fell far below the standard expected of a careful and competent driver'. A similar charge of Causing Death by Careless Driving when under the Influence of Drink or Drugs carries the same maximum penalty. These charges should be brought when there are provable aggravating factors, such as excessive speeding above the limit, overtaking on a blind bend, or driving over the legal limit for alcohol. In most cases, however, the sentence meted out by the courts is much lower than the maximum, unless there are many aggravating factors and multiple deaths. In addition, the tiny difference in definition between this charge and the Charge of Death by Careless Driving means in many cases the more serious charges are not brought, and the lesser charge is brought instead, with its greater chance of conviction, but far lower penalties.

CASE STUDY: A drink driver who killed his schoolboy passenger in an 80mph crash after saying 'I'm wasted' was jailed for only four years, a third of the maximum. Ashley Ogden, 19, gave a lift to 15-year-old Daniel McHugh and a friend. He swerved round a police recovery lorry and shouted 'Come on - chase on!' He later lost control and smashed into a tree and bus stop, killing Daniel. The other passenger suffered a double fracture to his leg, a collapsed lung and broken ribs. Ogden, of Leigh, Greater Manchester, did not have a full licence and was one-and-a-half times over the drink-drive limit when tested two hours after the crash. He pleaded guilty to causing death by dangerous driving, driving with excess alcohol and failing to comply with his provisional licence terms. (Daily Mirror, 15 November 2005)

Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving

The government announcement of a new charge of Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving was welcomed by Brake. But Brake remains concerned that families who suffer life-changing serious injury at the hands of a dangerous driver will not receive justice, given the inadequate five year maximum penalty, and given that it will still be necessary to demonstrate driving was 'dangerous' according to the legal definition. In reality, offenders convicted of this are highly unlikely to receive close to the full five years, but even if they do, this does not reflect the life-long suffering of the most serious and debilitating injuries that innocent victims of crashes may suffer, such as permanent brain damage, loss of limbs or paralysis. These injuries destroy lives and devastate families, with many victims needing round-the-clock care. Brake believes this new charge should carry a maximum penalty of 14 years, in line with that for Causing Death by Dangerous Driving. Brake is also concerned drivers who cause serious injury may continue to be let off with the lesser charge of careless driving (as is the case at present) because it is easier to make this charge stick.

Redefining dangerous driving

As outlined above, Brake takes great issue with the existence and definition of careless driving charges, especially in relation to cases where a death or serious injury has occurred or could easily have occurred. 'Careless' is an inappropriate and offensive term to use for bad driving, particularly where it has resulted in horrendous suffering. Driving that is bad (especially if it has already resulted in injury or death or could easily have done so) is dangerous.

Brake believes cases prosecuted under careless driving charges should instead be prosecuted under the charges of Dangerous Driving, Causing Death by Dangerous Driving, and Causing Serious Injury by Dangerous Driving, with a full range of penalties handed out up to the maximum (which should be at least five, 14 and 14 years in prison respectively, all with an unlimited fine), according to the seriousness of the offence (also see section below on sentencing).

At the same time, Brake advocates a redefinition of 'dangerous driving' so these charges may be brought when anyone is found to be driving in a way not in accordance with road safety laws or the Highway Code. This definition is far less subjective and would make it clear to drivers that if they do not driving in accordance with legal requirements, they are posing a danger, and therefore may face these serious charges.

Hit and run drivers

There needs to be a new charge of 'failing to stop following a fatal or serious injury crash'. This would not have any requirement to prove the driver who failed to stop caused the crash, as there can be an assumption that if they fled, they caused it. This is necessary because, at present, British law acts as an incentive for the worst law-breaking drivers to flee a crash if they kill someone. If a drink or drug driver kills someone and remains at the scene, they are likely to be tested for alcohol or drugs, prosecuted for 'causing death by careless driving when under the influence of alcohol or drugs', and face up to 14 years' imprisonment. But if they run away and sober up, and there was no other evidence of careless or dangerous driving, they can only be prosecuted for the minor offence of 'failing to stop or report an accident' which carries a paltry maximum sentence of six months. If someone steals a car, kills someone and remains at the scene, they will be identified by the police as driving a stolen car. They can be prosecuted for 'aggravated vehicle taking' and face a maximum 14 years' imprisonment. Much better to flee, ditch the car, and hope never to be identified. Drivers who hit and run are despicable: to escape the law, they leave behind suffering and dying victims in need of urgent medical attention. The law must be changed to remove this incentive to flee.

Causing Death by Driving Unlicensed, Disqualified or Uninsured

This charge can be brought when a driver causes a death by driving a vehicle on a road while unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured. The maximum penalty is a paltry sentence of two years and unlimited fine. This is in stark contrast to laws against illegal firearms. Carrying an illegal firearm, and not even using it, carries a minimum mandatory five year prison sentence, compared with a maximum of two years for driving illegally and killing. Brake supports this charge but believes the maximum sentence should be in line with that for Causing Death by Dangerous Driving, 14 years. The charge should also include serious injuries.

Driving licence suspension in the run up to trial

Brake believes drivers who kill and maim should be taken off the road once they are charged, as a condition of bail. Prosecutions often take many months to come to court [1], and in many cases the driver charged with causing the crash is able to continue driving, potentially putting other innocent road users in danger, and often in the same community where they caused carnage. This can be incredibly offensive and upsetting to bereaved families and people injured by the driver, but it also means that other people are being put at risk.

If you are a teacher being investigated for misconduct, you are immediately suspended from teaching in school to protect pupils. If you are a doctor suspected of malpractice, you are immediately suspended from practising medicine to ensure no patients are harmed. Yet if you are charged with killing someone because of your bad driving, you are allowed to keep driving until you are sentenced in court, despite the fact that nine in 10 drivers (89%) charged with indictable motoring offences, such as causing death by driving, are convicted [2].

Brake is backing a campaign by Rebecca Still, aged 13, who wants the government to change the law so driving licences are automatically suspended, as a condition of bail, in cases involving death by dangerous or careless driving, or drink driving cases where the driver had at least twice the legal alcohol limit in their blood.

Rebecca's brother Jamie Still, 16, was knocked down and killed on New Year's Eve 2010 by a young driver who was twice the legal alcohol limit and speeding at 50mph in a 30mph limit. The driver was allowed to continue driving around in the same community until nine months later when he was convicted. Rebecca set up a petition to get the law changed, which has already had thousands of signatures. She has received support from Brake and her MP Greg Mulholland, as well her mum and grandparents who have rallied round to help make her campaign a success. Visit www.jamiestillcampaign.co.uk.

Fixed penalties and penalty points

Brake argues that penalties awarded for less serious and more widespread driving offences should be much stronger, to provide a better deterrent against risky behaviour at the wheel. The fixed penalty for driving offences, including speeding and mobile phone use, is currently £100 plus three penalty points. Brake believes this is woefully inadequate, given these crimes can and do lead to terrible crashes, injury and death. Minor crimes that do not pose a direct threat to human life, like littering and smoking in a public place, can be met with a fine of £1,000+. A £100 penalty for driving offences sends out a dangerous message that offences like speeding and phone use at the wheel are not real crimes, and important safety laws need not be taken seriously. Brake argues a fixed penalty of £500-£1,000 would have a significant effect on compliance with these laws, which are in place to protect and safeguard the public.

Brake is also desperately concerned the penalty points system is not working as a way to protect the public from dangerous repeat offenders who show disregard for the law. Brake recently revealed 40% of drivers who have reached 12 points are not disqualified, due to a loophole allowing drivers to keep their licence in 'exceptional circumstances'. This loophole should be closed urgently: those who reach 12 points have been given ample opportunity to comply with the law, and should be automatically disqualified to protect themselves and others.

Low sentences

Bereaved and seriously injured families supported by Brake often say they feel sentences handed to drivers who have caused their suffering are inadequate and this causes additional distress. As well as calling for reform to charges and penalties as above, Brake is concerned that sentencing for driving offences is unduly lenient. To reduce the horrifying frequency of road deaths and injuries, the criminal justice system should send drivers the message that traffic offences are not minor – particularly when they result in tragic loss of a life or debilitating injury. Yet it is extremely rare to see higher range sentences given out; often sentences are at the lower end. Brake believes this is because 'traffic offences' are seen as less serious than other crimes, even when they have resulted in a death or serious injury. The full range of sentences should be handed out, up to and including the maximum in the most serious cases.

The Ministry of Justice reports on motoring offences and sentence lengths. In 2006 there were 381 convictions in England and Wales for serious driving charges for causing death, but only 58 resulted in imprisonment of more than five years (and most of these offenders will be released much earlier) (Motoring Offences and Breath Test Statistics England and Wales 2006). This may sound bad enough, but these figures don't include the many cases of traffic offences resulting in death and injury that were dealt with through the charge of careless or dangerous driving - with significantly lower penalties including, in the case of careless driving, a maximum penalty of a fine. They also don't include the cases that result in no charge at all - this includes cases of pedestrians being hit by cars at significant speeds, often in hit and runs, when the offender was never found or there were no witnesses to prove a traffic offence. A 2002 report by the CPS Inspectorate (A report on the thematic review of the advice, conduct and prosecution of road traffic offences involving fatalities in England and Wales (HMCPSI, 2002)) noted that there was "some evidence of inconsistency of approach particularly in relation to the level of charge in those cases where there was a prosecution. This related mainly to cases where a lesser charge such as careless driving was preferred rather than causing death by dangerous driving". The report made a number of recommendations for improving the prosecution following a death on the road. They included:

  • appointing an experienced prosecutor to receive specialist training in driving offences in each Crown Prosecution Service area, who could also act as first point of contact with the police in these cases;
  • instructing counsel with appropriate experience and expertise to prosecute road death cases in the Crown Court;
  • ensuring that all prosecutors are aware of guidance given in relation to the timing of inquests and summary criminal proceedings;
  • improving the identification and flagging of files by the police and CPS, to improve case management;
  • requesting further information and providing advice to the police in a timely manner;
  • monitoring prosecutions for different offences, outcomes and review decisions;
  • providing revised guidance to CPS prosecutors and reviewing the Driving Offences Charging Standard.

A 2002 report by the transport research agency TRL (Pearce, L, Dangerous driving and the law, Road Safety Research Report no 26 (DTLR, 2002)) confirmed that the 1991 Road Traffic Act, which was designed to reduce the difficulties with the charges of 'careless driving' (where a death had resulted), 'dangerous driving', and 'death by dangerous driving', had not been entirely effective. In the cases it analysed in the report, TRL noted that prosecutors often preferred a charge of 'careless driving' to 'death by dangerous driving' in cases where it could be argued that the latter was more appropriate. It also noted that maximum penalties are rarely used in 'dangerous driving' cases, stating that "cases which appear to be very serious often receive less than half of the maximum sentence." Brake wants the Government to set national standards requiring judges and magistrates to receive appropriate training and advice on traffic offences, including discussion of case studies, to encourage them to implement appropriately tough charges and penalties.

[1] Average time from offence to completion of trial for an indictable motoring offense, such as causing death by dangerous or careless driving, is 120 days and only 47% of cases are completed at the first given trial date. Judicial and court statistics 2010, Ministry of Justice, 2011
[2] Criminal Justice Statistics Quarterly Update to September 2011, Ministry of Justice , 2012

 

 

Charity calls on employers: take advantage of technology to protect pedestrians and cyclists

Thursday 28 May 2015

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

A report released today (28 May 2015) by Brake, the road safety charity, and Licence Bureau, has found many employers with vehicle fleets are not taking advantage of new technologies to protect vulnerable road users. Despite the potential to help drivers see pedestrians and cyclists and reduce casualties, only one in five HGV operators surveyed (20%) have rear-facing cameras on all vehicles, one in 12 (8%) have side-facing cameras on all vehicles, and one in eight (12%) have side sensors on all vehicles.

Brake is appealing to employers to follow best practice advice and implement the latest safety technology suitable for their vehicles, to protect other road users and deliver the business benefits of reduced crashes, bumps and scrapes and lower insurance premiums.

The report found HGV safety technologies that are mandatory under European law, such as underrun protection and wide-angle lenses, are present on almost all vehicles. Hence Brake is calling for more comprehensive regulation to ensure the widespread take up of technologies such as automatically moving mirrors, side-view cameras and side sensors, which can be of benefit in preventing needless death and injuries yet are currently only present on a minority of vehicle fleets.

With at least a quarter (24%) of road deaths and serious injuries involving a vehicle being driven for work [1], there is a clear need for employers to do more to improve the safety of their vehicles. HGVs specifically make up only 5% of vehicles on UK roads, yet are involved in a quarter (23%) of cyclist deaths and one in seven (13%) of pedestrian deaths. In 2013, 78 people on foot or bike were killed by HGVs.

The report also indicates that while safety management technologies such as telematics are becoming widespread, there is scope for employers with fleets of all vehicle types to make far greater use of them. Half of operators surveyed (49%) do not use telematics at all, and many of those who do report not making full use of their systems. Brake is highlighting that while there is an initial cost for such measures, effective safety technology like telematics pays for itself through reduced incidents and insurance premiums: many report recouping costs within a year and seeing long-term gains.

The report also highlighted the negative impact of certain forms of technology, particularly the worrying prevalence of hands-free mobile phone kits in employer vehicles. Hands-free kits were present in some, most or all vehicles in two thirds (68%) of HGV fleets and four in five (80%) cars fleets surveyed. Only 4% of employers make use of apps that prevent mobile phone use behind the wheel. Brake warns that using a mobile at the wheel, even with a hands-free kit, has a similar effect on reactions to drink driving [3], and makes you four times more likely to be in a crash that causes injury [4].

Employers can access Brake’s expert guidance by ordering a copy of the report, which includes advice for companies, and becoming a member of Brake Professional at http://www.brakepro.org/survey2015pt1

Dr Tom Fisher, senior research and communications officer at Brake, said: “Employers whose staff drive for work have a duty of care both to their own employees and other road users. While not a panacea, technology can play a big part in helping them improve safety and exercise that duty, so it is disappointing to see that so many are not taking full advantage of new safety technologies on offer. Blind spot devices and safety management kit like telematics have huge potential to reduce crashes and casualties, and bring down associated costs for the operator. Brake urges all fleet operators to go beyond the bare legal minimum to ensure their vehicles and drivers are as safe as possible, especially in safeguarding our most vulnerable road users. We can offer support and advice, through our Brake Professionals scheme, on how best to do this. Brake is also urging government to put in place more comprehensive minimum safety standards, as it is clear this is the most effective way to ensure the widespread adoption of vital safety technologies.”

Les Owen, compliance consultant at Licence Bureau, said: “The Brake survey provides fleet operators with lots of good data and advice. Surely it is obvious that the cost of a crash (average in the UK is over £800 for all vehicles) makes it sensible to consider fitting some of the safety technology items. The key features for fleets must be to avoid drivers using mobile phones; telematics to provide fleet managers with data they can sample (rather than look at every one) to offer driving advice where needed; and safety standard mirrors with items for HGVs to reduce risks to vulnerable road users. One serious crash or fatal collision can lead to a lifetime of problems for drivers and managers alike so doing more to avoid them is a no-brainer. Finally, implementing good policies, which are reviewed with drivers to provide learning opportunities and reminders of company objectives, is good practice. Writing a policy and not doing anything with it is just as bad as not having one.”

Brake’s advice for employers

Technology alone is not a panacea for road safety; safe driver behaviour and risk management policies and procedures are essential within fleets. Yet technology can form a vital part of the road risk management mix, and greatly aid safe driving, vehicles and journeys.

Fleet operators should be aware of and comply with laws to help protect vulnerable road users. Under EU law, trucks weighing more than 3.5 tonnes are legally required to have some safety devices fitted, including extra mirrors and under-run guards. Similar requirements exist in many other jurisdictions worldwide.

Where safety devices are not legally required, fleet managers should still consider fitting them to ensure their vehicles are as safe as possible.

Wide-angle and blind spot mirrors, CCTV, rear, front and side sensors, automatic side mirrors, and reversing alarms are available for various types of vehicle. Fleet operators should implement devices suitable to their vehicle types.

When selecting vehicles to lease or buy, or advising employees who use their own vehicles for work, fleet managers should select vehicles with smaller blind spots or blind spot-minimising technology fitted, and features designed to minimise the harm to vulnerable road users in a collision.

Fleet managers should keep up-to-date with the latest technology in this fast-moving area, and implement new technologies where available and appropriate. Information on the latest research and developments is available through Brake’s fortnightly Target Zero email newsletter tosubscribers, and in Brake’sresearch library.

Brake’s survey report gives further guidance and information on technology. Employers can order the report at http://www.brakepro.org/survey2015pt1.

Brake advises and supports companies to manage their road risk through itsBrake Professionals scheme. The survey report is available for free tomembers, or can be purchased for £5 by non-members. Special offer: the first 25 non-members to request the report through ouronline form get a copy for FREE.

About the report

The survey results come from Brake and Licence Bureau’s Fleet Safety Survey Report Part One: Technology, released today (Thursday 28 May 2015). 131 organisations that employ drivers completed the online survey, representing nearly 26,000 vehicles and 40,000 people driving for work.

Brake

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

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

Follow Brake on Twitter or Facebook. Follow Julie Townsend on Twitter.

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 2013, Department for Transport, 2014

[2] Ibid

[3]Using a hands-free mobile whilst driving can be more dangerous than drink driving, Transport Research Laboratory, 2009

[4]Role of mobile phones in motor vehicle crashes resulting in hospital attendance: a case-crossover study, University of Western Australia, 2005