Articles Tagged ‘speed - Brake the road safety charity’

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

30th November 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The facts

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brake’s campaigns

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

About Brake

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

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, orThe Brake Blog.


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

End notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Almost three quarters of drivers take life-threatening risks on icy roads

News from Brake
Immediate issue: 8 January 2016 

news@brake.org.uk

  • Seven in ten (71%) drivers surveyed have dangerously poor knowledge when it comes to winter stopping distances
  • Two thirds (66%) of drivers believe others do not leave enough space to stop safely
  • More than half of drivers questioned (54%) think other drivers travel too fast in poor weather conditions

As the weather is forecast to turn colder and snow predicted in many parts of the UK next week, a new study is highlighting the risks too many drivers are taking in bad weather. The survey released today (8 January 2016), carried out on behalf of Brake and Direct Line, reveals 71% of drivers questioned do not know how much longer it will take their vehicle to stop in icy conditions. This means they could be putting other road users, and themselves, at risk by under-estimating the distance. 

11% of drivers think the stopping distance is twice as long in icy weather, a third think it’s four times as long and 27% think it should be five times as long. Just 23% of drivers know that the actual figure is up to 10 times as long, with 6% being even more cautious and believing it is up to 20 times as long.    

That means, while on a fine day, if you are driving at 30 mph and need to brake immediately it will take you 23 metres to stop, in icy conditions it could take up to 230 metres - that’s the length of two-full size football pitches [i]and, of course, the faster you are travelling, the further that distance could be. 

Many drivers also do not know enough about stopping distances in wet weather.

More than one in five drivers (22%) fail to check the gap between their car and the car in front, and another fifth (21%) do not leave a large enough gap, meaning that, if they have to brake suddenly, it could lead to a serious crash. Brake recommends that drivers leave at least four seconds between their vehicle and the vehicle in front in wet weather.

More than half of drivers questioned (54%) think that other drivers travel too fast in poor weather conditions, and two thirds (66%) believe other drivers do not leave enough space to stop.

This is why Brake and Direct Line are encouraging drivers to adjust their driving style to the conditions of the road as temperatures drop, and sleet, snow, frost and ice are all forecast.   

Gary Rae, campaigns and communications director for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Our roads are at their most dangerous during the winter months, so drivers must be at their most cautious. We don’t want any more families to be torn apart by crashes caused by drivers not adapting to the conditions. Ice, snow, heavy rain and fog make driving incredibly risky; stopping distances double in wet weather and can increase up to ten-fold in ice and snow. If snow is forecast, we urge people to think about whether their journey is necessary, but if you get caught out driving in bad weather the critical thing is to slow right down and keep your distance, bearing in mind it will take you much longer to stop in an emergency, and to react in the first place, if visibility is reduced.

Rob Miles, director of motor trading at Direct Line, said: “Even if you feel confident driving in icy or snowy conditions, others may not be able to keep full control of their car and may not be observing the correct stopping distances. If you need to drive, make sure that you take it slow and steady and don’t panic or slam on the brakes. Also, make sure you’ve de-iced your car fully before you drive off as restricted views out of the windows cause needless and preventable accidents. If it’s not safe or you feel too nervous, don’t make the journey.

Case study

Sheila Quinn lost her 24-year-old son Paul Dobson in a bad weather crash in December 2007. He was one of four passengers in a car when the driver lost control on an icy road. Two of the passengers died, and the driver received a five-and-a-half-year sentence for causing death by dangerous driving.

Sheila said: “It’s shocking that people are still not aware of how to drive safely in winter despite messages going out each year. A few moments of showing off can leave families like ours with a lifetime of pain. Living every day without Paul is a struggle. My heart sinks when I’m in my car and I see drivers far too close to each other and continuing to tail gate in poor weather conditions. My younger son is now 18 and not yet driving but does now go out with his friends in cars and it’s so frightening. I would urge all drivers to slow right down and take extra care in bad weather, so no more lives are ruined. I would hate any other family to go through what we have been through and are still going through. It’s a life sentence and it doesn’t get easier."

Audio of Sheila’s story available on request. 

THE FACTS: Winter driving

•           In wet weather, stopping distances more than double. On top of this, the rain and spray from other vehicles make it harder to see hazards.

•           In icy or snowy weather, stopping distances can be 10 times greater. Even if you think roads have been treated, it’s essential to drive slowly and keep well back from other road users.

•           The responsibility for clearing the snow and gritting most roads, including local streets, falls to the local highway authority. However, given financial and resource pressures it is not possible for all roads to be treated. Around 40% of roads are gritted. This means a driver can never assume that a road has been gritted.

ADVICE FOR DRIVERS: The A,B,C of winter driving

•           AVOID driving in snow and other treacherous conditions. Never set off when it’s snowing or forecast to, and avoid driving if you possibly can in other bad conditions like fog, heavy rain and ice. Consider alternatives such as walking or public transport if available. If you drive to work, speak to your employer about working from home when weather is very bad, especially if you live in a rural area prone to snow or floods.

•          BE PREPARED. Make sure your vehicle is well maintained, and tyres have a tread depth of at least 3mm. Check forecasts and plan your route to avoid roads likely to be more risky and allow plenty of time. Pack a winter driving kit in case you’re caught out. This should include: an ice scraper or de-icer; torch; cloths; a blanket and warm clothes; food and drink; first-aid kit; spade; warning triangle; and high-visibility vest. Always take a fully charged phone in case of emergencies, but never use it when driving.

•           CAREFUL AND CAUTIOUS DRIVING. If you do get caught driving in bad conditions, you need to slow right down increase the distance behind the vehicle in front. In rain your stopping distance doubles, so keep a four second gap. In snow or icy conditions stopping distances increase by as much as 10 times so you need to drop right back. Keep a careful look out for people on foot and bikes who may be harder to spot. Avoid harsh braking and acceleration and carry out manoeuvres slowly and with extra care. 

NOTES TO EDITORS

ABOUT THE REPORT

The survey consisted of 1,000 drivers and was conducted by Surveygoo

FULL SURVEY RESULTS

Q1: Do you drive when there is snow or you expect it to snow?

  • 10% said, “No, I avoid driving in snow”.
  • 13% said, “Yes, but only if it's the only viable transport option”.
  • 12% said, “Yes, but only in an emergency”.
  • 29% said, “Yes, but only in light snow”.
  • 36% said, “Yes, I will drive in snow”.

The risks of driving increase in winter weather, particularly in icy or snowy weather. The Highway Code is clear that drivers should not drive in these conditions unless the journey is essential.

Q2: Do you think drivers reduce their speed enough for safety in poor weather conditions such as ice, snow, fog or heavy rain?

  • 54% said, “No, most drivers drive too fast in poor weather”.
  • 46% said, “Yes, most drivers slow down enough for safety”.

Most drivers (54%) believe that other drivers go too fast in poor weather. Older drivers, who are more likely to have more experience driving, are more prone to think that others are driving too fast.

Q3: Do you think drivers leave enough space between them and the vehicle in front in poor weather conditions such as ice, snow, fog or heavy rain?

  • 66% say “No, most drivers travel too close”
  • 34% say “Yes, most drivers leave enough space.”

Two-thirds of drivers (66%) think that most drivers travel too close to the vehicle in front in poor weather. Older drivers, more likely to be more experienced on roads, are more likely to feel that other drivers are not leaving enough space to be safe, with 85% of drivers over 65 reporting this view.

Q4: How many seconds do you leave between your vehicle and the vehicle in front in wet weather?

  • 1% say at least one second
  • 6% say at least two seconds
  • 14% say at least three seconds
  • 19% say at least four seconds
  • 38% say at least five seconds
  • 22% say that they don’t usually count a gap behind the vehicle in front

Brake recommends that drivers leave four seconds between their vehicle and the vehicle in front in wet weather. More than one in five drivers (22%) fail to check their gap, and another fifth (21%) do not leave a large enough gap, meaning that, if they have to brake suddenly, it could lead to a serious crash.

Q5: How much do you think stopping distances increase in icy conditions?

  • 11% say twice as long
  • 33% say four times as long
  • 27% say five times as long
  • 23% say 10 times as long
  • 6% say 20 times as long

In icy conditions, stopping distances are up to ten times as long as in dry conditions. Only a quarter of drivers (23%) know this, with the majority under-estimating the distance, meaning that many drivers may be unwittingly putting themselves and other road users at risk in icy conditions.

DRIVER ADVICE

http://www.brake.org.uk/info-and-resources/facts-advice-research/road-safety-advice/21-facts-a-resources/resources/946-weather

About Brake

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

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog

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

About Direct Line

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

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

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com

As children head back to school we reveal the extent of dangerous speeding in 20mph areas

  • Four in 10 (40%) of drivers admit to ‘sometimes’ breaking the speed limit by at least 10mph
  • More than a quarter of drivers ‘regularly’ speed in areas designed to keep children (and other vulnerable road users) safe

A new survey by Brake and Direct Line has revealed how many drivers are speeding on roads where lower limits are in place to keep children and other road users safe.

Four in 10 (40%) of drivers admit they sometimes travel at 30mph or more where there is a limit of 20mph. More than a quarter (26%) of drivers say they do this at least once a month and just over one in five (21%) admits to driving much faster than the 20mph speed limit on a weekly basis. Most 20mph zones and areas are in the vicinity of schools and homes where many children will be regularly walking and cycling.

In 2014, 53 children under 16 were killed and 2,029 were seriously injured on British roads: that’s almost six children seriously hurt or killed every day. The majority (80%) were on foot or bicycle at the time.[i] 

Speed limits are put in place to keep all road users safe, especially vulnerable ones like children, and can make the difference between life and death. If a child runs into the road three car lengths ahead, a driver travelling at 30mph will not be able to stop in time, and will still be travelling at 28mph when they hit the child. A driver travelling at 20mph should just be able to stop in time, providing they are paying attention, have well-maintained brakes, and are driving in dry conditions.

There is plenty of evidence to show that lowering traffic speeds, and lowering limits to 20mph specifically, reduces casualties and creates a safer road environment, especially for those on foot and bicycle, but of course this only works if limits are adhered to. 

Analysis of 75 20mph limit sites in Scotland found casualties dropped by 42%.[ii] The World Health Organisation recommends 20mph limits as a key measure to improve pedestrian safety and save lives.[iv]

Case study

Tommy Kenny was just 10 years old when he was tragically knocked down and killed on a pedestrian crossing on a 30mph road in London. He was thrown approximately 60ft on impact, leaving him with multiple traumatic injuries so severe that he stood no chance of survival. The police investigator said that the driver was doing between 30-39mph when he hit Tommy. If the limit had been set to 20mph rather than 30mph, Tommy might still be here today.

Tommy's aunt, Michelle Kirby, said: “Tommy was a much loved son, brother, grandson, nephew and cousin with the best years of his life ahead of him. Our lives fell apart when he died and he is missed hugely by his whole family. He was a very bright, fun-loving and cheeky boy with a unique personality and a vivid imagination. He loved dinosaurs, Steven Gerrard and Doctor Who. 
If we are honest with ourselves, most people have to admit to creeping over the speed limit at times. Yet we've all seen the harrowing adverts on TV showing the horrific results of what speed can do to a child. If you drive at 20mph, you have a good chance of being able to stop in time if you need to, such as if a child runs out in front of you. We all need to slow down, and we can all do that today. One can only imagine what pain Tommy's parents, Lynsey and Lloyd, have gone through and will do for the rest of their lives.”

Alice Bailey, campaigns advisor for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “All parents want to know their children are safe while travelling to and from school and playing outdoors. Speed limits are in place to keep all road users safe and if tragedy strikes and a child is hit by a car, the speed at which it is travelling could be the difference between life and death. 20mph limits benefit our communities in so many ways, keeping them safer, cleaner and greener; when limits are lower, many more people choose to ditch the car completely and walk and cycle instead[CF1] . If people feel they have to drive, the lower speed limit will have a negligible impact on travel times and bring so many other positive effects.”

Rob Miles, director of car insurance at Direct Line, said: "Adhering to the speed limit is such a simple way of helping to make our roads safer and is within all drivers’ gift. We urge drivers to be conscientious and to remember that speed limits exist for very good reasons and that it is a legal requirement to observe them.”

Q.1 Within the past year, have you driven at 30mph or faster in a 20mph speed limit?

No, never                                            60

Yes, less than once a month              14

Yes, about once a month                      5       

Yes, about once a week                       8

Yes, several times a week                    9

Yes, once a day or more                      4

Q.2 Within the past year, have you driven at 40mph or faster in a 30mph speed limit?

No, never                                            60

Yes, less than once a month              16

Yes, about once a month                      4

Yes, about once a week                       8

Yes, several times a week                    9

Yes, once a day or more                      3

 

Notes to Editors:

Tommy’s mum Lynsey is available for interview

Please contact Alice at Brake on 01484 550063 or on abailey@brake.org.uk

Or email the news inbox on news@brake.org.uk

About Brake

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

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

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

About Direct Line

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

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

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com


[i] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2014, Department for Transport, 2015, table RAS30062

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

[iv] Pedestrian safety: a road safety manual for decision-makers and practitioners, World Health Organisation, 2013

Brake annual reception, January 2017

Speech by Mary Williams OBE, chief executive, Brake, annual reception for the charity, Westminster, 25 January 2017

To quote Martin Luther King, “The time is always right to do what is right.”

Time is an unruly beast however. 

It has a habit of speeding up and slowing down.

For busy families, and busy workers, in our busy world, it moves fast. The temptation to multi-task; to drive while on a smart phone, to break speed limits, to take the car rather than cycle and save the planet, are life-threatening, climate endangering behaviours fuelled by pressures of time. They cause drivers to prioritise ‘in the moment’, wrongly, and to devastating effect.

Time can stop in a moment.

Time grinds to a halt when someone is killed or seriously injured in a road crash. Our routines are suspended. Suddenly, our attention is focussed.

It’s beautifully summed up in WH Auden’s famous poem so often used at funerals.  “Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone. Scribble on the sky the message “he is dead”.”

Yet, consumed by grief and distress, we are given a strange and precious gift. We are given the gift of sight. We can see what matters above all – people and life. As Auden puts it: “he was my north, my south, my east, my west.”

Whether we can see it or not, the time is always right to put humanity first.

“The time is always right to do what is right.” 

There are so many affected families who work alongside Brake, bravely, to fight for humanity. To fight for what others cannot see through the haze of the day to day.

To fight for appropriately grave sentences for drivers who kill and injure through wanton actions:

use of smart phones and other on-board screens.

drink and drug driving.

speeding, or driving unlicensed, disqualified or uninsured.

knowingly driving a mechanically unfit vehicle or driving tired.  

Campaigning takes time – frustrating amounts of time. Brake has been fighting for tougher sentences for more than 20 years. Last year, working with affected families, we elevated our Roads to Justice campaign in the media.

The current government consultation road traffic offences provides a real and urgent opportunity to redress paltry sentencing.

There are so many campaigns that Brake has found, to our cost, take inordinate time, when the road ahead seems so clear.

There are so many campaigns we have consistently supported, are still outstanding and that this government has a chance to resolve. 

A reduction in the drink drive limit, to stop our country being infamous for having the highest limit in Europe.

The government has the public with them. More than three quarters of drivers we surveyed in partnership with Direct Line think our limit is too high.

Approved testing devices to catch MDMA and cocaine drivers.

20mph limits as a default for built up roads.

A country-wide network of segregated cycle lanes that connect places, enabling, fast, healthy, zero emission transport.

Prioritisation of pedestrianisation, with wide and safe pavements, crossing places and livable traffic free spaces, enabling people to move our bodies, talk to our children, meet our neighbours. Invigorating communities.

A country with transport powered by clean fuels, to end the carnage of respiratory deaths from particulate pollution. There is more than one way a vehicle can kill you.  

Vehicles, speed, air pollution and people just don’t mix. It’s possible, but not yet, that automated vehicles of the future will be able to stop on a penny for every hazard.

But that doesn’t and will never change our need to move our bodies, and consequently be healthy, happy people, particularly our children and their need to walk, run, hop and skip in safety and while breathing clean air.   

This week’s very high air pollution warning in London and the mayor’s announcement of “toxic air audits” at London schools drives home the importance of super-charging policy measures to enable low-carbon transport. 

Brake is fighting for a world that is safe, green, clean and fair, with zero road casualties and emissions from transport. This is a vision of sustainable mobility.

The United Nation’s 2020 deadline is rapidly approaching, for a halving of road deaths and injuries globally through safe systems and the 2030 goal of clean transport.  

This government has the power to stop the clock. To see what needs to be done. To be at the forefront of road safety solutions globally.

Over the past year, Brake has looked hard at our role providing education. We’ve particularly reflected on the difficulties of a campaigning, awareness raising charity achieving immediate behavioural change among individual drivers. Our surveys tell us time and again that many drivers understand risks, and do it anyway.

More than half of 25-34 year old drivers we questioned last year admitted sending or reading messages while driving.

Behavioural changes takes time. We haven’t got time.

The reality is that, while Brake can raise awareness, change needs to come from the top, and fast. 

To provide more funding for victim support.

To eliminate road casualties through safe systems.

To enable all vehicles to be clean vehicles.

But together we are so much stronger. I want to thank all supporters of the charity who help enable that change.

The families bereaved and injured, and their supportive communities, who raise awareness of the cause and fundraise.

The teachers who promote Road Safety Week in their schools, enabling children to pester power their parents to slow down.

The police and other road safety professionals, particularly family liaison officers, doing such an important task supporting affected families.

The companies prioritising managing their road risk, investing in low-carbon transport, or providing funds to the charity.

To our governments for part-funding Road Safety Week and our national victim helpline.

And last but not least to the Brake team of staff I am privileged to work with, many of whom are here tonight also.

When a life ends, time is suspended. We have clarity. Let’s use that clarity to keep fighting for humanity. 

 

 

Brake applauds new tougher sentences for drivers who kill and injure

News from Brake
Sunday, 15 October 2017
news@brake.org.uk

The Ministry of Justice has today (Sunday, 15 October 2017) announced long-awaited plans to increase maximum sentences for drivers who cause death by speeding, racing or using a mobile phone. Offenders who cause death by careless driving while under the influence of drink or drugs will also face life sentences, and a new offence of causing serious injury by careless driving will be created, the Ministry has said.

Commenting on the news, Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Today's announcement is a major victory for the families of victims and charities, including Brake, who have tirelessly campaigned for punishments which better fit road crimes that kill and seriously injure people.

"We applaud the Government for at last recognising that the statute books have been weighed against thousands of families who have had their lives torn apart through the actions of drivers who have flagrantly broken the law.

"In addition to tougher penalties, Government must also make road policing a national priority, reversing savage cuts to front line resources so that laws are properly enforced in the first place. Figures released only last month reveal that almost 1,800 people were killed on British roads last year - a four per cent rise since 2015. There is an urgent 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 deaths and serious injuries on the roads."

/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.

Brake comments as David Beckham escapes speeding conviction on technicality

News from Brake
Thursday 27 September
 
David Beckham has today been found not guilty of speeding on a technicality after the Judge concluded that the notice of intended prosecution arrived a day late, as argued by Mr Beckham's lawyer. Mr Beckham, was accused of driving a loaned Bentley at 59mph in a 40mph zone on the A40 in Paddington shortly after 5.30pm on January 23.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
"It is hugely disappointing to see a role model like David Beckham shirking his responsibility and getting off a speeding prosecution on a mere technicality. At the speed Mr Beckham was reported to be travelling, his stopping distance would be double that of someone driving within the limit – he should count himself very lucky that no incident occurred and tragedy was avoided.”
 
“Speeding is a dangerous and selfish act for which there is no excuse. Simply put, the faster a car is travelling, the more dangerous it is, and those who choose to ignore the law and the safety of others by speeding deserve to be punished. We hope Mr Beckham recognises his responsibility as a role model and makes clear to all those who look up to him that speeding is not acceptable.”
 
"Speeding is all too prevalent on our roads and savage cuts in road traffic police have only exacerbated the problem. The number of traffic officers fell  a shocking 24% from 2012-2017 and this must be remedied in order to address the worrying decline in British road safety. 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.”
 
[ENDS]
 
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 call for zero-tolerance approach to speeding and tougher penalties for those caught

 
News from Brake
Monday, 31 January 2018
 
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham has called for the 10 per cent buffer on speed limits to be scrapped and for an increase in the use of fines and penalty points for those caught.
 
Commenting on the news, Joshua Harris, Director of Campaigns at road safety charity Brake, said: “Speed limits are exactly that, limits, set at the top speed that it is safe to drive on any particular road. Drivers who go beyond these limits are behaving recklessly and endangering the lives of themselves and others. Brake wholeheartedly supports Chief Constable Anthony Bangham’s view that a zero-tolerance approach to speeding is required, sending a clear signal that breaking the law is not acceptable.
 
“Speeding penalties must prove an effective deterrent and Brake supports Chief Constable Bangham’s call for the increased use of fines and penalty points. Public perception over the acceptability of speeding needs to change and this can only happen with clarity in the law and penalties which truly deter offending.
 
“The speed of a vehicle is the key factor determining the severity of injury caused in any road crash; faster speeds mean greater stopping distances and more forceful impacts [1]. In 2016, there were five deaths a day on our roads on average [2], this is a truly shocking figure and any intervention which helps put an end to these needless tragedies should be welcomed."
 
[ENDS]
 
Notes to editors
 
 
 
About Brake
 
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
 
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
 
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments on figures showing only half of fixed cameras actively catching speeding drivers

News from Brake
Saturday, 4 November 2017
news@brake.org.uk

Only about half of fixed speed cameras in the UK are actually switched on and catching offenders, figures obtained by the Press Association indicate. Data released by 36 of the 45 police forces in the UK found that four have no fixed speed cameras at all and 13 have fewer than half actively catching speeding drivers.

Commenting on the new figures, Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "A staggering 1,800 people lost their lives on British roads last year and speeding is a factor many crashes. Speed cameras are a proven, cost-effective way of reducing deadly collisions and so it's critical they are operational. We are concerned to see figures which suggest so many are switched off and would urge they are urgently put back into action."

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 plan to increase speed through motorway roadworks

News from Brake
Monday, 16 July 2018
 
Highways England has announced that drivers could be allowed to travel at increased speed through motorway roadworks depending on what day of the week they are travelling. Following earlier trials to increase the speed limit through roadworks from 50mph to 55mph or even 60mph, the company is going to test if varying speed limits could safely be operated within a set of roadworks.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
“Speed is the critical factor in the severity of collisions and so any move to increase limits is clearly a step in the wrong direction. Strict enforcement of safe speed limits is needed to assure the safety of workers and drivers, not an increase in speed. Average speed cameras are a proven and effective deterrent to speeding and we want to see their further rollout across the motorway network to limit dangerous driving behaviour.”
 
“A recent Brake survey has found that a quarter of drivers think it likely that they will be involved in a fatal or serious crash on a motorway or dual carriageway at some point in the future. This shocking statistic makes clear that safety should be the overriding priority for investment on our motorway network, and we hope Highways England listens to the people and reconsider their plans."
 
[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 condemns government decision to increase speed limit for lorries on single carriageways

Thursday 24 July 2014

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

Brake, the road safety charity, has expressed serious concerns about plans announced today by the Department of Transport to raise the speed limit for lorries on single carriageway roads to 50mph.

The announcement comes as a survey by Brake and Digby Brown solicitors reveals the extent of risky driving on country roads.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "We are disappointed and concerned by this announcement. Put simply, when vehicles travel faster, it takes them longer to stop, increasing risk. It is very well evidenced that increases in speed equal increases in crashes and casualties. At the same time, the road safety justification for this move is dubious: we are not aware of evidence it will help tackle risky overtaking, which should be addressed through other means. Pronounced speed differences between traffic can pose a risk, but the way to address this is by preventing car drivers going too fast, not speeding trucks up. The minister says she wants to get the country moving, but we ask at what cost to road users and the environment?

"Our own survey has just revealed the worrying extent of dangerous fast driving on country roads. We should be taking steps to address this, through driver education, lower speed limits and better enforcement. We are concerned for rural communities already blighted by fast traffic and for those who want to safely enjoy the countryside on foot, bike or horseback. This threatens to make these problems worse."

Brake campaigns for lower speed limits – 50mph maximum and 40, 30, and 20mph where there are particular risks – to save lives on country roads through its Rural roads not racetracks campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, #RuralRoadsnotRacetracks.

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

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

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

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 partners with national fire and police chief councils on new road safety competition for schools

News from Brake

22 March 2017 
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, has launched a brand new project for primary schools to help children spread important road safety messages in their community.

Brake’s road safety poster competition, sponsored by Co-op Insurance, is a fun, new project that aims to inspire and engage children, aged 4-11, about the need for drivers to slow down so kids can walk and cycle to school safely.

The competition, supported by the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), will see winning designs from two age categories (4-7, and 7-11) turned into professional banners that will go on display outside schools or in the local community. Children can also win prizes worth hundreds of pounds for themselves and their school.

To help emergency service professionals inspire pupils, Brake has produced a series of free resources, including assembly and workshop presentations that they can deliver to either the whole school or a single class on a day of their choice. Children can then create a poster about the dangers of adults speeding - something that puts kids' lives at risk every single day.

The theme of the competition coincides with the fourth UN Global Road Safety Week (8-11 May), which focusses on speed and what can be done to address this key risk factor for road traffic deaths and injuries. Speed contributes to around one-third of road deaths in high-income countries, and up to half in low- and middle-income countries.

Schools also have the opportunity to fundraise for Brake by holding a Wear Your Stripes Day. Inspired by the charity’s mascot Zak the Zebra, children and staff can dress in striped clothing in exchange for money to the charity that supports bereaved and seriously injured road crash victims.

The competition can be run on a day of the school’s choice, but entries need to be submitted to Brake by Friday 30 June 2017.

For more information and to register your school visit www.brake.org.uk/postercomp

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for schools, children and parents to work together to help raise awareness about the dangers of speeding in their local community. At Brake, we recognise there is a significant need to help children deepen their knowledge about road safety, and teachers want to deliver lessons that they know will help. We’re sure our new resources and competition will inspire the next generation to be both creative and passionate about getting adults to protect all of us when using roads. I would encourage any school that works with children aged 4-11 to enter, and we look forward to seeing their designs.”

James Hillon, Director of Products at Co-op Insurance said: “At Co-op Insurance we want to support local communities in educating people of all ages on the importance of road safety. If done right, this could lead the way in improving road safety and make UK roads safer for years to come. We're really happy to be supporting Brake on such a worthwhile cause to get the message out to primary school children.”

Sean Bone-Knell, National Fire Chiefs Council Road Safety Lead, said: “The National Fire Chiefs Council is pleased to be working with children and parents across the country to highlight the issues of speeding and the impact this can have on people’s lives. Children are our future; and if we can help them understand the basics of road safety at an early age, we are hopeful this will help them stay safe on and around our roads.”

Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, National Police Chiefs’ Council Lead for Roads Policing, said: “Speeding is a significant factor in an unacceptable number of road collisions. Education is absolutely critical to improving the way people drive and so we are pleased to support this initiative. Parents and young people themselves need to understand the risks associated with excessive speeding. The earlier this conversation begins, the safer our roads can be for future generations.”

***Images available on request by emailing news@brake.org.uk***


[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, serious injuries and pollution occurring on our roads every day. We work to make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake's vision is a world where there are zero road deaths and injuries, and people can get around in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair. We do this by pushing for legislative change 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.

About Co-op Insurance

Co-op Insurance is a UK-based general insurer that operates principally within the personal lines segments of the motor and home insurance markets. The Co op Insurance underwrites the majority of business written, supplemented with some small lines of business where The Co op Insurance acts as a distributor or has a 100% reinsurance arrangement in place.

With more than 1.18m customers, The Co op Insurance is committed to ‘Doing the Right Thing’ and always strives to treat customers and members fairly. The Co op Insurance pioneered the way in lowering the insurance premiums of young drivers as the first major insurer to launch a pay how you drive telematics insurance product for young drivers in 2011. Since launching the scheme, The Co op Insurance has saved its young drivers more than £7.2 million in their first year of driving.

About NFCC

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) provides clear, professional leadership while representing the wider sector on matters such as professional standards, operational guidance, research and sharing best practice. The NFCC also leads and delivers key national workstreams through its Coordination Committees and aims to drive improvement and development across UK Fire and Rescue Services, while supporting strong leadership.

About NPCC

The NPCC brings police forces in the UK together to help policing coordinate operations, reform, improve and provide value for money. Some of the biggest threats to public safety are national and international. We have a collective strength by coordinating the operational response across forces. Crime is changing and so are citizens’ needs and expectations of policing. We’re constantly adapting and reforming to keep people safe. Public confidence and support is essential. We're always striving to improve the way we work and learn from when things go wrong to build people's confidence in us. It’s more important than ever that our service is efficient and effective, providing best value for money.

Brake responds to Scotland's 20mph Consultation

A proposal for a Bill to replace the current 30mph default speed limit on restricted roads with a 20mph limit. Consultation by Mark Ruskell MSP, Member for Mid Scotland and Fife

Response from Brake, the road safety charity, September 2017

5. Which of the following best expresses your view of the proposal to replace the current 30mph default speed limit on restricted roads with a 20mph limit?

Fully supportive.

Please explain the reasons for your response.

Brake fully supports changing Scotland’s current 30mph default speed limit on restricted roads to 20mph because it offers an opportunity to save lives, promote sustainable transport and improve the environment.

Excessive speed is a major contributory factor in road crashes, resulting in death and serious injury. In 2015, "travelling too fast for conditions" and "exceeding the speed limit" were contributory factors in 19% of fatal crashes and 11% of all reported road crashes in Scotland [1]. Excessive speed is also a significant problem for UK road traffic enforcement officers: in 2015-16 alone, 32% of Scottish motoring offences were classified as speeding offences (54,419 offences) [2].

At slower speeds, drivers have more time to identify potential hazards and take action to avoid them [3,4]. At 20mph, the average stopping distance is 12 metres, rising to 23 metres at 30mph according to the UK Highway Code [5], although new research from Brake/TRL suggests these distances are underestimated [6]. In addition, if a vehicle is travelling at a slower speed before a crash, the energy involved in the impact is much lower, and much less damage is caused by the crash [7].

As well as inflicting horrendous suffering, every road death is estimated to cost the economy £1.8 million [8]. Fewer casualties mean less strain on the NHS and emergency services, and less emotional and financial devastation for families [9]. A study in Wales suggested that introducing 20mph limits on roads classified as 30mph could prevent 6-10 road deaths and 1203-1978 casualties annually, saving an estimated £58-94 million per year in Welsh public health costs [10]. 

Reducing casualties isn’t the only public health benefit of a default 20mph limit. Slower traffic speed makes people feel safer, which encourages more walking and cycling. Surveys of public attitudes towards traffic speeds carried out in Edinburgh before and after the implementation of a 20mph limit, showed that the percentage of respondents expressing a level of concern for traffic speeds fell from 32% in the ‘before’ survey to 24% in the ‘after’ survey. Analysis of cyclists’ attitudes showed that they were significantly less likely to be concerned about traffic speeds after 20mph speed limits had been introduced [11]. In April 2013, the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group recommended the “widespread extension of 20mph speed limits as the default value in urban streets” to increase cycling [12].  More people walking and cycling means less motorised traffic on the roads and less pollution from vehicle emissions.

More walking and cycling means better health and prevention of illnesses like heart disease and diabetes, and greater savings for the taxpayer [13]. Lower speed limits can also help local businesses, especially in ailing town centres, by increasing footfall. In financial terms, the introduction of 20mph limits has widespread benefits and pays for itself many times over [14].

In short, there are numerous benefits to the introduction of a default 20mph limit where people live - including improved road safety, public health and sustainable transport, and less strain on the NHS and other public services.

Footnotes:

[1] In 2015, ‘travelling too fast for conditions’ and ‘exceeding the speed limit’ were contributory factors in 19% fatal crashes and 11% road crashes in Scotland (RRC Scotland 2015, Transport Scotland, 2016).
[2] Recorded crime in Scotland 2015-16, Scottish government, Group 7, 2016.
[3] Average road crashes could fall by 4-6% per 1mph reduction in vehicle speed [Taylor, M. C., et al., The effects of drivers’ speed on the frequency of road accidents, TRL, 2000].
[4] Transport Scotland, Good practice guide on 20mph speed restrictions, 2016
[5] Department for Transport, UK Highway Code Rule 126: stopping distances, updated 2017
[6] Cuerden, R., The mechanics of emergency braking, Brake & TRL, 2017 http://www.brake.org.uk/media-centre/1748-new-figures-show-highway-code-falls-short-on-stopping-distances
[7] Khorasani-Zavareh D. et al, Kinetic energy management in road traffic injury prevention: a call for action, 2015.
[8] Department for Transport, Reported road casualties GB: Annual report 2015, 2015, RAS60001
[9] Jones, S. & Brunt, H., Twenty miles per hour speed limits: a sustainable health solution to public health problems in Wales, British Medical Journal, 2017
[10] Jones, S. & Brunt, H., Twenty miles per hour speed limits: a sustainable health solution to public health problems in Wales, British Medical Journal, 2017
[11] City of Edinburgh Council, Before and After: Research into the implementation of 20mph speed limits in South Edinburgh, 2013
[12] All-party Parliamentary Cycling Group, Get Britain Cycling, 2013
[13] Department of Health, Start Active, Stay Active: A report on physical activity from the four home countries’ Chief Medical Officers, 2011
[14] Living Streets, The pedestrian pound: business case for better streets and places, 2015

6. Could the aims of the proposal be better delivered in another way (without a Bill in the Scottish Parliament?

No

Please explain the reasons for your response.

The Scottish Parliament is responsible for setting the country’s speed limits and must take a central leadership role if the full benefits of 20mph speed limits (as outlined in the response to question 5) are to be realised. According to the World Health Organization: “Responsible and accountable road safety leadership at country, state, provincial and city levels is vital to success” [1], while the OECD highlights the importance of leadership to achieve a paradigm shift towards a ‘safe systems’ approach to road safety [2].

Local authorities can use traffic regulation orders (TROs) to implement 20mph limits and zones [3], but the introduction and enforcement of 20mph speed limits has been described as ‘limited’, with many authorities said to lack the necessary resources and leadership to do so [4].

Evidence suggests that without central Government backing, the implementation of 20mph speed limits will be varied and inconsistent [4,5]. Without legislative support, the process for introducing 20mph limits and zones to urban areas is too complex and expensive for many local authorities [6]. Legislation is needed to simplify implementation of a default 20mph speed limit and to reduce costs and confusion for local officials and Transport Scotland [6].

Footnotes:

[1] WHO, Save LIVES: a road safety technical package, 2017
[2] International transport forum, Zero deaths and serious injuries: leading a paradigm shift to a safe system, OECD, 2016
[3] Parliament UK, Roads: traffic regulation orders (SN6013), 2014
[4] Steer Davies Gleave, Research into the effectiveness of 20mph speed limits and zones, London Borough of Merton, 2014
[5] Transport Scotland has already part-funded the City of Edinburgh council’s 20mph scheme that covers 80% of the roads in the city centre (City of Edinburgh Council, Before and After: Research into the implementation of 20mph speed limits in South Edinburgh, 2013)
[6] PACTS, Road safety since 2010,  2015 – indicates the need for consistent, government-led speed management policies instead of localised approach.

7. What do you think would be the main advantages, if any, of the proposal?

There are significant benefits to the proposal, outlined in our response to question 5, including improved road safety, public health and sustainable transport.

Towns, villages and other residential areas should be places where anyone can travel unimpeded in a safe and pleasant environment. The introduction of default 20mph speed limits helps create shared spaces that are healthier, greener and safer [1]. Lower speed limits encourage people to be more active, cycling and walking short journeys, and improving their fitness, health and wellbeing [2,3].

Speed is a significant contributor to road crashes, and reducing speed offers a major opportunity to reduce road deaths and serious injuries, especially among vulnerable road users including cyclists, pedestrians and children [4] [5].

Speeding traffic also has a negative impact on air quality, noise pollution levels and the ‘liveability’ of an area [6].

A 20mph speed limit suited to the local environment can result in smoother journeys with less vehicle idling, which contributes to air pollution; it’s important to cut unnecessary pollution in places where people live and work, including residential areas and near schools and hospitals [7].

Slower speeds can also benefit the economically disadvantaged as low-income housing is often located close to busy roads; slower traffic means more people can travel through their community without fear of the road [8].

Footnotes

[1] Baster, N. et al, Achieving safety, sustainability and health goals in transport, PACTS, 2015
[2] Public Health England, Working together to promote active travel: a briefing for local authorities, 2016
[3] Jones, S., Brunt, H. 2017 Twenty miles per hour speed limits: a sustainable solution for public health problems in Wales, Journal of Epidemiology and Health, 10.
[4] Studies suggest that until the age of 14 children lack the cognitive reasoning to cross the road safely (Plumert, 2017).
[5] Cohen J, Boniface S, Watkins S. Health implications of transport planning, development and operations. J Transport Health, 2014;1:63–72
[6] TravelWest, Essential evidence: No 159 What could a switch from 30mph to 20mph achieve across a whole country’s population, 2017
[7] Transport and environment analysis group, An evaluation of the estimated impacts on vehicle emissions of a 20mph speed restriction in central London: final report, Imperial College London, 2013
[8] RoSPA, Social factors in road safety: policy paper, 2012

8. What do you think would be the main disadvantages, if any, of the proposal?

N/A

9. What measures do you think would be needed to maximise compliance with the new national speed limit on restricted roads? (Examples might include advertising, signage or police enforcement)

The Scottish Government should introduce this policy with an educational/awareness-raising advertising campaign, supported by a nuanced, evidence-based road safety strategy with targets to maximise driver compliance and road user safety [1-4]. A parallel crackdown on enforcement in selected 20mph areas, for example by police patrols and speed cameras is also required [5].

Footnotes

[1] WHO, Save LIVES: a road safety technical package, 2017
[2] International transport forum, Zero deaths and serious injuries: leading a paradigm shift to a safe system, OECD, 2016
[3] Ciaburro, T. & Spencer, J., Seizing the opportunity: safer roads, PACTS, 2017
[4] Brake, Inspire, inform, engage: Developing a pragmatic approach to road safety and sustainable transport interventions, 2017
[5] Owen et al., The effectiveness of average speed cameras in Great Britain, RAC Foundation, 2016.

Financial implication

10. Taking account of both the costs and potential savings, what financial impact would you expect the Bill to have on:

a). the Scottish Government:

Some increase in cost

b). Local authorities:

Broadly cost neutral

c). Motorists:

Broadly cost neutral

d). Other road users and members of the public:

Significant reduction in cost

e). Other public services (e.g. NHS, Fire and Rescue Services etc.)

Significant reduction in cost

Please explain the reasons for your response.

The Scottish Government: Could experience an increase in costs during the initial stages of implementing a default 20mph limit, as repeater signs are removed (or added for 30mph zones). In the long-run, however, the government stands to make significant savings by preventing road deaths and serious injury. Fatal crashes cost Scotland £332.8 million in 2015; crashes resulting in serious injuries cost £351.9 million; and in total road crashes cost Scotland £1,130.2 million in 2015 [1].

Local authorities:Could experience a slight increase in costs if they adapt the local road infrastructure to reflect the new limit or install speed cameras to enforce new speed limits [2]; however, local authorities will no longer have to spend money on repeater signs for 20mph zones [3] and the income generated from new speed cameras could be used to fund local road safety initiatives [4].

Motorists:A largely cost neutral group, although there are financial benefits of fewer crashes, more reliable journey times and associated costs [5].

Other road users:Could experience a significant reduction in cost. A smaller number of crashes means that fewer families are likely to experience the death of a salary-earning loved one in a road crash [6].

Public services: Reduction in costs due to fewer emergency services call-outs to attend road crashes and treat victims. Lower speed limits could also encourage more people to engage with public transport options, potentially increasing local funding for these services [7].

Footnotes

[1] Reported Road Casualties: Scotland 2015, Transport Scotland, 2016
[2] City of Edinburgh Council’s 20mph scheme covered 80% of the city and estimated to cost £2.2 million (City of Edinburgh Council, Objections to Traffic Regulation Order TRO/15/17 20mph Speed Limit – Various Roads, Edinburgh, Transport and environment committee, 2016)
[3] Statutory instruments 2016 No.362: Traffic signs, regulations and general directions 2016, gov.uk, 2016
[4] Owen et al., The effectiveness of average speed cameras in Great Britain, RAC Foundation, 2016
[5] Department for Transport, Accident and casualty costs, RAS60, 2016.
[6] Wedlock, E & Tapley, J., What works in supporting victims of crime: a rapid evidence assessment, 2016 
[7] Transport for London, Safe streets for London: The road safety action plan for London 2020, 2013

11. Do you believe there will be any other benefits to reducing the speed limit from 30mph to 20mph?

Please refer to the responses to questions 5 and 7.

Equalities

12. What overall impact is the proposed Bill likely to have on equality, taking account of the following protected characteristics (under the Equality Act 2010): age, disability, gender re-assignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race and belief, sex, sexual orientation?

Slightly positive

Please explain the reasons for your response

There is a significant body of evidence worldwide suggesting that people in disadvantaged socioeconomic groups are more likely to be involved in a road crash [1]. The introduction of a lower default speed limit could help disadvantaged groups by increasing road safety generally in the places where they work and live [2].

In addition, safer roads in communities would help make shared spaces more accessible to those with disabilities or limited movement due to illness or age [3].

Footnotes

[1] WHO, Global status report on road safety: 2015, 2016
[2] Steinbach, R. et al., The impact of 20mph zones on inequalities in road casualties in London, British Medical Journal, 2011
[3] Living Streets, The pedestrian pound: business case for better streets and places, 2015

13. Could any negative impact of the Bill on equality be minimised or avoided?

We do not consider there to be any negative impact.

14. Do you consider that the proposed Bill can be delivered sustainably i.e. without having likely future disproportionate economic, social and/or environmental impacts?

Yes

Please explain the reasons for your response

The National Institute for Health Care and Excellence (NICE) has indicated that if 20mph speed limits are introduced incorrectly, there could be significant reduction in air quality [1]. But if changes are implemented responsibly and in line with an evidence-based strategy, we think that the benefits - in terms of improved road safety and encouraging people to take up more sustainable active travel, as outlined in our response to question 7 - outweigh the cost of implementing the Bill.

In both financial and environmental terms, the cost of installing new road signs will be offset to some degree by the reduced need for 20mph repeater signs [2]; this will also result in reduced local government costs and ‘decluttering’ of residential road space.

Footnotes

[1] NICE, Air Pollution: outdoor air quality and health, 2017.
[2] Statutory instruments 2016 No.362: Traffic signs, regulations and general directions 2016, gov.uk, 2016

General

15. Do you have any other comments or suggestions on the proposal to establish a 20mph default speed limit on restricted roads?

No

Brake speaks out in support of motorway speed camera roll-out

Brake has spoken out in support of Highways Agency proposalsto roll out speed cameras on stretches of 'smart' motorways, to target drivers exceeding the 70mph limit.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Speed cameras are an extremely well evidenced, cost-effective way to improve safety and reduce deaths and injuries on roads where they are placed, preventing families going through the trauma of a sudden bereavement or life-changing injury. Put simply: speed cameras reduce speeding, which helps to prevent deadly crashes. Breaking the speed limit is risky and illegal, so only drivers who break the law will face fines."

Read evidence about speed camera effectiveness.

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

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

Brake Speed Congress, May 2014

Campaigning for slower speeds and safer communities

Speech by Mary Williams OBE, Brake chief executive

In advertising and in popular culture, speed is packaged as desirable and exciting. For example, a recent Jaguar advert featured actor Sir Ben Kingsley and the caption “It’s good to be bad”. In this conception, speed is linked with being more focussed, more precise, always one step ahead, and obsessed by power.

If we contrast this with other road users, particularly children, our most vulnerable road users, we see that they are also obsessed with power, and love to go fast, but are inattentive and inexperienced, make mistakes and are clumsy, and take longer. Kids may be just as obsessed by power as speeding adults, but on the roads, they are powerless. They are vulnerable and need our protection. Speed remains the number one cause of crashes – it is our main battleground in road safety.

Unfortunately, many drivers do not see speed as a serious issue. Simple illustrations can help to bring home the point to those who are sceptical: for example, the below diagram, illustrating inertial speeds by using the metaphor of falling from a building.

falling-speeds-diagram

As all of us working in road safety know, there is no quick fix to reducing speeds. It takes a mixture of efforts to reduce speeds, for example: technology such as intelligent speed adaptation (ISA); road engineering such as separation of vehicles and pedestrians; changes to road rules such as 20mph (30km/h) speed limits; increased speed enforcement such as average speed cameras; and, last but certainly not least, education and awareness campaigns.

This last point is Brake’s major focus. As a campaigning charity, we: set out policy positions to influence government and other decision-makers; raise awareness through PR and media work; carry out education projects; fundraise; and provide much-needed services for the victims of road crashes.

Some question the efficacy of road safety education and campaigning. The answer to that is simple: if you don’t know walking is possible, you cannot take your first step. Campaigns enable governments, drivers and communities to know what safe measures are available and to work towards them. This is known as the ‘availability heuristic’, a mental shortcut that means people are more likely to think of things as important or persuasive if they already have examples in their mind.

For example, the US Department of Homeland Security has an annual budget of more than $40 billion, to combat the 100 terrorism-related deaths in the USA each year – this equates to $400,000,000 per death. By contrast, the US annual road safety budget is $1 billion, to combat 35,000 road deaths every year – working out at just $29,000 per death. This is due to the availability heuristic: most people consider terrorism a much greater threat than road death, due to the high reporting of terrorism in the media and its prominence in films and other popular culture. Road deaths are rarely reported simply because they are commonplace and so not often deemed newsworthy, creating a false impression that they are less of a threat than terrorism.

It is therefore vital that we in the road safety sector continue to talk about road risk, and speed in particular, as often as we can, to keep it at the forefront of people’s minds. There are several things that we as road safety campaigners can do to get this message across in the most effective way.

  • Smile: positive, encouraging messages are the best way to get people on our side.
  • Appeal to the widest audience: Brake doesn’t stand up for cyclists, or pedestrians, or any other one group – we stand up for people. We are all pedestrians at least some of the time, we all use the roads, so we all have a common interest in making sure our roads are safe.
  • Collaborate: there are lots of groups with an interest in road safety, including cycling campaigns and disability rights groups. We share common goals so should work together – the more people on our side, the fewer standing against us.
  • Peer-led education: road deaths affect whole communities, so first-person, locally-focused stories, such as Brake’s victim story videos, are very effective in bringing the message home.
  • Present information in many different ways: for example, interactive online tools and social media will help reach a wider audience than just static web pages or press releases distributed through traditional media channels.
  • Whole community engagement: in particular, getting kids involved in campaigning can be very effective. Children are our most vulnerable road users, and have a keen sense of right and wrong, so involving them in campaigns gives them a voice on issues that affect them directly. Campaigns like Brake’s Giant Walking Bus are a great example of ‘people power’, demonstrating that ordinary people care about safer streets as much as we do.
  • Fundraise:as well as supporting the lifesaving work that we do, our fundraising efforts help people to understand what we are trying to achieve, and understand that slower speeds are a cause, as much as cancer is a cause.
  • Focus on the message:the slower speeds message must be made appropriate and relevant to all audiences. It is especially important to have some messaging that targets children – ‘pester power’ is an incredibly important persuasive technique.

There is a behavioural theory known as ‘nudge’, which states that influencing behaviour in a positive direction, for example through setting a good example or packaging safe behaviour as desirable, is a more effective way to change behaviour than simply telling people what they should or shouldn’t do. Emphasising the positive aspects of slower speeds – slow is healthy, slow is relaxing, slow is seeing the world around you and being part of it – will help counter the message seen in adverts such as the one referenced at the start of this paper.

To be slow, drivers need to: know this is something they need to do; agreeto do it; intend to stick to this agreement; have the capacity to do so; and actually slow down. There are many internal and external pressures that can make this more difficult for drivers, as summarised in the table below.

External pressure

Internal pressure

Family has low safety standards

Poor value set and lifestyle

Peer pressure and circumstance

Thinks roads are safe and crash risk is low

Belief ‘others’ think bad behaviour is ok

Inflated opinion of ability / easily influenced

Other drivers / road design / no enforcement

Risk-taker and impulsive

Uncaring superiors and no community

Bad habits and law breaker

 

Work and home-life stresses

However, this doesn’t mean that influencing behaviour is an impossible task. For every negative pressure listed above, there are also positive pressures – as listed below.

External pressure

Internal pressure

Family has high safety standards

Positive values and lifestyle

Peer pressure and circumstance

Awareness of road danger and crash risk

Belief ‘others’ think road safety is important

Realistic opinion of ability and self-confident

Other drivers / road design / enforcement

Does not enjoy risk taking / not impulsive

Caring superiors and community

Good habits: law abiding

 

A calm life

People have the potential to make safe choices – we just need to influence them in the right direction, and allow people to follow their principles. Most people do want to be safe, and want to protect others – certainly no one wants to be responsible for a death or serious injury. People also want to connect with others, be part of a community, and look out for one another – slow is a way to do this.

Although we still have a long way to go in road safety, we should remember how far we’ve already come. We are making progress, through connecting with people: people have the power to change the world.

 

Brake supports Scottish proposals for default 20mph limit in built up areas

News from Brake
Thursday, 14 September 2017
news@brake.org.uk

Brake, the road safety charity, has today pledged its support for proposals put forward in Scotland for a default 20mph limit in built up areas. The charity has issued a consultation response to a members' bill proposed by Mark Ruskell MSP (Mid Scotland and Fife) for a lower speed limit.

Commenting on the proposals, Jason Wakeford, Brake's Director of Campaigns, said: "A default 20mph limit across built up areas in Scotland offers a golden opportunity to save lives, promote sustainable transport and improve the environment.

"Travelling at lower speeds drastically reduces the risk of death and serious injury and encourages more walking and cycling - relieving pressure on the NHS and other public services.

"We fully support Mark Ruskell's proposed bill and want to see more urban areas going 20 right across the UK."

[ENDS]

Brake's full consultation response can be accessed at: http://www.brake.org.uk/top-level/2-about-us/1766-brake-responds-to-scotland-s-20mph-consultation

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 welcomes 20mph limits across Edinburgh

Thursday 8 January 2015

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

Plans to turn Edinburgh into Scotland’s first 20mph city have been revealed this week. Swathes of the city’s streets are set to adopt the new limit, following a public consultation last autumn, which saw significant backing for the proposals.

Brake, the road safety charity, in partnership with numerous other organisations, has long campaigned for 20, not 30mph, to be the urban default speed limit across the UK through its GO 20 campaign. Seewww.brake.org.uk/go20.

Welcoming the change, Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “This is an enlightened move by Edinburgh Council. They recognise that 20mph limits can enable people to get around their neighbourhoods, towns and city centres more safely, sustainably and healthily. Plus it’s clear this is what the people of Edinburgh want. With anestimated 13 million people across the UK now living in areas implementing or committed to widespread 20mph limits, we think it’s time for governments in Holyrood and Westminster to adopt 20mph as the default national urban limit, to save councils money and help create safe, active, happy communities nationwide.

“As well as calling on national government to change the default urban limit to 20mph, Brake continues to encourage and support local authorities to GO 20 through implementing widespread 20 limits across cities, towns and villages. Drivers can also help protect people on foot and bike right away wherever they are, by slowing down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops, even where the limit is still 30mph.

Brake’s advice

Brake appeals to all drivers to make a difference by slowing down to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops, even where the limit is still 30mph. This gives you much more time to react in an emergency and avoid hitting someone, with stopping distances at 20mph about half those at 30mph. It can also make your journeys smoother, with less speeding up and slowing down, so you’ll barely notice a difference in journey times, and will probably use less petrol and have less vehicle wear.

Facts

20mph limits lead to:

  • Fewer casualties: drivers have more time to react in an emergency and avoid hitting someone: stopping distances at 20mph are about half those at 30mph [1]. Children benefit especially, since they struggle to judge the speed of vehicles over 20mph [2]. Areas where 20mph limits have replaced 30mph limits have seen significant reductions in casualties [3] [4], such as 22% in Portsmouth [5], and Camden where crashes dropped by 54% in trial areas [6].
  • Healthy, active lifestyles: less fast traffic makes people feel safer, which encourages more walking and cycling. Where widespread 20mph limits have been introduced, walking and cycling has increased, including by 20% in Bristol [7]. This means better health and prevention of illnesses like heart disease and diabetes [8], and less strain on the NHS.
  • Sociable communities: 20mph limits help turn our streets from soulless thoroughfares for traffic to enjoyable social spaces where people live. Lower traffic speeds (and traffic volumes) have been shown to improve the 'sociability' of streets: people get out more and are more likely to know their neighbours [9] [10].
  • Less pollution: more people walking and cycling means less traffic and more carbon-free journeys. 20mph limits also reduce pollution by causing vehicles to travel at a more consistent speed, with less of the speeding up and slowing down that produces most vehicle emissions [11]. For the same reason, journey times are barely affected; in fact, they may be smoother and use less petrol.
  • Lower costs: every road death in the UK is estimated to cost £1.7 million [12]. Fewer casualties mean less strain on the NHS and emergency services as well as preventing families suffering emotional and financial devastation. Add the public health benefits of more walking and cycling, and introducing 20mph limits ultimately pays for itself many times over [13].

Find out more about Brake’sGO 20 campaign for safe, active, happy communities.

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 onTwitter orFacebook. FollowJulie 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] The Highway Code, Driving Standards Agency, 2007
[2] Reduced sensitivity to visual looming inflates the risk posed by speeding vehicles when children try to cross the road, University of London, 2011
[3 20mph speed reduction initiative, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2001
[4] 20mph Speed Limit Pilots Evaluation Report, Warrington Borough Council, 2010

[5] Interim Evaluation of the Implementation of 20 mph Speed Limits in Portsmouth, Department for Transport, 2010
[6] Borough-wide 20mph speed limit, Camden Council, 2013,http://www.camden.gov.uk/ccm/content/transport-and-streets/traffic-management/speed-limits.en
[7] Where widespread 20mph limits have been introduced levels of walking and cycling increased by 20%. Citywide Rollout of 20mph speed limits, Bristol City Council Cabinet, 2012

[8] At least five a week – evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health – a report from the Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, 2004
[9] The contribution of good public spaces to social integration in urban neighbourhoods, Daniel Sauter & Marco Hüttenmoser, Swiss National Science Foundation, 2006
[10] Driven to excess, Joshua Hart, University of the West of England, 2008
[11] Environmental effects of 30 km/h in urban areas – with regard to exhaust emissions and noise, The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, 1999
[12] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2011, Department for Transport, 2012
[13] In Bristol, 20mph resulted in a massive return on investment because of the cost savings to the health service through increased physical activity. They used the World Health Organisation's Health Economic Assessment Tool to estimate the changes in cost to health as a result of 20mph. They found for every £1 spent they saw a return of £24.72 through increased walking and £7.47 through increased cycling. Citywide Rollout of 20mph speed limits, Bristol City Council Cabinet, 2012

Brake welcomes clarified guidance for driving examiners on speed in urban areas

Thursday 29 May 2014

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

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) has clarified its written guidance for driving examiners on appropriate speed in built-up areas. The move comes in response to concerns raised by Brake, the road safety charity, alongside the GO 20 coalition, over whether driving test candidates could potentially be penalised for driving at 20mph in 30mph areas, even where the lower speed is more appropriate to the road environment.

The GO 20 coalition calls for 20mph to become the default limit in cities, towns and villages, and appeals to drivers to slow down to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops, even where the limit is still 30mph, to protect people on foot and bike.

The DT1 document that contains the guidance has been clarified to make it clearer that the speed limit is the absolute maximum and does not mean it is safe to drive at that speed:

"The speed limit is a limit and not a target and there are many instances especially in narrow residential streets when candidates may need to reduce their speed considerably lower than the speed limit – this should not be considered as a fault."

This reflects advice already given to examiners by the DVSA during training. All driving test candidates must demonstrate the ability to adapt their speed to prevailing road conditions, and drive at a speed that allows them to stop safely in the distance they can see to be clear.

Welcoming the change, Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "It is excellent news that the DVSA has responded to the GO 20 coalition's concerns and clarified their guidance. There is a growing consensus that 20mph is the most appropriate top speed to protect people on foot and bike in built-up areas. It is critical that drivers learn right from the start of their driving careers that speed limits are limits, not targets, and that slowing down is one of the most important things they can do to safeguard others. This change will help give drivers the confidence to make the choice to protect people, and slow down to 20mph in communities, even in areas where the limit is still 30mph."

Find out more about Brake's GO 20 campaign for safe, active, happy communities. Tweet us @Brakecharity, #GO20.

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, a Fleet Safety Forum, practitioner 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 welcomes increase in fines for motorway speeding and phone use at the wheel

Wednesday 11 June 2014

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

Proposals to increase the maximum fines magistrates can impose for speeding on motorways and dual carriage ways have been announced by the Ministry of Justice, with maximum fines of £10,000 for speeding on a motorway and £4,000 on dual carriage ways. The current maximum fines for speeding are £2,500 on motorways and £1,000 on dual carriage ways. Drivers who use a mobile phone at the wheel could also face a £4,000 fine.

Read about the story here.

Reacting, Gary Rae, senior campaigner, Brake, said: “This is a welcome announcement. Through the support we provide for victims of road crashes, we bear witness to the devastating effects of risky law-breaking at the wheel. We need strong deterrents to speeding, mobile phone use and other dangerous behaviour by drivers, and tough punishments for those who put lives at risk. As such, we welcome these proposals for higher fines in Magistrates’ Courts. However we also need to see far higher fixed penalty fines, to build a greater respect for life-protecting laws on our roads.”

In 2012, 88 people were killed on UK motorways and 654 were seriously injured [1].

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.

[1] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2012: Annual Report, Department for Transport, 2013