Articles Tagged ‘speeding - Brake the road safety charity’

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

Beep Beep! campaign urges drivers to slow down to save little lives, as three in five parents report speeding around their child’s school

Wednesday 18 March 2015

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

Road safety charity Brake and Churchill Insurance are urging drivers to ‘go 20’ and take more care in communities, as their latest survey puts the spotlight on irresponsible driving around schools and nurseries. Three in five parents (59%) reported witnessing speeding outside their child’s school or nursery in the past year, with the same number (60%) also reporting drivers pulling out or turning without looking properly.

The findings come as up to 26,000 tots across the UK take part in the first national Beep Beep! Day of 2015, a road safety project for nurseries and infant schools run by Brake and Churchill and aimed at helping keep young children safe on the roads. See the Beep Beep Day! launch video and photos.

Brake and Churchill’s survey of 1,000 parents of 5-11 year olds also found:

  • Nearly half (47%) reported distracted driving, such as drivers on phones, around their child’s school.
  • Two thirds (65%) reported inconsiderate or illegal parking around their child’s school.
  • Three in 10 (30%) had witnessed children not being secured properly in child restraints.

Worryingly, there are indications that parents themselves could be part of the problem. A third (32%) admitted they don’t drive more safely, for instance by slowing down and looking more than usual, near schools and nurseries, and a quarter (24%) admitted they don’t even do so around their child’s own school or nursery. Three in five also admitted they don’t take more care around homes (62%) or shops (60%).

As well as teaching children aged two to seven road safety basics, Brake’s Beep Beep! Days raise awareness among parents and drivers about how they can keep kids safe. As this year’s project kicks off, Brake and Churchill are appealing to all drivers, including parents, to take responsibility for children’s safety to help prevent the six child deaths and serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day [1].

In particular, drivers are being asked to stick to 20mph or below around schools, nurseries, homes and shops, to protect children and others on foot or bike.Find out aboutBrake’s GO 20 campaign.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“All children have the right to a healthy life, and to be able to play safely – rights that are universally enshrined in the UN convention on the rights of the child. And yet, in the UK, one of the most developed countries in the world, our children are often denied these rights because of the lethal danger posed by fast traffic and careless driving. That’s why, in a year when the UN is asking people across the world to help #SaveKidsLives on roads, we’re calling on UK drivers to take the lead in making roads safer for children – by going 20mph or less and taking more care in communities. As well as educating kids about road danger, we hope the Beep Beep! Day project will serve as an inspiration for parents and drivers to help reduce that danger.”

Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance, said: “We are very proud to be supporting Beep Beep! Day once again this year. Too many children die or are seriously injured on our roads each day. Beep Beep! Day is a great way of starting to educate young children on road safety, as well as raising awareness among drivers, including parents and grandparents, of the need to drive with extreme care when young children are about.”

REGISTER! 

Nurseries, playgroups, child-minders, infant schools and children’s centres can sign up now to run a Beep Beep! Day. Register online to receive a free electronic resource pack, or purchase a bumper hard-copy pack for £12.60 (inc VAT), including posters, stickers, certificates, activity sheets, road map and hand print poster. Go to www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday, call 01484 550061 or emailbeepbeep@brake.org.uk.

About Beep Beep! Day

In 2014, 15,000 children took part in a Beep Beep! Day. Brake encourages nurseries, playgroups, infant schools, children's centres and childminders to run the event on one of three dates – in 2015, these are 18 March, 8 July and 15 November – or on whatever day is best for them. Nurseries receive a free electronic pack with downloadable resources, or can buy a bumper hard-copy pack for £12.60 (inc VAT) to help them run road safety activities and promote road safety to parents and the community.

Beep Beep! Days involve activities such as creating a poster of hand prints saying 'We hold hands', experimenting with toy cars to learn the words stop and go, and singing road safety songs. Activities are designed to help children to start understanding road safety, and to emphasise to parents and other adults their responsibilities in protecting children. Sponsorship raised by children helps Brake provide support for families bereaved and injured by road crashes and run community road safety campaigns.

See www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday.

Advice for parents

When your child starts to walk with you around your community, talk to them about how they must always hold your hand. If your child is likely to pull away from you, use safety reins or a wrist strap. Hold hands until your child is at least eight, or longer depending on their development.

Make sure they understand the meaning of stop, traffic, danger, look, listen, walk don't run, and other key words. Encourage your child's nursery or playgroup to teach road safety through a Beep Beep! Day. Your child's learning will be more effective if they are taught about road safety at school as well as at home.

See www.brake.org.uk/families.

Full results

These results, released today (Wednesday 18 March 2015), are from a survey of 1,000 parents of children aged 5-11, conducted by independent survey company Surveygoo in March 2015.

Q1. Do you drive more safely (e.g. slowing down and looking around more) around the following? (tick all that apply)

  • Your own child’s school or nursery – 76%
  • Other schools and nurseries – 68%
  • Leisure facilities (e.g. parks, playgrounds, sports facilities) – 50%
  • Shops – 40%
  • Homes – 38%
  • None of the above – 15%

Q2. Have you witnessed any of the following bad driving behaviour around your child(ren)’s school or nursery in the past year? (tick all that apply)

  • Speeding – 59%
  • Pulling out/turning without looking properly – 60%
  • Inconsiderate/illegal parking – 65%
  • Road rage – 33%
  • Distracted driving (e.g. on phones) – 47%
  • Children not belted up properly in child restraints – 30%
  • None of the above – 11%

Brake

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

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

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

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

Churchill

Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK's leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

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

Churchill and UK Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0800 200300 or visiting www.churchill.com.

End notes

[1]In 2013, there were 2,053 children (ages 0-15) killed or seriously injured on UK roads. Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2013 Annual Report, Department for Transport, 2014.Police Recorded Injury Road Traffic Collision Statistics: 2013 Key Statistics Report, Police Service of Northern Ireland, 2014.

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

Monday 17 November 2014

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

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

Road safety charity Brake is today launching a campaign calling on all road users to look out for each other, to help stop the five deaths and 61 serious injuries that happen every day on UK roads [1][2], and particularly to protect people on foot and bike. The campaign is being backed by bereaved families from the West Midlands, where 156 people were killed and 1,642 seriously injured last year. Case studies below.

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

As part of the campaign, Brake and partners RSA and Specsavers are today (17 Nov) revealing statistics showing shocking numbers of drivers senselessly risking lives by flouting traffic laws. 94,225 fixed penalty notices were issued for ‘careless driving’ and speeding offences in the West Midlands in 2013– one every six minutes. 92,732 were for speeding and 1,493 for careless driving (a fixed penalty newly introduced in August 2013). Embargoed figures are available by postcode, including the top 10 worst postcode areas[3].

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case studies:

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

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

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


 

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

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

Facts and advice:

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

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

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

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

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

Fear of traffic discourages people from walking or cycling, so it’s a big public health issue. Only 22% of journeys and 3% of miles travelled in Britain are on foot, and only 2% of journeys and 1% of miles travelled are by bike [11]. A Brake survey of UK schoolchildren found three in four (76%) would like to walk and cycle more [12]. Another survey found one in three non-cyclists would cycle if routes were safer[13].

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

Notes for editors:

Brake

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

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

Road Safety Week

Road Safety Week is the UK’s flagship event to promote safer road use, coordinated annually by the charity Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country. Road Safety Week 2014 takes place 17-23 November, with support from the Department for Transport and headline sponsors RSA and Specsavers.

RSA

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

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

Specsavers

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

Specsavers supports several UK charities including Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Sound Seekers, the road safety charity Brake, the anti-bullying charity Kidscape and Vision Aid Overseas, for whom stores have raised enough funds to build a school of optometry in Zambia and open eyecare outreach clinics in much of the country.

End notes

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

Brake responds to 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 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 urges early years educators to register to take part in a fun Beep Beep! Day and to campaign for drivers to help save little lives

Wednesday 25 March

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

Early years educators are being encouraged to take part in a Beep Beep! Day by Brake, the road safety charity. The day, supported by Churchill Insurance, helps to teach children road safety basics and remind parents and drivers of their responsibility to help protect children when driving.

Childminders or nurseries can register to receive a free email resource pack with downloadable resources to run a great event, or buy one of Brake’s bumper resource packs including balloons, posters, stickers and certificates, a large road map and activity cards for £12.60 including postage. 26,000 tots across the UK were registered to take part in the first national Beep Beep! Day in March 2015. The next dates are 8 July and 25 November, during Road Safety Week. Early years educators can choose to run their event on one of these national days or at any other time of the year.

Seepictures of Beep Beep! Days from 18 March and ournew video advert. Flyers and further images are available on request by emailingpgoose@brake.org.uk.

As part of the first national day on 18 March, Brake and Churchill Insurance urged drivers to ‘go 20’ and take more care in communities, as their latest survey puts the spotlight on irresponsible driving around schools and nurseries. Three in five parents (59%) reported witnessing speeding outside their child’s school or nursery in the past year, with the same number (60%) also reporting drivers pulling out or turning without looking properly.

Brake and Churchill’s survey of 1,000 parents of 5-11 year olds also found:

  • Half (47%) reported distracted driving, such as drivers on phones, around their child’s school.
  • Two thirds (65%) reported inconsiderate or illegal driving around their child’s school.
  • Three in 10 (30%) had witnessed children not being secured properly in child restraints.

Worryingly, there are indications that parents themselves could be part of the problem. A third (32%) admitted they don’t drive more safely, for instance by slowing down and looking more than usual, around schools and nurseries, and a quarter (24%) admitted they don’t even do so around their child’s own school or nursery. Three in five also admitted they don’t take more care around homes (62%) or shops (60%).

As well as teaching children aged two to seven road safety basics, Brake’s Beep Beep! Days raise awareness among parents and drivers about how they can keep kids safe. This year, Brake and Churchill are appealing to all drivers, including parents, to take responsibility for children’s safety, and help prevent the six child deaths and serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day [1].

In particular, drivers are being asked to stick to 20mph or below around schools, nurseries, homes and shops, to protect children and others on foot or bike.Find out aboutBrake’s GO 20 campaign.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said:“All children have the right to a healthy life, and to be able to play safely – rights that are universally enshrined in the UN convention on the rights of the child. And yet, in the UK, one of the most developed countries in the world, our children are often denied these rights because of the lethal danger posed by fast traffic and careless driving. That’s why, in a year when the UN is asking people across the world to help #SaveKidsLives on roads, we’re calling on UK drivers to take the lead in making roads safer for children – by going 20mph or less and taking more care in communities. As well as educating kids about road danger, we hope the Beep Beep! Day project will serve as an inspiration for parents and drivers to help reduce that danger.”

Gus Park, director ofChurchill Car Insurance, said: “We are very proud to be supporting Beep Beep! Day once again this year. Too many children die or are seriously injured on our roads each day. Beep Beep! Day is a great way of starting to educate young children on road safety, as well as raising awareness among drivers, including parents and grandparents, of the need to drive with extreme care when young children are about.”

REGISTER! 

Nurseries, playgroups, child-minders, infant schools and children’s centres can sign up now to run a Beep Beep! Day. Register online to receive a free electronic resource pack, or purchase a bumper hard-copy pack for £12.60 (inc VAT), including posters, stickers, certificates, activity sheets, road map and hand print poster. Go to www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday, call 01484 550061 or emailbeepbeep@brake.org.uk.

About Beep Beep! Day

In 2014, 15,000 children took part in a Beep Beep! Day. Brake encourages nurseries, playgroups, infant schools, children's centres and childminders to run the event on one of three dates – in 2015, these are 18 March, 8 July and 15 November – or on whatever day is best for them. Nurseries receive a free electronic pack with downloadable resources, or can buy a bumper hard-copy pack for £12.60 (inc VAT) to help them run road safety activities and promote road safety to parents and the community.

Beep Beep! Days involve activities such as creating a poster of hand prints saying 'We hold hands', experimenting with toy cars to learn the words stop and go, and singing road safety songs. Activities are designed to help children to start understanding road safety, and to emphasise to parents and other adults their responsibilities in protecting children. Sponsorship raised by children helps Brake provide support for families bereaved and injured by road crashes and run community road safety campaigns.

See www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday.

Advice for parents

When your child starts to walk with you around your community, talk to them about how they must always hold your hand. If your child is likely to pull away from you, use safety reins or a wrist strap. Hold hands until your child is at least eight, or longer depending on their development.

Make sure they understand the meaning of stop, traffic, danger, look, listen, walk don't run, and other key words. Encourage your child's nursery or playgroup to teach road safety through a Beep Beep! Day. Your child's learning will be more effective if they are taught about road safety at school as well as at home.

See www.brake.org.uk/families.

Full results

These results, released today (Wednesday 18 March 2015), are from a survey of 1,000 parents of children aged 5-11, conducted by independent survey company Surveygoo in March 2015.

 

Q1.      Do you drive more safely (e.g. slowing down and looking around more) around the following? (tick all that apply)

  • Your own child’s school or nursery – 76%
  • Other schools and nurseries – 68%
  • Leisure facilities (e.g. parks, playgrounds, sports facilities) – 50%
  • Shops – 40%
  • Homes – 38%
  • None of the above – 15%

 

Q2.      Have you witnessed any of the following bad driving behaviour around your child(ren)’s school or nursery in the past year? (tick all that apply)

  • Speeding – 59%
  • Pulling out/turning without looking properly – 60%
  • Inconsiderate/illegal parking – 65%
  • Road rage – 33%
  • Distracted driving (e.g. on phones) – 47%
  • Children not belted up properly in child restraints – 30%
  • None of the above – 11%

Brake

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

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

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

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

 

Churchill

Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK's leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

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

Churchill and UK Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0800 200300 or visiting www.churchill.com.

 

End notes

 [1] In 2013, there were 2,053 children (ages 0-15) killed or seriously injured on UK roads. Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2013 Annual Report, Department for Transport, 2014.Police Recorded Injury Road Traffic Collision Statistics: 2013 Key Statistics Report, Police Service of Northern Ireland, 2014.

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

Drivers urged: don't treat country roads like racetracks this summer, as one in three admit driving too fast

Thursday 24 July 2014

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

Drivers are being urged to slow down on country roads this summer to enable families, walkers, cyclists and horse riders to enjoy great British countryside, as a survey reveals that a huge proportion treat them like racetracks. Results out today from road safety charity Brake and Digby Brown solicitors reveal one in three drivers (33%) admit driving too fast for safety on country roads, by speeding, taking bends fast or overtaking. Four in 10 (37%) have had a near-miss on country roads, while driving, walking or cycling.

Since there is less traffic on country roads, some drivers feel a false sense of security [1] and are prone to take risks like speeding, overtaking, and not slowing down for brows and bends. In fact, per mile travelled, country roads are the most dangerous for all types of road user, with car occupants almost twice as likely to be killed on a country road than an urban road, motorcyclists more than twice as likely, and cyclists more than three times as likely [2]. In 2013, 895 people were killed on non-built up roads, up 1% on 2012, and 6,554 seriously injured [3].

Brake and Digby Brown's survey of 1,000 UK drivers also found:

  • One in five (19%) admit breaking speed limits on country roads in the past year
  • Three in 20 (15%) admit taking corners or brows too fast
  • One in 20 (5%) admit overtaking when it isn't safe
  • Three in 10 (28%) have been a passenger with a driver who broke the limit, one in five (19%) with a driver who took corners or brows too fast, and one in 12 (8%) with a driver who overtook when it wasn't safe.
  • Four in five (80%) think traffic is too fast for safety on some or most rural roads. Full results below.

Fast traffic on country roads not only puts lives at risk, it can also harm people's quality of life by preventing them from enjoying the countryside on foot or bike for fear of being hurt. Three quarters of those surveyed (76%) think country roads need to be safer for cyclists, walkers and horse-riders, and two in five say they would start cycling or cycle more (37%), or start walking or walk more (43%), if these roads were safer [4].

To cut crashes and empower people to enjoy the countryside, Brake is calling on government to lower limits on rural roads to a maximum of 50mph, and require authorities to implement lower limits where there are particular risks. The survey found widespread support for lower limits, with seven in 10 (72%) in favour of more 50, 40 and 30mph limits on country roads, and two thirds (65%) in favour of a 40mph default in national parks.

Brake is urging all drivers to stay well under current limits - bearing in mind 60mph is generally far too fast for safety on these roads - and slow right down for villages, bends, brows and bad weather, and avoid overtaking. Drivers should always assume that someone, or something, could be around any corner.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "We hear constantly from people in rural areas whose communities are blighted by fast traffic. It's a big issue over the summer when many people want to enjoy our beautiful countryside on foot, bike or horseback, and shouldn't have to contend with drivers treating the roads as their personal racetrack. Driving in this way is incredibly selfish and means people feel less able to get out and enjoy the countryside. People in rural communities and families visiting these areas this summer have a right to enjoy their surroundings without fearing for their safety. Country roads are not empty thoroughfares for traffic; they are living environments, full of unpredictable hazards around every twist and turn. We are urging drivers to slow right down on country roads this summer, especially for villages, bends, brows and bad weather, to respect the countryside and other people's right to enjoy it."

Milly Wastie, former chair of the National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs, is backing Brake's Rural roads not racetracks campaign. Milly lost a friend to a crash on a country road when she was 17 and has campaigned and educated on road safety in rural areas ever since, including founding the NFYFC's Drive it Home campaign. She said:

"Country roads present many risks and hazards and you never know what might be around the corner, whether it be a cyclist, livestock, or slow moving farm machinery. By sticking well within the limit and reducing your speed as appropriate to the road conditions, you can ensure you are as prepared as possible to handle whatever situation is presented to you. I spend my life driving regularly along country lanes, and having lost a friend in a crash on such a road I want to encourage other road users to take their time, avoid needless risk-taking, and enjoy the countryside - please don't risk harming others."

Fraser Simpson, Digby Brown partner and Brake spokesperson in Scotland, commented: "Careless and reckless driving wrecks lives. At Digby Brown we work with families affected by road traffic crashes and see first-hand their devastating human consequences. Driving on rural roads or in countryside areas has its own challenges and all of us should bear that in mind when we get behind the wheel. We can all do our bit to stop the carnage we see far too often on our roads. Whether it is checking and obeying the speed limit on an unfamiliar road, taking a bit more time to get round a corner or thinking twice about overtaking, care and attention saves lives. This is a really important message and Digby Brown are fully supportive of Brake's campaign and work in this area."

Read about Brake's Rural roads not racetracks campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, hashtag #RuralRoadsnotRacetracks. For interviews with Brake or Milly Wastie, contact Ed Morrow on 01484 550 063 or news@brake.org.uk.

Facts
Per mile travelled, country roads are the most dangerous for all types of road user, with car occupants almost twice as likely to be killed on a country road than an urban road, motorcyclists more than twice as likely, and cyclists more than three times as likely [5]. Country roads are also the most dangerous type of road in relation to traffic volume [6], accounting for 60% of all road deaths: in 2013, 895 people were killed on non-built up roads, compared with 718 on built-up roads and 100 on motorways [7].

Excessive speed and risky overtaking are major factors [8], combined with a false sense of security [9]. A study of rural single-carriageway roads estimated that a 10% increase in mean average speed results in a 30% increase in fatal and serious crashes [10].

By and large, 60mph is too fast for safety on country roads - at this speed, your stopping distance is 73 metres, or three tennis courts, meaning you won't be able to stop in time for an unexpected person or hazard appearing within this distance. If you are overtaking, this will leave you on the wrong side of the road with the gap between you and any oncoming traffic travelling at the same speed closing at 120mph, or 60 metres per second.

Brake's advice
While country roads sometimes appear empty, they are full of unexpected hazards. Even if you know the road well, you never know what's round the corner. That's why slowing down is vital: it enables you to react to the unexpected, such as a cyclist or walker, an animal running out, or debris in the road.

Country roads are shared spaces used by pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, farm vehicles and animals. Most are narrow with blind corners and bends, and have no pavements or cycle paths. As such, drivers should drive as though someone or something could be round any corner, staying well under limits, acknowledging that 60mph is too fast for safety, and slowing right down for bends, brows and other hazards, whenever visibility or conditions are poor, and slowing to 20mph in villages and around homes and schools. Drivers should also avoid overtaking, unless absolutely essential and 100% safe: unless you need to pass a very slow moving vehicle, and are certain you can get past safely, it's not worth the risk.

Calls for government action
Brake is calling for the government to lower the default speed limit on our rural network from 60 to 50mph, and require local authorities to implement lower limits of 40, 30 and 20mph where there are particular risks, including 20mph in villages.

This must be coupled with wider traffic enforcement, including more speed cameras, especially average cameras, and investment in roads policing, as well as education warning of the dangers of speed and overtaking on rural roads to encourage compliance with lower limits.

Brake also calls for investment in far more traffic-free cycle and walking paths connecting rural communities, as well as frequent, cheap and well-marketed rural bus and train services, to discourage reliance on cars and encourage use of active travel and public transport.

Case study
Dana Trigger, 22, from Aberdeen, was driving from her parents' house to visit her boyfriend, along a narrow country road, in July of 2008. A deer jumped in front of her car, causing her to swerve to avoid it, across an uneven part of the road surface and into a tree. She was killed instantly. Her father, David Trigger, a driving instructor, now has his students perform emergency stops in the same area to help them deal with such a situation.

David says: ''Losing a child is a parent's worst nightmare. It is completely earth-shattering, something you never get over. I have to live with the fact I won't see my daughter Dana again, and the haunting memories of having to identify her body, rather than of the bubbly, smiling girl I knew. Dana's crash is an example of how you never know what to expect next, what's around the corner, on country roads. I urge all drivers to be prepared for any eventuality, and be cautious with their speed, to avoid more tragedies like that which killed my daughter. As I always say to my pupils, you don't have to be going fast to be going too fast."

 

About the survey
The results, released today, come from a survey of 1,000 drivers and riders conducted by Surveygoo in February 2014.

Full results
Q1. Do you think country roads in your area/region should be made safer for cyclists, walkers and horse-riders? (tick one)

  • 76% said yes
  • 24% said no

Q2. Do you think traffic on country roads in your area/region is too fast for safety? (tick one)

  • 29% said yes, on most country roads
  • 51% said yes, on some country roads
  • 20% said no

Q3. Would you feel more able to enjoy the countryside if country roads were made safer? (tick as many as apply)

  • 23% said yes, I would cycle more
  • 37% said yes, I would walk more
  • 14% said yes, I would start cycling
  • 6% said yes, I would start walking
  • 9% said yes, in other ways
  • 23% said no, I already enjoy the countryside as much as I want to
  • 24% said no, it wouldn't make any difference to me

Q4. In the past year, do you think you have driven faster than was safe on a country road? (tick at least one, and as many as apply)

  • 19% said yes, I've broken speed limits on country roads
  • 11% said yes, I've driven a bit too fast in bad weather/visibility
  • 15% said yes, I've taken corners/brows a bit too fast
  • 5% said yes, I've overtaken when it wasn't totally safe
  • 58% said no, I've always driven within speed limits and slowly enough to be safe on country roads
  • 9% said I've not driven on country roads

Q5. In the past year, have you been a passenger with a driver who has driven too fast on a country road? (tick at least one, and as many as apply)

  • 28% said yes, I've been a passenger with someone who broke speed limits on country roads
  • 17% said yes, I've been a passenger with someone who drove too fast in bad weather/visibility
  • 19% said yes, I've been a passenger with someone who took corners/brows too fast
  • 8% said yes, I've been a passenger with someone who overtook when it wasn't totally safe
  • 37% said no, I've only been a passenger with drivers who drive slowly enough on country roads
  • 22% said I've not been a passenger with anyone on country roads

Q6. Have you ever had a near-miss on a country road while driving, or walking or cycling? (tick any that apply)

  • 23% said yes, with another vehicle while I was driving
  • 6% said yes, with a cyclist, pedestrian or horse rider while I was driving
  • 3% said yes, with no one else involved while I was driving
  • 8% said yes, I was nearly hit while on foot
  • 6% said yes, I was nearly hit while I was cycling
  • 2% said yes, I was nearly hit while riding a horse
  • 63% said none of the above

Q7. Would you support 40mph limits across all country roads in national parks (excepting motorways and major trunk roads) to make it safer for people to walk, cycle ride horses on rural roads? (tick one)

  • 65% said yes
  • 35% said no

Q8. Do you think there should be more lower speed limits (of 50, 40 and 30mph) on country roads to help reduce crashes and make them safer for people to walk and cycle? (tick one)

  • 72% said yes
  • 28% said no

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.

Digby Brown Solicitors
Digby Brown Solicitors are Scotland's largest personal injury practices with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Inverness, Kirkcaldy and Aberdeen. The firm won the Community Contribution Award at the 2014 Scottish Legal Awards in recognition of its work with Brake among other organisations and were the only law firm shortlisted in the Customer Focus Category of the 2013 Scottish Business Awards.

End notes
[1] Direct Line report on safe driving 2009-2011, part 3 - speed, Brake and Direct Line, 2010
[2] Reported road casualties Great Britain: 2012, Department for Transport, 2013 - table RAS20005, p94 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/269601/rrcgb-2012-complete.pdf 
[3] Reported road casualties Great Britain: main results 2013, Department for Transport, 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/324580/rrcgb-main-results-2013.pdf. Non-built up roads refers to those with speed limits over 40mph.
[4] Survey of 1,000 drivers and riders conducted for Brake and Digby Brown by Surveygoo, released 24 July 2014
[5] Reported road casualties Great Britain: 2012, Department for Transport, 2013 - table RAS20005, p94 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/269601/rrcgb-2012-complete.pdf 
[6] Reported road casualties Great Britain: 2012, Department for Transport, 2013 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/269601/rrcgb-2012-complete.pdf. In 2012, rural roads accounted for almost 60% of road deaths, in spite of carrying only 42% of traffic.
[7] Reported road casualties Great Britain: main results 2013, Department for Transport, 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/324580/rrcgb-main-results-2013.pdf
[8] Rural roads, Road Safety Observatory, 2014, http://www.roadsafetyobservatory.com/Review/10039 
[9] Direct Line report on safe driving 2009-2011, part 3 - speed, Brake and Direct Line, 2010
[10] The relationship between speed and accidents on rural single-carriageway roads, TRL511, Transport Research Laboratory, 2002

Five Reasons To Drive More Slowly

Speeding is the biggest cause of road traffic collisions and we all know that exceeding the limit by even a few mph can have a catastrophic impact in a collision. What is less discussed is the impact of speeding on your driving behaviour in general – what happens to you and your car when you drive slowly? What are the benefits?

Octo Telematics, the number one global provider of telematics for the auto insurance industry, supports Road Safety Week and the pledges Brake has proposed on slow driving:

Drivers – I'll stay under limits, and slow down to 20mph around schools, homes and shops to protect others. I'll slow right down for bends, brows and bad weather, and avoid overtaking.

Everyone– I'll speak out for slowing down and help drivers understand that the slower they drive, the more chance they have of avoiding a crash and saving a life.

Here are five good reasons to drive slowly, for yourself and for all those around you:

  1. Safety – Driving more slowly is crucial to road safety. Every 1mph reduction in average speeds is estimated to lead to a 5% fall in crash rates. Police at crash scenes record breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions as a contributory factor in more than one in four (27%) fatal crashes in the UK.
  2. Wear and tear - Speed has a huge impact on wear and tear from the moment you start the car to the moment you put on the hand brake. It’s much kinder to your engine to start the car and move away slowly than to start the engine and wait for it to warm up before roaring away. Harsh braking and cornering at speed also take a toll on your tyres.
  3. Fuel costs - Once you’re on the road, slower driving means lower fuel costs – driving faster tends to burn more fuel and is a less efficient way to drive. It has a big impact on stopping and starting on your journey too – rapid acceleration and harsh braking also affect your fuel emissions.
  4. Awareness – Slower driving makes you more aware of and responsive to your environment, making you more likely to react safely to potential hazards. Take every opportunity to look, see and act on what's happening well ahead and around you. This pays off not only in terms of collision prevention, but also a more efficient and relaxing drive.
  5. Stress – Driving more slowly and carefully means less stress for you and for other road users around you. The desire to do get everywhere at top speed is a big source of stress – accept that you can’t control traffic flow.Simply observe your situation and then make your move... and save yourself and others from road rage.

Octo’s free smartphone app Octo U (iPhone and Android) collects, analyses and stores telematics data on your driving behaviour, giving you tips on how to improve and a score to motivate you. It detects, reconstructs and analyses all significant events that occur during a trip, such as harsh braking, rapid acceleration, speeding and how curves are negotiated. You can compare your score with friends and compete to be the best driver, as well as submit it to a panel of insurers to see if you could qualify for a discount.

GO 20 parliamentary reception, April 2014

Speech by Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake

Good afternoon. It's wonderful to see so many of you here today in support of the GO 20 campaign - for safe, active, happy communities.

We are proud at Brake, the UK's national road safety charity, to be spear-heading this campaign alongside our GO 20 partners. Road safety is at the heart of GO 20, but it is about much more than that. It's also about health, the environment, the economy, social justice, and people living active, fulfilling lives.

Through the GO 20 campaign we are calling for 20 to replace 30 as the default speed limit in built-up areas across the UK.

We are fully behind forward-thinking local authorities like Camden that are making the change locally and we encourage more authorities to take this vital step.

But ultimately we don't believe that safe streets and communities, and a safe environment for walking and cycling, should be a postcode lottery. It's great that places like Camden are reaping the benefits of 20 limits. But we think it's time for all of our communities to GO 20. And, alongside the GO 20 coalition, we're calling on central government to make that happen.

-

To help convey the importance of this, I want to tell you about a community campaign we came across last week. We were contacted by BBC Radio Devon, running a story about a school on a 30mph main road, Ivybridge Community College, who are campaigning for a central reservation to help pupils cross the road safely. The station wanted to know what we thought.

I give this example because it's typical of the many community campaigns we hear about at Brake, usually led by desperately worried schools, parents and community leaders, frightened that a child or elderly person or other local resident is about to be knocked down and killed or maimed. In some cases, they've already experienced a tragedy and are angry and afraid it could happen again.

These communities are crying out for measures to help local kids and families and everyone else negotiate busy, fast roads, to get to school or college, or shops or work or leisure facilities, without being mown down. And often, despite in many cases setting their sights low, calling for just a crossing, or a wider pavement, these communities are denied, sometimes for years, because they're told it's not a priority or funding isn't available.

Our response on BBC Radio Devon was sympathetic and encouraging. We called on the local authority to listen to the campaigners' concerns and act before someone is hurt. But we also pointed out that a central reservation on one road, outside one school, is not enough. We called on that authority, and on central government, to be more ambitious than that, and GO 20.

-

GOing 20 is about prioritising people. It's about recognising that everyone has a basic right to walk and cycle safely within their community, to get to work or school or the shops, or just to get out and about, without their lives being endangered. It's about addressing the fears that stop many people from choosing to cycle, and that prevent many parents from letting their kids walk. And it's about creating a greater equality of mobility and health, and ensuring that safe travel and active lifestyles aren't the preserve of the wealthy.

It's about making whole villages, towns and cities safe havens, for children, young people, elderly people and all of us – by being holistic and proactive and progressive, and not only treating, on a reactive basis, certain roads where problems are identified.

It's about not waiting for parents to worry, and schools to campaign, and someone to get hurt, and authorities to respond. It's about aspiring and working towards safer streets everywhere, for everyone.

The GO 20 campaign chimes with many political priorities and social needs, and can help us deliver major benefits to communities.

It can help us address childhood obesity, by making it safer and easier for kids to walk and cycle to school or the park, without their parents worrying.

It can boost cycling as a carbon-free and healthy mode of transport, and as a leisure activity that increasing numbers of people are enthusiastic about.

It can stimulate spending in struggling town centres, by making these places more pleasant and boosting footfall.

It can help everyone get about cheaply, whether it's by walking or cycling whole journeys, or accessing public transport, without being endangered.

It can encourage people to leave the car at home and choose sustainable travel instead, reducing carbon emissions, noise pollution and fossil fuel dependency.

And it can help prevent the terrible tragedies that continue to destroy lives every day on our roads, which inflict needless suffering, and cost families, communities and public services so dearly.

-

The evidence basis for GOing 20, as set out in our campaign briefing, is convincing.

The GO 20 coalition, of charities supporting this campaign, is expanding. And more and more MPs and academics are lending their voice.

The number of people living in areas that have GOne 20 or are planning to – represented by the green parts on this map – are rapidly on the increase.

And today Brake and Allianz release a survey showing the widespread public support for safer streets for walking and cycling, with eight in 10 agreeing that 20mph should be the norm in places where people live, work, shop and go to school.

GOing 20 nationally is a no-brainer and we are reaching a tipping point - being driven by action within communities - that demands a national response.

We appeal to the government to listen to the experience of local authorities making the switch, and the views of the public as set out in our survey, and the voices of local campaigners around the UK like those at Ivybridge Community College, and act now, to GO 20 for safe, active, happy communities.

We appeal to all of you to work with us towards this exciting, positive, beneficial change.

Mark Hunter MP for Cheadle, June/July 2009

june09Mark Hunter MP has been working hard campaigning for life-saving road safety measures to tackle the issues of drug driving, uninsured drivers and speeding in the UK.

Over the past few months, Mark has been pressing for the Government to urgently introduce roadside drug testing in order to stop the carnage caused by drug driving. Following a meeting with manufacturers and industry experts, Mark is calling on the Government to step up their efforts to produce a specification for a roadside testing device. Roadside drug screening devices are already used in countries such as Germany, Australia and Finland.

For a factsheet on drug driving, click here. To get involved with Road Safety Week, which this year has the theme ‘Not a Drop, Not a Drag’, click here.

Mark has also been vocal on the issue of uninsured drivers, meeting with Brake to discuss the issue earlier this year prior to a Government consultation on Continuous Enforcement of Motor Insurance.

As well as asking many Parliamentary Questions on the issue of uninsured drivers, Mark focused on this during a House of Commons debate on road safety in June. Mark used the debate to call on the Government to ensure that fines for driving without insurance are more than the cost of insurance. Click here to read a transcript of the debate. As a potential solution to the problem of uninsured drivers, Mark has been investigating the possibility of having a windscreen disk (similar to the car tax disk) for proof of insurance.

Mark has been contacted by his constituents about speeding drivers in his town and actively supports any local proposal to decrease speed limits on their road. He has also raised the issue of 20mph zones in Parliament a number of times, calling on the Government to review the current system for introducing 20mph zones.

Click here to read about Brake’s Watch Out, There’s a Kid About campaign for 20mph speed limits in built-up areas.

Mark says: “I am delighted to have been named Parliamentarian of the month by Brake. Brake’s work on Road Safety is renowned and it’s an honour that they chose me. Road Safety is about saving lives and should therefore be at the forefront of every Parliamentarian’s mind. The Government has failed to tackle the key reasons behind fatalities and injuries on our roads such as drug driving, speeding and uninsured drivers; and I’m dedicated to campaigning for real and lasting change to reduce the number of lives that are wasted in road crashes.”

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

More than half of UK drivers admit to speeding in 20mph areas

News from Brake

10 May 2017
news@brake.org.uk

A Brake and Churchill Car Insurance survey of 2,000 UK drivers reveals:

  • More than half (52%) admit to driving at 25mph or faster in a 20mph speed limit
  • 25-34 year olds most likely to drive at 25mph or faster in a 20mph area (73%), while 55-64 year olds least likely (45%).
  • Nearly 8 in 10 (78%) think traffic travels too fast in their neighbourhood for the safety of children on foot or bike.
  • More than 7 in 10 (72%) underestimate the amount of children killed on roads globally every day – currently 500.

Road safety charity Brake is calling on all drivers to #SlowDown this Beep Beep! Day as survey reveals more than half (52%) admit to speeding in 20mph areas.

The latest survey of 2,000 drivers also shows that 8 in 10 (78%) think traffic is too fast in their neighbourhood for the safety of children on foot or bike. Research has found that children cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles travelling faster than 20mph, so may believe it is safe to cross when it is not [1]. More than five children are seriously hurt or killed every day in the UK, with the majority (80%) being on foot or bicycle at the time [2].

The findings revealed today (10 May) come as more than 50,000 children aged 2-7 take part in a Beep Beep! Day run by Brake and Churchill Car Insurance. The project for nurseries, schools and childminders engages little ones with road safety including, critically helping them to raise awareness among parents and the wider community about protecting children, particularly those on foot or bicycle, by slowing down.

The event, now in its 14th year, coincides with the United Nations Global Road Safety Week’s #SlowDown campaign, which aims to increase understanding of the dangers of speed and encourage drivers in all countries to slow down to protect road users. Beep Beep! Days are also happening in countries including Russia, India, Saudi Arabia, Cameroon and South Africa this year.

Five hundred children are killed on roads globally every day – a figure 7 in 10 (72%) drivers surveyed underestimated – showing the importance of raising awareness about the situation across the world. That’s why this year’s Beep Beep! Day includes a range of special resources to help children to understand how people travel around the globe and to highlight the importance of drivers slowing down where children live, walk and play.

Brake and Churchill’s survey also reveals that nearly three-quarters (73%) of 25-34 year olds are likely to drive at 25mph or more in a 20mph area, whereas fewer than half (45%) of 55-64 year olds say they would do so. Men (61%) admit to driving at those speeds more than women (43%). The 25-34 age bracket of drivers gave the highest results in terms of thinking that traffic travels too fast in their community too (83%).

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake, said: “All children have the right to play safely and live a healthy life without fear – rights that are universally recognised by the United Nations and world leaders. Yet, in the UK, one of the most developed countries in the world, our children are often denied these rights because of the lethal danger posed by fast traffic. That’s why, in a week when the UN is asking people across the world to #SlowDown on roads, we’re calling on UK drivers to take the lead in making roads safer for children – by driving at 20mph or less and taking more care in communities. The Beep Beep! Day project engages kids in this life-saving cause, helping them learn about road safety issues and, critically, inspire their parents and drivers to reduce danger on our roads, by actions such as slowing down.”

Steve Barrett, head of Churchill Car Insurance, said: “We are very proud to be supporting Beep Beep! Day once again this year. Too many children die or are seriously injured on our roads each week. Beep Beep! Day is a great way of starting to talk to young children about road safety, as well as raising awareness among drivers, including parents and grandparents, of the need to drive with extreme care when young children are about.”

Full survey results of 2,000 drivers conducted by Surveygoo:

Q1. Within the past year, have you driven at 25mph or faster in a 20mph speed limit?

Yes, once a day or more: 8%

Yes, several times a week: 10%

Yes, about once a week: 8%

Yes, about once a month: 7%

Yes, less than once a month: 19%

No, never: 48% 

Q.2 Do you think traffic in your neighbourhood is travelling too fast for the safety of children on foot or bike?

Yes, traffic is too fast on most/all local roads: 25%

Yes, traffic is too fast on some local roads: 53%

No: 22% 

Q3. How many children do you think are killed on roads globally every day?

100: 29%

200: 21%

300: 13%

400: 9%

500: 28%

[ENDS]

Notes to Editors:

About Brake

Brake is a 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, green, 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 and use #beepbeepday

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 Beep Beep! Day

In 2016, more than 240,000 children are estimated to have taken part in a Beep Beep! Day. Brake encourages nurseries, playgroups, infant schools, children's centres and childminders to run the event on one of four dates – in 2017, the remaining dates are 10 May, 27 September and 22 November – or on whatever day is best for them. Nurseries receive a free electronic pack with downloadable resources, or can buy a bumper hard-copy pack for £12.60 (inc VAT) to help them run road safety activities and promote road safety to parents and the community. Visit www.brake.org.uk/beepbeepday.

About Churchill

Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK's leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill 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. 

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.  

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200300 or visiting www.churchill.com

End notes

[1] Traffic at 30mph is too fast for children’s visual capabilities, University of Royal Holloway London, 2010

[2] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2015, Department for Transport, 2016, tables RAS30059 & RAS30062

[3] Inappropriate vehicle speed, RoSPA, 2016

Risky tailgating and speeding rife on UK motorways

Thursday 22 May 2014

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

Six in 10 UK drivers own up to risky tailgating (57%) and a similar proportion break the limit by 10mph or more (60%) on motorways and 70mph dual carriageways, with men by far the worst offenders, a survey by Brake and Direct Line reveals.

Almost all drivers say they worry about other drivers tailgating on motorways: 95% are at least occasionally concerned about vehicles too close behind them; more than four in ten (44%) are concerned every, or most, times they drive on a motorway.

By driving too close to the vehicle in front and breaking the speed limit, drivers are leaving themselves far too little time to react in an emergency, risking devastating crashes. Crashes on 70mph roads are more than twice as likely to result in death as crashes on roads with lower speed limits [1]. In 2012 (most recent data available) there were 88 deaths and 654 serious injuries on UK motorways [2]. There have been approximately 1,400 deaths in the 10 years since Tracey and Steve Mohabir lost their two year old son Marcus in May 2014 [3][4]. See case study below.

Brake and Direct Line's survey reveals that in the past year:

  • Almost six in ten (57%) admit leaving less than a two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front, with almost three in ten (28%) doing so monthly or more. More men (61%) admit doing so than women (53%).
  • Six in ten (60%) admit breaking the 70mph speed limit by 10mph or more, with almost three in ten (28%) doing so monthly or more. Men are the worst offenders, with almost seven in ten (69%) doing 80mph or more, and more than a third (36%) doing so at least monthly, compared with just over half (53%) and two in ten (22%) women, respectively.

Read the full report (embargoed).

Brake urges all drivers to always keep at least a two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front, extending this to four seconds or more in wet weather or poor visibility – on all roads, not just motorways. Drivers should also keep within the posted speed limit at all times, including temporary and variable limits; not only will this reduce your chances of a horrific crash, but it will also reduce fuel consumption [5].

Brake recently supported Highway Agency proposals to roll out speed cameras on stretches of 'smart' motorways, and urges the government to extend the used of average speed cameras across the network.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "Almost all drivers are concerned about the danger posed by other people tailgating on motorways, and yet a shockingly high proportion admit driving too close and speeding themselves. There are no two ways about it: ignore the two-second rule or the speed limit on motorways and you're putting yourself and others at risk of a horrific crash. Traffic laws are not just for other people: all drivers can help make our motorways safer and prevent needless tragedies by committing to keep your distance and stay under speed limits, including temporary lower limits."

Rob Miles, director of motor trading at Direct Line, commented: "Driving too closely to the car in front of you is asking for trouble. Drive too closely at speed and motorists risk not only their own life but other road users' lives too. Whilst the UK's motorways have proportionately less crashes than other roads, speed is still the biggest killer of road users. We believe it is better to save lives than to save a few minutes of journey time".

Simon Sheldon-Wilson, traffic management director at the Highways Agency, said: "Safety is our top priority and we are committed to continuing to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads. Congestion on the strategic road network is estimated to cost the economy £3 billion each year, 25 per cent of which is caused by incidents. That's why we remind drivers of the dangers of tailgating and support Brake's advice to keep a safe distance from the car in front and to adhere to fixed and variable speed limits."

Tweet us: @Brakecharity. Read the survey report.

Case study
Marcus Mohabir, 2, from Surrey, was one of eight people killed in a horrific crash on the A23 near Pycombe, Sussex, on May 16 2004 – 10 years ago this month. His dad, Steve Mohabir, was driving him back from a day trip to Brighton, along with Steve's friends Tom and Kate Beasley, when a black BMW travelling in the other direction crashed through the central reservation and hit their Land Rover head-on. Marcus, Mr and Mrs Beasley, and all five occupants of the BMW were killed. Steve was severely injured, suffering a crushed vertebra that left him unable to return to his job as a chef. Trapped in the wreckage, he held his dying son's hand as rescue teams battled to free them.

The coroner's inquest found the 19 year old driver of the BMW had been travelling well over the 70mph speed limit and tailgating other vehicles.

Tracey Mohabir, Marcus' mum, said: "In the ten years since the crash, Steve and I have tried to move on. But I still think constantly about the day we lost Marcus and our friends Toby and Kate. We have since had another child, Max, who has grown up without ever having known his brother; he often asks about him. I think about the other families a lot, and I feel incredibly sorry for all of them. The loss of life not only affects family but has a ripple effect on friends, colleagues and others who have to pick up the pieces."

"Many other families have lost loved ones on our motorways and dual carriageways since we lost Marcus, often as a result of people driving too fast and too close to other vehicles. Driving over the speed limit has become a habit for many people, and it's a habit we have to break to prevent yet more needless deaths and injuries."

Facts
Due to the way they are designed, and the fact there are fewer unexpected hazards, motorways have lower crash rates per mile travelled than other road types. However, when crashes do occur, often related to bad weather, queues, or debris on the road, the consequences are more likely to be fatal due to the high speed of traffic. Crashes on 70mph roads are more than twice as likely to result in death as crashes on roads with lower speed limits [6].

If you need to stop suddenly while driving at 70mph, you will travel 21 metres while you're thinking, before you even hit the brakes. And you'll travel that distance in less than a second. Your total stopping distance at this speed is 96m, or 21 car lengths [7].

Increases in speed on motorways, which some drivers may consider small, can make a massive difference in stopping distances and crash likelihood. At 80mph, stopping distances are 27% greater than at 70mph (122 metres compared to 96 metres). Research shows reducing the average speed on a road by just 1mph is likely to reduce the frequency of crashes by 5% [8].

In the USA, a study found that in states that raised limits from 65mph to 75mph death rates rose by 38% on these roads [9]. Germany, which has autobahns famous for their lack of speed limits, has a death rate on these roads that is 75% higher than comparable roads in the UK [10].

Higher speeds on motorways lead to increased fuel consumption and carbon emissions. Vehicles travelling at 80mph use 10-20% more fuel than those travelling at 70mph [11].

Brake's advice
It is vital to keep at least a two-second gap behind the vehicle in front – this is your braking space in a crisis. In wet weather or poor visibility, extend your gap to four seconds and never hang on to the lights of the vehicle in front. You will be too close for safety and not 'reading the road' for yourself. Dropping back helps you to spot hazards and drive more smoothly. The rule works at all speeds, not just on motorways.

Always keep within the posted speed limit – this is a limit, not a target. Travelling at up to 80mph on a motorway is unlikely to get you to your destination much faster [12], particularly on our congested motorway network where it will probably involve speeding up and slowing down repeatedly. However, it will increase your fuel consumption considerably and dramatically reduce your chances of avoiding a crash in an emergency – the small reward isn't worth the potential risk.

Calls for government action
Brake urges the government to nationally promote the importance of the two-second rule and keeping within posted speed limits on motorways, as well as extending the roll out of average speed cameras across the UK motorway network.

Brake also fully supports the rolling out of managed motorways incorporating variable speed limits and traffic monitoring and control, but without hard shoulder running.

About the report
These survey results come from Report 4, Section 3 of the Direct Line and Brake report on safe driving, 2012 – 2014 Fit to Drive, released today (Thursday 22 May 2014). The survey consisted of 1,000 drivers and was conducted by Surveygoo. Read the report.

Full results
Q1: Within the past 12 months, how often have you driven at 80mph or faster on a 70mph motorway or dual carriageway?

  • 40% said never (male 31%, female 47%)
  • 32% said less than once a month (male 34%, female 31%)
  • 17% said about once a month (male 19%, female 15%)
  • 7% said about once a week (male 9%, female 5%)
  • 4% said several times a week or more (male 7%, female 2%)

Q2: Within the past 12 months on motorways, how often have you left less than a two-second gap between your vehicle and the vehicle in front?

  • 43% said never (male 39%, female 47%)
  • 28% said less than once a month (male 32%, female 26%)
  • 11% said about once a month (male 11%, female 12%)
  • 7% said about once a week (male 8%, female 6%)
  • 10% said several times a week or more (male 10%, female 10%)

Q3: Within the past 12 months, have you ever felt concerned about drivers driving too close behind you on motorways?

  • 16% said yes, every time (male 17%, female 15%)
  • 28% said yes, most times (male 28%, female 27%)
  • 30% said yes, sometimes (male 27%, female 33%)
  • 21% said yes, occasionally (male 22%, female 21%)
  • 5% said no, never (male 6%, female 4%)

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.

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

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

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

End notes
[1] New Directions in Speed Management: A Review of Policy, Department for Transport, 2000
[2] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2012: Annual Report, Department for Transport, 2013
[3] ibid
[4] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2011: Annual Report, Department for Transport, 2012
[5] Third Progress Report to Parliament, Committee on Climate Change, 2011
[6] New Directions in Speed Management: A Review of Policy, Department for Transport, 2000
[7] Stopping distances as contained in the Highway Code, Department for Transport, 2012
[8] New Directions in Speed Management: A Review of Policy, Department for Transport, 2000
[9] Relation of Speed and Speed Limits to Crashes, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2005
[10] Increasing the motorway speed limit, PACTS, 2004
[11] Third Progress Report to Parliament, Committee on Climate Change, 2011
[12] Increasing the motorway speed limit, PACTS, 2004

Speed limits in communities

Key facts

  • In 2016, 69 children under 15 were killed and 2,033 were seriously injured on British roads: that’s more than five children seriously hurt or killed every day; [i]
  • The likelihood of a cyclist being killed per distance travelled in the UK is approximately two times that of the Netherlands, Denmark or Norway; [ii]
  • In 2016, including short walks, people walked an average of 198 miles, or around 4 miles per week, and a quarter (25%) of journeys and just 3% of miles travelled in Britain are now on foot;[iv]
  • Just 2% of journeys and 1% of miles travelled were made by bicycle in 2015;[v]
  • 69% of respondents to the British Social Attitude Survey (2016) were favour of 20mph in residential areas and 50% in favour of enforcing this limit and slowing traffic through the installation of speed bumps on key local routes;[vi]
  • One in six deaths in the UK can be attributed to medical conditions attributable to inactivity, such as cardiovascular disease;[vii]
  • Four in 10 drivers admit they sometimes break 30mph speed limits by at least 10mph. A quarter (24%) admitted to doing this regularly, at least once a month.[viii]

Introduction

Towns, villages and cities should be places where people are free to travel in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair. Unfortunately, in many places in the UK inappropriate speed limits where people live, work and play make movement dangerous, particularly for cyclists and pedestrians, including children and the elderly.[ix]

Faster speeds not only make a community more dangerous, it also affects people’s perceptions of danger, and can be a determining factor in people deciding not to walk or cycle. Speed affects a driver’s ability to ‘accurately and reliably process information in the traffic environment’; an ability that is vital for safe driver performance, particularly in communities where vulnerable road users are prevalent.[x]

Unfortunately, many drivers break speed limits in built-up areas. A Brake and Direct Line survey revealed four in 10 drivers sometimes break 30mph speed limits by at least 10mph. A quarter (24%) admitted to doing this at least once a month.[xi]

It is widely understood that 20mph is the most appropriate maximum speed limit for built up areas where people live, work and play.  

Take action: Support Brake’s GO 20 campaign to make 20mph the default speed limit in towns, cities and villages to make walking and cycling safer.

Safe

Effective speed management, including through low limits in communities, is considered central to a ‘safe system’ approach to road safety, crucial to reducing casualties and enabling walking and cycling. The safe system principle acknowledges that people can make mistakes behind the wheel and that there are known limits to ‘the capacity of the human body to absorb kinetic energy before harm occurs’. Within a safe system, effective speed management works holistically with vehicle design, road infrastructure and road user behaviour, to produce an overall safety effect greater than the sum of its parts.[xii]

Speed limits give road users information about the type of road and likely hazards on it, such as the presence of people on foot and bicycles in communities.[xiii]

The World Health Organisation has emphasised the need for 20mph limits, stating that in areas where ‘motorised traffic mixes with pedestrians, cyclists, and moped riders, the speed limit must be under 30 km/h (20mph)’ due the vulnerability of these road users.[xiv]

Slower speeds mean stopping in time for a child

In 2016, 69 children under 15 were killed and 2,033 were seriously injured on British roads: more than five children seriously hurt or killed every day.[xv]

20mph limits are important for protecting children, who often make mistakes when using roads. Research has found children cannot judge the speed of approaching vehicles travelling faster than 20mph, so may believe it is safe to cross when it is not.[xvi]

A limit of 20mph gives drivers a much improved chance to stop in time for a child. If a child runs into the road three car lengths ahead of a vehicle travelling at 30mph (48km/h), the driver will still be travelling at 28mph (45km/h) when they hit the child. A driver travelling at the more appropriate speed of 20mph or slower gives the driver just the necessary time to avoid hitting the child, providing they are paying attention, have well-maintained brakes, and are driving in dry conditions.[xvii]

20mph limits reduce traffic speed

Analysis of traffic casualties in London from 1986-2006 showed 20mph zones, introduced with traffic calming measures (such as speed humps and chicanes) reduced deaths and serious injuries by 42%.[xviii]

However, with traffic calming measures, such as speed humps, carrying a considerable expense to install, signs-only limits can be considered a “cheap option” by local authorities and central government. While certainly cheaper than the introduction of physical measures, there are still considerable costs involved with implementing 20mph limits. Many of these costs, however, could be eliminated through a change in regulations, without the need for additional primary legislation. Often the largest cost of the implementation of 20mph limits is signage.

A study by the TRL in 1998 found that the impact of different measures were as follows for moving from 30 to 20mph speed limits[xix]:

  • Physical traffic calming measures reduce both mean and 85th percentile speeds by around 10mph;
  • Speed cameras reduce mean 85th percentile speeds by 5mph;
  • Flashing, vehicle-activated signs reduce mean and 85th percentile speeds by 4mph;
  • Signs-only measures in general have a mean reduction of 2mph, but for 20mph limits this is 1mph;
  • In areas with signs-only limits, public awareness and enforcement campaigns can have a further reduction of around 3mph.

Public acceptance of 20mph limits

Increasingly, people understand the value of 2omph limits. In one recent survey, three quarters of people (69%) were in favour of 20mph in residential areas and 50% in favour of enforcing this limit and slowing traffic through the installation of speed bumps on key local routes.[xx]

Sustainable

Each year in the UK, around 40,000 deaths are attributable to exposure to outdoor air pollution, with more linked also to exposure to indoor pollutants.[xxi] According to the World Health Organization’s database, 88% of urban dwellers live in cities which do not comply with the Air Quality Guidelines.[xxii] Vehicles on the road have contributed significantly to levels of emissions in urban areas, with current estimates suggesting that in the UK alone, cars are producing 13% of our CO2 emissions.[xxiii]

Driving at more than 20mph in towns and villages also means more speeding up and slowing down, increasing carbon emissions.[xxiv] Slowing down traffic to a top speed of 20mph enables smoother driving, decreasing emissions, and also encouraging and enabling people to swap from driving to cycling.[xxv] This can have a big impact on a community's air quality as well as contributing to reduced carbon emissions.

In 2016, the British Social Attitude Survey asked recipients if they agreed with the statement that ‘the road is too dangerous to cycle on’, 59% of respondents agreed.[xxvi]

Healthy

In the UK it is currently estimated that one in six deaths can be attributed to inactivity[xxvii], and Minister for Health, Jeremy Hunt MP, described childhood obesity within England as a ‘national emergency’. Daily physical activity is hugely important for maintaining health and research has shown that half an hour of brisk walking, daily, can cut heart disease, improve muscle strength[xxviii], and combat depression and other mental illnesses[xxix].

Active travel, most obviously walking and cycling within and between communities, provides a key opportunity for this physical exercise. Unfortunately, many people, especially those with children, are put off walking and cycling due to traffic speeds. A Brake and Churchill survey found almost six in ten UK parents (59%) had witnessed drivers speeding close to their child’s school or nursery.[xxx]

In 2016, including short walks, people walked an average of 198 miles, or around 4 miles per week, and a quarter (25%) of journeys and just 3% of miles travelled in Britain are now on foot.[xxxi]

Similarly, cycling still only accounts for a very small proportion of journeys in Britain, and road safety is a major factor in putting many people off. Just 2% of journeys and 1% of miles travelled are made by bike.[xxxii]

Women, non-cyclists and older age groups showed higher levels of concern over roads being too dangerous to cycle on.[xxxiii]

Introduction of 20mph limits helps people to undertake active travel; walking and cycling levels rose in most areas of in Bristol after a pilot 20mph limit was introduced.[xxxiv]

Fair  

Streets are an important aspect of local communities, people rely on them on a daily basis for travel, shopping, social interaction and work. Unfortunately, the volume and speed of motorised traffic within an area can negatively impact on local communities, reducing social interaction within neighbourhoods and encouraging an increasing sense of isolation in residents in higher speed areas.[xxxv] A 2016 study in Malmo, Sweden, stressed that urban spaces could be crucial to the social development of a community and the building of social bonds between residents.[xxxvi]

A case study in Bristol found people living on a street experiencing a heavy volume of high speed traffic had fewer friends than those who lived in the quieter residential area surveyed.[xxxvii] Results which are largely similar to previous studies on the subject, stretching back over the years.[xxxviii]

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.[xxxix] Research has also found 20mph limits boost the economic sustainability in the area, as safer areas for walking and cycling are seen as more desirable areas to live, boosting local businesses[xl] and increasing the value of homes in these areas.[xli]

Implementation

The default speed limit for roads in built up areas is 30mph in the UK, a limit set down in law by the Road Traffic Regulation Act (1984).[xlii] Therefore, 30mph is automatically in place on roads within communities, known as ‘restricted roads’, unless another speed limit is in force and signs clearly displayed.

Local speed limits can be set by local traffic authorities where ‘local needs and conditions suggest a speed limit which is different from the respective national speed limit’. Therefore, local councils have the authority to implement 20mph speed limits within communities where they believe it will make a difference to safety, the environment or other aspects of the community.[xliii]

The Department for Transport’s guidelines for Setting local speed limits (2013) clearly state that the implementation of a 20mph limit should be ‘evidence-led and self-explaining’, aimed at encouraging self-compliance and kept under constant assessment by the local authority. The guidelines recommend that before altering the default speed limit to, for example, 20mph, local authorities should carry out a study of types of crashes and their severity within the area selected for the change. This approach is aimed at ensuring that the speed limit assigned is appropriate for the area in which it is implemented. A speed limit is designed to reflect the environment that the road is located in, and any report produced should show clear benefits in implementing a change (to 20mph) before it is enacted by a local authority.[xliv]

When implementing 20mph in a region, local councils must decide between implementing a 20mph zone or a 20mph limit. The difference between the two is[xlv]:

  • A 20mph zone: An area of road with repeater signs and physical traffic calming measures, including speed humps and road narrowing. These are the more expensive out of the two options to implement and, where present, usually cover smaller areas.
  • A 20mph limit: An area marked by 20mph repeater signs, with no physical traffic calming measures in place. This option is seen as cheaper than 20mph zones, however, the cost of multiple repeater signs is not insignificant.

More information


End notes

[i] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, tables RAS30059 & RAS30062

[ii] Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of Britain’s road safety performance, TRL, 2016

[iii] Urban speed,Brake and Direct Line, 2016

[iv] National Travel Survey 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, tables NTS0301 & NTS0302 

[v] Ibid

[vi] British Social Attitudes survey 2016: Public attitudes to transport, Department for Transport, 2017

[vii] Working together to promote active travel: a briefing for local authorities, Public Health England, 2016

[viii] Urban speed, Brake and Direct Line, 2016

[ix] Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: leading a paradigm shift to a safe system, International Transport Forum, 2016

[x] Ibid

[xi] Urban speed, Brake and Direct Line, 2016

[xii] Zero Road Deaths and Serious Injuries: leading a paradigm shift to a safe system, International Transport Forum, 2016

[xiii] Update of the speed limit review, Transport Scotland, 2015

[xiv] Global Status Report on Road Safety 2015, WHO, 2015

[xv] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, tables RAS30059 & RAS30062

[xvi]Traffic at 30mph is too fast for children’s visual capabilities, University of Royal Holloway London, 2010

[xvii] Inappropriate vehicle speed, RoSPA, 2016

[xviii] Effect of 20 mph traffic speed zones on road injuries in London 1986-2006, British Medical Journal, 2009

[xix] Mackie, A., Urban Speed Management Method, TRL, 1998

[xx] British Social Attitudes survey 2016: Public attitudes to transport, Department for Transport, 2017

[xxi]Every breathe we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution, Royal College of Physicians, 2016

[xxii]Every breathe we take: the lifelong impact of air pollution, Royal College of Physicians, 2016

[xxiii] Overview of UK Transport Greenhouse Gas Emissions 4, Department for Transport, 2012

[xxiv] Car pollution, Environment Protection UK, 2013

[xxv] Updated speed limit review, Transport Scotland, 2015

[xxvi]  British Social Attitudes survey 2016: Public attitudes to transport, Department for Transport, 2017

[xxvii] Working together to promote active travel: a briefing for local authorities, Public Health England, 2016

[xxviii]  Lee I-M, et al (2012) Effect of physical inactivity on major non-communicable diseases worldwide: an analysis of burden of disease and life expectancy. The Lancet 380: 219–29, quoted in Public Health England (2014) Everybody active, every day - an evidence-based approach to physical activity. London: PHE.

[xxix] Feel better outside, feel better inside, Mind, 2013

[xxx] Beep Beep! campaign urges drivers to slow down to save little lives, Brake and Curchill survey, 2015

[xxxi]National Travel Survey 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, tables NTS0301 & NTS0302 

[xxxii]National Travel Survey 2016, Department for Transport, 2017, tables NTS0301 & NTS0302 

[xxxiii]  British Social Attitudes survey 2016: Public attitudes to transport, Department for Transport, 2017

[xxxiv] 20mph speed limit pilot areas: monitoring report, Bristol City Council, 2012

[xxxv]Working together to promote active travel: a briefing for local authorities, Public Health England, 2016

[xxxvii] Hart, J & Parkhurst, G, Driven to excess: Impacts of motor vehicles on the quality of life of residents of three streets in Bristol UK, 2011, World Transport Policy & Practice

[xxxviii] Appleyard D, Liveable Streets, 1981

[xxxix] Working together to promote active travel: a briefing for local authorities, Public Health England, 2016

[xl]The pedestrian pound, Living Streets, 2014

Speeding and distracted drivers revealed as most feared as charity asks everyone to sign the Brake Pledge

Contact: news@brake.org.uk

Drivers who are speeding or distracted (for example by a mobile phone) are considered to be the biggest threats on our roads, according to a survey by the road safety charity Brake, Aviva and Specsavers, marking the start ofRoad Safety Week 2016 (21-27 November).

Brake’s Road Safety Week survey asked 1,000 drivers to identify which driving behaviour, from a list of six, they thought posed the biggest danger. More than three quarters (76%) ranked speeding or distraction most highly.

Drink- and drug-driving was also ranked highly. Almost one in five drivers (18%) thinks drink- and drug-drivers are the biggest threat. 

Only three in 100 respondents (3%) consider vehicle emissions to be the biggest threat faced. Just 1% ranked not wearing a seat belt wearing as the biggest danger and 2% rated poor vision as the biggest risk.

Brake, Aviva and Specsavers are calling on everyone to sign the Brake Pledge in Road Safety Week. The Pledge aims to raise awareness of the importance of drivers staying slow(drive under speed limits), silent (never make or take calls, read or type), sober (never drive after any alcohol, or illegal or impairing drugs), sharp (stay focussed and don’t drive tired or with a health condition that impairs you. Get eyes tested every two years), secure (make sure everyone is belted up correctly) and sustainable (don’t use a car if you have the option to walk or cycle or can use public transport).  

The age of respondents was significant regarding whether speed or distraction were placed top. Younger drivers (44 and under) said speeding is the biggest threat, while drivers aged 45 and older rated distraction as their biggest fear.

Age of respondents in the Road Safety Week survey was also significant regarding the perception of vehicle emissions. While only 3% of drivers questioned rated this the biggest threat, more than three times as many (10%) of the youngest respondents (aged 18-24) rated it the biggest threat.

The Road Safety Week survey also asked drivers which risks they would admit to taking on the roads themselves. Nearly eight in 10 (79%) admitted to taking risks. Almost two thirds (63%) confessed to sometimes speeding. More than four in 10 drivers (45%) admitted they drive distances that they could easily walk. Nearly one in eight (13%) admitted to driving while distracted and nearly one in 10 (9%) confessed to not wearing a seat belt or their passengers not wearing a seat belt.

Age was significant regarding admissions of risk-taking. Older drivers (aged 45 and above) were more likely to admit to speeding than younger drivers. Conversely, younger drivers (aged 44 and under) were more likely to admit to driving distracted, driving on alcohol or drugs, or failing to belt up. 

What drivers believe is the biggest threat, and the bad behaviours they engage in, don’t match up. Older drivers are more likely to admit to speeding but say distraction is the biggest threat. Younger drivers are more likely to say they drive while distracted, and say speeding is the biggest danger. This is suggestive that people are inclined to think their own risky behaviour is not the most threatening: it’s someone else’s, different behaviour that is the problem.

One in five drivers (21%) claims they never break any of the Pledge points and regularly make both safe and sustainable choices.

Brake is working towards a world where road transport is safe, sustainable, healthy and fair, and there are zero road deaths. It is extremely challenging to change drivers’ behaviour: drivers make mistakes and some knowingly take risks. This is why Brake supports a safe systems approach to save lives and the planet. This includes 20mph limits in built-up areas, segregated routes for people on foot and bicycles, crash-protection features on vehicles and ultra-low emission vehicles, and regulation and enforcement of drivers to enable safer driving choices.

However, deaths and injuries are happening right now, with five people dying on UK roads every day and 61 being seriously injured. Everyone can do their bit throughout Road Safety Week by spreading awareness of the vital importance of the Pledge rules. Here are some of the reasons why the Pledge points are so important:

SLOW: Speed contributes to more than a quarter (26%) of fatal crashes in the UK.[i]

SOBER: One in seven road deaths involves a driver over the drink-drive limit.[ii]

SECURE: Three-point seat belts mean you’re 50% less likely to die in a crash.[iii] More than one in five people (22%) who die each year are not wearing one.[iv]

SILENT: Drivers talking on phones are four times more likely to crash, whether on a hands-free or hand-held phone.[v] It’s the distraction of the call that is the problem.[vi] There is also a rise in use of infotainment systems and screens: as well as the major distraction of looking at a screen rather than the road, it also takes 27 seconds to regain full concentration after using a system/screen that uses voice command.[vii]  

SHARP: It is estimated 2,900 casualties are caused by poor driver vision.[viii] It is possible to lose up to 40% of your vision before noticing it.[ix] Fatigue and illness are also causes of impairment.

SUSTAINABLE: About 40,000 deaths are caused annually by exposure to NOx and particulates[x], and about a quarter of the UK’s CO2 emissions are from transport, with road traffic a major contributor.[xi] 

Gary Rae, director of communications and campaigns for Brake, said: “Road Safety Week’s theme is action-orientated. Anyone can make and share the Brake Pledge – individuals, businesses and community organisations. Our survey shows that drivers are aware of the threat of risky behaviour by other drivers, but are inclined to play down the riskiness of their own behaviours. Everyone who drives has to step up and take responsibility. If every driver vowed to slow down, never drink alcohol or take drugs, never use their phones or other devices, always use seat belts and child restraints, drive when fit to do so, and minimise driving, then our roads would be safer places for everyone.”

National Police Chiefs' Council Lead for Roads Policing, Chief Constable Suzette Davenport said:"In recent weeks police forces across the country have been running new and innovative operations to target some of the most dangerous motorist behaviours, including mobile phone use at the wheel. But this problem can't be solved without making people take responsibility for their actions while driving. We are delighted to support this Brake campaign and urge all road users to sign and share the Pledge, but also to think seriously about the promises you are making. We need to change attitudes because a few moments' distraction at the wheel can and does cost lives. This is about more than just identifying the problem - you have to think about what you are doing, and the risks you are taking. Don't put others in danger. Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road."

Peter Markey, Brand and Marketing Communications Director for Aviva says: “This new research echoes what we have also found at Aviva; that we are all inclined to think that bad driving is down to someone else. While most people act safely and sensibly behind the wheel, there are times when it’s easy to get distracted, which can have catastrophic consequences. Road Safety Week is a great opportunity for us all to take stock and think about how we drive, plan our journeys and make sure we’re taking that bit of extra care and attention. We will all benefit from safer roads, so there’s no better time to take the Brake Pledge and start making a difference today.”

Dr Nigel Best, clinical spokesperson at Specsavers, said: “I was shocked to learn that poor driver vision alone leads to 55 casualties every single week and costs an estimated £33 million. It’s every driver’s personal responsibility to ensure they are having their eyes tested frequently. We’d urge every road user to make the Brake Pledge to make our roads safer. When it comes to vision, that can be as simple as booking an eye examination, carrying a spare pair of specs in your car, not driving when tired, or even driving less and using public transport more.”

Brake Road Safety Week film premieres

To further highlight the dangers of what can happen when people don’t follow the Brake Pledge, the charity is releasing six short films, one for each of the Pledge points.

The films feature:

Avril Child from Birmingham whose daughter was killed by a speeding driver;

Elaine Corner from Wiltshire who had her leg amputated after being hit by a van driver who was distracted by a hands-free phone call;

Tina Woods from London whose son Finlay was killed outside a school by a drink-/drug-driver.

Jeremy Williamson from Liverpool who lost three friends and his brother because they were not wearing seat belts.

Brenda Gutberlet from Essex whose niece Natalie was knocked down and killed on a pedestrian crossing by a driver with poor vision.

The films are due to be premiered online to mark the start of Road Safety Week on 21 Nov.

More details and advance copies of the films will be available on request.

[ENDS]

 

Notes to Editors:

Full national survey results (regional results are available but there are no smaller breakdowns)   

We questioned 1,000 drivers from across the UK.

Q.1 Which do you think is the biggest danger on our roads? (Tick one)                                                 

Age BandTotal18-2425-3435-4445-5455-64Over 65
Speeding 35% 43% 41% 43% 33% 33% 31%
Drink/Drug Driving 18% 24% 24% 14% 17% 16% 20%
Distraction (Mobiles etc) 41% 17% 26% 37% 43% 46% 45%
Not wearing seatbelts 1% 2% 3% 1% 1% 1% 1%
Impaired and uncorrected vision 2% 4% 1% 2% 1% 2% -
Vehicle emissions 3% 10% 5% 3% 5% 2% 3%

    

Q.2 Have you ever done any of the following (Tick all that apply)

Age BandTotal18-2425-3435-4445-5455-64Over 65
Driven over the speed limit 63% 50% 49% 55% 70% 65% 67%
Driven on drugs/over alcohol limit 9% 21% 16% 9% 7% 9% 6%
Used a mobile phone when driving 13% 14% 25% 18% 12% 12% 6%
Driven/passengers without seatbelts 9% 13% 18% 11% 6% 8% 6%
Driven with uncorrected vision 3% 3% 11% 3% 2% 3% 2%
Driven a 'walking distance' journey 45% 23% 30% 46% 52% 46% 45%
None of the above 21% 23% 23% 22% 13% 23% 3%

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 Aviva:

  • Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers, across 16 markets worldwide
  • In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index. 
  • Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £319 billion in assets.
  • Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £30.7 billion in benefits and claims in 2015.
  • By serving our customers well, we are building a business which is strong and sustainable, which our people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society.
  • The Aviva media centre at http://www.aviva.com/media/ includes company information, images, and a news release archive.
  • For an introduction to what we do and how we do it, please click here http://www.aviva.com/about-us/aviva/
  • For broadcast-standard video, please visit http://www.aviva.com/media/b-roll-library/
  • Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/avivaplc/
  • Follow us on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/aviva-plc
  • For the latest corporate films from around our business, subscribe to our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/aviva

About 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


[iii] The Handbook of Road Safety Measures, Elsevier Science 2009

[vi] Briggs, Hole & Land, Imagery-inducing distraction leads to cognitive tunnelling and deteriorated driving performance, Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour, Vol 38, April 2016

Speeding offences rise by a third to reach six year high

News from Brake
Friday, 24 November 2017
news@brake.org.uk

Statistics from the Department for Transport reveal that speeding offences reached a six year high in 2016 [1]. There were 2.2 million prosecutions for speed limit offences last year, up from 1.6 million in 2011 - a rise of a third.

Jason Wakeford, director of campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity, said: "These figures are highly concerning and show that exceeding the speed limit remains a major safety issue. Ironically, this data has been released during Road Safety Week which this year focuses on the dangers of speeding.

"Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead, such as a child stepping out from between parked cars, it's a driver’s speed that determines whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t, how hard they will hit.

"Last year, excess speed contributed to almost a quarter of all fatal crashes and urgent action is needed. Brake is calling for increased enforcement by the police, a default 20mph limit in all built-up areas and 'Intelligent Speed Adaptation', which helps drivers stay within the limit, to be fitted as standard to all new vehicles. These measures are essential to lower the increasing number of needless deaths and serious injuries on UK roads."

/ENDS

Notes to editors

[1] Department for Transport, Table TSGB0811 (RAS61001)

Motor vehicle offences: findings of guilt at all courts, fixed penalty notices and written warnings by type of offence, England and Wales: 2004 to 2016                                                     

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.

Theme announced for UK Road Safety Week 2017

News from Brake

12 April 2017 
news@brake.org.uk

The dangers of speeding on our roads will be the message at the heart of this year’s UK Road Safety Week, taking place 20-26 November 2017.

In the UK, and across the globe, speeding is still a major problem, causing untold suffering.

Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions was recorded (by police at crash scenes) as a contributory factor of 23% of fatal crashes in 2015 [1].

Drivers with one speeding violation annually are twice as likely to crash as those with none. [2]

And a recent Brake survey found that four in 10 (40%) UK drivers admitted they sometimes drive at 30mph in 20mph zones.[3]

It’s for these reasons that speed will be at the heart of Road Safety Week 2017, coordinated by Brake, the road safety charity, and supported by Aviva. The charity is also supporting the United Nations Global Road Safety Week (8-14 May) which focuses on ways to manage speed and prioritise road safety worldwide.

To help raise awareness about the dangers posed by speeding drivers, Brake will be working with campaigners, community groups, road safety professionals, companies and schools, who can now register for a free action pack via www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.

Brake will also be calling on individuals to make the Brake Pledge to stay under speed limits, slow to 20mph by schools, homes and shops, slow right down for bends, brows and bad weather, and speak out for slowing down.

Gary Rae, campaigns director for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Road Safety Week is an opportunity to bring together individuals, businesses and community organisations to focus, this year, on the deadly menace of speed. We’ve designed this year’s theme to raise awareness of the growing concern of speed on our roads, whether major routes, urban areas, or rural roads. We’ve started pulling together a creative campaign, built around the hashtag #speeddown, which will get everyone thinking about how they drive on our roads.”

Tom Daniell, digital marketing director for Aviva, said: “We’ve been working with Brake for more than a year now and together we’ve had a fantastic response from drivers, pedestrians and schools alike - but there is always more we can do. As sponsor of Road Safety Week for the second year running, we are keen to encourage even more people to make the Brake pledge in 2017. The pledge will form an integral part of our safer driving social activity this year, and we are looking at how we can use our corporate responsibility programme to reach an even wider audience.

“It’s all too easy for motorists to get into bad habits: everything from checking their mobile phone while driving, to travelling above the speed limit. But the outcomes of these actions can be catastrophic. Just one collision caused by speeding is one too many, so this year we’ll be encouraging as many people as possible to get behind the campaign”.


[ENDS] 

Notes to Editors:

[1] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: Annual Report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016, table RAS50008

[2] Crash involvement of motor vehicles in relationship to the number and severity of traffic offenses, SWOV, 2013

[3] Report on safe driving: speed, Brake, 2016

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.

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 2017 takes place 20-26 November, with support from the Department for Transport and headline sponsors Aviva.

About Aviva:

• Aviva provides life insurance, general insurance, health insurance and asset management to 33 million customers, across 16 markets worldwide
• In the UK we are the leading insurer serving one in every four households and have strong businesses in selected markets in Europe, Asia and Canada. Our shares are listed on the London Stock Exchange and we are a member of the FTSE100 index. 
• Aviva’s asset management business, Aviva Investors, provides asset management services to both Aviva and external clients, and currently manages over £319 billion in assets.
• Aviva helps people save for the future and manage the risks of everyday life; we paid out £30.7 billion in benefits and claims in 2015.
• By serving our customers well, we are building a business which is strong and sustainable, which our people are proud to work for, and which makes a positive contribution to society.
• The Aviva media centre at http://www.aviva.com/media/ includes company information, images, and a news release archive.
• For an introduction to what we do and how we do it, please click here http://www.aviva.com/about-us/aviva/
• For broadcast-standard video, please visit http://www.aviva.com/media/b-roll-library/
• Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/avivaplc/
• Follow us on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/aviva-plc
• For the latest corporate films from around our business, subscribe to our YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/user/aviva