Articles Tagged ‘vulnerable road users - 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

Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley, February 2009

feb09Barbara Keeley, MP for Worsley, is stepping up her campaign for urgent improvements to pedestrian safety on the A580 East Lancashire Road as she is concerned that proposals suggested by Wigan and Salford Councils do not go nearly far enough.

Katie Gallagher, 14, became the third young pedestrian to die on the road in recent years when she was hit by a car on 14 January 2009. Barbara has joined with Katie’s friends and family to campaign for Wigan and Salford Council to take steps to improve safety on the dual carriageway.

Barbara is calling on Wigan Council to introduce a filtered pedestrian crossing at the Chaddock Lane junction, where Katie was killed, and is urging both councils to introduce an enforced 30mph speed limit along those stretches of the road in the more built-up areas where Katie’s death occurred. Barbara is also calling on both councils to undertake a full investigation into pedestrian safety measures and identify road safety hotspots on the A580 where improvements, such as pedestrian push-button facilities, can be introduced.

She has also taken her fight to local newspapers, Manchester Evening News and Wigan News, in order to highlight the importance of the campaign and gain extra support.

As a result of the campaign, the councils have promised to reduce speed limits from 60mph to 50mph, but Barbara has pledged to continue to lobby the councils stating that their proposals do not go nearly far enough. During the last five years there have been 172 collisions resulting in 11 serious injuries and one death on the Salford section of the road and so Barbara is calling on both councils to look more widely at crashes and fatalities and consider what improvements can be made.

Brake will keep you updated with the progress of Barbara’s campaign.

Barbara Keeley MP said: “I want to see speeds along the built-up sections of this road brought down to 30mph. A pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 30mph has an 80% chance of survival, whereas a pedestrian hit by a vehicle travelling at 40mph has a 90% chance of being killed.

“It is the responsibility of both Wigan and Salford councils to protect pedestrians crossing the East Lancashire Road. I want both councils to conduct urgent investigations to see where pedestrian safety can be improved.”

If you know of a dangerous road in your area, call Brake’s Zak the zebra hotline on 08000 68 77 80 or report the road online, and Brake could help you campaign for road safety improvements.

Brake calls on schools, communities and organisations to register now for Road Safety Week – and get free resources

28 March 2014

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

Schools, community groups, employers and professionals are being urged to get involved in Road Safety Week 2014 (17-23 November), the UK's biggest road safety event, to help make streets and communities safer. The charity Brake, which coordinates the event, is encouraging educators, professionals and community leaders to go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk to get ideas on promoting safer road use and campaigning for safer roads in the Week, and register online for a free e-action pack.

Road Safety Week, now in its 18th year and supported by headline sponsors RSA and Specsavers, is a great opportunity for groups and individuals to team up and take action on road safety, and run activities to raise awareness and prevent needless casualties.

Everyone can access ideas plus free electronic resources and guidance to help them get involved at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk. Anyone who registers to be part of the Week is emailed a free e-action pack with downloadable posters and advice and case studies of what others have done in previous years.

The Road Safety Week 2014 theme is 'look out for each other': raising awareness of the ways everyone can help protect one another on roads, especially the most vulnerable. Brake will particularly call on drivers to protect kids and adults on foot and bike by slowing down to 20 in communities and looking twice and taking it slow at junctions and bends. Read more. Participants in the Week can run an initiative on this theme or any other road safety topic.

Last year 7,795 community groups, schools and organisations registered to take part, running activities ranging from fundraisers, road safety workshops, to protests against fast traffic, to community speed checks, to poster design competitions, many in partnership with local authorities, emergency services, or other agencies.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, says: "Road safety is a critical issue for communities everywhere, so we're calling on schools, groups and organisations around the country to play their part in making streets safer. Road Safety Week is a perfect opportunity to take action on local road safety issues, by campaigning, raising awareness and making a difference – especially in relation to protecting the most vulnerable road users, like children. Our theme this year is 'look out for each other', calling on everyone to be considerate on roads, but especially calling on drivers to slow down and take care to protect people on foot and bike. Everyone can help get this vital message out, and make a big difference to their local community. Log on to the Road Safety Week website for ideas and inspiration, and to register for a free e-action pack to help you take part."

Read our press releases calling on specific groups to get involved:

Schools, colleges and nurseries
Employers and fleets
Emergency services
Road safety professionals
Families and communities
Runners and cyclists

Notes for editors

About Road Safety Week
Road Safety Week is the UK's flagship road safety event, coordinated annually by the charity Brake, and now in its 18th year. In 2014 it will take place 17-23 November, with headline sponsorship from RSA and Specsavers. Road Safety Week aims to raise awareness about the devastation of road crashes and casualties, and the part we can all play in making our roads and communities safer. It does this by encouraging grassroots involvement and promoting awareness-raising and educational messages. Each year it involves thousands of communities, schools, organisations and professionals across the UK running a wide range of road safety activities. www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk

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

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

About RSA Group
With a 300 year heritage, RSA is one of the world's leading multinational quoted insurance groups. RSA has major operations in the UK, Scandinavia, Canada, Ireland, Asia and the Middle East, Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe and has the capability to write business in around 140 countries. Focusing on general insurance, RSA has around 23,000 employees and, in 2013, its net written premiums were £8.7 billion

As a leading car insurer we have a natural interest in promoting safety awareness and reducing the number of crashes on our roads. In the UK we have been a partner of Brake since 2011 and we also undertake road safety campaigns in many of our businesses across the world.

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.

Brake comments as Britain’s road safety record stagnates

News from Brake
Thursday 27 September
 
Improvement in Britain’s road safety has stagnated, with the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads increasing marginally from 2016 - 2017, according to Government statistics published today [1].
 
Figures from the Department for Transport show that 1,793 people were killed in collisions last year,  the highest annual total since 2011 but with just one additional road death on 2016.
 
A total of 24,831 people were seriously injured last year - a rise of three per cent (from 24,101 in 2016), which has been attributed by the Government at least in part due to changes in the way many police forces now report collision data [1].
 
The figures also reveal that motorcyclists now make up 19% of all road deaths in Britain, up 9% on 2016 to 349 deaths, and pedestrian fatalities increased by 5% to 470.
 
Commenting, Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
Today’s figures highlight the shocking lack of progress on road safety improvement in Britain. This stagnation must be arrested and yet the Government sits on its hands and rejects the introduction of policies which are proven to save lives - for the individuals, families and whole communities devastated by road crashes, this is simply not good enough.”
 
“Our most vulnerable road users, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, remain at dangerously high risk on our roads, paying the price for the dominance of the motor car in our lives. Pedestrian deaths increased to their highest level this decade whilst motorcyclists now account for nearly a fifth of all road deaths, despite their small numbers. The Government must invest in active travel to give people safe and healthy ways to get around and focus on improving the safety of our roads – starting with lower speed limits.”
 
“Our laws are only as strong as their enforcement and roads policing is fundamental to improving UK road safety. Shockingly, the number of traffic officers fell 24% from 2012-2017 and the stagnation in road safety performance shadows this trend. We urge the Government to make roads policing a national investment priority, with a visible police presence catching and deterring illegal driving and cameras preventing the scourge of speeding.”
 
“Casualty reduction targets are a proven catalyst for road safety improvement and yet, since 2010, the UK Government has rejected this approach. With the UK’s deterioration in road safety showing no signs of abating, we urge the introduction of national road casualty reduction targets as a priority. The Government must have its feet held to the fire on road safety.”
 
[ENDS]
 
 
Notes to editors:
 
About Brake
Brake is a national road safety and sustainable transport charity, founded in 1995, that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies.
We do this through national campaignscommunity educationservices for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.
 
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Brake comments as road fatalities reach four year high

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

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

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

A total of 24,101 people were seriously injured last year - a rise of nine per cent (from 22,144 in 2015), which is being attributed by the Government at least in part due to changes in the way many police forces now report collision data [1].

The figures also reveal there has been no reduction in deaths of people on foot,bicycles and motorbikes since 2012.

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

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

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

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

[ENDS]

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

Notes to editors:

About Brake

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

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

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

Monday 17 November 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case studies:

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

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

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

Facts and advice:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes for editors:

Brake

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

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

Road Safety Week

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

RSA

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

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

Specsavers

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

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

End notes

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

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

Monday 17 November 2014

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

  • A fixed penalty for ‘careless driving’ or speeding is issued in the East of England every five minutes
  • Two in five (38%) primary school children in the East of England have been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while on foot or bike

Road safety charity Brake is today launching a campaign calling on all road users to look out for each other, to help stop the five deaths and 61 serious injuries that happen daily on UK roads [1][2], and particularly to protect people on foot and bike. In the East of England region, 178 people were killed and 2,191 seriously injured last year.

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

As part of the campaign, Brake and partners RSA and Specsavers are today (17 Nov) revealing statistics showing shocking numbers of drivers risking lives by flouting traffic laws. 98,084 fixed penalty notices were issued for ‘careless driving’ and speeding offences in the East of England in 2013 – one every five minutes. 96,116 were for speeding and 1,968 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 East region[4], released today, show:

  • three in five (63%) think roads in their community can be dangerous for walking and cycling;
  • two in five (38%) 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 facts showing why these steps are important.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 everyone around them. Everyone can commit to do this by making the Brake Pledge to follow six simple rules to help prevent devastating road crashes, atwww.brake.org.uk/pledge

Notes for editors:

Brake

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

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

Road Safety Week

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

RSA

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

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

Specsavers

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

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

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties in Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014
[2] Police recorded injury road traffic collision statistics: 2013 key statistics report, Police Service of Northern Ireland, 2014
[3] Analysis by Brake of data provided by the DVLA, September 2014 https://www.dropbox.com/sh/et6pjj56i2w2guo/AABDJE4mN_5nlr7i5eGoixVja?dl=0.These figures are combined totals of the following careless driving offences: CD10: Driving without due care and attention; CD20: Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users; CD30: Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users, and the following speeding offences: SP10: Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits; SP20: Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles); SP30: Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road; SP40: Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit; SP50: Exceeding speed limit on a motorway; SP60: Undefined speed limit offence.
[4] 'Hands up' survey of 358 primary school children (aged 7-11) from schools in the East of England 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?', 63% said yes, 37% said no. When asked 'have you ever been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while walking or cycling?', 38% said yes, 62% 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 launches ‘look out for each other’ campaign as extent of selfish driving across North East 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 North East every 11 minutes
  • Half (49%) of primary school children in the North East 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 a bereaved family from the North East, where 76 people were killed and 726 seriously injured last year. See case study below.

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

As part of the campaign, Brake and partners RSA and Specsavers are today (17 Nov) revealing statistics showing shocking numbers of drivers risking lives by flouting traffic laws. 46,359 fixed penalty notices were issued for ‘careless driving’ and speeding offences in the North East in 2013– one every 11 minutes. 45,823 were for speeding and 536 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 North East[4], released today, show:

  • three in five (59%) think roads in their community can be dangerous for walking and cycling;
  • half (49%) say they have been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while on foot or bike.

That’s why 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.”

Cllr Michael Mordey, portfolio holder for city services at Sunderland City Council, added:“While the number of road casualties year on year has remained similar, a key indicator of road safety is the number of serious casualties – and in Sunderland, we have seen some pleasing reductions recently. However, as we can see from Steven's tragic story, there is no room for complacency. We are working with our partners in the emergency and health services and other stakeholders and interest groups to learn what we can from the causes and trends in order to ensure we reduce casualties further. Safety is the responsibility of every road user, so we remind all drivers, riders, passengers, pedestrians and professional drivers to think about safety 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.

Steven Atkinson, 12, from Sunderland, was pushing his bike across Chester Road in 2009 when he was hit by a speeding driver. He was rushed to hospital, where he died from his injuries.Find out more.

 

Violet Atkinson, Steven’s mother, says:“After everything Steven went through, I am so proud of him. He never looked at his health as a problem and lived every day to the full. No words can describe the grief our family has gone through since his death. There’s a piece of us missing and there’s no way to escape that. My son is gone. I will never see him again, and it will never get easier. I don’t want another mother to experience the pain of seeing her child die. People need to wake up to the consequences of driving irresponsibly. This year’s Road Safety Week, I’m asking everyone to look out for each other on the road, and in particular for drivers to slow down to 20mph in communities, look twice and take it slow at junctions and bends, and give pedestrians and cyclists plenty of room.’’

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 everyone around them. Everyone can commit to do this by making the Brake Pledge to follow six simple rules to help prevent devastating road crashes, atwww.brake.org.uk/pledge

Notes for editors:

Brake

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

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

Road Safety Week

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

RSA

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

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

Specsavers

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

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

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties in Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014
[2] Police recorded injury road traffic collision statistics: 2013 key statistics report, Police Service of Northern Ireland, 2014
[3] Analysis by Brake of data provided by the DVLA, September 2014 https://www.dropbox.com/sh/et6pjj56i2w2guo/AABDJE4mN_5nlr7i5eGoixVja?dl=0. These figures are combined totals of the following careless driving offences: CD10: Driving without due care and attention; CD20: Driving without reasonable consideration for other road users; CD30: Driving without due care and attention or without reasonable consideration for other road users, and the following speeding offences: SP10: Exceeding goods vehicle speed limits; SP20: Exceeding speed limit for type of vehicle (excluding goods or passenger vehicles); SP30: Exceeding statutory speed limit on a public road; SP40: Exceeding passenger vehicle speed limit; SP50: Exceeding speed limit on a motorway; SP60: Undefined speed limit offence.
[4] 'Hands up' survey of 417 primary school children (aged 7-11) from schools in the North East 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?', 59% said yes, 41% said no. When asked 'have you ever been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while walking or cycling?', 49% said yes, 51% 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 launches ‘look out for each other’ campaign as extent of selfish driving across North West 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 North West every five minutes
  • More than one in three (36%) North West children 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 a seriously injured volunteer from the North West, where 149 people were killed and 2,548 seriously injured last year. See case study below.

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

As part of the campaign, Brake and partners RSA and Specsavers are today (17 Nov) revealing statistics showing shocking numbers of drivers risking lives by flouting traffic laws. 101,996 fixed penalty notices were issued for ‘careless driving’ and speeding offences in the North West in 2013– one every five minutes. 100,469 were for speeding and 1,527 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 North West[4], released today, show:

  • four in five (78%) think roads in their community can be dangerous for walking and cycling;
  • more than a third (36%) 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 people on foot and bike – by slowing down to 20mph in communities, looking longer and taking it slow at junctions and bends, and giving people plenty of room and consideration. See below for more advice and facts showing why these steps are important.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Case studies:

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

Phil Shaw, 49, from Thornton-Cleveleys, Lancashire,was seriously injured in the early afternoon of summer’s day, on the seafront in Fleetwood, Lancashire, when a car crashed into him as he was riding his Vespa scooter. Find out more.

Phil says: ‘‘My whole life has been affected by this one day; it now consists of hospital appointments and constant medication, for the rest of my life. I suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) due to the lack of exercise I get. I have battled with depression and a lot of my friends don’t know what to say to me. The greatest effect has been on my family – I can’t ever ride a bike with my son, play football with him, or do normal father-son activities. My wife has become a carer, not only for my children, but for me as well, and it is devastating to see the stress of that on her. The best way I can describe the impact of the crash is like throwing a pebble into a pool of water – the ripples and effects are continuous and I don’t know where it will take me next. Please, look out for each other on the roads, to help ensure other people and other families don’t have to suffer needlessly.’’

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 others 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 360 primary school children (aged 7-11) from schools in the North West 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?', 78% said yes, 22% said no. When asked 'have you ever been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while walking or cycling?', 36% said yes, 64% 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 launches ‘look out for each other’ campaign as extent of selfish driving across UK is revealed

Monday 17 November 2014

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

Note: this is the national version of this release. Click here for versions specific to your region or specialist audience.

  • Two fixed penalties for 'careless driving' or speeding issued every minute
  • Two in five (41%) UK primary school children 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 call comes at the start of Road Safety Week, coordinated by Brake, during which police across the country 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 UK drivers senselessly risking lives by flouting traffic laws. Almost one million fixed penalty notices were issued for 'careless driving' and speeding offences in 2013 –almost two a minute. 950,505 were for speeding and 17,483 for careless driving (a fixed penalty newly introduced in August 2013). Embargoed figures are available by region and postcode, including the top 10 worst postcode areas [3].

This lack of patience and consideration towards other road users can and does result in tragedy (see case studies below). It can also stop the most vulnerable from exercising their right to healthy, active, sustainable travel. Results of Brake's survey of 5,000 primary school children [4], released today, show:

  • two thirds (67%) think roads in their community can be dangerous for walking and cycling;
  • two in five (41%) say they have been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while on foot or bike.

That's why Brake is calling on all road users to look out for each other, and particularly urging drivers to protect people 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 the look 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: "Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and improving safety is an absolute priority for this government. Cycling and walking are both great exercise and benefit our environment and economy, and I want more people to feel safe on our roads.

"This is why we have made significant investments in road safety and improved education resources for schools, made it easier for councils to introduce 20mph zones and increased fixed penalties for driving offences."

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."

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], and drivers 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 everyone around them. Everyone can commit to do this by making the Brake Pledge to follow six simple rules to help prevent devastating road crashes, at www.brake.org.uk/pledge

Case studies:

Find out about all the bereaved and injured volunteers supporting Road Safety Week here.
Iris Yee and Gary Igoea will be at the national launch and available for interview. Caroline MacIntyre will be at the Edinburgh launch and is available for pre-recorded interviews.

Lidia Zoetemelk, 42, from London, was travelling to work on her 50cc scooter in south east London when she was hit by a turning truck. She was killed instantly. Find out more.

Lidia's partner, Iris Yee, says: "Lidia's death was a shock to everyone who knew her. To have someone so young, with such a vibrant zest and energy for life, die so tragically and unexpectedly, has been devastating. My world collapsed when she was killed. We were on the brink of starting the next chapter of our lives. We had so much to look forward to, with so many exciting plans and dreams. I have no anger towards the driver of the vehicle for what happened, but I do want to help prevent more tragedies. Lidia often commuted to work by moped or bicycle. She was one of many vulnerable road users. This is why I'm supporting Road Safety Week. More has to be done to prevent deaths like Lidia's, especially improving visibility for drivers of large vehicles, and persuading all drivers to slow down and keep careful look out for people on foot and bike. We all have a responsibility to look out for each other, especially the most vulnerable road users.''

 


Jason MacIntyre, 34, from Fort William, was a well-known Scottish racing cyclist. He was hit by a van while on his bike on 15 January 2008 and died on the way to hospital. Find out more.

Caroline MacIntyre, Jason's wife, says: "The crash has had a catastrophic impact on our lives; it is with us on a daily basis, not only for me, but for our daughters. It has been seven years since the crash and it never gets easier. I'm not sure it's fully sunk in for any of us yet. As an up and coming cycling star he had lots of supporters who were also devastated. He was the most incredible husband and father throughout the difficulties we had with our daughter Morgan being in intensive care, and he put his family above anything. It is devastating for me to be bringing up our children without their father. It takes just a few moments to double check for vulnerable road users like Jason on his bike, and a moment of impatience can cost someone their life. Is that something you can live with on your conscience? So my message to drivers is please, slow down and take your time to look out for people – don't risk destroying lives.''

 


Timothy Igoea, 44, from Heighington, Lincolnshire, was crossing the road on a spring day when he was hit on the back of the head by a van wing mirror. He subsequently died in hospital. Find out more.

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

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 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.

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 4,787 primary school children (aged 7-11) from schools across the UK 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?', 67% said yes, 33% said no. When asked 'have you ever been hit or nearly hit by a vehicle while walking or cycling?', 41% said yes, 59% 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 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

Cambridge MP wins prestigious award for outstanding contribution to road safety

15 January 2014

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

Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, has been given a prestigious national award for his successful campaign for widespread 20mph limits in his Cambridge constituency, to make roads safer and encourage more people to walk and cycle.

Julian received the 'Parliamentarian of the Year: Community Campaigner' award at road safety charity Brake's annual reception at the Houses of Parliament last night, sponsored by Direct Line Group (photo attached).

Julian's campaigning for safer roads for walking and cycling spans back to 2006, when as leader of the Liberal Democrats in Cambridgeshire County Council, he demanded the council reconsider its negative position on 20mph limits in light of Portsmouth's decision to implement widespread 20mph limits. After three years of campaigning, the council agreed to trial 20mph limits in small areas of Cambridge city centre.

In 2010, Julian led a committee of MPs, the All-Party Parliamentary Cycling Group (which he later joined as an MP), on a tour of Cambridge to show them the benefits of 20mph limits for cyclists. Shortly after this, Julian was elected as MP for Cambridge, and once again took up the mantle of campaigning for safer streets. He began calling for widespread 20mph limits across Cambridge, to make the entire city safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

In March 2013, Cambridge City Council announced it will implement 20mph limits on most residential and shopping streets, which will be phased in from January 2014. Read about the Council's plans.

Julian has been a vocal advocate of 20mph limits in the media as well as in Parliament, as co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling. The group's Get Britain Cycling report, published in 2013, called for 20mph limits to become the default on urban streets alongside a host of other measures to make streets safer and encourage greater levels of cycling.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Brake believes everyone has the right to walk or cycle safely, without fear from fast traffic, and we know that 20mph limits are a critical step towards this. By speaking out for walking and cycling, successfully campaigning for widespread 20mph limits in Cambridge, and raising awareness in media and Parliament about the benefits, Julian has brought this vision a little closer. We're delighted to be giving Julian recognition for his dedication to making streets safer for people to walk and cycle in Cambridge and the rest of the UK."

Julian Huppert, MP for Cambridge, said: "I am delighted and honoured to have won this award from Brake. We do need to make roads much safer for people to walk and cycle, and 20mph limits will help to do that. I am really pleased that Cambridge City Council has taken such bold steps to make sure this becomes a reality."

Tim Ward, Cambridge City Executive Councillor for Planning and Transport, said: "A city-wide 20mph scheme has many potential benefits, including reducing the number of crashes, reducing congestion, and improving people's health as they feel more confident to cycle and to let their children cycle. Large scale 20mph schemes are the most cost-effective way of getting more people to cycle; the total cost of the Cambridge scheme is similar to that of re-designing one major road junction. Local residents have campaigned for years for small 20mph schemes, so I thought it best to meet this and future demand by implementing 20mph limits in residential streets across the whole city, which will work out cheaper than doing a handful of streets at a time."

Read about Brake's GO 20 campaign, calling for 20mph limits to be the norm in our cities, towns and villages.

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

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

Direct Line Insurance Group plc
Direct Line Insurance Group plc (Direct Line Group) is headquartered in Bromley, Kent; it has operations in the UK, Germany and Italy.

Through its number of well known brands Direct Line Group offers a wide range of general insurance products to consumers. These brands include; Direct Line, Churchill and Privilege. It also offers insurance services for third party brands through its Partnerships division. In the commercial sector, its NIG and Direct Line for Business operations provide insurance products for businesses via brokers or direct respectively.

In addition to insurance services, Direct Line Group continues to provide support and reassurance to millions of UK motorists through its Green Flag breakdown recovery service and TRACKER stolen vehicle recovery and telematics business.

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

Thursday 28 May 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brake’s advice for employers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About the report

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

Brake

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

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

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

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

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014

[2] Ibid

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

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

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

Thursday 25 September 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cycle crashes and who is affected

cycle4life_9This page aims to give you some information about cyclist casualties in Britain. Statistics can be interpreted in different ways. We aim to simply give you some facts. You may want to do your own research on cycling casualties and their trends in your region. If so, contact your local authority or police force to see if they can provide you with more data.

  • In a crash cyclists are particularly vulnerable as they do not have the advantage of a vehicle’s protective cage. A cyclist is eight times more likely to be killed than a car driver per km travelled (3.2 cyclists die per 100m km, compared to 0.4 drivers).
  • More than 16,000 cyclists are hurt or killed every year in Britain. That’s 44 casualties a day, or nearly two every hour. Nearly 1 in 4 (22%) of these casualties are children.
  • In 2007 (latest year of available statistics), 136 cyclists were killed on Britain’s roads - one every two and a half days.
  • An additional 2,428 were seriously injured, a definition which includes brain injuries and paralysis as well as broken bones. That’s almost seven cyclists seriously injured every day.
  • A further 13,631 cyclists suffered slight injuries.
  • More than a quarter of cyclists who are killed or seriously injured are under 20 (27%).
  • Most cyclist casualties are males. In 2007, 2,090 males were killed or seriously injured on bicycles, compared with 474 females, a ratio of four males to one female.
  • The number of cyclist deaths has increased over the past few years - from a low of 114 in 2003, to 136 in 2007.
  • Most cycling crashes occur in urban areas at, or near, a road junction. 84% of cycling crashes occur in urban areas and 73% happen at, or near, a road junction.
  • The above data is taken from Road Casualties Great Britain 2007, a Department for Transport publication in 2008 (tables 6a, 6b, 9 and 30a).

Personal tragedies >>

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Cycling routes and cyclist safety

sustainablethumbtext

Key facts

  • In Great Britain only 2% of journeys and 1% of miles travelled are by bike [1];
  • In 2015, there were 100 cycling fatalities and 3,239 cyclist serious injuries on the roads in Great Britain [2];
  • Transport accounts for a fifth (21%) of UK greenhouse gas emissions [3];
  • Physical inactivity accounts for one in six deaths in the UK [4];
  • Deaths due to physical inactivity are believed to cost the wider economy £7.4 billion; [5]
  • Almost three quarters of collisions with cyclists occur at a junction [6].

Introduction

Cycling is one of the healthiest, cheapest, most environmentally-friendly forms of transport available. Unfortunately, the UK lags behind many other countries when it comes to cycling levels. A study by the European Commission in 2010 found that just 2% of people aged 15 and over in the UK use a bicycle as their main form of transport – the seventh lowest level in Europe [7]. In Great Britain only 2% of journeys and 1% of miles travelled are by bike. A survey of UK teenagers by Brake and insurer RSA Group found that one in four (23%) never cycle, and only 9% cycle weekly or more [8].

A lack of safe cycling routes may be a key reason for the lack of cycling in the UK. A survey of UK drivers by Brake and Direct Line indicated that almost four in 10 (39%) non-cyclists could be persuaded to cycle if there were more cycle routes and trails connecting their home to local facilities [9]. Sadly, cycling on roads continues to involve risk: in 2014, 100 cyclists were killed and 3,237 seriously injured in Great Britain [10].

The benefits of safer cycling

Making cycling safer can encourage more people to get about by bike, which benefits the environment and communities, by reducing the number of cars and harmful vehicle emissions. Transport accounts for a fifth (21%) of UK greenhouse gas emissions, with road transport making up the most significant proportion of this [11].

Increased cycling can also significantly improve people’s health. Currently, physical inactivity accounts for one in six deaths in the UK, with half of women and a third of men damaging their health due to lack of physical activity. Public Health England advises that over a week, people should carry out at least 150 minutes (two and a half hours) of moderate intensity activity, separated into periods of over ten minutes each [12]. Regular cycling is suggested by the NHS as a means to lose weight, reduce stress, reduce the likelihood of depression and improve fitness: an 80kg (12st 9lb) person will burn more than 650 calories with an hour’s riding [13]. Improved health from cycling would also benefit the economy; deaths due to physical inactivity are believed to cost the wider economy £7.4 billion [14].

Encouraging more people to cycle could also improve safety further due to fewer motor vehicles. Almost all road deaths and serious injuries are caused at least in part by the actions of drivers [15], so if individuals drive less or not at all it means they pose less danger to others. There is also some international evidence for the “safety in numbers” theory that more cyclists on the roads creates a safer environment for cyclists. For example, cycling in London increased 91% between 2000 and 2009, and cycle casualties fell 33% in the same period [16]. European data shows that countries with high levels of cycling, such as Norway and the Netherlands, have lower cyclist death rates [17]. This is thought to be down to factors including: drivers become more used to sharing the road with cyclists, so are more careful around them; drivers are more likely to be cyclists themselves, so understand cyclist behaviour; more people substitute cycling for driving, meaning fewer cars on the roads; and more people cycling means more political pressure to improve road conditions for cyclists.

Preventing cyclist deaths and serious injuries means preventing needless and acute human suffering and carries a significant economic benefit: every road death is estimated to cost the British economy £1.8 million, due to the burden on health and emergency services, criminal justice costs, insurance pay-outs, and human costs [18]. This means that in 2014, cyclist deaths alone cost Britain £180 million, alongside thousands of families having to face the horror and trauma of a bereavement or serious injury.

Take action: Make the Brake Pledge to minimise the amount you drive, or not drive at all, and get about by walking, cycling or public transport as much as possible.The Pledge also asks drivers to stay well within speed limits and go 20 or below around homes, schools and shops, to protect people on foot and bike.

Protecting cyclists

Evidence shows that taking a concerted approach to encouraging cycling does make a difference: the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany have far higher rates of cycling compared to the UK, across all sectors of society [19]. A developed cycling infrastructure makes cyclists safer; as one of the most important factors affecting cycling levels is people’s perceptions of cyclist safety [20], improving the infrastructure increases the number of cyclists.

Safe routes

Improving cycling infrastructure is a key way of making it safer to cycle. These routes should form networks that are useful, joining places where people live and work, as well as giving access to public transport.

The safest routes for cyclists are where cyclists are physically separated from motor traffic. A Canadian study found that cyclists on these routes have one ninth the risk of injury compared to a busy road with parked cars [21]. The impact of a well-designed cycle route can be dramatic, and benefit all road users: building a cycling route along Prospect Park West in New York City reduced crashes resulting in injury by 68%, plus far fewer cyclists rode on the pavement inconveniencing pedestrians, and travel times for drivers did not increase [22]. Shared-use paths are shared between pedestrians and cyclists. If properly designed, and wide enough for both to use comfortably, these can also be a safe option [23].  

On-road cycle lanes, where there is no physical separation between cyclists and fast-moving traffic, can be of limited benefit, especially if used in isolation without other steps to reduce risks and hazards for cyclists, such as junction improvements. These can be considered a quick and cheap option, yet in fact need to be designed as carefully as any piece of infrastructure. Transitioning from a cycle path and entering traffic can be dangerous, and any design has to take this into account.

With three-quarters of collisions with cyclists happening at junctions [24], any cycling infrastructure must be designed with junctions particularly in mind. Care and attention must be given by councils and traffic authorities for designing infrastructure that is properly designed and effective in preventing casualties.

Speed limits

Lowering traffic speeds is one of the key ways our communities and country roads can be made safer for people walking and cycling (read our fact pages on speed in the community and speed on country roads to learn more). This is crucial alongside having traffic-free routes, especially so people feel able to cycle around their own neighbourhoods. In 2015, 80% of cycling collisions occurred on a 30mph road [25], this is why Brake campaigns for the national default urban speed limit to be reduced to 20mph and for lower speeds on country roads.

Take action: Campaign in your community for 20mph limits by downloading our GO 20 toolkit and using our community campaign guide.

Vehicle design

Cyclists are particularly vulnerable at junctions: three quarters of collisions involving cyclists are at or near a junction [26].

While all drivers must take care to protect vulnerable road users, larger vehicles pose a particular risk when turning and manoeuvring as a result of their larger blind-spots. There are technologies that can reduce blind spots on these vehicles, including sensors, and CCTV systems. In London, the CLOCS scheme has set standards for construction vehicles in the capital for protecting cyclists.

Read more: Advice for protecting vulnerable road users for employers with staff who drive for work is available for members of Brake Professional.


End notes

[1] National Travel Survey 2015, Department for Transport, 2016

[2] Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2015, table RAS20006

[3] 2012 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2014

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

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

[6] Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016, table RAS20006

[7] Future of Transport: analytical report, European Commission, 2011

[8] Make streets safer for cycling to build on Tour de France fever, Brake and RSA, 2014

[9] Brake and Direct Line Report on Safe Driving: A Risky Business, Brake, 2011

[10] Reported road casualties in Great Britain: main results 2013, Department for Transport, 2014

[11] 2012 UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2014

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

[13] Benefits of cycling,NHS Choices, 2014

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

[15] Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016

[16] Safety in numbers in England, CTC, 2009

[17] Pedalling towards safety, European Transport Safety Council, 2012

[18] Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016, table RAS60001

[19] Making Cycling Irresistible: Lessons from The  Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, Rutgers University, 2008

[20] The Dutch Reference Study: Cases of interventions in bicycle infrastructure reviewed in the framework of Bikeability, Delft Institute of Technology, 2011

[21] Route Infrastructure and the Risk of Injuries to Bicyclists: A Case-Crossover Study, University of British Columbia, 2012

[22] Prospect Park West Bicycle Path and Traffic Calming, New York City

[23] Guidance on shared-use paths, Gov.uk 

[24] Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016, table RAS20006

[25] Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016

[26] Reported road casualties Great Britain: annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016, table RAS20006

Updated August 2016

Darker evenings spell danger for road safety

News from Brake
Thursday 25 October 2018
 
With the end of British Summer Time (BST) bringing in darker evenings, Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the Government to commit to moving to Single/Double Summer Time (SDST) to help save lives on the road. 
 
SDST would move our clocks forward an additional hour all year round and so would create lighter evenings, allowing many road users, especially cyclists and pedestrians, to take advantage of the benefits of natural light to remain safe and be seen during evening rush hours. Lighter winter evenings could also have life-saving implications - the number of pedestrians killed jumped from 46 in October 2017 to 63 in November 2017, the first month after the clocks went back, a consistent trend over recent years [1]. 
 
Studies have found that moving the clocks to an hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT+1) in winter, and two hours ahead (GMT+2) in summer, would prevent 80 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries on UK roads every year [2,3]. There are also significant environmental benefits to be gained from implementing SDST as it has been estimated that the switch would reduce CO2 pollution by up to 447,000 tonnes each year [4].
 
Commenting Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said:
 
“With summer time ending, and the nights closing in, the danger facing cyclists and pedestrians on our roads increases. At a time when the UK is struggling to move the dial on road safety, a move to SDST offers a glaringly simple and effective way to reduce deaths and injuries on our roads and so must be considered seriously by the Government. Lighter evenings can bring so many benefits, not only to road safety but through reducing carbon emissions and encouraging more people to be active and use the extra daylight for outdoor leisure activity – it really is a win-win for the Government.”
 
ENDS
 
Notes to editors:
 
[4] Yu-Foong Chong, Elizabeth Garnsey, Simon Hill and Frederic Desobry “Daylight Saving, Electricity Demand and Emissions; Exploratory Studies from Great Britain”, October 2009
 
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 campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Follow Brake on Twitter, Facebook, or The Brake Blog.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.

Direct Line Group Lesson Plan

 

Props – Take a sturdy toy truck that rolls in a straight line, and a torch.  Today we’re going to talk about ROAD SAFETY.

I’m going to start by telling you something really sad. Every day seven children are very badly hurt by traffic on roads in this country while those children are walking or on bikes. We’ve all fallen down and hurt our knees haven’t we? Children who are hurt on our roads are much more badly hurt than that. Some are so badly hurt that they don’t get better.

I’m now going to tell you something really good. We can all learn really easy things to keep us safer near roads and we’re going to do this in this lesson, so we can STAY SAFE.

Can anyone tell me some kinds of traffic? (Car/ Bus / Truck / Fire engine / Motorbike etc.)

Can anyone do the NOISES that this traffic makes? (Children make traffic noises)

That’s one of the useful things about traffic. You can sometimes use your EARS to hear it coming.

Traffic isn’t just noisy, it’s also FAST. This means it comes quickly. Does anyone know why traffic can move so fast, faster than you on legs? (Wheels)

Let’s do an experiment, to see if wheels are faster than legs
(Child chosen to then walk sensibly across the hall holding hands with you, while a solid, toy truck (use a big one that goes in a straight line) is rolled across the hall at the same time – the truck will move much faster.)
 
Traffic is also HARD. Prod your tummy. Is it soft or hard? (Soft)
This is why traffic can hurt you. You are soft and traffic is hard.

We’ve found out that traffic is NOISY, FAST AND HARD AND CAN HURT US. So let’s all clap our hands for learning these important lessons.  (Children clap)

Hands are good for clapping. What else can we use hands for to keep us safe on roads?
(Holding hands)

What other bits of our body can we use to keep us safe on roads (pointing to eyes and ears)
(Eyes and ears)

That’s right, we have to look for traffic, and we have to listen for traffic. Sometimes we have to look very carefully and listen very carefully because traffic might be far away or round a corner, but we know it might get to us fast.

I know a rhyme that we can learn today. Are you ready? Listen carefully so you can copy me when I say it again.

I STOP before I cross the street,
I use my EYES and my EARS before my FEET.
(holding up hand to indicate ‘stop’ then pointing to eyes, ears and then feet)

(Repeat with the children.)

Now we’re going to play my thumbs up, thumbs down game. If you think that I am saying something sensible and safe, stick your thumb up. If you think I am saying something daft and dangerous, stick your thumb down.

•    My balloon has gone into the road and I am going to run after it
•    I want to cross the road and there is a green man showing.
•    I want to cross the road but there is a red man showing.
•    My best friend is further up the road but they haven’t seen me, so I want to run ahead of my mum to catch them up.
•    I’m going to play in the park away from roads
•    I’m in the car but I think we are going to be late for a party. I tell my dad to drive faster.

(Children stick thumbs up and down. Use as the basis of discussion. Why are these things safe or dangerous? What do the children think?)

I think we’ve all done very well there and thought very hard about how to stay safe. Let’s give ourselves another round of applause.
(clapping)

Logo-12-directlinegroup

Employers urged: take action to help tackle pedestrian and cyclist casualties

Wednesday 15 October 2014

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

Brake, the road safety charity, is issuing an appeal to employers to play their part in preventing devastating casualties among pedestrians and cyclists. Newly-released government figures show 6 people are killed and 157 seriously injured every week while walking or cycling. At least 24% of road deaths and serious injuries involve a vehicle being driven for work [1].

A Brake and Licence Bureau report out today (15 Oct) finds that among companies with staff who drive for work, many don’t have good practice procedures to protect people on foot and bike:

  • More than half (54%) don’t provide driver education on protecting pedestrians and cyclists;
  • Two-thirds (68%) don’t instruct drivers to slow down to 20mph around schools, homes and shops;
  • Six in 10 (61%) don’t instruct drivers on looking twice and checking mirrors at junctions for cyclists or motorcyclists;
  • Nine in 10 (89%) don’t plan routes to avoid schools and residential areas;
  • Eight in 10 (80%) don't use blind spot sensors and seven in 10 (70%) don't use blind spot cameras on large commercial vehicles;
  • Almost half (45%) don’t use telematics to monitor driver speed, so have no way of knowing if drivers are routinely endangering others by driving too fast.

The survey included 228 companies operating commercial vehicles, company cars or vans, or with employees who drive their own vehicles to business appointments.

Brake advises employers with staff who drive for work to take a range of steps to protect our most vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, who account for 59% of UK road deaths and serious injuries [2]. These steps include thorough journey planning, driver education, making use of technology to minimise blindspots and monitor speed, and building a culture of always putting safety first. See more advice below.

Employers can access Brake’s expert guidance by ordering a copy of the report, which includes advice for companies, and becoming a member of Brake Professional at www.brakepro.org/survey2014pt2.  

Brake is also encouraging employers to sign up now to take part in Road Safety Week, 17-23 November, coordinated by Brake, which will focus on the theme ‘look out for each other’. Companies that register at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk get a free pack of resources to help them promote safe driving messages.

Ellie Pearson, senior professional engagement officer at Brake, says: “Employers have a crucial role to play in preventing people on foot and bicycle needlessly losing their lives or suffering terrible injuries. Some are working hard and taking advantage of new technologies to minimise the risks their staff pose when driving on company time. And we know that when employers reduce these risks, they reap benefits like reduced costs and enhanced morale and reputation. But it is disappointing that many employers are failing to take simple steps to ensure their drivers are doing everything possible to protect pedestrians and cyclists. We’re appealing to all employers with staff who drive for work to get the right policies in place, make use of technologies to address blindspots and speeding, and ensure their drivers understand that protecting people always comes first.”

Les Owen from Licence Bureau says: “The Brake and Licence Bureau report highlights something many drivers do not realise: that a few key actions will reduce risks to vulnerable road users but add very little time to journeys, especially in urban areas.  Very little work is involved for companies to show an interest in improving road safety and yet so few do anything about it.  Companies hold the keys but do not engage in the process.  Is it fear of challenging staff about driving? 

“Delivering work related road risk messages is key to preventing incidents on the road.  Licence Bureau regularly delivers interactive presentations to professional drivers and managers: these are very well received, especially by managers who go away knowing what they can do to involve their staff in reducing risks without challenging them.  There is every reason for companies to make road safety a priority, and incidentally save money over time.  Ask yourself: why shouldn’t I do more to unlock the road safety improvement toolbox? 

“As Brake states it is a simple process of putting safety first and providing key messages.  Start with engaging staff who drive at work but also those who are vulnerable road users.  They could all be given safety messages to reduce staff absences through injury or worse.  Drive safely.”

More facts

It is estimated that up to 95% of crashes are down to driver error [3]. It is therefore vital that drivers understand the importance of safety, and the simple steps they are expected to take to protect themselves and others.

Speed is a critical factor in all road crashes and casualties, determining whether a driver can stop in time in an emergency, and if they can’t stop, how hard they will hit [4]. It’s a particularly important factor in protecting vulnerable road users. It has been estimated that a 1km/h reduction in average speed across Europe would save 2,200 lives each year [5].

Blind spots, the areas around a vehicle that a driver cannot see by looking through the windows or standard mirrors, are a particular risk to vulnerable road users. Every year about 400 people, mostly vulnerable road users, are killed in EU countries when drivers fail to see people or objects in their blind spots while manoeuvring [6]. Blind spots are a particular risk on larger vehicles, such as trucks, which are involved in almost a quarter (23%) of cyclist deaths in Britain, despite making up only 5% of road traffic [7].

The simplest way to reduce the risk vehicles pose to people is to reduce the number of vehicles. The UK has one of the lowest levels of cycling in Europe [8], and fear of traffic is frequently cited as a barrier to cycling among people who would like to start cycling or cycle more [9]. Reducing vehicle traffic not only makes roads safer, it also benefits the environment, as 21% of UK greenhouse gas emissions come from transport [10]. Encouraging and enabling active forms of travel such as walking or cycling also significantly improves people’s health and benefits the economy: poor health due to inactivity is estimated to cost £8.2 billion per year in England [11].

Case study

Eilidh Cairns, 30, from Ellingham in Northumberland, was killed in London on 5 February, 2009, when she was run over by an HGV.

Eilidh, an experienced cyclist, was cycling to work along the same route she had used for three years. Just before 9am, she was hit from behind by a fully laden 32 tonne tipper truck. She was dragged under the wheels, her pelvis crushed, and left pinned to the road, quietly begging passers-by for help. She was taken to the Royal London Hospital but by 11am she was dead.

The driver, Mr Joao Lopes, claimed not to have seen Eilidh. His eyesight was found not to meet minimum legal standards; he was found guilty of driving with uncorrected defective vision, receiving three points on his licence and a £200 fine but was allowed to continue driving. Three years later, he was jailed for killing an elderly pedestrian, Nora Gutmann.

Kate Cairns, Eildh’s sister, said: “Eilidh was a strong, fit and experienced cyclist, and aware of the dangers of HGVs. She loved cycling through London and travelled by bike wherever she went. She had even taken her bike when she worked abroad, and negotiated without incident the notorious streets of Dubai and Valencia, such was her competence and love of the freedom her bike afforded. She should not have had to pay for that love with her life.

“Following the death of my sister I was shocked with the realisation that similar deaths were happening on such a regular basis with the majority of drivers simply saying they didn't see the victim, and this being accepted by the justice system. So I founded the See Me Save Me campaign which calls for the elimination of lorry blind spots. Combating blind spots however requires a lot more than just fitting extra mirrors.

“So we appeal to all companies to fulfil their duty of care to the public and make sure their drivers are fit to be behind the wheel, properly trained to look out for vulnerable people on foot and bike, and that their vehicles are fitted with the latest blind spot technology, to make sure that people like my sister are not carelessly and unnecessarily mown down on our streets.”

Brake’s advice for employers

Employers should ensure drivers understand their responsibility to protect vulnerable road users, and provide clear and specific instructions on simple steps they can take. This should include: slowing right down for bends and brows; slowing down to 20mph or below in built up areas; looking twice and longer for bikes at junctions; and turning off phones.

All fleet managers, especially those with large commercial vehicles, should use the latest available technology to minimise blind spots. This might include: wide-angle mirrors; front, rear and side sensors; reversing alarms; and blind-spot cameras.

Employers should monitor driver speed to ensure drivers are not putting themselves or others at risk. In-vehicle telematics can be used to monitor speed continuously as well as warning drivers if they commit high-risk manoeuvres.

Journeys and routes should be planned to avoid town centres, residential areas and schools, as there are likely to be lots of vulnerable road users in these areas. Schedules should be planned to allow realistic times to complete journeys and allow for possible delays, so drivers are not tempted to speed or take risks.

Brake’s survey report gives further guidance on protecting vulnerable road users. Employers can order the report at www.brakepro.org/survey2014pt2.

About the report

The survey results come from Brake and Licence Bureau’s Fleet Safety Survey Report Part Two: vulnerable road users, released today (Wednesday 15 October 2014). 228 organisations that employ drivers responded to the survey, which was conducted online through SurveyMonkey.

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

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.

[1] Reported road casualties Great Britain 2013, Department for Transport, 2014

[2] Ibid.

[3] Dimensions of aberrant driver behaviour, Uppsala University, Sweden, 1998

[4] Understanding inappropriate high speed: a qualitative analysis, Department for Transport, 2008

[5] Tackling the three main killers on the road, European Transport Safety Council, 2010

[6] Fitting Blind-Spot Mirrors on Existing Trucks: A Consultation Paper, European Commission, 2006

[7] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain: 2013 Annual Report, Focus on pedal cyclists, Department for Transport, 2014

[8] Future of Transport: analytical report, European Commission, 2011

[9] Brake and Direct Line Report on Safe Driving: A Risky Business, Brake, 2011

[10] UK Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2012, Department of Energy and Climate Change, 2014

[11] At least five a week - evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health: a report from the Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, 2004

 

GO 20 campaign calls for a 2012 legacy of safe walking and cycling

Fleets urged to raise awareness among at-work drivers during Road Safety Week

19 November 2012

Brake, the road safety charity
19 november 2012 

A national campaign launched today (19 November) is appealing to drivers to GO 20, to bring about a 2012 legacy of safe walking and cycling for everyone. Brake, the road safety charity is appealing to drivers to slow down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops, and calling for 20mph limits in built-up areas, so children and adults can walk and cycle for their health and enjoyment, and for cheap and sustainable travel, without being endangered.

Fleet operators and suppliers nationwide are helping to promote the life saving slow down message by getting involved in Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012), coordinated by Brake, and mobilising staff and communities in awareness-raising activities.

Thousands of organisations, schools and community groups around the UK are taking part in the Week to get the message across about how we can make roads safer and prevent needless tragedies.

Brake is encouraging companies, particularly fleet operators, to take advantage of the event to promote safe driving to staff and show their commitment to road safety in the wider community. Companies can still register on the Road Safety Week website to receive a pack of free electronic resources, including a guidance sheet by Brake's Fleet Safety Forum on managing driver speed.

As the GO 20 campaign is launched in Road Safety Week through street parties and events across the UK (see below), a survey of more than 8,000 children [1] age 7-11 by Brake, Brain Injury Group and Specsavers reveals how children are affected by danger from fast traffic:

  • Seven in 10 (70%) say they would be able to walk and cycle more if roads in their neighbourhood were less dangerous
  • More than three-quarters (77%) say drivers need to slow down around their home and school
  • Four in 10 (43%) say they have been hit or nearly hit while walking or cycling, and more than half (54%) worry about being hurt by traffic when out and about.

The GO 20 campaign is highlighting that slower speeds in towns, cities and villages can help deliver a post-2012 legacy of active communities, and prevent devastating pedestrian and cyclist casualties, which increased in 2011 (see below). Many authorities are already recognising the benefits of 20mph by implementing town and city-wide 20 limits. GO 20 calls for: more authorities to do this; the government to work towards 20mph being the norm in communities; and drivers to pledge to GO 20 around homes, schools and shops, even where 30 limits remain.

Why GO 20:

  • Fewer casualties: at 20, drivers have much more time to react, to help them stop in time if they need to, like if a child runs out. Studies show that when 20 limits replace 30, it means fewer casualties among pedestrians and cyclists [2].
  • More walking and cycling: danger from traffic is a major barrier in enabling more people to walk and cycle. Town and city-wide 20 limits have resulted in more people walking and cycling [3].
  • Healthier, happier people: More walking and cycling means healthier people, and more enjoyable outdoors activity for kids and adults. It helps communities interact and be communities.
  • Less pollution: GOing 20 means lower emissions from vehicle journeys [4]. Plus if more people can switch their commute or school run to foot or bike, it means less polluting traffic.
  • Lower costs: Poor health from inactivity costs society dearly [5]. Road casualties cost even more, due to the suffering and burden on health and emergency services [6]. Preventing casualties and improving health means GOing 20 pays for itself many times over [7]. It also helps people save money by choosing the cheapest ways to get about: foot and bike.

Read more about the case for GO 20 here.

Companies getting involved in Road Safety Week:

Below are some examples of how fleets and fleet suppliers are getting involved in Road Safety Week.

Balfour Beatty Fleet Services are visiting three high schools in the Derby area, West Park School, Derby College and Friesland School to deliver interactive presentations which will encourage Year 11 and 12 students to drive safely.

Cardinus Risk Management are holding a cine racing event with a buffet, disco, charity auction and raffle, with all proceeds being donated to Brake to support their work preventing road crashes and supporting the victims.

Colas Limited are engaging their staff on the importance of slowing down to 20mph around homes, schools and shops by running a Bright Day on 23rd November 2012 at their head office in Crawley and across the UK, where everyone will wear fluorescent clothing to work. This is particularly important message during the winter months as darker nights and worsening weather conditions reduce visibility and make it harder to see children and pedestrians.

Eddie Stobart employees will be working with pupils at West Haddon Primary School in Northamptonshire to deliver road safety messages to children around the importance of Be Bright Be Seen and the Green Cross Code.

Many of the organisations taking part are Brake partners and subscribers to Brake's Fleet Safety Forum, which provides advice, information and resources based around a programme of events for fleet professionals, sharing and promoting best practice and latest research. 2013 topics include Using in-vehicle technology to improve safety, Creating sustainable travel plans, and Blind spots & manoeuvring: preventing crashes with pedestrians and cyclists. Fleet operators can find out how they can benefit from this essential service at www.fleetsafetyforum.org.

A free copy of the Forum's guidance report for fleet managers on Managing driver speed is included in the e-action pack available by registering at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, says: "GO 20 is all about enabling people to walk and cycle without fear or threat. If we are to bring about a 2012 legacy of more active communities, we need to make our streets and communities safer places. Fleet operators can play an essential role in bringing this about, by ensuring their drivers always put protecting people first, and understand the vital importance of slowing down. Our main message in Road Safety Week is appealing to drivers to stay well within limits, and slow down to 20 around homes, schools and shops. It makes roads safer for walking and cycling, and makes little difference to journey times. It's great so many fleet operators are getting involved and helping to communicate this and other life-saving messages this year. We urge other employers to register on the Road Safety Week website to get our free guidance on managing driver speed."

Anyone can pledge their support for GO 20 at go20.org.

Campaign launch events

GO 20 is being launched at a walking and cycling street party in Islington, London's first 20mph borough:
AT: 10.30am, Monday 19 November 2012
WHERE: Sable Street, Islington N1 2AF (at the back of William Tyndale Primary School)
FILMING/PHOTOS: children from William Tyndale Primary School will be hearing from Paralympian Danny Crates how great it is to be healthy and active, taking part in a safe cycling demo with Islington Council, carrying out speed checks with Met Police, and celebrating 20mph with their own banners and placards
INTERVIEWS: Brake deputy CEO Julie Townsend; Paralympian Danny Crates; bereaved parents Sue and Dave Britt; injured campaigner Tom Kearney; Chief Inspector Ian Vincent, Metropolitan Police; Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing and development; vox pops with kids

Other events are happening across the UK, in partnership with local authorities, emergency services and schools. Find out more from news@brake.org.uk / 01484 559909.

Pedestrian and cyclist casualties

Every day in the UK, 19 adults and seven children are mowed down and killed or seriously hurt when on foot or bike.

In 2011 pedestrian deaths and serious injuries went up significantly, and for the first time in 17 years. Pedestrian deaths increased by 12%, while serious injuries increased by 5%. 466 people were killed on foot in 2011 and 5,654 were seriously injured. Of these victims, 31% (1,901) were children: 50 child pedestrians were killed in 2011 and 1,851 suffered serious injuries.

While cyclist deaths decreased by 2% in 2011, serious injuries increased by 16%. 109 cyclists were killed in 2011 and 3,132 suffered serious injuries. Of these victims, 16% (511) were children: 10 child cyclists were killed and 501 suffered serious injuries. [8]

More survey results

8,061 children age 7-11 gave their views through hands-up surveys in schools across the UK. As well as the results above:

  • 72% said they would like to walk and cycle more than they do at present
  • 75% would like more traffic-free cycle paths in their area, while 61% would like more footpaths, pavements and crossings, which they could use to get to school, the park, shops or to see friends
  • 38% said they are not allowed to walk unaccompanied and 47% said they are not allowed to cycle unaccompanied.

Compare results from different UK regions on this restricted-access web page.

Case studies

Aaron Britt, 16, from Mansfield, was knocked down and killed by a speeding driver outside his college on 3 October 2011. Aaron suffered severe head injuries and died the following day. His mum Sue Britt is supporting Road Safety Week and the GO 20 campaign. Read more.

Sue Britt says: "Aaron was our only son and we feel empty without him. He was an exceptional young lad; he knew exactly what he wanted to do with his life and had set about making it happen. I urge drivers to slow down to 20mph or less where people are so you have time to stop if someone steps out. Simply making a commitment to slow down will mean you're helping to make roads safer, and it could prevent more people losing their lives needlessly, and other families going through the pain and heartache we have. Aaron was kind and thoughtful and did not deserve to die for making a mistake."

Tom Kearney, 47, of Hampstead, was struck by a bus as he was about to cross Oxford Street at a pedestrian crossing on the busiest shopping day of the year. He suffered severe injuries to his brain and lungs, and was in a deep near-death coma for two weeks. It took Tom two years to recover. Read more.

Tom said: "It took me about two years to rebuild my life because of being hit by a bus. I'm lucky to still be here at all; other people are not so lucky. Drivers can make a big difference in helping to prevent injuries, deaths and suffering by being more aware about the harm they can cause, and taking responsibility for the speed of their vehicles. Drivers should slow right down on shopping streets, in residential neighbourhoods and around schools. Vehicles have the right to be on roads, but so do pedestrians and other non-vehicle road users. If you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, you also have the responsibility to drive with lives outside your vehicle in mind."

Sponsor quotes

Dame Mary Perkins, founder of Specsavers, says: "We are proud to be backing Road Safety Week and joining Brake in calling for action to protect people on foot and bicycle and make our roads safer for everyone. At Specsavers we think protecting children, families and people of all ages when they walk and cycle is absolutely vital. Allowing more people to walk or cycle safely is good for health, the economy and the environment. Everyone can play a part in making this happen, but drivers in particular can take some simple steps, like committing to slowing down to 20mph where people live, and making sure they have crystal clear 20-20 vision too. If we all get behind this campaign, we can make a huge difference in preventing casualties and making our communities safer places."

Sally Dunscombe, operations director at Brain Injury Group says: "We are delighted to support Road Safety Week and to play our part in making roads safer for people to walk and cycle. We know from our work that motor vehicle crashes account for half of all traumatic brain injuries, causing terrible suffering and turns people's lives upside down. Slowing down to 20mph makes an enormous difference in preventing road casualties as it gives you a better chance of stopping in time in an emergency, such as if a child runs out. As well as preventing devastating casualties, if drivers slow down to 20mph it makes our communities more enjoyable places, where people – particularly children – can get out and about without being endangered. We all have a role to play in making this happen, and Brain Injury Group is committed to playing its part by getting behind this important campaign."

Notes for editors

GO 20 is a partnership campaign being launched by Brake at the start of Road Safety Week 2012 (19-25 November). Find out more at www.go20.org.

Brakeis an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake's support divisioncares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

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 2012 takes place 19-25 November, with support from headline sponsors Brain Injury Group and Specsavers, plus regional sponsors Woop young driver insurance, Bubblebum UK Ltd, Fleet Support Group and Leigh Day & Co Solicitors.

The Brain Injury Group is the UK's first national network of dedicated brain and head injury lawyers and expert specialists that provides a complete package of support for brain injured people and their families. If you have been affected by brain injury, you can find a local, specialist, skilled brain injury lawyer and other associated support services to help you at www.braininjurygroup.co.uk 

Good eyesight is imperative to road safety, which is why Specsavers has made a longstanding commitment to promoting the importance of clear vision behind the wheel, working alongside the national road safety charity Brake. The Specsavers Drive Safe road show tours events and town centres across the country with its specially designed trailer. Visitors to the trailer are invited to receive free vision and hearing screening, with experts on hand to answer any questions.

Islington Councilis the first local authority in the country to introduce 20mph limits across its roads: main roads as well as side roads. All Islington's side streets became 20mph in 2010, and a year later the council agreed to introduce the same limit on main roads, to improve safety in the inner London borough. Work to install new signs and road markings is due to start later this year, to be completed by spring 2013. A small number of major roads in Islington, managed by Transport for London, will remain at 30mph.


Road crashes are not accidents; the use of the term 'accident' undermines work to reduce road risk and causes insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by drivers taking risks on roads.

End notes:

[1] 8,061 children gave their views through 'hands-up' surveys in schools across the UK, Brake, 2012

[2] For example, 20mph speed reduction initiative, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2001; 20mph Speed Limit Pilots Evaluation Report, Warrington Borough Council, 2010

[3] Where widespread 20 limits have been introduced levels of walking and cycling increased by 20% Citywide Rollout of 20mph speed limits, Bristol City Council Cabinet, 2012

[4] Environmental effects of 30 km/h in urban areas – with regard to exhaust emissions and noise, The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, 1999

[5] The annual costs of physical inactivity in England are estimated at £8.2 billion. At least five a week - evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health - a report from the Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, 2004

[6] Road casualties in Britain cost an estimated £34.8billion in 2011, due to the burden on health and emergency services, criminal justice costs, insurance payouts, and human costs. Reported road casualties Great Britain annual reports 2011, Department for Transport, 2012

[7] In Bristol, 20mph resulted in a massive return on investment because of cost savings to the health service through increased physical activity. They used the World Health Organisation's Health Economic Assessment Tool to estimate the changes in costs. They found for every £1 spent they saw a return of £24.72 through increased walking and £7.47 through increased in cycling. Citywide Rollout of 20mph speed limits, Bristol City Council Cabinet, 2012. Reducing speeds in urban environments reduces casualties. For each 1mph speed reduction, casualties decrease by 5%, The effects of drivers' speed on the frequency of road accidents, Transport Research Laboratory, 2000, fewer crashes reduces the burden on the NHS, emergency services and local economy. Each death on roads costs £1.7 million and each serious injury costs £190,000, Reported road casualties Great Britain 2011, Department for Transport, 2012

[8] These figures are from Reported road casualties Great Britain 2011, Department for Transport, 2011, and Police recorded injury road traffic collisions and casualties Northern Ireland annual report 2011, Police Service of Northern Ireland, 2012. Figures for children were requested from the Department for Transport and Police Service for Northern Ireland and are for children aged 0 – 17.