Conferences, training, awards

Brake Speed Congress, May 2014

Campaigning for slower speeds and safer communities

Speech by Mary Williams OBE, Brake chief executive

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

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

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

falling-speeds-diagram

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

External pressure

Internal pressure

Family has low safety standards

Poor value set and lifestyle

Peer pressure and circumstance

Thinks roads are safe and crash risk is low

Belief ‘others’ think bad behaviour is ok

Inflated opinion of ability / easily influenced

Other drivers / road design / no enforcement

Risk-taker and impulsive

Uncaring superiors and no community

Bad habits and law breaker

 

Work and home-life stresses

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

External pressure

Internal pressure

Family has high safety standards

Positive values and lifestyle

Peer pressure and circumstance

Awareness of road danger and crash risk

Belief ‘others’ think road safety is important

Realistic opinion of ability and self-confident

Other drivers / road design / enforcement

Does not enjoy risk taking / not impulsive

Caring superiors and community

Good habits: law abiding

 

A calm life

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

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

 

Maintenance and mechanics seminar: how safe are your vehicles and who's checking them?

Date: 25 June 2014motorway-mono
Location: London
Time: 12.30pm - 4pm

To book your place today for just £70 + VAT for Brake subscribers (£120 + VAT for non-subscribers) use our online form or contact Brake on admin@brake.org.ukThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
// ![DATA[ document.write(''); // ]]>
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
// ![DATA[ document.write(''); // ]]>
or +44 (0)1484 559909.

Ensuring vehicles are properly maintained is an essential part of fleet safety policy and procedure. In this seminar, experienced academics and fleet practitioners will look at legal requirements for maintenance and mechanics and employer responsibilities, including monitoring driver vehicle checks and reporting defects.

The seminar will also address educating drivers on the importance of good vehicle maintenance and ensuring they carry out regular vehicle checks. A case study will be presented by an organisation that has successfully implemented an effective maintenance policy and achieved driver buy-in to the policy.

All non-subscriber event attendees can receive a 20% discount on joining Brake, by signing up on the day. To find out more about the benefits of joining Brake, contact Roz at forum@brake.org.uk, or visit our fleet Safety and road safety forums. 

This event would not be possible without funding kindly provided by IRTE.

IRTE new logo no border

Event registration form

Fill out my online form.

Brake annual reception, January 2013 Speech by Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive

 Good evening.

It’s wonderful to see such a packed room tonight, and I’m pleased to greet so many new partners, supporters, fundraisers and volunteers, as well as welcoming back many of you who have helped and worked with Brake over many years or even decades.

For Brake, this time of year is an opportunity, not only to do the very important job of thanking you for your crucial support, but to reflect on the state of road safety, and of Brake’s wide-ranging services and campaigns, and consider how we can work, alongside you, to make roads safer, prevent tragedies, and care for bereaved and injured families, as best we possibly can.

In recent weeks we have been evaluating our 2012 achievements, considering how we can develop, and planning our 2013 activities – and I have to say this process leaves me with a tremendous sense of pride. I’m very proud to be part of a charity that does so much with relatively little, that works extremely hard, with great determination, and is constantly pushing to do more, do better and bring about positive change.

Reflecting back on 2012, it was a year where many of our projects and services grew and reached more people than ever before.

We engaged thousands of schools, and tens of thousands of children and young people, in our programmes. We provided free resources, support and encouragement, not just on teaching road safety, but to help schools, nurseries and colleges to promote road safety to the wider community, and campaign for safer roads.

We advised more than 1,000 organisations on road risk management through our Fleet Safety Forum, and recognised employers implementing best practice at our annual fleet safety awards, holding these up as positive examples.

We ran another highly successful Road Safety Week, the UK’s flagship road safety event. More schools, communities and companies got involved than ever before, and we hit the headlines with our calls for drivers to slow down and GO 20 to protect people on foot and bike.

We continue developing our support services, to ensure we’re providing the best possible care, help and information to families who suffer the horrific aftermath of a road death or injury. Our helpline dealt with around 1,400 calls, while expanding the range of support it provides.

And we worked hard to campaign on a broad range of issues to stop more families going through the horror experienced by those who call our helpline. We engaged the public to encourage safer, more responsible road use, and we engaged policy-makers to call for measures to safeguard human life.

We communicated our vital campaign messages via scores of press releases and e-bulletins; meetings and events with ministers, officials and MPs; no fewer than 660 TV and radio interviews, nearly 1,500 press articles, and tweets galore.

Under-pinning all of this work is not just a great passion and determination to stop the carnage on our roads, but a conviction in the validity of our arguments. At Brake constantly scan and analyse international research and best practice, and carry out our own studies on road user behaviour. So when we campaign for 20mph limits, when we call for higher fines for driving offences, or appeal to drivers to switch off their phones, or call for regular eyesight testing for drivers – all of which we did last year – it’s grounded in cold, hard evidence on how we can stop people being killed and hurt.

--

And in 2012, I am pleased to say, we saw some notable campaign achievements. The Ministry of Justice recognised the need to develop support for road crime victims in its victims strategy. The Scottish and Northern Irish Governments announced lower drink drive limits. Northern Ireland published plans for graduated driver licensing, to help protect young, inexperienced drivers. A new law on drug driving was announced in the Queen’s Speech. And more towns and cities implemented 20mph limits to help people walk and cycle safely.

These are measures we’ve campaigned for long and hard, which the evidence says will make a difference and will save lives. And which we will continue to fight for, until they are implemented in full, across the UK.

---

But in looking back on last year, it is crucial we also reflect on the violent, needless tragedies that continue to afflict families and communities the length and breadth of the country. The fact that every day five more people lose their lives, leaving behind distraught family and friends, and every day, 66 more suffer serious injuries, many life-shattering. All these devastating casualties are man-made and preventable.

Statistics out last year showed the first rise in road deaths and serious injuries for 17 years. So after decades of progress, suddenly more people were being killed and seriously injured. The biggest rise was among people on foot and bike: those using the cheapest, healthiest, most eco-friendly mode of travel.

___

Last year was described by some as our greatest sporting year ever. There was much discussion about creating a legacy of active, healthy communities, and a great wave of enthusiasm for sports like cycling and athletics. Never has Sports Personality of the Year been so hard to call.

Yet often overlooked in all of this is the relationship between road safety and people’s ability to walk, jog, cycle or get to the park. The fact that danger from traffic is a major barrier in kids being able to walk to school, or adults feeling able to cycle to work. The fact that our next Bradley Wiggins may never even get on a bike because his mum says it’s just too dangerous.

___

Brake’s work is about preventing tragedies and easing suffering, but it is also about making our streets and communities safer, nicer, more people-friendly places. It’s about enabling people to get out and about without fear or threat, to be mobile, healthy, active and sociable, without being endangered.

In 2013 we will be continuing to engage the public, organisations and those in power, to promote life-saving awareness and action for the benefit of communities everywhere. A key focus will be striving to reach more people through our highly respected and well-established services – and partnership work is vital to this. So we look forward to working with all of you to get more schools teaching and promoting road safety. To help more concerned parents campaign for safer roads for their kids. To advise more employers on improving fleet safety. And to have an even greater impact with our life-saving campaigns. 

We look forward to welcoming much-needed progress from Westminster on drug driving, applauding devolved government on moves to tackle drink-driving and young driver crashes, and hailing local authorities who decide to GO 20 for safer walking and cycling.

But we will also of course be working alongside you to highlight the huge amount that remains to be done to stop the deaths and injuries, and make all our communities safe. 

Thank you again for your ongoing support and we very much look forward to working with you in 2013 and beyond.

 

Past Brake events

Listing of past events by Brake. For information on forthcoming events visit our Calendar of Brake events.

MARCH 2014

2young2die training course, 19 March 2014, Bristol, UK 
£45 + VAT 
A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

FEBRUARY 2014

Big savings for small businesses, 6 February 2014, London, UK
FREE one day seminar for SMEs on the basics and benefits of addressing road safety.

Big savings for small businesses, 25 February 2014, Manchester, UK
FREE one day seminar for SMEs on the basics and benefits of addressing road safety.

JANUARY 2014

Are your vehicles working for you?
 
30 January 2014, online webinar
FREE one hour webinar for SMEs on ensuring the safety of your large vehicles.

DECEMBER 2013

Going the extra mile: advanced road risk management, 9 December 2013, London, UK
£90 +VAT for Brake subscribers, £136 +VAT for non-subscribers
A one-day conference aimed at fleet professionals, providing a platform for sharing best practice and offering fleet operators the opportunity to learn from the successes of others working in the field.

2young2die training course, 11 December 2013, Leeds, UK 
£45 + VAT 
A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

Are your drivers working for you? 12 December 2013, online webinar
FREE one hour webinar for SMEs on influencing driver behaviour to improve safety and cost efficiency.

NOVEMBER 2013

Supporting suddenly bereaved children and young people seminar, 5 November 2013, Leeds, UK
£71 + VAT for Brake subscribers, £120 + VAT for non-subscribers
This seminar is for anyone caring for children and young people and will cover how children and young people experience grief and how to provide them with long term practical support.

Road Safety Week, 18 - 24 November 2013, nationwide across the UK
This community event aims to inspire you, whoever you are, to promote road safety to people around you, during the Week and beyond! Road Safety Week 2013 focuses on the theme of tuning in to road safety and avoiding distractions; register now to help get this life-saving message out.

2young2die training course, 19 November 2013, London, UK 
£45 + VAT 
A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

OCTOBER 2013

Police family liaison following road death and serious injury, 2 October 2013, Leeds, UK
£65 + VAT for Brake subscribers, £85 + VAT for non-subscribers
This conference will showcase FLO best practice in supporting bereaved families and those with serious injuries, and explore the latest developments in the Government's victims strategy.

Supporting people who are suddenly bereaved, 7 October 2013, Fife, UK
FREE to attend
This conference for Police FLOs, emergency services and support professionals will showcase best practice in sensitively and effectively supporting people who are suddenly bereaved.

Police family liaison following road death and serious injury, 17 October 2013, Bristol, UK
£65 + VAT for Brake subscribers, £85 + VAT for non-subscribers
This conference will showcase FLO best practice in supporting bereaved families and those with serious injuries, and explore the latest developments in the Government's victims strategy.

2young2die training course, 17 October 2013, Manchester, UK
£45 + VAT
A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

SEPTEMBER 2013

Eliminating driver distractions: making the most of Road Safety Week, 10 September 2013, online webinar
FREE to attend
This webinar will explore the 2013 Road Safety Week theme of 'tuning in' to road safety, providing tips and ideas on engaging your organisation with Road Safety Week and eliminating driver distractions in your fleet. 

Meet the expert: early intervention following a sudden death, 11 September 2013, Manchester, UK
£75 + VAT for Brake subscribers, £95 + VAT for non-subscribers
In this seminar for support professionals, leading academic and practitioner Stephen Regel will explain the importance of offering treatment to bereaved people promptly and some of the different treatments available.

Fit to drive conference
, 17 September 2013, Manchester, UK
£90 +VAT for Brake subscribers, £136 +VAT for non-subscribers
A one-day conference aimed at road safety and fleet professionals, providing latest research and best practice guidance on topics including driver fatigue, eyesight and impairment through alcohol and drugs.

2young2die training course, 19 September 2013, Birmingham, UK 
£45 + VAT 
A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

Pledge training course, 24 September 2013, Manchester, UK
FREE for Brake subscribers, £75 +VAT for non-subscribers
A one-day training course enabling you to lead discussion-based workshops with drivers in your workplace or community on the most important safety topics.

JUNE 2013

2young2die course, 11 June 2013, Newcastle, UK £45 + VAT A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

Fleet Safety Conference & Awards, 13 June 2013, Solihull, UK Various packages available Brake's flagship fleet safety event. The one-day conference provides fleet professionals with an opportunity to hear best practice examples from Fleet Safety Award winners, along with other leading academics and practitioners. The Awards evening celebrates achievements in the field of fleet safety. The networking breakfast the following morning provides another opportunity to share best practice.

Pledge course, 18 June 2013, Nottingham, UK FREE for Brake subscribers, £75 +VAT for non-subscribers A one-day training course enabling you to lead discussion-based workshops with drivers in your workplace or community on the most important safety topics.

MAY 2013

Pledge course, 22 May 2013, Edinburgh, UK
FREE for Brake subscribers, £75 +VAT for non-subscribers
A one-day training course enabling you to lead discussion-based workshops with drivers in your workplace or community on the most important safety topics.

Blind spots and manoeuvring: preventing crashes with cyclists and pedestrians, 28 May 2013, Birmingham, UK
£70 + VAT for Brake subscribers, £120 + VAT for non-subscribers
A seminar covering the latest developments in tackling the risks of vehicle blind spots including technological solutions and driver training techniques. This seminar will include vehicle demonstrations.

2young2die course, 29 May 2013, Ebbw Vale, UK
£45 + VAT
A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

APRIL 2013

Sustainable travel plans: reducing travel cost and risk, 10 April 2013, online webinar. 
FREE for Brake subscribers and non-subscribers. 
A webinar covering why employers should implement sustainable travel plans, and how to effectively introduce and evaluate those plans.

Pledge course, 23 April 2013, Bristol, UK
FREE for Brake subscribers, £75 +VAT for non-subscribers
A one-day training course enabling you to lead discussion-based workshops with drivers in your workplace or community on the most important safety topics.

Using in-vehicle technology to improve driver safety, 30 April 2013, Birmingham UK
£70 + VAT for Brake subscribers, £120 + VAT for non-subscribers
A seminar covering cost-effective ways to improve fleet safety by getting the most from your in-vehicle technology.

MARCH 2013

Pledge course, 12 March 2013, Leeds, UK. FREE for Brake subscribers, £75 +VAT for non-subscribers. A one-day training course enabling you to lead discussion-based workshops with drivers in your workplace or community on the most important safety topics.

Saving money through fleet risk management, 14 March 2013, online webinar. FREE for Brake subscribers, £72 +VAT for non-subscribers. A webinar examining the benefits of managing road risk and how to introduce and review fleet safety policies and procedures.

2young2die course, 19 March 2013, Bristol, UK. £45 + VAT. A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

FEBRUARY 2013

2young2die course,12 February 2013, London, UK £45 + VAT A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

Pledge course, 27 February 2013, Swindon, UK FREE for Brake subscribers, £75 +VAT for non-subscribers A one-day training course enabling you to lead discussion-based workshops with drivers in your workplace or community on the most important safety topics.

JANUARY 2013

Pledge course, 22 January 2012, Manchester, UK FREE for Brake subscribers, £75 +VAT for non-subscribers A one-day training course enabling you to lead discussion-based workshops with drivers in your workplace or community on the most important safety topics.

2young2die course
, 29 January 2013, Birmingham, UK £45 + VAT A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

DECEMBER 2012

Young drivers at work: risks and solutions6 December 2012, Nottingham, UK
£80 +VAT for Brake subscribers, £90 +VAT for non-subscribers
A seminar covering the risks of young drivers in the workplace, and how fleet managers can prevent young driver crashes.

NOVEMBER 2012

Pledge course, 7 November 2012, Sheffield, UK
FREE for Brake subscribers, £75 +VAT for non-subscribers
A one-day training course enabling you to lead discussion-based workshops with drivers in your workplace or community on the most important safety topics.

2young2die course, 13 November 2012, Manchester, UK
£45 +VAT
A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

Road Safety Week UK, 19-25 November 2012, UK-wide
A community event to inspire you, whoever you are, to promote road safety to people around you during the Week and beyond.

2young2die course, 20th November 2012, London, UK
£45 +VAT
A one-day training course enabling you to work with young people in your community to run campaigns on road safety issues.

OCTOBER 2012

4 October 2012
Supporting suddenly bereaved children and young people seminar
Venue: London, UK
W: www.suddendeath.org.uk/events

9 October 2012
Managing road risk seminar
Venue: London, UK
W: www.fleetsafetyforum.org

9 October 2012
2young2die course
Venue: Edinburgh, UK
W: www.2young2die.info

16 October 2012
Pledge course
Venue: London, UK
W: www.fleetsafetyforum.org

16 October 2012
Supporting hard to reach groups: Police FLO conference
Venue: Manchester, UK
W: www.suddendeath.org.uk/events

24 October 2012
Supporting hard to reach groups: Police FLO conference
Venue: London, UK
W: www.suddendeath.org.uk/events

SEPTEMBER 2012

12 September 2012
2young2die course
Venue: Leeds, UK
W: www.2young2die.info

20 September 2012
Pledge course
Venue: Birmingham, uk
W: www.fleetsafetyforum.org

25 September 2012
Zero tolerance: tackling drink and drug driving
Venue: Birmingham, UK
W: www.fleetsafetyforum.org