Brake welcomes government THINK! campaign highlighting dangers of country roads

Thursday 9 October 2014

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

Brake, the road safety charity, is backing the Department for Transport's latest multimedia campaign launched today (9 October), which shows how country roads are deadlier than many of us think.

The campaign reveals that three in five fatalities (60%) occur on country roads, yet many drivers remain oblivious to the risks. In a survey for THINK!, the government's road safety campaigns unit, a worrying quarter of drivers (25%) admit to having had a near miss on a country road.

Brake, has been campaigning on road safety issues and supporting bereaved and injured crash victims for nearly 20 years. Brake's own survey, published this summer, revealed one in three drivers (33%) admit driving too fast for safety on country roads, by speeding, taking bends fast or overtaking. See more stats from the survey, and read Brake's.

In 2013, 895 people were killed on non-built up roads, up 1% on 2012, and 6,554 seriously injured [1].

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "We welcome the focus the Department for Transport is giving to this vital issue. Both our campaigns highlight that too many drivers are not treating our country roads - and the people that use them and live near them - with respect. The so-called ‘open road' is a dangerous road, often full of unexpected hazards.We are urging drivers to slow down on country roads, staying well within limits and slowing right down for villages, bends, brows and bad weather. It's about being prepared for the unexpected, looking out for people on foot and bike, and respecting the countryside and other people's right to enjoy it."

Brake campaigns for slower speeds on country roads through its rural roads not racetracks campaign. Tweet us: @Brakecharity, hashtag #RuralRoadsnotRacetracks.

Notes for editors:

Brake

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

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

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

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties Great Britain: main results 2013, Department for Transport, 2014 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/324580/rrcgb-main-results-2013.pdf . Non-built up roads refers to those with speed limits over 40mph.