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

10 April 2015

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 2015 (23-29 November), the UKs biggest road safety event, which involves thousands of schools each year. 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 teaching and promoting road safety during the Week, and register for a free e-action pack.

Road Safety Week is now in its 19th year and coordinated with the support of headline sponsor Specsavers and the Department for Transport. Its 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 free electronic resources and guidance to help them get involved. Go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk for ideas and to register to get a free e-action pack (emailed out from September). This includes downloadable posters to display during the Week and advice and case studies of what other schools have done in previous years.

Announced this week, the Road Safety Week 2015 theme is drive less, live more. Educators can link activities to this theme or any road safety topic. Brake will be encouraging families to consider how they use roads, and if they can ditch some vehicle mileage, and instead walk, cycle or use public transport as much as possible. Educators can engage pupils in exploring the benefits of sustainable and active travel and opportunities for their family to get around this way. They can: run a travel survey; map safe active travel routes in the area, promote active travel to students and parents through a display or web page; run lessons and assemblies that explore sustainable and active travel benefits. Read more.

Road crashes are the biggest cause of death among young people [1], and there is increasing acknowledgement of the threat traffic pollution and sedentary lifestyles pose to children and families. So raising awareness of road safety and creating safe spaces for sustainable and active travel is vital. Its an engaging topic, with plenty of scope for creative and interactive learning, while also meeting curriculum goals. Road Safety Week is also an opportunity for schools to promote wider action in the community to protect local children and families. Read more examples of how educators got involved in 2014.

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, says: Road safety isn’t just about safe driving and using the green cross code. It’s about making our streets safe and pleasant for everyone to use freely, and doing what we can to protect ourselves, people around us and the environment. A big part of that is driving less if we can, and this can make a huge difference to families’ health and wellbeing, communities and the planet. That’s why this Road Safety Week, we’re encouraging everyone to consider how they use roads, and if possible ditch some vehicle mileage, and walk, cycle or use public transport instead.

Everyone can help to get this vital message out. Thousands get involved in Road Safety Week every year - see www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk for ideas, and to register for a free 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

Notes for editors

About Road Safety Week
Road Safety Week is the UKs flagship road safety event, coordinated annually by the charity Brake, and now in its 19th year. In 2015 it will take place 23-29 November, with headline sponsorship from Specsavers and with support from the Department for Transport. 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

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.

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 £
  • 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 Britains most trusted brand of opticians for the eleventh year running by the Readers 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 streetprovider of adult audiologyservices 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] Death registrations in England and Wales: Table 2 Deaths by age, sex and underlying cause, 2012 registrations, Office National Statistics, 2013