News from Brake
8 May 2017
At the start of the global UN Road Safety Week, Brake, the road safety charity, is giving its wholehearted support to the launch of the global Manifesto #4roadsafety by the Global Network for Road Safety Legislators in London today, which calls for proven and urgent measures to tackle the 3,500 deaths on roads each day globally.
Brake agrees with the Network’s prediction that it is unlikely that the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal target to halve road deaths by 2020 will be reached, and agrees this is “a tragic missed opportunity to apply known and effective policies to make roads safe”.
Brake supports the calls in the manifesto for governments around the world to:
- Set casualty reduction targets
- Adopt the World Health Organisation’s Save LIVES technical package (which recommends laws to tackle speeding, drink driving, lack of seat belt and motorcycle helmet wearing, etc.)
- Apply the UN’s road safety-related transport conventions and agreements, including minimum vehicle safety standards
- Have regulatory standards for workplace road safety
- Apply good governance principles to national road injury prevention programmes and donor-funded road safety projects
- Prioritise non-motorised transport for road safety and sustainability reasons.
The charity also backs calls in the manifesto for increased funding for road safety that will benefit particularly low- and middle-income countries through:
- Safety being a central part of road projects funded by multilateral development banks
- A UN Road Safety Trust Fund.
Brake also supports the manifesto’s call for, at the end of the current UN Decade of Action, the adoption of a new Sustainable Development Goal target – to halve road deaths and serious injuries by 2030 using 2020 as a baseline.
Brake works with schools, communities and organisations worldwide by providing knowledge and tools enabling them to take individual actions to raise awareness and advocate for change at government level. Its Brake Professional service helps organisations operating fleets of vehicles to implement measures to minimise their occupational road risk and reduce emissions. The charity is also a leading provider of road crash victim support services in the UK, including an accredited national helpline for victims, and has campaigned for more than two decades for road safety legislation and investment.
Brake chief executive Mary Williams OBE said: “Every hour, 146 people are killed on the world’s roads. Road crashes are the biggest killer of young people. If a plane fell out of the sky every hour killing that many people, then all planes would be grounded immediately. The solutions to tackle carnage on our roads are with us today and the time for action is now. They require governments to pass life-saving laws, and invest comparatively small amounts of money compared with the enormous cost of loss of life. Change has to happen at the top, and it has to happen urgently; the United Nations must lead the way, and governments must take action.”
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 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.
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.