Zak the Zebra backs Aylesbury school road safety plea

Monday 26 January 2015

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

Zak the Zebra, travelling mascot of Brake, the road safety charity, has galloped into Aylesbury to support a local school’s bid for safer streets.

Parents, teachers and students at Turnfurlong Junior School have been campaigning for safer roads in their community since July 2014, launching a petition calling for 20mph speed limits after a number of incidents in the area. Campaigners are also particularly concerned about the lack of safe crossing points around the school.

The petition was submitted to Bucks County Council at a local area forum meeting towards the end of 2014. However, there has not yet been any action, and a number of other incidents have been reported on roads around the school since – a crash, incidents of road rage, near misses with drivers mounting the pavement, and a parent being knocked over on a zebra crossing in an apparent hit and run.

Local campaigners have been active at the start of 2014, gathering data on traffic volume and evidence of dangerous parking. On Monday 26 January, the school hosted an event to promote the campaign, with local councillors and police speaking to the children at a school assembly. National road safety charity Brake is backing the campaign, and sent mascot Zak the Zebra to meet the kids and show his support.

Brake supports local communities across the UK campaigning for safer streets, and promoting 20mph speed limits where people live, work and play, to protect vulnerable people on foot and bike. Find out more at www.brake.org.uk/communities and www.brake.org.uk/go20.

Ed Morrow, campaigns officer, Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Everybody has the right to walk or cycle in their local community, to school, work or play, without fear of being knocked down by fast traffic. That’s why we work with communities across the country to help them achieve road safety improvements in their area, and we are wholeheartedly behind the Turnfurlong school campaign. 20mph limits are a proven, cost-effective way of making community streets safer, and we urge Bucks County Council to put them in place as soon as possible.”

Stephen Bibb, principal transport planner, Royal HaskoningDHV, said: “We are proud to support Brake in their community campaigns for safer roads. We believe that road safety should be proactive and these campaigns are not only important in educating communities but they also support local authorities in helping to prevent needless deaths and injuries on our roads, which devastate too many lives. By supporting Brake's Zak the Zebra campaign, we hope we can help people campaigning on the front line to make our roads safer, more inclusive and sustainable environments for everyone.”

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 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.

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.

Zak the Zebra
To receive support and advice from Brake and Zak the Zebra on campaigning for safer roads locally, community members can report their road safety concerns or campaigns at www.zakthezebra.org. Alternatively, they can call Zak's hotline number, 08000 687 780. The hotline is sponsored by Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, corporate partners of Brake.

Regional Managing Partner at Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, Grahame Codd, said: "As personal injury solicitors we are well aware of how road crashes can devastate lives. We are providing the Zak the Zebra hotline to hopefully reduce the shocking number of child casualties on our roads."

Royal HaskoningDHV
Royal HaskoningDHV is an independent, international engineering and project management consultancy with more than 130 years of experience. Providing services in aviation, buildings, energy, industry, infrastructure, maritime, mining, rural areas, urban areas and water all over the world. By showing leadership in sustainable development and innovation, together with our clients, we are working to become part of the solution to a more sustainable society now and into the future.