Drivers are being warned to look out for more vulnerable road users when 2014 Road Safety Week starts on November 17. Billed as the UK’s biggest road safety event, it’s promoting safer road use with a special emphasis on people who walk and cycle.
The aim is to cut the five killed and 61 people who’re injured on Britain’s roads every day. In order to achieve this, road charity Brake which is organising the campaign is asking drivers to slow down to 20mph in built-up areas, take care at junctions and around bends and behave more considerately towards others. It is also encouraging cyclists and motor bike riders to wear high visibility clothing. In addition, reckless drivers will be named and shamed on the Road Safety Week website.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive for Brake said: “Sometimes it can feel like roads are angry places where different road users are in different tribes and competing for space and priority. A simple lack of consideration and care can have awful consequences.
“It can mean people feel less able to get out and about and less likely to choose walking and cycling: kids not being allowed to walk to school, commuters not feeling able to cycle, families being more inclined to always use the car. It can also lead to tragedy: people suffering horrific injuries or even being killed because of someone going too fast, too close or not looking out.”
In 2013, Brake engaged 7795 community groups, schools and other organisations all over the country for Road Safety Week. They ran activities such as fund raisers and road safety work shops. There were poster design competitions and even community speed checks. Many were run in collaboration with local authorities and emergency services.
Suggestions for 2014 include:
• Running a campaign against dangerous roads or road use
• Promoting road safety via a community newsletter or website
• Encouraging drivers to sign up to the Brake Pledge to drive safely
• Running road safety initiatives in local schools or clubs
Julie Townsend added: “Road safety is a critical issue for all families and communities, and we’re calling on parents and community leaders to play their part in making their area safer. Road Safety Week is a perfect opportunity to take action on local road safety issues, by campaigning, raising awareness and making a difference – especially in relation to protecting the most vulnerable road users, like children.”
You can register at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk for a free online action pack.