Emergency services, up and down the country, are upping their efforts in a bid to make the UK’s roads safer. Timing is everything, which is why it is refreshing to hear news that the police and firefighters are using their standing among the public to try and reduce the number of accidents on the road, in support of road safety charity Brake’s national campaign, which began this week.
Firefighters in West Sussex are doing their bit by encouraging people to ‘Drive Less, Live More’, as they look to provoke motorists in to considering whether their journey really is dependent on the use of a car or could it be made by walking or using another alternative.
All this bodes nicely as the nights become darker and the weather conditions become more and more hazardous, with the arrival of winter on our doorsteps. Last year in West Sussex alone, 21 people were killed in road traffic accidents, with 461 people suffering serious injuries, a figure that the Assistant Chief Fire Officer for West Sussex, Gavin Watts, wants to tackle head on.
He told ITV: “We will continue to work with our partners all year round to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.”
“Brake has created a great national campaign for organisations to come together and play a part in making our roads and communities safer for everyone.”
“Firefighters from across West Sussex will be out throughout the week raising awareness of road safety issues and encouraging drivers, pedestrians and cyclists to make safer decisions when using the road.”
Up in the North, Northumberland Police are teaming up with the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and the North East Ambulance Service to do their bit for encouraging greater safety on the roads.
As part of National Road Safety Week, they are heading out to community centres and military bases to attempt to educate people about road safety and the dangers that driving recklessly can have.
Chief Inspector, John Heckels, who is the head of Motor Patrols, told the Guardian: “We are delighted to help launch the campaign and we will continue to work together with organisations such as Brake to try and make a difference on our roads, such as raising awareness of dangerous driving.”
“Operation Dragoon will continue to target dangerous drivers and do all they can to educate the people of the North East about how to stay safe on our roads and look after the most vulnerable road users.”
“Whether road users are vulnerable because they are on foot or on bike or because of their age and lack of road experience, we are doing all we can to make sure we reduce the amount of crashes in our region.”
Scott Rees and Co Partner, David Byrne, praised the efforts of the emergency services, saying: “Road safety is an extremely important subject and it really is fantastic to hear about the efforts our emergency services are putting in to try and educate people about the importance of driving carefully and respecting other road users, especially vulnerable ones such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.”
“In our profession we have seen first hand the devastating effect a road traffic accident can have on a victim and their loved ones. That is why it is so important that more organisations get behind campaigns, such as the one put forward by Brake, to ensure that we reduce the number of accidents occurring.”
“With winter now well and truly upon us, it is perfect timing for such a campaign to be launched and Brake should be praised for this. Traditionally there are more accidents at this time of year, due to poor visibility and ice on the roads. I would encourage everyone to take the time to consider whether or not their car journey really is necessary before setting off. The less cars on the roads this winter, the safer the roads will be for everyone.”
Brake are running schemes right across the UK this week, with their mission being to reduce help prevent the five deaths and 64 serious injuries that happen daily on our roads.
You can help get the word out by tweeting about Road Safety Week using the hashtags #RoadSafetyWeek and #drivelesslivemore and by contacting your local MP to sign the Early Day Motion 683.