Road Safety Week – what’s happened around the country?
As part of Road Safety Week 2017, organisations and authorities across the UK are promoting road safety in their local area and further afield.
Organised by Brake, Road Safety Week (20-26 Nov) aims to inspire schools, organisations and communities to take action and promote road safety messages during the week itself and beyond.
The event also provides a focal point for professionals working in road safety to boost awareness of, and engagement with their work.
Using the theme ‘Speed Down Save Lives’, Road Safety Week 2017 focuses on the need to keep to lower speeds, especially in built up areas.
Road safety teams participating in Road Safety Week include:
- City of London
- Hammersmith & Fulham
- Rhondda Cynon Taf
- Kingston upon Thames
The council’s road safety team has also undertaken an awareness exercise with students, illustrating the different stopping distances for speeds in urban areas. The schoolchildren have also been campaigning to raise awareness on stopping distances.
The campaign has been promoted locally in the ABC magazine - a free local parenting magazine. Campaign images (pictured above) were taken earlier in the year.
The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) is staging a programme of daily activities and interventions across Essex, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock.
Events range from a young driver programme to pedestrian training for Reception and Primary pupils, community speed watch and a ‘surround a town’ event in Chelmsford on 21 November (pictured below).
'Surround a town' in Chelmsford, Essex, on 21 November
‘Surround a town’ sees SERP partners, including Essex Police, maintain a high profile visible presence on the arteries to the town where there are high rates of collisions and casualties. SERP road safety officers then interact with the public in the town centre, capitalising on the interest created by the police ‘surround’.
The City of London Corporation’s Road Danger Reduction team has published four new road etiquette principles for people travelling in the Square Mile.
The principles are as follows:
- Look around – keep your eyes open and focus on what’s around you
- Be aware – the City of London’s a busy place, so always expect the unexpected
- Be considerate – remember other road users are people too
- Less haste – take an extra second to think about what you’re doing and any potential hazards
The City of London Corporation also launched its ‘Be Brake Ready’ campaign to coincide with the start of Road Safety Week.
Be Brake Ready aims to encourage drivers, bikers and cyclists to be ready to react instantly to prevent serious collisions.
Crossing patrol officers ushered bubble wrap-covered pedestrians across the collision hotspot of Bishopsgate and Liverpool Street junction (pictured below) to highlight how vulnerable pedestrians are compared to other motorists.
Bubble wrapped pedestrians helped mark the launch of the 'Be Brake Ready' campaign.
Alison Gowman, City of London Corporation representative on the London Road Safety Council, said: “Seeing as we cannot wrap all of the City’s 480,000 workers and 9,000 residents in bubble wrap, we urge the public to ‘Be Brake Ready’.
“Over the years we have seen a big increase in commuters who walk and cycle to work and to encourage this trend we have introduced cycling Quietways, redesigned dangerous junctions and implemented a City-wide 20-mile an hour speed limit.
“People need to realise that the City is a dynamic, different and busy place to travel in, hopefully our four road etiquette principles will help save lives on our roads.”
Road safety and parking operation officers from Wandsworth Council are visiting schools in the borough to remind parents to park safely duringRoad Safety Week.
As well as targetting drivers of vehicles who double park and park on junctions or across vehicle access points, officers will be encouraging people to switch off their vehicle's engine when parked outside schools, as part of the council’s 'No Idling' campaign.
Wandsworth Council is also working with the Met Police at several schools on the Junior Community RoadWatch scheme. Junior Community RoadWatch, which first ran during Road Safety Week 2016, sees Years 5 and 6 pupils using ‘speed guns’ alongside the police in a bid to reduce speeding around schools.
Cllr Paul Ellis, Wandsworth’s health spokesman, said: “I know busy parents can struggle to park at drop-off and pick-up time, but bad parking causes accidents and is dangerous for children.
“We’re also keen to do all we can to reduce pollution, especially near schools, and to get the message across to people driving past schools that they must keep their speed down.
“This activity during Road Safety Week will be just part of our ongoing work with local schools and parents to help keep our children safe.”
Hammersmith & Fulham
In partnership with civil enforcement and Met Police officers, road safety officers from Hammersmith & Fulham Council are visiting schools and other locations where there is a history of serious collisions, dangerous or inconsiderate driving, and where people are ignoring parking restrictions such as 'school keep clear' markings.
A series of Community Roadwatch events are being staged, during which police and road safety officers are joining forces with Transport for London to monitor traffic speeds following expansion of Hammersmith & Fulham's 20mph scheme.
There are also a number of Exchanging Places events, in which cyclists and HGV drivers swap places to experience the road from each other's perspective, and 'space for cyclists' events to educate drivers about the distance they should alllow when overtaking cyclists.
Rhondda Cynon Taf
Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council’s road safety team has planned a programme of events for road users of all ages, including:
- A road safety information day at ASDA in Tonypandy
- ‘Kerbcraft’ training for year 2 pupils from across Rhondda Cynon Taf
- National Standards Level 1 cycle training for year 6 pupils, covering the basic bike handling skills required to become proficient cyclists
- ‘Drive Safer for Longer’ events, covering essential driving skills (not a test) for the over 65s
- ‘Mega Drive’ courses to deliver road safety messages to pupils aged 15-17 years, covering issues they will encounter as they become passengers in friends’ cars and become drivers themselves
Kingston upon Thames
Pupils have been working with police and the council’s road safety team as part of a speed awareness campaign in the lead up to Road Safety Week.
The Junior Roadwatch events, designed to remind drivers of the dangers of speeding, have been trialled across Kingston.
Patrick Long, Kingston Council’s sustainable transport officer, said: “The Junior Roadwatch events - where we bring groups of school children, wearing yellow safety jackets, to the roadside to speak to drivers after they have been stopped by the police for speeding - have been a real success.
“Some of the encounters have been really impactful, with the children asking really challenging questions of the drivers, such as ‘how would you like to tell my mum and dad that you injured me?’”
Somerset County Council’s road safety team is engaging with students at three sixth form colleges, through a presentation called Contract For Life (C4L).
Aimed at students in Year 11 and above, C4L is an ‘emotive, interactive presentation’ produced by former emergency service personnel now working for Somerset Road Safety.
The presentation sets out to highlight the consequences of a collision, not only to the driver but also to other victims including pedestrians, passengers and other road users.
Following a ‘graphic’ DVD depicting the aftermath of a real crash, the former emergency service personnel appear in person to describe their roles following a serious collision.
There are several presentations across the day, including the use of virtual reality goggles showing the effects of being involved in a collision.
Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service (GFRS) is hosting a one day event to mark the start of Road Safety Week.
Taking place at Cirencester Community Fire and Rescue Station on Monday (20 Nov), the event will feature talks by GFRS, Gloucestershire Police and Gloucestershire County Council personnel.
The event will also feature a case study of a driver who caused a serious speed related road collision - reuniting the driver with the fire crew and police officer who carried out the rescue and investigation.
Stewart Edgar, chief fire officer at GFRS, said: “We want to take this opportunity to thank drivers for driving in a safe and social way.
“Those who drive above the speed limit are not only committing a criminal offence, they’re also being totally irresponsible and putting lives at risk.
“Speeding remains a significant cause of many avoidable road collisions. You can’t turn the clock back, but you can reduce your speed – ‘speed down, save lives’ is the clear slogan for Brake’s Road Safety Week.”
Westminster City Council is sending a simple lesson plan to all schools in the borough about speed.
The lesson plan includes a history of, and other facts about, speed, and how to organise a ‘speed trap’.
The pupils are challenged to carry out experiments and surveys during the week and record their findings for assemblies. The police community roadwatch team will then provide a demonstration showing the use of speed detection equipment.
Transport for Buckinghamshire is launching a new speed reduction campaign which will be franchised out to organisations including parish councils, schools and businesses to enable them to run a speed reduction campaign in their local area.
The ‘Healthy Driver’ campaign uses imagery which likens speeding to other unhealthy behaviours such as smoking.
Humberside Fire & Rescue Service’s road safety team has several events planned for Road Safety Week.
The events - aimed at various age groups and different road users in the four local authority areas which make up the Humber Region - include:
- A presentation to primary school children highlighting the importance of wearing a seat belt
- A cycle and pedestrian safety event for pupils aged 11-18 years
- Road safety advice provided at a staff wellbeing day at a local prison
- A young driver and passenger safety presentation delivered to students in two secondary schools, to Air Training Corps personnel, and to young people undertaking a National Citizen Service (NCS) course.
What’s happening in your local area?
Let us know and we’ll cover in a news item during the course of Road Safety Week. Contact Edward Seaman by email or call 01379 650112.
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