Northgate is backing Road Safety Week 2010, coordinated by national road safety charity Brake, by creating a viral campaign called “Message Undelivered”. The key message of the campaign is to convey the dangers of using mobile phones when driving. Northgate is producing a 30-40 second video, showing a van driver texting whilst driving and the devastating consequences of this behaviour. Northgate will show the video on sites such as YouTube and Twitter to increase awareness to a wide audience about the crucial road safety message.
During the Week, children across the UK will be calling drivers to slow down to 20mph or below in local communities. Thousands of companies, schools and community groups are getting involved to help raise awareness about how we can all play a part in making our roads safer.
A national survey of more than 15,000 children being launched for Road Safety Week by Brake and insurance company QBE has found that almost nine in 10 (86%) think drivers go too fast around their homes and schools. Shockingly, one in 10 children (10%) say they have been knocked down while walking or cycling, and a further 56% have had a near miss.
In 2009, 195 children were killed and 4,188 were seriously injured on UK roads – that’s 12 deaths and serious injuries among under-18s every day. 59% of these deaths and injuries were children on foot and bicycle. Although the UK has the second lowest road death rate in the EU, our child pedestrian death rate per population is worse than 10 other EU countries, and eight times higher than Sweden’s.
Gareth Jones, sales and marketing director at Northgate said: “We’re proud to be backing this important campaign to make our roads safer. At Northgate we work hard to promote road safety to our customers and local community, so Road Safety Week is an ideal opportunity to educate drivers of the dangers of using devices such as mobile phones whilst driving. We hope that by getting involved in this event, we can help to spread the message that we all have a part to play in preventing road deaths and injuries, and making roads more family-friendly.”
Brake is also urging the Government to put in place a strategy to continue bringing child deaths and serious injuries down – with a long term goal to reduce them to zero. Brake is calling for the default urban limit to be reduced to 20mph and for speed limits to be effectively enforced.
Katie Shephard, Acting General Manager for Brake, says: “Road Safety Week is a great opportunity for companies to raise awareness about road safety, so we’re really pleased that Northgate is creating a campaign to educate drivers. Northgate are targeting a wide audience across the UK, releasing the video on the internet which is a great way to get the message across. For a society that places so much importance on the safety and wellbeing of our children, it is shocking and unacceptable that so many children die and suffer appalling injuries on our roads. We’re appealing to all drivers to make a commitment to slow down to 20mph when driving in communities – this simple step means you have a good chance of being able to stop in time if a child runs out in front of you, so it could save a life.”