Fleet operators and suppliers nationwide are backing Road Safety Week this week, by mobilising staff and communities in awareness-raising activities.
Thousands of organisations, schools and community groups around the UK are taking part in the Week to get the message across about how we can make roads safer and prevent needless tragedies.
The theme of Road Safety Week 2011 is ‘Too young to die’. Brake, together with partners around the country, is drawing attention to the fact that road crashes are the biggest killer of young people and appealing for action to prevent devastating crashes involving young drivers and passengers.
A survey of 8,110 young people by Brake and QBE Insurance, published today, shows more than half of young people (56%) fear for their lives when a passenger with a young driver and the same proportion (56%) have been endangered by risk-taking peers speeding or drink driving (see below). The vast majority also support a tougher regime for novice drivers: 82% favour at least one type of licence restriction, such as a zero tolerance drink-drive limit.
Casualty statistics revealed by Brake today show that every 18 hours a young person is killed on UK roads, leaving behind devastated family and friends. Every hour-and-a-half, another young person suffers a serious injury on UK roads, in many cases life-changing injuries such as brain damage, paralysis or limb loss.
Young drivers are also involved in a disproportionately high number of crashes that kill and injure road users of all ages. Young drivers (age 17-24) are involved in crashes that result in one in four road deaths and serious injuries (24%) – 17 deaths and serious injuries every day – despite only making up one in eight (12%) licence holders.
Brake, together with families whose lives have been shattered by a death or injury in a young driver crash, is also calling on government to take action to tackle these casualties. It is highlighting evidence that ‘graduated driver licensing’, including a minimum learning to drive period, and restrictions for novice drivers, would prevent 200 deaths and thousands of injuries each year.
Julie Townsend, campaigns director at Brake, said: “It’s fantastic to see so many fleet operators taking part in Road Safety Week, helping to get across life-saving messages to staff, customers and local communities.
“The commitment and involvement of the industry is so important to this flagship event, and those who get involved can benefit by using the Week as springboard for promoting road safety internally and getting more involved with the local community.
“The focus of our campaign this year is tackling the terrible loss of young lives on our roads, and helping young people to be safer. We are calling on young drivers – and drivers of all ages – to ‘have a heart at the wheel’: to show compassion, acknowledge they have lives in their hands, and pledge to drive safely. We are also calling on the government to implement graduated driver licensing to help inexperienced drivers to be safer, in light of evidence that this would prevent thousands of needless deaths and injuries each year.”
Companies getting involved
Some examples of how fleets and fleet suppliers are getting involved in this year’s Road Safety Week:
Balfour Beatty Plant & Fleet Services will run a series of Beep Beep! Days in partnership with local primary schools. Beep Beep! Days raise awareness about road safety to pre-school children and help save little lives through easy, fun road safety activities.
Balfour Beatty Plant & Fleet Services’ work is crucial in conveying important messages to young children about staying safe by the roadside. Nobby Clarke, an ex-policeman who now works as the company’s road safety expert, will deliver road safety awareness sessions. Children will take part in fun activities, such as singing road safety songs and baking traffic light cakes. Children will be sponsored to take part in the days to raise crucial funds for Brake’s work supporting families bereaved by road crashes.
BT is reaffirming its commitment to community road safety by re-launching its Family and Friends Road Safety program, now in its sicth year of operation. BT are asking staff to take road safety home with them, and to engage their family (including brothers, children, sisters, friends, husbands, nannies, partners, sons, daughters, spouses and wives) in driving safely at all times.
DHL Supply Chain and Bassetlaw District Council will hold two hard hitting road safety awareness presentations at Harworth and Bircotes Town Hall on Friday. The presentations will be delivered by Peter Denton, DHL’s North East regional training coordinator and Brake volunteer.
Licence Bureau will run a Bright Day for Brake; staff will wear bright clothes to work to raise awareness of the dangers of dark evenings, and the need to slow down around schools and in built up urban areas. Licence Bureau will also be launching a year-long campaign in support of Brake during national Road Safety Week.
The organisation will be working alongside more than 1,500 clients to support Brake’s crucial work spreading road safety best practice throughout the fleet industry, and has also committed to becoming one of Brake’s corporate partners, providing funds to support the charity’s work with families bereaved by road crashes.
Sainsbury’s Car Insurance is holding a Bright Day for Brake. Staff at Sainsbury’s Car Insurance will turn up for work wearing crazily bright clothes to raise awareness of the dangers of dark evenings, and the need to slow down around schools and in built up urban areas.
Staff will also take part in road safety quizzes throughout the day, with prizes available to the winners.
Suttons Transport will run road safety workshops for staff. The hard hitting workshops focus on the devastation large vehicles can cause when driven badly.
The company will promote key messages, such as the need to drive within the speed limits, without alcohol, and with seatbelts buckled at all times.
VIVA Beverages will raise awareness of the dangers of driving tired. Staff are attending garage forecourts across the UK, highlighting the alarming number of crashes that occur as a result of driver tiredness, and providing helpful tips and free resources to help drivers stay safe.
VIVA Beverages and Brake are also using national Road Safety Week to announce a new fundraising project, called Wake Up For Work, which will run throughout 2012. The project will involve companies inviting staff to go to work in their pyjamas to raise awareness about the dangers of driving tired and raise vital funds for Brake.
Road Safety Week is an annual event coordinated by Brake, now in its 15th year, which involves thousands of schools, communities and organisations taking action on road safety.