Brake Road Safety Week 2015 – Drive Less, Live More
Cycle Alert are thrilled to announce that we will be launching Brake’s National Road Safety Week (23-29 November) for the second year running, as part of a national campaign encouraging road users to Drive Less, Live More.
As part of the campaign we’ll be running an Exchanging Places program, in conjunction with the University of York and First York to provide people in the region with information on how they can stay safe on the roads as well as the chance to sit in the driver’s seat of an HGV to recognise its blind-spots and learn safer road positioning.
Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.
“Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.”
This year’s Drive Less, Live More theme is aimed at encouraging everyone to see if they can reduce car journeys by walking, cycling or using public transport instead:
Why Drive Less?
- Safer roads Every day 5 people die on UK roads, and over 60 are seriously injured – every single one of these accidents cause needless devastation, trauma and suffering. The vast majority of casualties are down to driver error. Driving less can reduce traffic danger in your area.
- Less pollution Going by bus or train instead of driving produces 6-8 times less CO2, on average . Walking or cycling produces none. Driving less means we breathe less harmful pollution.
- Less traffic By 2035 the number of cars on England’s roads is set to increase by 45%and traffic delays by 64%. Four in 10 car journeys are less than 2 miles long. Driving less means less congested, more pleasant streets.
- Reduced costs Nearly half of households in England could be struggling with car-ownership costs. A family can save £642 a year by swapping a car-based school run for walking or cycling. Driving less is usually cheaper.
- Healthier, happier kids Half of our children are driven to school, yet the average school run for primary schools is just 1.5 miles. Walking, cycling, scooting or skateboarding to school helps kids engage with their community, stay healthy, and arrive alert and relaxed. Driving less for families can mean more active, sociable lifestyles.
- Healthier, happier people One in four adults in England are obese and a further 37% are overweight. Regular walking, jogging and cycling can help guard against asthma, depression, diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis and some cancers. People who take the bus or train to work instead of driving have a lower BMI and a healthier bodyweight. Driving less means improved health, wellbeing, and less stress.
- Healthier economy The cost to the NHS of people being overweight is estimated at £4.2 billion a year. Increased walking and cycling can give local businesses and town centres a boost and increase the value of homes. Driving less can help your community flourish.
In 2014 Cycle Alert announced its partnership with national road safety charity Brake. Through our on-going Partnership our objectives are to:
- Raise awareness of the extent and issues, particularly with regards to blind spots on HGVs and other large vehicles
- Increase knowledge of how to be safe and how to share the roads safely
- Improve attitudes and promote a road culture based on mutual respect
- Affect behaviour on the road positively through education and engagement with Cycle Alert
- Enable involvement in Brake’s life-saving work
In the UK in 2013, 405 people were killed and 5,160 seriously injured walking, and 113 people were killed and 3,185 seriously injured cycling. That’s 24 people a day killed or seriously injured on foot or bike – one every hour.
Reducing the Fear Factor
Fear of traffic discourages people from walking or cycling, so it’s a big public health issue. Only 22% of journeys and 3% of miles travelled in Britain are on foot, and only 2% of journeys and 1% of miles travelled are by bike. A Brake survey of UK schoolchildren found three in four (76%) would like to walk and cycle more. Another survey found one in three non-cyclists would cycle if routes were safer.
Accidents and Fatalities are Not Inevitable and Are Preventable
The good news is, there is a heck of a lot we can all do to help reduce this number to zero. And that’s where our Exchanging Places community events come in. We aim to provide vulnerable road users with information on how they can stay safe on the road, with particular insights into blind spots on HGVs, and supply motorists with information and tools to help improve road user behaviour.
“Road deaths are the forgotten epidemic we can all do something about. As a broadcaster I commend Brake’s work.”
As a mum, I am delighted to add my voice to Brake’s campaign. Speed kills and we need to get this message across to drivers to slow down around schools and homes.
“We’re delighted Cycle Alert is doing its bit to save lives on our roads by getting involved with Brake’s Road Safety Week and helping to spread the look out for each other message. Local support for the road safety cause is vital if we are to achieve our goal of putting an end to road deaths and injuries and the terrible suffering they cause. We can go a long way to achieving this if we all commit to look out for each other on roads, especially drivers helping to protect those on foot and bike, who are most vulnerable. So slow down to 20 in towns and villages, look carefully, and be considerate. Ultimately, we are all just human beings trying to get around, with equal right to use the roads, not competing tribes.”
“We all use roads to get around and most of us use them in different ways: often a mix of walking, catching the bus or driving, and maybe cycling, running or skating too. Of course, however we use roads, we are all people underneath just trying to get about, but some road users are especially vulnerable and need protecting by those of us in charge of vehicles. We’re really excited to be working with Cycle Alert, asking for mutual respect among road users. We’re encouraging a cultural shift to take place among drivers, asking everyone to look out for one another, helping protect vulnerable road users. “
We’re Pledge Champions
Everyone can make the Brake Pledge. It enables everyone, particularly drivers, to pledge to do their bit to stop road crashes, build happier communities, and help save the planet.
Get people Pledging
As a fleet or road safety professional, you can be a champion of the Pledge by asking people to sign it. These could be people in your workplace or your community. Read the Pledge and sign it yourself, and get others to sign it online here.
You can also download the Pledge fact sheet which details the road safety research behind the Pledge and the Pledge messages. This resource helps you explain and promote the Pledge to others.
Road Safety Week – #DriveLessLiveMore
Brake’s annual Road Safety Week campaigns see us hosting Exchanging Places events to educate on blind spots on HGVs, providing people with information on how they can stay safe on the roads as well as the chance to sit in the driver’s seat of an HGV to recognise its blind-spots and learn safer road positioning.
Exchanging Places focuses on raising understanding and alleviating the risks posed by HGVs coming into contact with cyclists and pedestrians. Looking at the driver’s vantage point, members of the public are invited to sit high up in the cab for a visual demonstration of how difficult if can be for a driver to see a vulnerable road user. It’s fun and has important safety messages on blind spots on HGVs and staying safe on foot or by bike.