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Road Safety Week Blog

A collection of views from around the UK on the topics of Step up for Safe Streets and Road Safety Week. These blogs are aimed to inform and inspire people to take action and raise awareness during 2019 and beyond. Contributions are from Brake staff, volunteers, partners, researchers and campaigners, where views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily represent those of Brake or its employees.

Road Safety Week 2019 is stepping up

Road Safety Week 2019 is stepping up

I can’t believe it’s almost UK Road Safety Week again and this year we want everyone to ‘Step Up for Safe Streets’. We are encouraging people to learn about, shout about and celebrate the amazing design-led solutions that will allow us all to get around in safe and healthy ways, every day.

Why are we focussing on this I hear you ask? Well, it’s a tragic reality that every 20 minutes someone is killed or seriously injured on a British road[1], yet each of these tragedies is entirely preventable. By designing our road network in such a way that human error doesn’t result in death or serious injury, known as a safe systems approach, we can end this tragedy.

The great news is these design solutions are known and available to us now. Whether it’s safety technology in vehicles, or speed limits that reflect the safety of the road, we can start implementing these solutions into our road design straightaway.

By focussing on design, we can enable people to move in healthy ways, free from danger posed by the roads we use and the air we breathe. We can eliminate the barriers – often perceptions about safety - that prevent people choosing to walk or cycle and clean up the air we breathe. The policy solutions are already out there: creating segregated safe spaces for people to walk and cycle; and ensuring our vehicles emit as few emissions as possible.

At the moment, however, we are not taking full advantage of these great solutions, resulting in many people not having the opportunity to move in safe and healthy ways. It’s a sad reality that in 2017, people walking and cycling accounted for almost a third (32%) of deaths on Britain’s roads despite only making up a small proportion of miles travelled.[2] This needs to change and we have the tools to do it.

The Government’s new Road Safety Action Plan demonstrates that politicians are taking note and realise the need to improve road safety further. Although the Government hasn’t fully committed to a safe systems approach, there are encouraging signs that it is considering new measures to reduce death and serious injury on our roads. For instance, a Graduated Driver Licencing System could make our new drivers safer.

We can build on this momentum throughout UK Road Safety Week 2019 (18-24 November). We are encouraging the road safety community to come together, step up and play a part in championing these design-led solutions to create streets that are safe and healthy for everyone. Every day.

UK Road Safety Week is a collective effort and we want as many individuals, communities and organisations to take part and run grassroot activities. So, whether you’re a teacher wanting to engage the next generation, an employer responsible for the welfare of your staff, or an emergency service professional who witnesses the daily tragedies on our roads, register here for your free electronic action pack. Together we can all Step Up for Safe Streets.

[1] Reported Road Casualties Annual Report 2017, DfT, 2018
[2] ibid

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Comments 22

Guest - Linda Rose on Monday, 22 July 2019 15:58

Like previous comment contributors, I am very concerned about safety on the roads for horse riders but please also remember carriage drivers. The roads have become a nightmare with some drivers thinking horse drawn vehicles can be treated like motor vehicles - they come far too close and far too fast. Where I live in Cheshire East, we have little option but to drive on the road as the percentage of the public rights of way network available to carriage drivers is a shameful 2%, yes that’s right 2%.

Like previous comment contributors, I am very concerned about safety on the roads for horse riders but please also remember carriage drivers. The roads have become a nightmare with some drivers thinking horse drawn vehicles can be treated like motor vehicles - they come far too close and far too fast. Where I live in Cheshire East, we have little option but to drive on the road as the percentage of the public rights of way network available to carriage drivers is a shameful 2%, yes that’s right 2%.
Guest - Rachel Thompson MBE on Monday, 22 July 2019 15:43

Hello, thank you so much for remembering horses. There are 3 million horses riders and approximately 0.5 million carriage drivers using the roads for active travel, exercise and recreation. I work for the Trails Trust which is a small charity working to create safe sustainable green infrastructure for horses, cyclists, walkers and disabled vehicles. TTT is one of the founder members of rage Horse Access Campaign which is lobbying for horses to be recognised in Government walking, cycling and active travel policies, strategies and funding streams equally and in full partnership with walkers and cyclists. If we can work with Brake in any way that would be really useful, thank you.

Hello, thank you so much for remembering horses. There are 3 million horses riders and approximately 0.5 million carriage drivers using the roads for active travel, exercise and recreation. I work for the Trails Trust which is a small charity working to create safe sustainable green infrastructure for horses, cyclists, walkers and disabled vehicles. TTT is one of the founder members of rage Horse Access Campaign which is lobbying for horses to be recognised in Government walking, cycling and active travel policies, strategies and funding streams equally and in full partnership with walkers and cyclists. If we can work with Brake in any way that would be really useful, thank you.
Stacey Bristow on Monday, 22 July 2019 15:47

Hi Rachel, thanks for your comment. If you could email roadsafetyweek@brake.org.uk, we'd love to hear any ideas you have of how we can ensure that we can get everyone involved this year. Thanks!

Hi Rachel, thanks for your comment. If you could email roadsafetyweek@brake.org.uk, we'd love to hear any ideas you have of how we can ensure that we can get everyone involved this year. Thanks!
Guest - Rachel Thompson MBE on Tuesday, 23 July 2019 20:58

Hi Stacey
Yes we would love an exchange of ideas thank you I will be in touch

Hi Stacey Yes we would love an exchange of ideas thank you I will be in touch
Stacey Bristow on Monday, 22 July 2019 13:23

Thank you for your comments about our Road Safety Week focus. We certainly understand your concerns about the lack of representation for some vulnerable road users. Please rest assured, however, that the safety of ALL road users, including horse riders, will be part of the Road Safety Week focus – it is about making our streets safer for everyone who uses them by encouraging design led solutions.

We want everyone to get involved in Road Safety Week, whether you use our specific action pack or do your own thing under the umbrella of Road Safety Week, and work together to make our roads safer for everyone.

Today we will be amending the image to include a horse and rider to acknowledge the feedback we have received and we will continue our work with The British Horse Society to ensure the Week is inclusive for horse riders, because we recognise their vulnerability on the roads.

We will continue to consider how the banner can be further developed over the next few days to emphasise our wish for the Week to be inclusive for all vulnerable road users.

Please feel free to get in touch with us directly too via roadsafetyweek@brake.org.uk to discuss how you could get involved.

Thank you for your comments about our Road Safety Week focus. We certainly understand your concerns about the lack of representation for some vulnerable road users. Please rest assured, however, that the safety of ALL road users, including horse riders, will be part of the Road Safety Week focus – it is about making our streets safer for everyone who uses them by encouraging design led solutions. We want everyone to get involved in Road Safety Week, whether you use our specific action pack or do your own thing under the umbrella of Road Safety Week, and work together to make our roads safer for everyone. Today we will be amending the image to include a horse and rider to acknowledge the feedback we have received and we will continue our work with The British Horse Society to ensure the Week is inclusive for horse riders, because we recognise their vulnerability on the roads. We will continue to consider how the banner can be further developed over the next few days to emphasise our wish for the Week to be inclusive for all vulnerable road users. Please feel free to get in touch with us directly too via roadsafetyweek@brake.org.uk to discuss how you could get involved.
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