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Families and communities urged to run great events as part of Brake's Road Safety Week

25 July 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
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Families and community groups are being urged to take part in Road Safety Week 2014 (17-23 November), the UK's biggest road safety event. The charity Brake, which coordinates the event, is encouraging parents and community leaders to go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk  to register online for a free e-action pack, and to get ideas on promoting safer road use and campaigning to make our local communities safer for people to walk and cycle.

Road Safety Week, supported by headline sponsors RSA and Specsavers, is a great opportunity for community groups, families and schools and to take action on local road safety issues, and run activities and campaigns to help make roads safer and prevent needless casualties. The theme of Road Safety Week 2014 is 'look out for each other': raising awareness of the ways everyone can help protect one another on roads, especially the most vulnerable. Brake will particularly call on drivers to protect kids and adults on foot and bike by slowing down to 20 in communities and looking twice and taking it slow at junctions and bends. Read more.

Families and community groups can run an initiative on this theme or any other road safety topic. Last year 7,795 community groups, schools and organisations registered to take part, running activities ranging from fundraisers, to road safety workshops, to protests against fast traffic, to community speed checks, to poster design competitions, many in partnership with local authorities, emergency services, or other agencies.

Communities can get involved in Road Safety Week 2014 in various ways, including:

  • Run a campaign against dangerous roads or dangerous road use in your community, and get local officials and politicians involved. Invite local media to attend a campaign launch. Read ideas from our road safety mascot, Zak the Zebra.
  • Promote road safety in your newsletter and website. Encourage people in your community to sign the Brake Pledge.
  • Make a Road Safety Week display for your community, for example in a supermarket, library or shopping centre (view our resources for free and low-cost items you can get from Brake).
  • Run road safety educational initiatives or activities in local schools or clubs, using our ideas and resources for teaching and running activities on road safety.
  • Fundraise for Brake by running a fun event or holding a collection. Find out more about fundraising.
  • Get trained to run workshops to engage people in your local communities. Brake is running a series of low-cost courses throughout the year on effective engagement of young people, which emergency services can take advantage of, and receive free quality resources. See www.2young2die.org.uk/training.

REGISTER NOW! Register at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/communities to get a free e-action pack. Plus, stay in touch by following @BrakeCharity and tweet about the Week using #roadsafetyweek

Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chiefexecutive, says: "Road safety is a critical issue for all families and communities, and we're calling on parents and community leaders to play their part in making their area safer. Road Safety Week is a perfect opportunity to take action on local road safety issues, by campaigning, raising awareness and making a difference – especially in relation to protecting the most vulnerable road users, like children. Our theme this year is 'look out for each other', calling on everyone to be considerate on roads, but especially calling on drivers to slow down and take care to protect people on foot and bike. Parents and community groups can help get this vital message out, and make a big difference to their local community.

"Log on to the Road Safety Week website for ideas and inspiration, and to register for a free e-action pack to help you take part."

How families and community groups got involved in 2013:

Exeter City Football Club backed Brake's 'tune in to road safety' message. Pictured right is first team manager Paul Tisdale giving the thumbs down to Director of Football Steve Perryman to highlight the importance of not using mobiles at the wheel. Watch Manager, Mickey Turner from Devon and Somerset Fire & Rescue Service and Police Constable Nick Taylor from Devon & Cornwall Constabulary have spent considerable time educating the young players within Exeter City FC on the dangers of this practice. They were supported by local driving instructor Paul Whittaker who supports the cause and reinforces the message with all of his students.

Helen Andrews from Redditch raised funds to buy a giant road safety banner urging drivers to slow down and keep their full attention on the road, in memory of her brother Nick who was tragically killed in a crash in February 2005. The banner was displayed throughout the week on the A435 Birmingham Road and Helen has also continued to raise funds for Brake with the support of family and friends.

Baldernock Community Council in East Dunbartonshire supported Road Safety Week by running a campaign to encourage drivers to slow down while travelling through their rural community. Local residents, including local councillor Anne McNair, gathered outside Baldernock Church with a giant banner asking people to drive slowly. Many residents have noted the speed with which traffic passes through the parish and put their weight behind the campaign.

The Bridgwater Way, a project to transform travel in the town by making cycling and walking easier and safer, offered free maintenance and servicing to cyclists throughout the week to help make them and their cycles safer when out and about.

Broadclyst Traffic Group in Devon ran a speedwatch exercise in the village and also visited local primary and secondary schools with the local fire service media bus to deliver road safety messages. They also displayed a variety of A3 road safety posters at locations across the village to encourage drivers to both slow down and avoid distractions at the wheel. In conjunction with Devon and Cornwall Police and Devon and Somerset Fire Services, speeding motorists were interviewed and videoed by pupils at Broadclyst Primary School.

Read more here

Notes for editors

About Road Safety Week

Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

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.

About RSA Group

With a 300 year heritage, RSA is one of the world's leading multinational quoted insurance groups. RSA has major operations in the UK, Scandinavia, Canada, Ireland, Asia and the Middle East, Latin
America and Central and Eastern Europe and has the capability to write business in around 140 countries. Focusing on general insurance, RSA has around 23,000 employees and, in 2013, its net written premiums were £8.7 billion. As a leading car insurer we have a natural interest in promoting safety awareness and reducing the number of crashes on our roads. In the UK we have been a partner of Brake since 2011 and we also undertake road safety campaigns in many of our businesses across the world.

About Specsavers

  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world. The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director.
  • Specsavers has more than 1,600 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Total revenue for the Specsavers Group was £1.7 billion in 2011/2012.
  • More than 20 million customers used Specsavers globally in 2011/2012. As of end March 2012, Specsavers had 16,138,076 customers in the UK and 928,582 customers in the Republic of Ireland.
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners. Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
  • Specsavers employs more than 30,000 staff Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the eleventh year running by the Reader's Digest Trusted Brands survey 2012.
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers - 10,800,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2011.
  • Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK.
  • Specsavers sold more than 290 million contact lenses globally in 2011/12 and has more than a million customers on direct debit schemes. Specsavers' own contact lens brand - easyvision - is the most known on the high street.
  • The hearcare business in the UK has established itself as the number one high street provider of adult audiology services to the NHS.
  • Specsavers supports several UK charities including Guide Dogs, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People, Sound Seekers, the road safety charity Brake, the anti-bullying charity Kidscape and Vision Aid Overseas, for whom stores have raised enough funds to build a school of optometry in Zambia and open eyecare outreach clinics in much of the country.

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