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Emergency services 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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Emergency services are urged to take part in Road Safety Week 2014 (17-23 November), the UK's biggest road safety event, which involves thousands of communities, schools and organisations each year. The charity Brake, which coordinates the event, is encouraging emergency services to go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk to register for a free e-action pack, and to get ideas and start thinking about running great events to teach and promote road safety during the Week.

Road Safety Week, supported by headline sponsors RSA and Specsavers, is a great opportunity for police, fire and ambulance services to run high-profile community engagement, awareness and enforcement campaigns to promote safer road use and prevent road death and injury. 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. We'll also call on everyone to be considerate to one another on roads. Read more.

Emergency services can run their initiative on this theme or any other road safety topic. Last year hundreds of emergency service professionals got involved by coordinating activities in their area. Agencies can use the Week to run one-off activities, launch new campaigns, or generate extra involvement and publicity for year-round programmes.

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

  • Schedule heightened enforcement checks tying in with the 'look out for each other' theme of Road Safety Week. Read more about this year's theme.
  • Run awareness raising crash extrications, inviting young people from local secondary schools and members of the public to attend to learn more about the consequences of dangerous driving.
  • Deliver Brake's 2young2die campaign to young people in schools and colleges. In advance of Road Safety Week, emergency services can send officers on one of our low cost 2young2die courses – if required we can set up courses on premises with a minimum of 10 delegates attending. Find out more at www.2young2die.org.uk/training.
  • Work with the media. Road Safety Week is an ideal opportunity for emergency services to get heightened media coverage for enforcement campaigns or partnership education initiatives.

REGISTER NOW! Register at www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/professionals 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 chief executive, says: "Emergency services' involvement in Road Safety Week is invaluable. They play a critical role in protecting lives on roads year-round, and can have a major influence on public attitudes by raising awareness about the devastation of crashes and steps people can take to prevent them. Our theme this year is 'look out for each other', calling on everyone to be considerate of each other when using roads, but especially calling on drivers to slow down and look out for people on foot and bike. We are encouraging emergency services to take advantage of the Week and help communicate this vital message. The Road Safety Week website is full of ideas: fill in our registration form and we'll send you an e-action pack with guidance and downloadable posters to help you take part."

Dave Etheridge, road safety lead at Chief Fire Officers Association, says: "I encourage all fire services to work with Brake and register for Road Safety Week in November. It's a great event that has benefitted from the involvement of fire services over many years - and an ideal opportunity to work together to reduce the devastation of road casualties. Fire fighters are ideally placed to deliver life-saving road safety messages, and the theme of Road Safety Week 2014 is a crucial one: appealing to everyone to look out for each other and protect the vulnerable. There are lots of powerful
ways fire services can work with schools and communities in the Week to raise awareness and promote safer road use – so start planning now."

Suzette Davenport, national lead for roads policing at Association of Chief Police Officers, says: "Our police forces do a vital job in enforcing important safety laws and protecting the public on the roads. Road Safety Week is a great opportunity for forces and officers to engage with local communities and schools, and to get out there, be seen, and spread important road safety messages."

John Giblin, Police Federation of England and Wales national roads policing lead, says: "Road Safety Week gives us a fantastic opportunity to shout loud and proud about improving behaviour
and standards on our roads, and get life-saving messages across to communities."

How emergency services got involved in 2013:

Northumbria Police hosted a road safety event at The Sage in Gateshead. The event was the culmination of partnership work with schools across the region who produced short films and plays on a range of key road safety issues and marked the launch of a new regional initiative called Road Sense Common Sense. The event was also supported by Brake volunteers Karon Hylton and Violet Atkinson and was attended by local councillors and emergency services. Find out more about the campaign and view the students' videos.

West Midlands Police ran a week of awareness-raising and enforcement activities, beginning with a launch at Frankley Services on the M5 to promote the 'tune in to road safety' message to drivers with a giant A-frame trailer. The launch was attended by Shadow Transport Minister Richard Burden MP. Their daily campaigns focussed on a range of issues, including speeding, drink driving, seat belt use and street racing.

Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service teamed up for a number of public events, offering advice to local residents and talking about the common causes of road collisions, including distraction for both drivers and pedestrians, driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt. Police also ran a week-long enforcement campaign focussing on drivers using mobiles at the wheel.

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service ran several road safety roadshows across the county, including crash extrication demonstrations. They also held awareness training and workshops with local schools and colleges, offered advice to shoppers at a local supermarket and performed vehicle checks.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service joined forces with British Touring Car Championship driver James Cole and speed reduction campaigners The 20 Effect to highlight dangers and risks to drivers at an event in Clayton Square, Liverpool city centre, on November 20. More than 250 people were spoken to during the event which included toy vehicles with the number "20" on for children to play on. Volunteers from the Prince's Trust Team programme, run by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, acted as casualties in an extrication demonstration.

Hampshire Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit were loaned a bus by Stagecoach to use as a covert observation platform which was supported with marked police vehicles. The bus travelled through Portsmouth and videoed any offences on the roads and police issued advice or tickets to motorists.

Read more examples here.

Notes for editors

About Road Safety Week

Road Safety Week is the UK's flagship road safety event, coordinated annually by the charity Brake, and now in its 18th year. In 2014 it will take place 17-23 November, with headline sponsorship from RSA and Specsavers. Road Safety Week aims to raise awareness about the devastation of road crashes and casualties, and the part we can all play in making our roads and communities safer. It does this by encouraging grassroots involvement and promoting awareness-raising and educational messages. Each year it involves thousands of communities, schools, organisations and professionals across the UK running a wide range of road safety activities. www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk

About Brake

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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