Employers urged to get involved in Road Safety Week, and promote ‘drive less, live more’ message
10 April 2015
Brake, the road safety charity
Employers, especially those with staff who drive for work, are being urged to register now to be part of 2015 (23-29 November), the UK’s biggest road safety event. The charity Brake, which coordinates the event, is encouraging organisations to go to for ideas on using the event to promote safe and sustainable road use to staff and the wider community, and register for a free e-action pack.
Road Safety Week, now in its 19th year, is coordinated with the support of headline sponsor Specsavers and the Department for Transport. It’s a great time to for employers to develop and promote safe and sustainable travel internally and engage the community to raise awareness. Read what companies did in 2014 .
Announced this week, the Road Safety Week 2015 theme is ‘drive less live more’. Brake will be encouraging drivers, families and whole companies and communities to consider how they travel, and if they can ditch some vehicle mileage, and instead walk, cycle or use public transport as much as possible. Employers can help promote this theme to staff, customers and contacts, and/or address other road safety issues important to them. You could: set up a scheme encouraging active and sustainable commuting and run a car free day for staff; organise a sponsored run or bike ride; analyse ‘at-work’ mileage to see if journeys can be reduced or better planned to improve efficiency. Read more.
Employers can access free electronic resources and guidance to help them get involved. Go to for ideas and to register for a free e-action pack (emailed out from September) with downloadable posters, online and interactive resources, and advice on taking part.
Brake is also urging organisations with staff who drive for work to make use of guidance from Brake’s Professional membership scheme in the run up to the Week to develop year-round fleet safety practices. Various Brake Professional events offer best practice advice between now and the Week. Becoming a member means discounts for these plus regular guidance briefings, resources, research and news.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, says: “Road safety isn’t just about safe driving and using the green cross code. It’s about making our streets safe and pleasant for everyone to use freely, and doing what we can to protect ourselves, people around us and the environment. A big part of that is driving less if we can, and this can make a huge difference to health and wellbeing, communities and the planet. That’s why this Road Safety Week, we’re encouraging everyone – including companies – to consider how they travel, and if possible ditch some vehicle mileage, and walk, cycle or use public transport instead.
“Employers can be pivotal in getting this vital message out to drivers and families – and stand to gain from encouraging staff to travel for work and commute via sustainable and active means as much as possible. Hundreds of companies get involved in Road Safety Week every year, by running communications, staff and customer engagement, fundraisers and awareness campaigns. See roadsafetyweek.org.uk for ideas, and to register for a free pack to help you take part.”
How companies got involved in 2014:
Arval ran a number of events and activities with staff and customers, such as alcohol and drug awareness sessions, sending daily messages to employees about the risks cyclists, pedestrians and drivers face, and a competition on cycling safely. Arval also hosted a safety forum for customers in partnership with Interactive Driving Systems, sharing road safety best practice.
Balfour Beatty held nine events around the UK, from Exeter to Glasgow, raising awareness of road worker safety. These helped raise awareness of the average fatality rate for those maintaining our road network, as one of the highest among employment sectors.
Clearview Traffic sponsored the setting up of a ‘live crash extrication demonstration’ for young peopleat the Banbury & Bicester College motorsports campus. Working with the college, Bicester and Kidlington fire crews, and Oxfordshire Road Safety Officers, Clearview Traffic highlighted to young people the risks of careless or reckless driving.
Cycle Alert ran an Exchanging Places programme in conjunction with Nestle in York, providing people in the region with information on how they can stay safe on roads and the chance to sit in the driver’s seat of a lorry to recognise blind-spots.
First Group Greater Manchester took a bus to Media City in Salford and ran an ‘exchanging places’ event demonstrating blindspots around large vehicles. Depots across Yorkshire ran similar event in city centres in Sheffield, Doncaster, York and Rotherham. They also engaged eight schools across these cities, taking one of their buses to the schools and running Beep Beep! Days with the children, and ran an open day at Leeds University, promoting the importance of safe inner city travelling. In the run up to the week, depots across South Yorkshire held tea and toast mornings with drivers and discussed road safety and First's commitment to safety and partnership with Brake.
The Fuel Card Group ran a Bright Day to fundraise for Brake and daily road safety messages were communicated to staff. This content was shared with customers through websites and via social media.
Gist invited schools to each of their 10 participating sites across the UK, to present their National Child Road Safety Programme. The free of charge programme, presented by Gist drivers, teaches children about safety around large vehicles and has already been delivered to 32,000 children.
Kwik Fit offered free tyre checks for drivers in all their UK centres to tie in with Road Safety Week, and educated drivers about the importance of properly maintained brakes and their role in ensuring effective stopping distances. Kwik Fit stores also displayed Road Safety Week posters.
Notes for editors
About Road Safety Week
is the UK’s flagship road safety event, coordinated annually by the charity Brake, and now in its 19th year. In 2015 it will take place 23-29 November, with headline sponsorship from 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
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.
- 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 £
- 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 streetprovider of adult audiologyservices 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