Kids and bereaved families launch Road Safety Week
London and South East launch, William Tynedale Primary School, London
The national launch for the GO 20 campaign took place in Islington. Paralympian Danny Crates spoke to children from William Tynedale Primary School on how great it is to be active, before the kids took part in a safe cycling demo with Islington Council, and carried out speed checks on traffic with help from Met Police. The children celebrated 20mph through displaying their own banners and placards. The launch was supported by national Road Safety Week sponsors Specsavers and Brain Injury Group.
Chief Inspector Ian Vincent, Metropolitan Police and Cllr James Murray, Islington Council's executive member for housing and development attended, alongside injured campaigner Tom Kearney and bereaved campaigners Sue Britt and family.
Tom said: "It took me about two years to rebuild my life because of being hit by a bus. I'm lucky to still be here at all; other people are not so lucky. Drivers can make a big difference in helping to prevent injuries, deaths and suffering by being more aware about the harm they can cause, and taking responsibility for the speed of their vehicles. Drivers should slow right down on shopping streets, in residential neighbourhoods and around schools. Vehicles have the right to be on roads, but so do pedestrians and other non-vehicle road users. If you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, you also have the responsibility to drive with lives outside your vehicle in mind."
North East launch, Red Rose school, Chester-le-street
Durham police helped children from Red Rose primary school to carry out speed checks on local roads as part of the North East launch of the GO 20 campaign. The children then performed a road safety drama and celebrated 20mph limits, holding posters and placards they had created to call on drivers to slow down. Launch sponsors woop! young driver insurance were there to support the celebrations.
Debbie Cameron, who was bereaved by a speeding driver, and injured boy Shaun Parkinson and his mum Kelly Parkinson attended the launch, alongside Adrian Richards from Durham Constabulary.
Debbie said: "We were devastated when David was killed – and still suffer anguish every day – all because of one person's selfish, reckless actions behind the wheel. You can try to imagine how you'd feel if your son or daughter were knocked down, but you can't imagine the hole it's left behind. I fully support the GO 20 campaign to make cycling and walking safer for kids. I want drivers to think of David and slow down to 20mph or below around homes, schools and shops. It's up to all of us to help make our communities safer places, where children can cycle or walk without fear, and to stop other families suffering like we have."
South West launch, St Mary Redcliffe Primary School, Bristol
Children from St Mary Redcliffe learnt about stopping distances and safe walking and cycling from Bristol road safety officers. Avon and Somerset Police were on hand to help the children conduct speed checks on a nearby road, and the school held a street party celebrating 20mph limits being introduced in Bristol and the launch of the GO 20 campaign in the South West on Windmill Close.
As well as representatives from generous sponsors ARI, officers from Avon and Somerset police and the safe cycle team from the local council were in attendance. Bereaved campaigner Caroline Hannah was there to support the launch of the campaign on behalf of her son Tyrese.
Caroline said: “My beautiful Tyrese filled my time with love, laughter and life. He had a fearless energy and a kind spirit. But my wonderful son was killed by a speeding driver. What I really want is for all drivers to realise the difference they can make through the simple act of slowing down. The children you read about in the papers being killed and injured on our roads are real children, yet so many drivers just don’t make the connection and continue to drive too fast. By slowing down to 20 in communities, you’re helping to avoid tragedies and making our communities safer, better places. Please remember Tyrese and get behind the GO 20 campaign.”
East Midlands Launch, Wymeswold C of E Primary School, Leicestershire
In Wymeswold, the whole primary school took part in a Walking Bus to school, holding their own 20mph banners and posters to highlight the GO 20 campaign. Children took part in a 'safe-streets-athon' in the school playground, learning about how to get around safely and the importance of 20mph limits. A GO 20 information fair was held to educate local people about the importance of going slow near schools shops and homes.
Local MP Nicky Morgan came to the school to hand out prizes for the best posters, representatives of the Leicestershire Fire Service and the British Horse Society were also in attendance.
Parish Councillor and school Governor Jo Ling said: "We are proud to be hosting the East Midlands regional launch for the GO 20 campaign and Road Safety Week. This will be a community event in Wymeswold, and we have organised a lot of fun activities around the road safety theme for the children, but all with a serious message behind them. Our main objective is to highlight the dangers of speeding to all road users, and our request is simple: please slow down in Wymeswold and across the East Midlands!”
North West launch, Lea Community Primary School, Preston
Lancashire County Council’s Healthy Streets Partnership taught children from Lea Community Primary how great safe walking and cycling are. The children then performed a play celebrating 20mph, and measured stopping distances to show the difference slowing down makes. They held a street party to celebrate the introduction of 20mph limits in Lancashire and the GO 20 campaign launch.
Lancashire County Council was represented by Councillor Michael Green, as well as members of the Healthy Streets Partnership. The launch was kindly supported by Bubblebum.
Councillor Green said: "Our policy to introduce 20mph limits in residential areas and outside schools has been driven by the need to reduce the numbers of deaths and serious injuries on our roads, most of which take place on streets with a 30mph limit. Early results from the pilot areas where they were first introduced are encouraging and show the new limits may already be making a difference to casualties. We recognise that the success of 20mph limits depends in large part in communicating to drivers why this change is needed and what a positive difference it could make. It's important that we work to change attitudes to speeding in areas where other people may want to walk and cycle but are being put off by drivers' behaviour – sustained action is needed to achieve this in the same way as drink drive and seat belt campaigns in the past."
Yorkshire launch, Lifewise Centre, Rotherham
Firefighters from South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and Police Officers from South Yorkshire Police helped children learn about road safety and the importance of 20mph limits. Local young people also took part in safe cycle training with Pedal Ready. World-record breaking cyclist Mike Hall spoke to the kids to educate them about the fun of safe cycling and walking. The launch was sponsored by young people's insurance provider woop!
Bereaved volunteers Joanne Wightman and Michaela Waters, and their familes, attended the launch to speak out about the importance of slowing down in communities and to lend support to GO 20.
Joanne said: “No punishment could compare to what we have gone through every day since Owen was taken from us. He had his whole life ahead of him and his death was so violent and needless. Our message to drivers is to imagine what you could put a family through by your actions. Keep to 20mph in built-up areas, and watch out for kids when you’re driving. Don’t end another innocent child’s life.”
Scotland launch, Pirniehall Primary School and St. David's Roman Catholic Primary School, Edinburgh
Children from Pirniehall Primary School and St. David's Roman Catholic Primary School celebrated 20mph limits and Road Safety Week with street parties. They watched a road safety magic show and learnt about the importance of slowing down in communities.
Lesley Hinds, Transport Convener for the City of Edinburgh Council attended the launch.
Lesley said: "Edinburgh’s Local Transport Strategy contains a commitment to make all residential streets 20mph so I'm delighted to see our pilot project being adopted as a template for other local authorities to follow. The limit was introduced with the overwhelming support of local residents in South Edinburgh, who wanted to improve the quality of life of the area they live, work and go to school in by making it more pedestrian and cycle-friendly. We're looking forward to evaluating the project's success in due course and will carry out further consultation on extending the 20mph limit to more parts of the City."
Wales launch, Hendrefoilan Primary School, Swansea
GO 20 was launched at an event hosted by the City & County of Swansea Road Safety Team and GoSafe, the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership. Children learnt about safe walking and cycling through fun activities, and promoted the GO 20 message with banners and placards.
Brake has been working with GoSafe in Wales to raise awareness among drivers about the importance of slower speeds.
Jim Moore, Partnership Manager, GoSafe said: “Road collisions are sudden, violent events that rip apart families by ending lives too soon, causing life-changing injuries and leading to terrible suffering. Excessive speed is one of the biggest killers of people in the UK yet these collisions are preventable. At all times, but particularly during Road Safety Week, we’re appealing to drivers of all ages to slow down; and asking the wider community to encourage others to slow down and adhere to speed limits.’’
East Anglia launch, Lakenham Primary School, Norwich
The campaign for GO 20 was launched in norwich by children from Lakenham Primary School, who took part in speed checks alongside Norfolk Police, staged a 'day in the life of a lollipop lady' drama activity, and presented a road safety assembly.
The launch was attended by Brake bereaved volunteers Steve, Tina and Hollie Butcher, as well as representatives from kind sponsors Leigh Day and Co.
Sally Moore, head of personal injury at Leigh Day & Co said: “We are proud to be backing Road Safety Week and joining Brake in calling for action to protect people on foot and bicycle. At Leigh Day we think it’s so important to enable children, families and people of all ages to walk and cycle in their own communities without being endangered, which is good for your health and wellbeing, and the environment. Drivers across East Anglia can make a big difference to this, simply by slowing down, lowering your speed to 20mph in communities. This gives you more time to react in an emergency. If we all get behind this campaign, we can make a huge difference in preventing casualties and making our communities safer, greener places.”
Huge thanks to all our launch partners, hosts, and volunteers for helping to get vital road safety messages out there.