Road Safety Week 2014: launches
The national Road Safety Week launch took place in front of London's iconic Marble Arch, in partnership with the Metropolitan Police. An 'Exchanging Places' activity gave members of the public the chance to swap places with a lorry driver – by sitting in the cab and having a police officer talk them through the vehicle's blind spots, this enables cyclists and pedestrians to get a better understanding of the road environment from a lorry driver's point of view. The event also saw London band Me for Queen perform the official Road Safety Week single, Slow Jam (Look Out).
Bereaved volunteers Iris Yee and Gary Igoea attended the launch and shared their stories, alongside Metropolitan Police Inspector David Osborne and representatives from Road Safety Week sponsors RSA and Specsavers.
The Scottish Road Safety Week launch took place outside City Chambers in the historic heart of Edinburgh, in partnership with Edinburgh City Council. The council's road safety team organised an 'Exchanging Places' activity (see above). In conjunction with the main event, a number of 'Magic of Road Safety' performances also took place at nearby primary schools.
Bereaved volunteers Caroline MacIntyre and Olwen Bale attended the launch and shared their stories, alongside Police Scotland Inspector Andy Amour, Edinburgh City Council's vice convenor of transport, Councillor Adam McVey, and junior road safety officers from Sciennes Primary School.
Rhondda Cynon Taf
The Welsh Road Safety Week launch took place at Brynnau Primary School, near Pontypridd, in partnership with Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council. The council's road safety team gave cycle training activities and road safety talks to pupils at the school.
Bereaved volunteer Jane Williams attended the launch and shared her story, alongside South Wales Police Inspector Carwyn Evans.
Road Safety Week was launched in the North East of England outside the Bridges Shopping Centre in Sunderland, in partnership with Northumbria Police. An 'Exchanging Places' activity (see above) took place, using a lorry kindly provided by DHL. The highlight of the event was a performance by a bicycle bell choir from Sandhill Community Arts School – the school attended by road crash victim Steven Atkinson before he was killed by a speeding driver in 2009.
Steven's parents, Violet and Graeme, attended the launch and shared their story, alongside representatives from Northumbria Police, North East Ambulance Service and Tyne & Wear Fire & Rescue.
Road Safety Week was launched in Yorkshire & Humber outside Your Bike Shed in York, in partnership with Cycle Alert. An 'Exchanging Places' activity (see above) took place, using a lorry kindly provided by Nestle, with lots of free cycle goodies on offer to entice members of the public to take part.
Bereaved volunteers Beverley O'Toole, John O'Toole and Gemma Taylor, and injured volunteer Guy Preston, attended the launch and shared their stories, alongside Cycle Alert creator Peter Le Masurier and representatives from North Yorkshire Police.
Road Safety Week was launched in the North West of England at Media City in Salford, in partnership with First Bus Greater Manchester. An 'Exchanging Places' activity (see above) took place, using one of First's own double decker buses, and Transport for Greater Manchester's cycling team were on hand to provide bike maintenance checks and safety advice.
Injured volunteer Phil Shaw attended the launch and shared his story, alongside Adrian Worsfold from First Bus Greater Manchester.
Road Safety Week was launched in the Midlands at Tesco Hodge Hill superstore in Birmingham, in partnership with West Midlands Fire Service. Fire service vehicles and a crashed car wreck were on display, with fire service personnel on hand to give road safety advice. There was also a demonstration of a blind spot device designed to help keep cyclists safe around large vehicles, provided by local company Innovative Safety Solutions.
Bereaved volunteer Avril Child attended the launch and shared her story, alongside watch commander Chris Belton from Ward End Fire Station, Ross Stephenson from West Midlands Fire Service casualty reduction team, and Oliver Hoadley from Innovative Safety Solutions.
Road Safety Week was launched in the South of England outside Cascades Shopping Centre in Portsmouth, in partnership with Portsmouth City Council. The council's road safety team organised an 'Exchanging Places' activity (see above), engaging more than 150 people on the ground. Free cycle lights and advice were provided courtesy of Sustrans.
Injured volunteer Madison Collingwood-Prince and her mum Amanda attended the launch and shared their story, alongside council road safety officer Oliver Willcocks, Hampshire Constabulary Sergeant Darren Ord, and Portsmouth City Councillor Ken Ellcome.