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UK Road Safety Week proves to be a huge success

17 June 2014

Fire and rescue services (FRS) across the United Kingdom moved into top gear for an unprecedented week of co-ordinated road safety awareness raising.

UK Road Safety Week proves to be a huge success

Between Monday 9th and Sunday 15th June firefighters, safety advocates, and colleagues from a range of partner agencies took up position in city and town centres, retail parks, supermarkets, shopping centres, motorways and major routes from Land’s End to John O’Groats to deliver road safety messages to the public. For this annual road safety week, Fire and Rescue Services delivered a plethora of activities aimed specifically at key target audiences: Cyclists, Motorcyclists, Pedestrians and Young Drivers across the UK.

Organised by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) the week delivered the overarching road safety message “Be Safe Out There”, linking with the Department for Transport (DfT), Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), Road Safety Great Britain (RSGB), Brake, RoSPA, RoadSafe, TyreSafe, Living Streets, Highways Agency (HA), RAC and the MAG Foundation.

According to the DfT there were more than 23,039 reported serious injuries on the roads in 2012, including 1,754 deaths, and 17,251 children aged 0-5 were injured in road-related accidents.

Events were organised locally across East Riding and Northern Lincolnshire and saw hundreds of people attend different workshops and presentations. Students at East Riding College in Beverley who attended the ‘Ride4Life’ bike safety presentation were also able to experience the ‘iCar’ (pictured). Louise Marritt, HFRS Road Safety team leader, explained, “We had a busy week and focussed our efforts on high risk road user groups, such as motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians.”

Martin Dowle, Vice Chair of CFOA Road Safety Executive Board who directly coordinates this event, asserts that this proves that road safety must remain top of the UK fire and rescue services’ agendas.

“From our own work, locally, to engage with drivers we know that they are generally very happy to speak to us and very receptive to the road safety education we offer. Now we have strong evidence from past years’ evaluations that people actually act on our advice, and that we have the potential to make a real difference to driver behaviour.

“Fatalities have fallen in recent years as a result of extensive work with partners, but still too many people are dying on our roads.

“As professionals committed to saving life – not merely extracting its remains from smashed up vehicles – that’s a situation we cannot accept.”

Evaluation has shown that almost eight out of ten motorists engaged with during road safety activity believe that the FRS has a role to play in the promotion of road safety.

Chief Fire Officer David Etheridge, Chair of CFOA’s Road Safety Executive Board said: “We know that our services can make a significant contribution towards the government’s new road safety framework. We have unique qualities and unique people who can deliver a critical road safety message.

“After all, we have much experience of delivering safety messages to the public, we are respected and valued by all age and ethnic groups in society and we present a credible ‘role model’ that young people can aspire to.”

Road Safety is NOT an accident!