Every 20 minutes, someone is killed or seriously injured on a British road and each of these tragedies is preventable.
That is the key message being promoted this year during Road Safety Week which takes place up and down the country between the 18th and 24th November. The theme of this year’s event is “Step up for Safe Streets” and it is aimed at allowing people to learn about, shout about and celebrate the amazing design-led solutions that allow us all to get around in safe and healthy ways, every day.
Safe journeys happen when our road transport network is designed so that human error doesn’t result in death or serious injury. This approach of safety by design is known as safe systems and the good news is that these solutions are already known and available to us now! From safety technology in vehicles, to speed limits that reflect the safety of the roads, everybody can learn about, shout about and celebrate these proven solutions.
Healthy journeys are also important to help keep us healthy, fit and happy. As a society we need to make sure that if people choose to walk or cycle instead of getting in their car that that decision doesn’t put them at increased risk and that the air people breathe on their journeys is clean. The solutions are here too – but it also needs policy-makers to step up and prioritise safe spaces for travel on foot and by bike and ensure that the vehicles that remain on our roads use ultra-low emission technology.
Everybody can step up and play a part in the celebration of safe system solutions and the creation of a safe and healthy future. These are some of the things that individuals can do:
- They can step up by pledging to use roads safely, minimise vehicle use and shout out for safe system solutions.
- Schools can help young people step up and learn how to create a safe and healthy future and shout out for change.
- Organisations can step up their policies and procedures to ensure they choose safe systems solutions.
- Emergency service professionals can step up to highlight their vital role in helping keep us safe.
- Policy-makers can step up by developing and mandating safe systems solutions.
The aim of Road Safety Week is to inspire thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety and promote life-saving messages during the Week and beyond. It also provides a focal point for professionals working in road safety to boost awareness and engagement in their work.
Road Safety Week is organised by Brake which is a road safety charity that works to prevent road death and injury, make streets and communities safer, and supports the victims of road crashes. Road Safety Week was founded in 1997 as an annual event to raise awareness about road safety and promote steps that everyone can take to stop these needless deaths and injuries year-round.