It’s National Road Safety week (18th -24th November), the largest road safety event taking place across the UK: a time for everyone to think more carefully about how we use the roads in day to day life, and make sure we’re removing any possible distractions to help prevent carnage on the roads.
This year, the event’s about distractions on the road. With the catchy title ‘Tune in to road safety’, the aim of this is to get people talking and thinking about how something that could be seen as small and insignificant, such as checking your phone while driving, listening to music loudly, or simply daydreaming, can have fatal consequences on the road when driving, walking or cycling.
The annual event has run since 1997 by Brake, a road safety charity to help prevent road casualties, support victims and work with communities to improve road safety.
Organisations across the UK are getting stuck in, from schools, clubs and local authorities, to paramedics and driving instructors, with many taking the Brake ‘pledge’ for road safety.
Distractions are a problem everywhere, especially in Brighton, where last year over 50% of reported collisions were in some way caused by people who didn’t look properly or who couldn’t judge a car’s speed. For this year’s event, Product Design students from Brighton University will brainstorm ideas to reduce the risk for motorcyclists on the road, and on Wednesday City College students will get a visit from Brighton Council’s road safety team, where they will discuss tips on taking precautions to stay safe on the roads.
One of the biggest distractions for road users is not being able to see properly. Specsavers Corporate Eyecare, who are sponsoring the event, are trying to tackle this distraction during the week. They are giving 1,000 packs of lens cleanser and cloths free to those who buy a driving optical eyecare voucher until december, and will have vision-screening days which will include a basic sight test for employees at various companies.
Whilst the figures of casulties and fatalities on the roads seem to be falling, it is worth reflecting over the fact that there were 1,730 estimated reported deaths on the road between June 2012-2013; needless deaths which might have been prevented with more awareness of road safety.
By Lily Blackmore