One in three adults have been in a collision or near miss with a vehicle on a UK road in the past year – rising to more than half (54%) of young adults.
The research, published by Brake as Road Safety Week 2019 launches, shows a high level of road danger as the organisation calls for more work to prevent road deaths and serious injuries. On average, there is a death or serious injury on a UK road every 20 minutes.
According to the road safety charity, crashes and near misses can have a significant impact on people’s perceptions of safety, putting them off walking and cycling – modes of transport which reduce car use, and so the level of danger on the roads, as well as improving public health.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake, said: “These findings paint an alarming picture of the danger on our roads and yet it’s what we’re all exposed to, every day, when getting about. We shouldn’t have to accept this level of risk as part of our daily lives and so we are calling on everyone to “Step Up” for Road Safety Week and shout out for the solutions that we know can make our roads safe.
Drawing on the “Step Up for Safe Streets” theme for Road Safety Week 2019, the charity is sharing inspiring stories of supporters who are campaigning to reduce the danger on roads, to help inspire others.
Sharron Huddleston’s 18-year old daughter, Caitlin, was killed in a crash in 2017 when her friend, who had recently passed her driving test, lost control of their car. Sharron is working with Brake to improve young driver safety.
“The death of my daughter, Caitlin, broke my heart. Knowing that Caitlin’s death could have been prevented is what pushes me on to campaign for better driver licensing and why I’m encouraging others to Step Up for Safe Streets for Road Safety Week. No mother should ever have to go through the pain of losing a child in a road crash but by working together we can try and make sure that tragedies like Caitlin’s never happen again.”
Louise Grainger is campaigning for a safe crossing outside her children’s local junior school, Ravenscote Junior in Surrey, and will be holding a campaign event on Wednesday 20 November.
“I’m campaigning for a safe crossing for my local junior school because it terrifies me to see the danger that children are facing on the roads every day. Our streets should be welcoming, safe places and that’s why I’m encouraging others to join a local campaign and Step Up for Safe Streets for Road Safety Week. If we all work together, we can make sure children never have to be in danger when crossing the road.”
Jackie McCord’s 16 year-old daughter, Cassie, was killed in a crash in 2011 by a driver with poor eyesight. Following this tragedy, Jackie successfully campaigned to get Cassie’s Law introduced, which gave police powers to fast track an application to revoke a motorist’s licence if they believe they are unfit to drive.
“The pain of losing Cassie will never leave me but it’s important that people hear my story and understand that road crashes aren’t inevitable, or acceptable. Getting Cassie’s Law introduced wasn’t easy but it was worth it, as it has helped make our roads safer. I encourage everyone to think about how they can help make our roads safer and what they can do to Step Up for Safe Streets this Road Safety Week.”
Road Safety Week 2019 will also see employees, schoolchildren and community groups across the country take part in activities during Road Safety Week, helping them learn about the solutions which can eliminate road death and serious injury.
Brake’s Joshua Harris added: “This Road Safety Week we want everyone to think about how they can do their bit and step up for safe streets. Can you join or start a local campaign? Do you need to take the car on your next journey, or could you walk, cycle or get the bus? If you are travelling by car, will you pledge to always keep within speed limits and never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs? Let’s all Step Up for Safe Streets and, together, we can help make roads safer for everyone.”
For more details on Road Safety Week, click here.