Take Brake’s Pledge and Make Roads Safer

This week is Road Safety Week (21-27 November) and CFOA, along with fire and rescue services throughout the UK, will be supporting the key messages of this campaign in order to help prevent road deaths and injuries.

The week was introduced in 1997 and is coordinated by Brake and is the UK’s biggest road safety event. It exists to help stop the five deaths and 62 serious injuries that happen everyday on UK roads.

It’s a simple ask – change our driving behaviour and help to make UK roads safer. Sign up and share Brake’s Pledge online.

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Brake have outlined the six elements of the Brake Pledge for Road Safety Week 2016  which are are Slow, Sober, Secure, Silent, Sharp and Sustainable.

  • Slow:Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for the conditions is recorded by police at crash scenes as a contributory factor in more than one in four (27%) fatal crashes in Great Britain [1].
  • Sober:Having even one drink before getting behind the wheel can affect your ability to drive. In 2013 one in 10 (11%) drivers/motorcycle riders killed in a crash had alcohol present in their body, even though they weren’t over the legal blood-alcohol limit [2]. One in seven road deaths are at the hands of someone who has driven while over the limit [3].
  • Secure:Seat belts are still seen as an inconvenience by some drivers, yet using one reduces the chance of dying in a crash by 50% [4]. 21% of car occupants killed in crashes were not wearing a seat belt [5].
  • Silent:Drivers who perform a complex secondary task, like using a mobile, while at the wheel are three times more likely to crash than non-distracted drivers [6].
  • Sharp:Booking in for a regular eye test should be at the top of any driver’s to-do list. Road crashes caused by poor driver vision are estimated to cause 2,900 casualties and cost £33 million in the UK per year [7].
  • Sustainable:By minimising the amount we drive, and walking, cycling or using public transport instead, we are making our communities safer places, and doing the best we can for the environment and our individual health. Air pollution is a major killer: there are an estimated 29,000 deaths per year from particulate matter pollution in the UK [8], 5,000 of which are attributable to road transport [9].

Look out for events and activities for National Road Safety Week from your own local fire and rescue service. Types of activities range from leaflet drops and talks in schools on cycling safety to driving advice for winter. Look out for #RoadSafetyWeek and #BrakePledge on social media and help spread the word.

For more information about being safe on the roads whether you are a driver, passenger, pedestrian or cyclist please visit http://www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk/

[1] Reported Road Casualties Great Britain 2014, Department for Transport, 2015, table RAS50001
[2] Statistical data set: Reported drinking and driving (RAS51), Department for Transport, 2014, table RAS51007
[3] Provisional estimate for 2014, fromReported road casualties Great Britain: Estimates for accidents involving illegal alcohol levels: 2014 (second provisional), Department for Transport, February 2016
[4] The impact of driver inattention on near-crash/crash risk, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2006
[5] Oral evidence: Road traffic law enforcement, HC 518, Transport Select Committee, 7 December 2015
[6] The Impact of Driver Inattention On Near-Crash/Crash Risk: An Analysis Using the 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study Data, US Department of Transportation, 2006
[7] Fit to Drive: a cost benefit analysis of more frequent eyesight testing for UK drivers, RSA Insurance Group plc, 2012
[8] Estimating Local Mortality Burdens associated with Particulate Air Pollution, Public Health England, 2014
[9] Steve H. L. Yim and Steven R. H. Barrett, “Public Health Impacts of Combustion Emissions in the United Kingdom”, Environmental Science & Technology 2012 46 (8), 4291-4296
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New Think! Campaign targets those getting behind the wheel

Think! has launched its new campaign to target those people who still think it is okay to have a couple of drinks before they get behind the wheel.

CFOA believe that the drink drive limit should reduced further in the UK, to bring it into line with Scotland.

Reducing the drink-drive limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol in every 100ml of blood could reduce crashes by almost 5,000 per annum, potentially preventing up to 168 deaths a year. This could not only save lives, it could provide savings to the public purse of as much as £285 million a year.

The below is taken from the Think! press release and new Christmas campaign. 

· A second drink can double your chance of being in a fatal collision
· One in ten people would have two or more drinks before driving
· One in five (19%) men aged 18-34 would have two or more drinks

New research from THINK! shows that while half the population (51%) would not consider consuming any alcoholic drinks before driving, a shocking one in ten people would consider having two or more drinks before they get behind the wheel. This increases to one in five among men aged 18-34 (19%).

The government has launched a new campaign to tackle drink driving, targeting those who do not recognise that even a small number of drinks before driving can be deadly. It urges everyone to THINK! before drinking and driving. New adverts highlight how a second drink can double the chance of being in a fatal collision.

Road Safety Minister Andrew Jones said:

“Drivers know that drink driving is wrong. It can destroy families and ruin lives. Yet some irresponsible drivers still take the risk and get behind the wheel when they shouldn’t.

“Over the past thirty years drink drive deaths have fallen significantly but every death or serious injury is one too many. The best way for drivers to keep themselves and other road users safe is simple: don’t drink and drive.”

Today’s figures show that the majority of drivers in England and Wales are aware of the need to avoid drinking before driving. 60% of people surveyed said that it is not okay to drink at all before driving. However, even though 93% of people don’t think it is right to drive after more than one drink, almost a fifth (18%) admit to having done so.

Sarah Sillars, Institute of Advanced Motorists chief executive officer, said:

“Many of the people we work with on our drink-drive rehabilitation courses aren’t repeat offenders, many are drivers who thought that a second one couldn’t hurt.

“We support THINK!’s campaign which highlights the importance of avoiding the temptation of ‘just one more’.

“Know your limits and know the legal limit. Getting that second drink calculation wrong is easily avoided just by remembering that if you drive, don’t drink.”

Liz Brooker, Spokesperson for Road Safety GB, said:

“The combined efforts to tackle those who choose to drink and drive have been successful over the years.

“But some people still think of a drink driver as someone who drinks copious amounts and gets in the car.

“They don’t realise that they could be a drink driver too, by having a small amount to drink and taking to the road.

“This campaign will make people think twice before taking another drink, helping to make our roads safer.”

Research note: Interviews were conducted with 781 drivers aged 18 and over in England and Wales from 17th -19th November 2015, using OnLineBus, the TNS internet omnibus survey