Road Safety Week

Annika Howard
Bike Smart - Road Safety Week 2018

Brake was founded in 1995 and exists to stop the needless deaths, serious injuries and pollution occurring on our roads every day. Brake's vision is a world where there are zero road deaths and injuries, and people can get around in ways that are safe, sustainable, healthy and fair.

Road Safety Week is the UK’s flagship event to promote safer road use, coordinated annually by Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country. Road Safety Week 2018 takes place 19-25 November, with support from Devitt Insurance Services, Ford and the Department for Transport.

We spoke to Dave Nichols, community engagement manager at Brake, about Road Safety Week.

Keeping people safe on roads

Now in its 21st year, Road Safety Week sees thousands of schools, community groups, companies, emergency services, politicians and individuals run activities, campaign and raise awareness about keeping people safe on roads.

Our focus this year is on encouraging everyone to be Bike Smart to protect those who travel on two wheels. Our small, but incredibly hardworking team have been planning for this week for months and they will be at public events, in the media spotlight and sharing the thousands of comments we get on social media.

Brake helpline

But what many people won't see, or even realise, is that our even smaller team of helpline staff will be supporting more families and professionals than ever. They will continue to be empathetic, professional and as dedicated as ever, while managing the increase in call volumes that comes when we run such a high-profile event.

Brake is an established and respected UK-wide provider of support services to people who have been bereaved or seriously injured in a road crash, as well as the family, friends and professionals supporting them.

Our support is provided via a freephone, accredited helpline, which is staffed by trained and professionally supervised specialists. We also produce support literature, which is updated regularly in consultation with experts and handed to families by police after every fatal road crash in the UK.

The helpline team provide emotional support, practical information, and signposting. Brake also offers advocacy and appropriate referrals for helpline callers towards face-to-face or other tailored support, along with advice for professionals such as police family liaison officers, teachers and others caring for road crash victims.

Five people are killed on British roads every day. It's no wonder that so many people feel passionate about supporting Road Safety Week and trying to prevent even more families going through the heartache and devastation that our helpline staff hear about on a daily basis. Running Road Safety Week annually allows us, and the families we support, to focus everyone's attention on this major issue and campaign for change.

Resources

We have lots of free resources available, and with nearly four million people getting involved each year, it is likely that someone in your community will already be planning an event.
This year we are calling on the Government to look at rural road speed and bike-safe infrastructure, such as segregated cycle lanes, but also calling on drivers to be more aware of bikes by: slowing down, giving more time to spot danger and react; looking properly for bikes before pulling out at junctions; leaving at least 150cm between cars and a bike when overtaking; and by doing the ‘Dutch reach’, using the opposite hand to open a car door to help avoid ‘car dooring’ incidents.

For more information visit www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk

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