Road Safety News

Campaign urges road users to ‘be brake ready’

Wednesday 29th November 2017

A new campaign is urging drivers, bikers and cyclists in the City of London to be ready to react instantly in order to avoid a serious collision.

‘Be Brake Ready’ was launched during Road Safety Week (20-26 Nov) with a publicity event near London Liverpool Street Station.

City of London school crossing patrol officers ushered bubble wrapped pedestrians across a collision hotspot (pictured) to highlight how vulnerable pedestrians are compared to other road users.

The campaign has been launched on the back of figures which show that either ‘failure to look properly’ or ‘careless, reckless or hurried behaviour’ were contributing factors in 172 of the 261 ‘killed or seriously injured’ collisions in the City of London between 2012 and 2016.

To coincide with the new campaign, the City of London Corporation’s road danger reduction team has also published four ‘road etiquette principles’ for people travelling in the Square Mile.

  • Look around – keep your eyes open and focus on what’s around you
  • Be aware – the City of London is a busy place, so always expect the unexpected
  • Be considerate – remember other road users are people too
  • Less haste – take an extra second to think about what you’re doing and any potential hazards

Alison Gowman, chair of the Active City Network, said: “Seeing as we cannot wrap all of the City’s 480,000 workers and 9,000 residents in bubble wrap, we urge the public to ‘Be Brake Ready’.

“Over the years we have seen a big increase in commuters who walk and cycle to work and to encourage this trend we have introduced cycling Quietways, redesigned dangerous junctions and implemented a City-wide 20-mile an hour speed limit.

“People need to realise that the City is a dynamic, different and busy place to travel in. Hopefully our four road etiquette principles will help save lives on our roads."

Category: General news.



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An obvious phrase I omitted from my comment and which sums up this campaign is 'defensive driving', the root of which is always to be 'brake ready' and I'm very surprised and disappointed that other readers (by which I mean road safety professionals and collision prevention specialists) haven't publicly endorsed it, or at least commented favourably.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

Bob, I'm sure someone from the campaign will correct me but I would think that by taking an extra second to reduce haste they are not suggesting that drivers should wait for an extra second after seeing a hazard before taking action!

Perhaps it is more along the lines of take an extra second to get to your destination to have more time to react?
Nick, Lancashire

Agree (2) | Disagree (1)

Unfortunately in many circumstances if one takes an extra second to think about what they are doing or what possible danger is going on around them then they have travelled some 30ft at 20 mph or 45ft at 30 mph. in that one second and probably either passed the possible danger or hit it. The danger of lowering the speed limit or being in any traffic queue is that most drivers will drive closer than normal to the vehicle in front and unknowingly suffer a visual fixation on the vehicle in front looking for the first signs of braking and therefore their driving is controlled by the driver in front and not by there own abilities. Further, being closer to the vehicle in front (means) their peripheral vision is restricted and they may not actually see the cyclist or pedestrain on the roadway until its too late to react.

However if one gave an extra second in distance to the vehicle in front then at 30 mph that is an extra 45ft or at 20 mph its 30ft. Space in which to see more possible dangers and be seen by more and to be able then to see and hopefully identify those possible dangers and have more space and time in which to react to it.
Bob Craven Lancs

Agree (5) | Disagree (2)

So glad to see this and such an obvious, but under-used road safety message - 'be brake ready' is the key to avoiding collisions. Better still, drive an automatic, train yourself to brake with your left foot, hold it over the pedal and you can gain several metres stopping distance. By consciously doing this, you are already in 'ready to stop' mode and more likely to be looking for hazards anyway. Being 'ready to brake' also regulates your speed to what is right or appropriate.
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (1) | Disagree (10)