Call to arms: do your bit to reduce strain on the NHS

10.07 | 24 March 2020 |

Road Safety GB is encouraging all road users to do their bit to reduce the strain on the emergency services in the coming weeks and months, by taking extra care if they must make an essential journey.

The pressure being placed on the NHS by the escalating coronavirus situation is well known – and the strain is likely to get much worse in the coming weeks and months.

Last night, prime minister Boris Johnson announced more stringent measures which will reduce levels of travel – but nonetheless, some will still need their cars to travel to work and to the shops.

Meanwhile, some could also return to cycling – to fulfil their quota of one piece of exercise per day.

With that in mind, Road Safety GB has launched a new campaign, backed by a number of road safety stakeholders and the Met Police, stressing to all road users the importance of taking extra care while making essential journeys.

Statistics show 160,597 people were killed or injured on Great Britain’s roads in 2018 – an average of 440 people each day.

In all of these cases, the police would have attended – due to the nature of the Government’s casualty reporting system – while a significant proportion would have required the care of paramedics.

An average of 70 people per day were seriously injured (25,511) in 2018 – all of whom would have required hospital treatment.

To reduce the number of road casualties during these unprecedented times, Road Safety GB is urging all road users to only travel when essential.

For those who must travel, the plea is to do everything to avoid collisions and casualties, including:

  • Always drive at an appropriate speed
  • Always wear a seatbelt
  • Never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Never use a mobile phone behind the wheel

Alan Kennedy, executive director of Road Safety GB, said: “These are unprecedented times and society as a whole has a responsibility to ease the strain currently being placed on the NHS – and all emergency services.

“Whether you are a driver, rider, cyclist or pedestrian – we can all play our part over the coming months by only travelling when necessary, and taking extra care on every journey.

“Our key message – as is always the case – reduce speeds, wear a seatbelt, drive sober and alert, and stop your vehicle to use a mobile phone.”



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