The highly-anticipated Festival of Road Safety got underway on 2 November with two presentations focusing on how to improve the safety of young drivers, and reduce casualties among this high risk group.
Organised by Road Safety GB, the Festival of Road Safety will see more than 40 pre-recorded and live sessions broadcast throughout November (2-27 Nov).
The Festival has been met with much enthusiasm from road safety professionals, with places at the live sessions and workshops quickly snapped up and now all (bar one) fully subscribed.
Day one – focus on young drivers
The Festival opened with a keynote presentation by Dr Neale Kinnear, who briefed viewers on the ongoing Transport Committee inquiry looking at young driver safety, and the current position with regard to graduated driver licensing (GDL).
Dr Kinnear, who is head of behavioural science at TRL, is critical of the recent announcement by the roads minister Baroness Vere of Norbiton that the Government is not moving forward with the introduction of GDL.
He describes the Transport Committee inquiry as ‘not an impartial review’, in which ‘anecdote, personal preference and poorly gathered opinion are given equal weight to overwhelming scientific evidence’. He also says the inquiry ‘mistakenly trades off safety with freedom’.
Dr Kinnear’s presentation was published at 10.00 on the Festival website.
The second presentation on the opening day focused on the Scottish Government campaign which implores young male drivers to ‘drive like gran’s in the car’.
Claire Prentice, head of safer and greener marketing at the Scottish Government, outlined how the campaign is designed to motivate ‘invincible’ young drivers to drive more safely, through a ‘brave new approach to road safety advertising’.
Claire’s presentation went live on the Festival website at 14.00.
Looking ahead to tomorrow
Tuesday 3 November kicks off at 10.00 with a fringe presentation focusing on Project EDWARD.
James Luckhurst, founder of Project EDWARD, will provide an update on the 2020 campaign, and outline early plans and ideas for 2021.
This will be followed by the Festival’s first live session (14.00), focussing on cycling – how to increase participation levels while at the same time improving safety.
The expert panel for this session comprises: Emily Cherry, executive director of the Bikeability Trust; Duncan Dollimore, head of campaigns at Cycling UK; and Sonya Hurt, one of Road Safety GB’s specialist advisors with regard to cycling.
The session is fully subscribed with an audience of 100 pre-registered participants, but will be recorded and published on the website shortly afterwards to a wider audience.