Brake marked the start of Road Safety Week 2015 (17-24 Nov) with a call for all road users to look out for each other, and particularly to protect people on foot and bike.
Brake says a “shocking numbers of UK drivers senselessly risking lives by flouting traffic laws”. It points to figures which show in 2013 more than 950,000 fixed penalty notices were issued for speeding offences and 17,483 for careless driving (a new fixed penalty offence introduced in August 2013).
Brake says a “lack of patience and consideration towards other road users can and does result in tragedy”, and can also “stop the most vulnerable from exercising their right to healthy, active, sustainable travel”.
To back up this claim, Brake highlights results from a survey of 5,000 primary school children in which 67% of respondents said roads in their community “can be dangerous for walking and cycling”, and 41% said they have been “hit or nearly hit” by a vehicle while on foot or bike.
Brake is calling on drivers to protect people on foot and bike by slowing down to 20mph in communities, looking longer and taking it slow at junctions and bends, and giving people plenty of room and consideration.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “When drivers use roads without care for others the consequences can be tragic and horrific – people killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, because of a moment of impatience or selfishness.
“And there are wider consequences – people afraid to walk and cycle or let their kids walk and cycle, and unable to get out and enjoy their community and live active lifestyles.
“Instead of making our streets stressful, risky places, we’re asking all road users to look out for and protect each other, particularly the most vulnerable – that means drivers sticking to 20 or below in towns and villages, looking carefully at junctions, and being considerate.
“Ultimately, we’re all just human beings trying to get around, with equal right to use the roads, not competing tribes.”
Brake says that during Road Safety Week police across the country will be stepping up traffic enforcement to deter and catch drivers putting others at risk.