Project Edward, the inaugural ‘European Day Without A Road Death’, has succeeded in raising awareness of road safety as it trended on Twitter, making the campaign one of the most talked about things in the UK today (21 Sept).
Co-ordinated by TISPOL and supported in the UK by Road Safety GB, RoSPA and the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), the hashtag #ProjectEdward trended for much of this morning, peaking as high as number six.
A number of road safety teams and stakeholders supported the campaign and organised a range of events and initiatives to promote its key messages.
Drivers, riders and pedestrians are still being encouraged to ‘make the pledge’ and promise to follow a number of rules to ensure their safety. In a surge on the day, more than 20,00 people signed the road safety pledge, taking the total to more than 100,000.
In addition to organising events, many road safety teams supported the initiative via social media and TISPOL says tweets using the #ProjectEdward hashtag reached more than 11m peope. Tweets included linking to Project EDWARD’s road safety videos.
Iain Temperton, Road Safety GB’s director of communications, welcomed the local authority involvement. He said: “There were some excellent reductions in road deaths and serious injuries earlier in this decade, but they have stalled in the past couple of years.
“It is therefore vital that we re-focus our attention on the efforts needed to get back on course in order to have a chance of achieving the European 2020 targets.
“The work undertaken by road safety professionals across Europe is essential in reaching those targets and reducing the unnecessary suffering experienced by thousands every day.”
Click here to read more about why Road Safety GB supported the initiative.
South Lanarkshire Council
Junior Road Safety Officers delivered a presentation, produced by the council’s road safety team, to their respective schools. The presentation highlighted how every individual can contribute to making roads safer.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service
Cornwall’s fire prevention and road safety team organised a number of events and visited:
- Schools to talk to Year Seven pupils about distractions and other dangers when crossing the road as a pedestrian.
- Colleges to talk to students about the dangers of drink driving and the ‘morning after’.
- Flu Clinics to talk to older drivers about its Older Driver programme – Driving Safer for Longer.
Leeds City Council
Leeds City Council, along with partners in West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, hosted an engagement event in the city’s Dortmund Square, between 11am and 2pm.
Members of the public will be invited to have a go on a reaction timer and static bikes, speak with police motorcyclists and road safety professionals, and encouraged to sign the Project EDWARD pledge.
London Borough of Redbridge
Performance in Education delivered a pedestrian safety theatre in education project, on behalf of the London Borough of Redbridge.
Delivered to key stage 3 pupils, the performance explores the risk, responsibility and consequences faced as a pedestrian and aims to increase knowledge of how to remain safe when using the roads.
Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP)
SERP invited pupils in Essex to take part in a poetry competition, which is designed to create awareness of Project EDWARD. Click here for more details.
SERP also encouraged road users across Essex to get involved by signing the pledge and has distributed artwork to all three of the strategic management offices in the county.
Buckinghamshire County Council
Transport for Buckinghamshire (TfB) promoted the event by encouraging all of the county’s road users to simply think twice before engaging in risky behaviour which could endanger lives.
Focussing on the ‘Fatal 4’, road users were being asked to consider the following questions: what risks am I facing, or might I face, on this journey? What risk might I pose to others? How might I eliminate those risks?
Residents who made the Project Edward pledge also received a certificate designed to help spread the awareness of the initiative.
Gateshead Council supported Northumbria Police in their efforts to raise awareness of Project EDWARD.
As part of ‘Op Dragoon’, the partners encouraged the public to show their support by sending pictures of the number ‘zero’ on Twitter (pic above).
Humberside Fire and Rescue
Working as part of Safer Roads Humber, Humberside Fire and Rescue used social media to help spread the initiative’s messages to road users in the region. Follow Humberside Fire and Rescue on Twitter to find out more.
Croydon Council also supported the event and published information to all of its staff highlighting how they can get involved.
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Brake is asking all road users to play their part in the first ‘European Day Without A Road Death’, but says more can be done than just focusing on driver behaviour, including strong legislation and leadership from authorities.
Alice Bailey, campaigns advisor for Brake, said: “Striving for zero road deaths is an ambitious but necessary long-term target.
"We should aspire to a world where governments, communities and companies work together to achieve zero road deaths and serious injuries, and streets that can be used without fear.”
GEM Motoring Assist is urging all road users to spare a thought for road safety and make Project EDWARD a reality.
Neil Worth, GEM’s road safety officer, said: “Achieving zero fatalities on 21 September is unfortunately not a likely prospect, but our goal is to make as many people as possible aware of the risks they face – and the risks they may pose to others – when they are driving and riding on the roads, or as pedestrians when they are crossing from one side to another.
“We are proud to be supporting TISPOL in this initiative. We firmly believe that if each road user can make small changes to reduce risk, then together we can make some big improvements – and reduce the number of people who die or are seriously injured on Europe’s roads.”
IAM RoadSmart is offering the first 99 people who book on their Advanced Driver and Rider courses today (21 Sept) a discounted rate of £99.
Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: "Reducing road deaths to zero, if just for one day, would be a powerful shake up to a slowdown in the decrease in the number of road deaths.
"European Day Without a Death is a brilliant initiative and we are keen to support it through offering practical support and advice to drivers and riders."