Glasgow Labour MSP Anne McTaggart is backing road safety charity Brake’s national campaign. The campaign calls on road users to look out for each other in order to help prevent someone dying every two days and five people being seriously injured every day on Scottish roads; and to protect people on foot and bike.
The call comes at the end of Road Safety Week (17-23 November), coordinated by Brake, during which thousands of schools, employers and community groups will be raising awareness about road safety. Police across the country will also be stepping up traffic enforcement to deter and catch drivers putting others at risk.
The ‘Lookout for Each Other’ campaign is about everyone, especially drivers, showing patience, consideration and responsibility towards other road users, especially the most vulnerable. To help avoid tragedy, Brake is urging 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. People on foot and bike are also being encouraged not to take chances, and make sure they can be seen.
Ms McTaggart was pleased to sign the motion lodged by her Scottish Labour colleague David Stewart MSP at the Scottish Parliament which backed the campaign.
As part of the campaign, Brake and partners RSA and Specsavers revealed statistics showing shocking numbers of drivers senselessly risking lives by flouting traffic laws. 105,807 fixed penalty notices were issued for ‘careless driving’ and speeding offences in Scotland in 2013 – one every five minutes. 102,320 were for speeding and 3,487 for careless driving
Ms McTaggart said: “I’m pleased to be able to back this important campaign that will hopefully help save lives. Far too many people die on our roads in avoidable road crashes, causing pain and anguish for thousands of families across the country. By taking just a little more care on the road, many road crashes are preventable and I would encourage as many people as possible to engage with this campaign and help avoid tragedy.”
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. At Brake we witness the suffering that results, daily, through our work supporting people affected by road death and injury. And there are wider consequences if we don’t look out for each other on roads – 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. That’s why, 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 is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. They do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK’s flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.
Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.
Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.
Road Safety Week
Road Safety Week is the UK’s flagship event to promote safer road use, coordinated annually by the charity Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country. Road Safety Week 2014 takes place 17-23 November, with support from the Department for Transport and headline sponsors RSA and Specsavers.
Find out more about Road Safety Week and Brake’s ‘Lookout for Each Other’ campaign. Tweet your support: @Brakecharity, #RoadSafetyWeek, #LookOutForEachOther.