Fleets back Road Safety Week campaign to tackle life-shattering young driver crashes

Fleet operators and suppliers nationwide are backing Road Safety Week (21st-27th November 2011), coordinated by the charity Brake, by mobilising staff and communities in awareness-raising activities.

Thousands of organisations, schools and community groups around the UK are taking part in the Road Safety Week to get the message across about how we can make roads safer and prevent needless tragedies. The theme of Road Safety Week 2011 is 'Too young to die'. Brake, together with partners around the country, is drawing attention to the fact that road crashes are the biggest killer of young people, and appealing for action to prevent devastating crashes involving young drivers and passengers. 

A survey of 8,110 young people by Brake and QBE Insurance, published today, shows more than half of young people (56%) fear for their lives when a passenger with a young driver and the same proportion (56%) have been endangered by risk-taking peers speeding or drink driving. The vast majority also support a tougher regime for novice drivers: 82% favour at least one type of licence restriction, such as a zero tolerance drink-drive limit.

Casualty statistics revealed by Brake today show that every 18 hours a young person is killed on UK roads, leaving behind devastated family and friends. Every hour-and-a-half, another young person suffers a serious injury on UK roads, in many cases life-changing injuries such as brain damage, paralysis or limb loss.

Young drivers are also involved in a disproportionately high number of crashes that kill and injure road users of all ages. Young drivers (age 17-24) are involved in crashes that result in one in four road deaths and serious injuries (24%) - 17 deaths and serious injuries every day - despite only making up one in eight (12%) licence holders.

Brake, together with families whose lives have been shattered by a death or injury in a young driver crash, is also calling on government to take action to tackle these casualties. It is highlighting evidence that 'graduated driver licensing', including a minimum learning to drive period, and restrictions for novice drivers, would prevent 200 deaths and thousands of injuries each year.

Julie Townsend, campaigns director at Brake, says: "It's fantastic to see so many fleet operators taking part in Road Safety Week, helping to get across life-saving messages to staff, customers and local communities. The commitment and involvement of the industry is so important to this flagship event, and those who get involved can benefit by using the Week as springboard for promoting road safety internally and getting more involved with the local community.

"The focus of our campaign this year is tackling the terrible loss of young lives on our roads, and helping young people to be safer. We are calling on young drivers - and drivers of all ages - to 'have a heart at the wheel': to show compassion, acknowledge they have lives in their hands, and pledge to drive safely. We are also calling on the government to implement graduated driver licensing to help inexperienced drivers to be safer, in light of evidence that this would prevent thousands of needless deaths and injuries each year."

Matthew Crane, Managing Director Motor at QBE, said: "QBE has insured commercial motorists in the UK for over 80 years and improving road safety has always been a priority for us.  No motor-related death, whether at the hands of young or older drivers, is acceptable and our safety specialists work closely with organisations throughout the nation and beyond to ensure they are operating their motor fleets as safely as possible."


For more information visit: www.brake.org.uk, www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk, www.2young2die.org.uk 


Posted November 18th, 2011 at 0945 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: andrew.lynch@pavpub.com