Go to navigation

Road Safety Week

6 December 2017

Medway Council is committed to teaching children and young people the importance of road safety.

The council supported Road Safety Week last month (Monday, 20 November to Sunday, 26 November). The awareness week is organised by Brake, the road safety charity, and this year’s theme was Speed Down Save Lives. Each day, five people are killed, and more than 66 are seriously injured on roads across the country. Last year motorists driving too fast contributed to 349 fatal crashes and a total 11,570 crashes in Britain.

One in five (21 per cent) of patients admitted to hospital in South East London, Kent and Medway in 2016 were involved in a crash according to figures obtained by Brake. Medway Council fully supports Road Safety week and organises a range of road safety initiatives throughout the year.

Road safety officers visit primary schools throughout the year

All primary schools are offered a programme of road safety lessons which are suitable for children aged four to 11. Road safety officers visit schools throughout the year to teach children pedestrian skills and make them aware of the dangers of the road. The Road Safety team also visit pre-schools and nurseries to start teaching children under five to stop, look, listen and think when crossing the road.

Licence to Kill

Medway Council also offers all secondary sixth forms and colleges in Medway the chance to screen the Licence to Kill production which features emotional stories from families who have lost a loved one in a crash. In the last three years, 187 17 to 24 year olds were killed or seriously injured on Kent and Medway’s roads. Nationally young drivers, those aged 24 and under, make up 25 per cent of all drivers killed or seriously injured, despite only making up eight per cent of licence holders. Licence to Kill was first launched in 2007 as part of a road safety initiative between Medway Council, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent County Council, the South East Coast Ambulance Service and the Kent and Medway Safety Camera Partnership.

School parking projects

The council also has a number of school parking projects which aim to reduce illegal and inconsiderate parking outside schools to make it safer for children to get to and from school. Civil enforcement officers regularly patrol outside schools and issue penalty charge notices to motorists who are found parking illegally. Residents are encouraged to report parking concerns by calling 07718 130962 between 7am and 1am, seven days a week. A voicemail service is available outside of these hours. Motorists can also email parkinghotline@medway.gov.uk to report illegal parking.

'We all have a responsibility to follow road safety rules'

Cllr Phil Filmer, Portfolio Holder in charge of road safety at Medway Council, said: “Human behaviour is a key contributing factor in most crashes and it is vital that we all take steps to make sure we stay safe on the roads. Everyone has a huge responsibility each time they get into a car, either as a passenger or a driver. We all have a responsibility to follow road safety rules and by doing so we can all help reduce the number of incidents on our roads.”

Dave Nichols, community engagement manager for Brake, said: “Newer vehicles are more powerful than ever before and reach high speeds quickly. Driving fast is glamorised and often encouraged by programmes and adverts that worship the cult of the car. We all live busy lives and there is a temptation to speed up in the hope of saving time, where in fact we could be costing lives. That is why we are encouraging everyone to raise awareness about the important message of Speed Down Save Lives for Road Safety Week 2017.”

Be bright and be seen this winter

Medway Council is also taking this opportunity to issue the following advice for pedestrians, motorists and cyclists as the winter months draw in:

• Be bright and be seen – wear a reflector to make you visible to drivers.

• Slow down – drivers need to watch out for children walking in the road or playing or gathering near bus stops. If roads are wet, or covered with leaves, motorists need to allow for extra time to stop.

• Be alert – Adults and children may be running late for an appointment, or rushing to catch the bus and may dart into the road without looking for traffic. Motorists, and pedestrians, should take extra care.

• Be a good passenger – don’t distract your driver. Fiddling with the radio, engaging in long conversations and being loud can distract your driver. If you feel uncomfortable with the way your driver is driving, speak up.

• Cycling – make sure your bicycle is in good working order and remember to wear fluorescent clothing and a cycle helmet

For more tips on staying safe this winter visit www.medway.gov.uk/winter