A number of UK safety organisations have given their backing to a European-wide campaign that aims to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Europe’s roads.
Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death) took place across the UK and 29 other countries on Wednesday 21st September.
The project, an initiative by European Traffic Police Network TISPOL, aims not only to have zero road deaths on the designated day, but to get people to think about their actions on the road so that deaths can be reduced in the future.
Project EDWARD will use a series of short films to highlight the dangers associated with actions such as speeding, driver distraction, illegal use of mobile phones behind the wheel, and drink-driving. It is also asking individuals and organisations to sign its pledge to spread road safety messages.
The latest figures show that in 2015 1,732 people were killed on the UK’s roads, with 22,137 others being seriously injured, many with life-changing injuries. Across Europe, 26,000 people were killed and 135,000 seriously injured in the same year.
The UK statistics represent a near-stagnation in the long-term downward trend in road deaths as there has been no significant change since 2011.
Family safety charity RoSPA is one of those giving its backing to the campaign.
“This is a really worthy initiative, and RoSPA is pleased to offer its support to the project,” explained road safety manager Nick Lloyd. “Anything we can do to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on the roads, not just here in the UK but also around the world, is welcome.”
“By getting road users to think about their actions, even if only for a few minutes, we could drive down the number of needless and devastating accidents,” he added.
Road safety charity IAM RoadSmart is also backing the campaign. It previously published a report that highlighted the dangers that distractions can pose to drivers and other road users.
The report revealed that in 2013 there were 2,995 cases where distraction in the vehicle was listed as a contributory factor, making up 3% of all accidents, and 1,627 where distraction outside the vehicle was a contributory factor, making up 1% of all accidents.
“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,” commented Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer. “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.”
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