Road Safety Week puts the spotlight on speed

Mon 20 Nov, 2017

Firefighters and community safety staff are urging drivers to slow down and make a commitment to being more careful to mark Road Safety Week, which starts today (Monday 20 November).

Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service works closely with road safety teams and the other emergency services to try to reduce the death and injury toll on local roads.

The work includes collaborating on the annual Safe Drive Stay Alive road safety presentations to thousands of sixth-formers and college students in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes. These have been taking place this month in High Wycombe and Milton Keynes.

The organisation also demonstrates the technique used to free people who are trapped in vehicles after crashes - called an extrication - at public events such as open days.

Keith Wheeler, Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service’s road safety officer, said: "Firefighters witness first-hand the terrible aftermath of road crashes. They are frequently called out to free a driver or passenger trapped in a vehicle after a collision, often because the driver was distracted, or the vehicle was being driven at an inappropriate speed.

“Sadly, for some of them, there is nothing the emergency services can do to save them from life-changing injuries or worse."

Road Safety Week is organised by the charity Brake, which has devised a simple slogan for 2017: Speed down, save lives.

Keith offered the following advice:

  • Drive at a speed appropriate for the conditions. Remember in wet or icy conditions, it will take longer to stop.

  • However well you know the road, you can never know what’s around the corner, or when a child may run out in front of you.

  • Be particularly careful around school gates at the start or end of the school day. What feels slow inside your vehicle could be fatal if a child makes a mistake and steps in front of your vehicle.

  • Don't drive while impaired through drink or drugs. Remember, you could still be over the limit the morning after a drinking session.

  • You are twice as likely to die in a crash if you don't wear a seatbelt. By law, you must wear a seatbelt in cars and goods vehicles where one is fitted. There are very few exceptions to this.

  • Turn off your phone, and never attempt to multi-task at the wheel. If you have to make a call, find a safe place to pull over and switch your engine off.

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