A Message from Wiltshire Police – BRAKE ROAD SAFETY WEEK 18th – 24th November 2013

Your local neighbourhood police team would like to inform you of action being taken in your area with regards to a national awareness campaign.

Road Safety Week is the UK’s largest road safety event, coordinated annually by “Brake”, the road safety charity  and involves thousands of participants. This year it takes place between 18th – 24th November 2013, and the main theme is ‘Tune in to Road Safety’, highlighting the risks to the general public of being involved in a road traffic collision as a result of being distracted. This national event looks at raising the awareness levels of such risks to all road users – vehicle drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.

Driver distraction is a major cause of death and serious injury in the UK. Driving is the most dangerous thing that most of us do on a daily basis and requires full attention, but many drivers have a sense of over-confidence, so attempting to multi-task is common. Research demonstrates that reaction times for drivers using a hand-held phone are 30% worse than for driving under the influence of alcohol at the legal limit. However, around a third of drivers contravene the law regarding the use of mobile phones whilst driving. Other distracting activities such as eating or smoking at the wheel have also been shown to increase the risk of crashing, yet lots of drivers admit to doing this. Distraction isn’t just an issue for drivers. For people on foot or on a bicycle, being sidetracked by a mobile telephone, or not being able to hear due to listening to music, or forgetting to hold a child’s hand, can be lethal.

Certain age groups possess intrinsic vulnerabilities. For instance a recent study revealed an 11-year-old pedestrian is 3 times more likely to be killed or seriously injured during school run time than a 10 year old.  Pedestrian casualty rate for girls in particular rises steeply from the age of 11.  By age 12 nearly 73% of children have a mobile phone.  More significantly, they use their mobile phone functions much more than younger children do.  Because of this, 25% acknowledge that they themselves have been distracted by personal technology when crossing a road.

During the 18th – 24th November 2013 the local NPT officers will be conducting patrols of the roads and streets around local schools and advising the community on the issues raised above. We thank you for your co-operation in this campaign.

Pc 1945 Jackson / PCSO 6236 Evans

Community Beat Manager, Rural North

Rural North NPT, Newburgh Place, Highworth. SN6 7DN

Telephone: 101

Email: marc.jackson@wiltshire.pnn.police.uk

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