Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is called to nearly 1,000 road crashes every year. Most days firefighters have to cut people free from the wreckage of their vehicles and their message during National Road Safety Week (17-23 November) is – make sure this isn’t you or your family!
“Whether it’s a road crash or a house fire, nearly every emergency we’re called to could be avoided. It only takes a moment’s lapse in concentration while driving and the results can be devastating and at this time of year, drivers can easily get caught out” said Lee Rose, KFRS’s Head of Community Safety.
In 2013, 650 people were killed or seriously injured on roads in Kent and Medway, which is why KFRS is supporting the UK’s biggest annual road safety event co-ordinated by Brake, National Road Safety Week 2014.
Injuries caused by road crashes are the leading cause of death among young people aged 15-29 years. Youth and inexperience puts younger drivers at more risk. Lee added: “If you’re a parent, please talk to your young drivers about keeping safe – life is precious – ask them not to take risks. We want everyone using Kent and Medway’s roads to get home safely and to take care, not lives.”
Throughout Road Safety Week firefighters are planning a range of activities, including staging mock car-crashes to highlight the importance of keeping safe behind the wheel and explaining the tragic consequences that can arise if you’re involved in a crash. Crews will be talking to younger drivers about the additional risks of being in a crash due to:
- Being less able to spot the hazards due to inexperience
- Speeding, overtaking blind and not wearing seat belts
- Drink and drug driving
- Distraction such as mobile phones, loud music and passengers
- Peer pressure can encourage bad driving and result in drivers ‘showing off’ to their passengers and taking more risks
- Young drivers often drive older potentially unsafe vehicles as these are cheaper but also less safe
Lee concluded: “It’s great to see that groups we’ve targeted earlier during Road Safety Week are already fully on board supporting the campaign. The pupils and staff at Upton School, Broadstairs have been putting up road safety posters and handing out our leaflets to drivers. We've all got to look out for each other and Road Safety Week is a great time to drive this message home.”
KFRS’s firefighters and community safety team will be at various locations around the county offering road safety tips to help you arrive alive this winter. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to find out more. You can also download and print Brake's Road Safety Week posters to display in your window at home and help drive down speeds in your road. Or just share the images on Facebook or Twitter and help raise awareness that way.
Note to Editors
KFRS staff activity during Road Safety Week includes:
- Ashford – Day of action alongside Kent Police and KCC wardens aimed at tackling speeding within Willesborough, Park Farm and the Weald (21 November). Crews will also visit local car parks to talk with young drivers about road safety.
- Canterbury – crashed car demonstration at the fire station and a visit to Simon Langton Girls School (19 November)
- Dartford – car cutting demonstration at North West Kent College along with a static crashed car display at DHL Distribution Centre, Dartford
- Deal – crashed car demonstration in association with local driving schools. The event is aimed at young/newly qualified drivers and takes place at the fire station from 11am-12 noon (22 November). Crews will also be visiting the High Street and local auto traders to talk to drivers.
- Dover – crash car demo for East Kent College students (20 November). Visiting Kent Motorcylces to talk to riders and distribute safety advice. The KFRS engagement car will be in Whitfield at various locations on 21-22 November including: Lewisham Road, River, London Road and Archers Court Road.
- Folkestone – visiting town centre car parks providing advice to drivers. Talking to driving instructors and driving centres. Delivering leaflets for customers visiting hand car wash facilities. Evening visits are also planned to Halfords and Sainsbury’s car parks.
- Herne Bay – open day session at the fire station displaying equipment used at road crashes including a rally car visit to the station on (22 November).
- Margate – talking to shoppers at the opening of the new Sainsbury’s Superstore in Westwood Cross on Saturday, (22 November) and Halford's (23 November 2.30-4pm).
- Medway – will be at the Young Persons Fair at Brompton Barracks (19 November)
- Ramsgate and Whitstable – visiting local schools to talk to parents, pupils and staff about safe driving/parking around schools at drop off and pick up times (19-20 November). In Thanet rural Speedwatch events are also taking place in association with KCC wardens and the Police.
- Sevenoaks - car cutting demonstration in Waitrose car park, Edenbridge (20 November 10am-1pm)
- Sittingbourne – visiting local schools to talk to pupils, parents and staff about road safety
- Strood – talking to the public in Rochester High Street, Strood Shopping Centre, Rochester car parks and at local schools
- Tonbridge – engaging with young drivers in Sovereign Way/Sainsbury’s car park.