News release text
Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) will be revving up its support for National Road Safety Week (18 to 24 November) with a range of activities and demonstrations aimed at challenging motorists to think about their driving habits and decisions.
Last year 575 people were killed or seriously injured on roads in Kent and Medway[i] and in a bid to reduce this, fire crews and community safety officers will be sharing road safety tips at venues across the county.
Crews will be visiting colleges, schools and university campuses, as well as holding events outside supermarkets and shopping precincts. They will be asking people to identify their positive and negative driving behaviours to highlight the risks they may be taking and to encourage them to act more responsibly on the road.A recent crash into a house in Dartford
The 2013 campaign, coordinated by road safety charity Brake, focusses on driver distraction, which is a major cause of death and serious injuries in the UK[ii].
While it is illegal to use a hand-held phone to text or call at the wheel, around a third of drivers flout this law, and many others use a hands-free kit, despite both activities causing a dangerous distraction. Other distracting activities such as eating or smoking at the wheel have been shown to increase your risk of crashing, yet lots of drivers own up to it.[iii]
In addition, the community safety team will be using a seat belt sled to drive home the importance of wearing a seat belt. Research shows that 14 per cent of adults are inconsistent seat belt wearers, even though using one makes you half as likely to die in crash, whether you’re the driver or a passenger[iv].
Head of Community Safety, Stuart Skilton, said: “Through our efforts this week, we hope that more people will be encouraged to stay focussed while driving, and to think twice about putting themselves or others in danger for the sake of a call, text or other activity that can wait.
We also hope that seeing the seat belt sled in action will help people realise just how essential it is to buckle up every time you travel in a vehicle, no matter how short your journey.”
KFRS will be involved in road safety activities at the following locations:
15 November 2013
- 11:00am -1:00pm: road safety demonstration at North West Kent College, Oakfield Lane, Dartford.
18 November 2013
- Thames-view School visit to multi-agency event hosted at Thames-side Fire Station, Gravesend
- Road safety demonstration at Knowle Academy, Sevenoaks
- From 12:00pm: road safety awareness in the Brasted area in support of a multi-agency speed check event.
19 November 2013
- 10:00am -12:30pm: road safety awareness activity at Tesco, in Whitfield, Dover
- Road safety awareness outside The Forum, Sittingbourne
20 November 2013
- Road safety demonstration and presentation at North West College, Gravesend
- 10:30am -3:30pm: road safety awareness activity at Tescos Extra, Ramsgate Road, Broadstairs
- 2:00pm – 4:30pm: road safety awareness activity outside Asda in Canterbury
21 November 2013
- 10:00am – 1:00pm: road Safety presentation and demonstration, Holmesdale Technology College, Snodland
- 2:00pm – 4:30pm: road safety presentation at K College, Tonbridge
- Road safety awareness activity in Canterbury High Street
- Road safety awareness activity outside Westwood Cross shopping centre, Broadstairs
22 November 2013
- 2:00pm – 4:00pm): road safety awareness activity outside Morrisions Superstore, Isle of Sheppey
- Road safety awareness event and cutting demonstration at University of Kent, Medway Campus
23 November 2013
- 11:00am – 2:00pm: road safety activity outside Halfords/Homebase, Thanet Way, Herne Bay
27 November 2013
- Northfleet School for Girls visit to Thames-side fire station, Gravesend for a road safety presentation and demonstration.
Throughout the week:
- There will be a static car display outside Sainsbury’s Distribution Centre at Littlebrook Manor Way, Dartford arranged by Dartford fire crews.
Free road safety advice is available here.
For further information on Brake Road Safety visit the website.