Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS), Kent Police and Highways England will be teaming up during the UK’s biggest road safety event, Road Safety Week (20-26 November), coordinated by Brake, the road safety charity.
The message this year is - Speed Down Save Lives, and Kent’s emergency services are joining thousands of other organisations and schools across the UK are helping to spread awareness about the dangers of driving too fast.
In 2016 one out of every five trauma admissions to hospital in Kent, Medway and south east London was due to a road collision.
During the week KFRS, Kent Police and Highways England will be out and about at motorway services and town centres across the county including:
- Monday 20th November 10am – 3pm at Clackett Lane Services on the M25
Tuesday 21st November 10am – 3pm at Medway Services on the M2
Wednesday 22nd November 10am – 3pm at the Marlowe Arcade in Canterbury
Thursday 23rd November 10am – 3pm at Folkestone Services on the M20
Friday 24th November 10am – 3pm at Maidstone Services on the M20
At each event the teams will be encouraging motorists to keep their speed down to protect other road users. Driving is unpredictable and if something unexpected happens on the road ahead – such as a child stepping out from between parked cars – it is a driver’s speed that will determine whether they can stop in time and, if they can’t stop, how hard they will hit.
Every day, five people are killed, and more than 66 people are seriously injured on UK roads[i]. Breaking the speed limit or travelling too fast for conditions contributed to 349 fatal crashes and 11,570 crashes in total on roads in Britain last year[ii]. And drivers with one speeding violation annually are twice as likely to crash as those with none[iii].
KFRS Director of Operations Sean Bone-Knell said: “It’s important that drivers and their passengers understand the impact that speeding can have. Travelling at excess speed could be the difference between a safe journey and one that ends in tragedy. All too often our firefighters attend road crashes where the contributing factor has been that the driver has been driving too fast. Speed kills.
He added: “Road Safety Week is a superb opportunity to encourage people across the county to support us as we work towards safe and sustainable travel for everyone. It’s why Kent’s emergency services are supporting this year’s Road Safety Week, and strongly encouraging the public to ‘speed down’ to save lives.”
Chief Inspector Richard Smeed, from Kent Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: “Speed limits are in place to protect all road users and breaking them needlessly places people at risk of serious harm. Everyone has a responsibility to drive safely, whether that be obeying speed limits or driving in accordance to the conditions, which can change quickly at this time of the year.
“Speeding is one of the four most common causes of a fatal collision, along with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seat belt. The good news is these causes are all preventable and educational campaigns like this help can only help make our roads safer.”
Dave Nichols Community Engagement Manager for Brake, said: “We’re delighted Kent Fire and Rescue Service, Kent Police and the Kent team for Highways England are getting involved with Road Safety Week and strengthening Brake’s campaign for safer roads. Newer vehicles are more powerful than ever before and reach high speeds quickly. Driving fast is glamorised and often encouraged by programmes and adverts that worship the cult of the car. We all live busy lives and there is a temptation to speed up in the hope of saving time, where in fact we could be costing lives. That is why we are encouraging everyone to raise awareness about the important message of ‘Speed Down Save Lives’ for Road Safety Week 2017.”