Every August, RoadPeace (the National Charity for Road Crash Victims) holds its National Road Victims Month. This month long event was first established and celebrated by RoadPeace in 1998. Its aim is to remind people just how devastating road accidents can be and how they can impact upon people’s lives. Globally, since 1st January 2014, there have been 783,984 deaths as a result of road traffic accidents. This figure is rising daily.
August is a particularly poignant month because Bridget O’Driscoll was the first person in the UK killed by a car on 17th August 1896 in Crystal Palace and Princess Diana was also killed in a car crash on 31st August 1997. A number of events are held throughout the month, these include a ceremony of remembrance at RoadPeace Wood, Staffordshire. The wood itself was planted to remember all those who have lost their lives in road traffic accidents, and the Central Motorway Police Group have sponsored a tree within the RoadPeace Wood to remember those who have lost their lives on their motorways. In addition, there will also be a remembrance ceremony that is scheduled to take place on 31st August 2014 on the steps to the Liverpool Anglican Cathedral.
RoadPeace is built upon the foundation of RDR – Road Danger Reduction. The key fundamental aims of RDR are speed reduction, reduction of volume of traffic and the reductions of dominance of motor vehicles. Road safety has traditionally been reactive and not preventative, focussing on death and serious injury that have resulted from road traffic collisions rather than focussing on the prevention of accidents and the wider benefits for safer streets. This is where RDR and the August awareness month come into play. For example, speeding drivers can often be intimidating to other road users: RDR and safer streets will hopefully see a decrease in this dominance and an increase in those choosing to walk and cycle, thus promoting a healthier environment and society.
Over the summer months there are more children on our streets, and as much as you want them to absorb and practice the Green Cross Code, it is not always the case when there is not an adult around. Irate drivers are sometimes not patient at crossings and don’t allow that extra few seconds that could save a life. In terms of penalties, careless or reckless driving can result in an endorsement of the driving license of 3 to 11 penalty points and dependent upon the severity of accident, can stay on your license for 4 to 11 years.
It isn’t just children who are at risk over the summer months. Many of us are now choosing holidays in the UK over holidays abroad. Obviously, the easiest and quickest way to get around the UK is by using the motorway. When travelling, your vehicle may be full of luggage and the children may well be in the back seat….this can be distracting to you as a driver, as a result of distracting you, this then may cause harm to others.