13 November 2013

Road safety team highlights how not to get driven to distraction

Brighton & Hove’s road safety team will be joining with the city’s students and Sussex Police this week to raise awareness of the dangers of being distracted on the road, whether on foot, bike or in a vehicle.

Tomorrow, Tuesday, 19 November, 60 students from Brighton University’s Product Design course will be involved in a ‘brainstorming’ day to come up with ideas to lessen the risk for urban motorcyclists. A similar event resulted in the invention of the “Blaze” light, designed by Emily Brooke, which was developed to improve the visibility and safety of cyclists.

Many collisions involving bikers are due to others failing to look properly, especially at junctions. It’s also difficult to judge a bike’s speed.

The activity is part of Road Safety Week, 18-24 November.

Councillor Ian Davey, lead member for transport at Brighton & Hove City Council, said: “Through our ‘Share the Roads, Share the Responsibility’ campaign, we’ve had some successful collaboration with local students on road safety. During the week our team will be highlighting the different types of distraction and encouraging students to suggest ways of improving safety for bikers.

“Distraction isn’t just an issue for drivers.  Pedestrians and cyclists can be sidetracked by their mobile or tablet, or not able to hear when crossing roads due to headphones.  Car passengers can be distracting too, particularly to new drivers and this will be the theme of a theatre performance in schools.”

Distractions come in many forms and can have serious consequences on the roads. In Brighton and Hove over 50% of police-reported collisions were caused by people failing to look properly or not being able to judge the other person’s path or speed.

Forty seven per cent of pedestrian casualties and 49% of cyclist casualties are in the age range 16-35.*

On Wednesday, 20 November the council’s road safety team will be at City College highlighting the dangers of distraction to students.

Throughout the week the Collingwood theatre group, sponsored by Sussex Safer Roads, will perform for Year 11 students in eight of the city’s schools.

* 2012 figures

More information

More local road safety information at Share the Roads, Brighton & Hove www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/roadsafety

Or Sussex Safer Roads: www.SussexSaferRoads.gov.uk

More about Road Safety Week at: www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk

Find out more about the ‘Blaze’ light