Brake safety campaign taken to House of Commons

Pupils from Victoria Primary School campaigning last month for drivers to slow to 20 mph near schools. INCT 24-001-GR
Pupils from Victoria Primary School campaigning last month for drivers to slow to 20 mph near schools. INCT 24-001-GR

A road safety campaign supported by Carrickfergus pupils has been highlighted at the House of Commons.

Brake set out its vision for a future free of the trauma of road death and injury at a parliamentary reception.

Julie Townsend, the charity’s deputy chief executive, told an audience of new and returning MPs the time has come for the government to make a statement of intent by reinstating ambitious casualty reduction targets.

Speaking following the first annual increase in road casualties of all severities in 17 years, Julie said: “There is far more we can do to make our roads as safe as they can be, where no one must pay the ultimate price for getting around.

“Global research and experience shows that measures like graduated driver licensing, 20mph limits and a lower drink drive limit are effective in preventing loss of life and making our streets and communities safer, more pleasant places.

“We are appealing to the government to respond to the rise in casualties and seize the opportunity of preparing a new road safety strategy, by making clear that ultimately, we should be moving towards zero road deaths and injuries and ensuring everyone can get around without fear or threat.”

The Brake message was underlined last month by Victoria Primary School, who took part in the Giant Walking Bus, a UK-wide initiative calling on drivers to ‘GO 20’ in communities to make streets safer for them to walk and cycle.

The charity has set out key road safety policies necessary to help make its vision a reality:

An effective zero-tolerance drink drive limit (of 20mg alcohol per 100ml of blood).

Greater priority given to traffic policing and increased penalties for mobile phone use and speeding.

A system of graduated driver licensing to allow new drivers to learn in a safer and more structured environment while less exposed to risk.

A default urban speed limit of 20mph, to cut casualties among the most vulnerable road users and allow people to walk and cycle in their communities without fear.