Brake Launches New Road Safety Campaign

As Road Safety Week Gets Underway, New Figures Highlight Dangers Of Distracted Drivers


Road Safety Week has been officially launched in the UK today (18 November) and numerous awareness raising initiatives are set to be held across the country.

First established by road safety charity Brake in 1997, the event has grown in size and profile over the past 16 years.
To mark the occasion, Brake has introduced a new campaign aimed specifically at motorists who are distracted whilst driving.

Research conducted alongside Specsavers and Romex has shown that 575,000 British people have accrued points on their licence because they failed to maintain an acceptable level of concentration. Most of these cases involved the use of a mobile phone.

Around 78 per cent of these offenders are male, while 6.5 per cent of those who have been caught out by road safety officers have six points or more on their licence.

The study also revealed that 62 per cent of children report being driven by an adult who has used a mobile device, while 79 per cent have spotted motorists having a phone conversation while driving past their home or school.

Although many vehicle owners believe they are capable of multitasking, research suggests that 98 per cent of motorists are unable to concentrate on two things at once, which means their driving performance is adversely affected.

National lead for roads policing, chief constable Suzette Davenport, said the emergence of new technology - such as smartphones - has caused driver behaviour to change, with people now increasingly likely to take unnecessary risks.

"Too many collisions are caused each year by those who use excessive speed, drive without a seatbelt, drink or drug drive, or are distracted at the wheel," she commented.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend agreed that we now live in an age where being constantly connected is the norm, but motorists must ensure they do not lose their concentration.

"Many people who wouldn't dream of drink-driving are succumbing to using their phone and other distractions while driving, oblivious that the effect can be similar and the consequences just as horrific," she remarked.

Expert Opinion
Road Safety Week is a fantastic way to raise awareness about safety behind the wheel. There are so many accidents which happen unnecessarily each year when drivers are not giving their full attention to the road.

“The findings by Brake are striking as there are still a high percentage of drivers who are using their mobile phones whilst driving and critically, driving with a child in the car or past a school.

“I hope that Road Safety Week’s new campaign will be successful this year and help to reduce the number of accidents on our roads.”
Neil Whiteley, Partner