South Wales and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service is lending support to the Chief Fire Officers Association’ National Road Safety Day on 6th July.
Fire crews will be engaging with members of the general public at local venues and supermarkets to pass on some key road safety messages including − Only a Fool Breaks the 2 Second Rule. Crews will be requesting members of the public their opinions on road safety issues and will be giving free advice in order to make the roads a safer place for all.
Neil Brown, Head of Road Safety, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Far too often our fire crews are called out to appalling road traffic collisions which are harrowing both for the members of the public involved as well as our firefighters.
“In 2011 there were 6,434 road accidents involving personal injury recorded by the police in Wales (National Statistics 2011) these accidents resulted in 9,406 casualties. South Wales Fire and Rescue Service area accounted for 3,764 of these casualties while Mid and West Wales accounted for 3345 and North Wales 2,297. We want to work with the public to do our best to reduce the number of road traffic collisions on our roads across South Wales.”
He continued: “The two-second rule is a rule of thumb by which a driver may maintain a safe following distance at any speed. It has been proven that road traffic deaths and injuries can be prevented through promotion of effective road safety interventions such as these.”
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Traffic Collision Reduction Officer Kenny McDonald said: “Fire officers regularly see the consequences of speeding and poor driving, and these incidents affect families and communities across Mid and West Wales, and beyond. By working closely with our local fire stations, police and road safety partners on engagement initiatives such as the Aberavon Shopping Centre event, we can create safer drivers through effective discussion and education. This event is one of a number Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service personnel will be attending across our Service region on National Road Safety Day to talk to our communities about the steps they can take to help us reduce the number of collisions on our roads.”
On Friday 6th July, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Team will be working out of Aberavon Shopping Centre together with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service personnel, South Wales Police personnel and local authority road safety officers. SWFRS road safety support vehicles and motorcycles will also be on site throughout the day.
The aim of the day will be to share road safety advice with the public and promote key road safety messages whilst actively engaging with as many members of the public as possible.
Lee Howell, CFOA President, said: “I am delighted that CFOA is leading on this important road safety initiative. Despite the success over the recent years in reducing the number of RTCs, there are still an average of five deaths and 65 serious injuries on the UK roads each day.”
Road safety sits high on the agenda for all Fire and Rescue Services. At a national level, responsibility for road safety sits within the Prevention, Protection and Road Safety Directorate. Dave Curry, Director of PPRS, said: “25% of all Fire and Rescue Service call outs are to road traffic collisions. Everyday our fire crews deal with the traumatic aftermath of appalling Road accidents, which are preventable. As a result of this experience and our positive relationship with the public, the Fire and Rescue Service is ideally placed to deliver road safety messages.”
Dave Etheridge, CFOA Lead for Road Safety, said: “We want to encourage all fire and rescue services to get involved in talking to the public on 6th July, CFOA National Road Safety Day. Too many people drive far too close to the car in front and don’t allow enough time to brake safely. A recent Brake and Direct Line survey discovered that 53% of those questioned admit to breaking the two second rule on motorways. Don’t forget to keep your distance and drive according to the weather conditions.”
Photo: CFOA President Lee Howell