More than 1,700 people died on UK roads last year – and a further 22,137 were seriously injured. Road safety charity Brake and TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, is backing a campaign to half the number of road deaths on roads across Europe by 2020.
As part of the campaign, the organisations are encouraging drivers to take part in a “European Day Without A Road Death”, being held today.
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The campaign is aiming to achieve a day when not a single person is killed on European roads, by encouraging road users to think about how they can make their journeys safer.
This includes car drivers concentrating on the road, pedestrians avoiding dodgy shortcuts across main roads and cyclists sticking to rules such as stopping at red lights.
But Brake says more needs to be done to reduce the amount of casualties on UK roads.
“Striving for zero road deaths is an ambitious but necessary long-term target,” explains
Brake’s campaigns advisor, Alice Bailey.
“Preventable crashes tear apart families and communities and we should not accept any number,” she added.
Strong legislation and leadership from authorities and governments can play a much more vital part, the charity says, with it calling on tougher mobile phone use penalties and a zero tolerance drink-drive limit.
It’s also calling on the UK government to bring back ambitious casualty reduction targets, axed in 2010.
Bailey added: “We must also acknowledge that the traffic causing these tragedies is a major contributor to carbon emissions, affecting the well-being and health of individuals and the planet.
“We should aspire to a world where governments, communities and companies work together to achieve zero road deaths and serious injuries, and streets that can be used without fear.”