Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Road safety week: LET’S ALL TUNE INTO ROAD SAFETY

We all have a right to live in a safe community. People in Hyndburn rely on knowing that their children can get to school safely, that they can cycle to work easily, and depend on reliable public transport and roads to get them from A to B.

But although the UK has some of the safest roads in the UK, there are still an unacceptable number of deaths and injuries happening on our roads every day. Five people die on our roads every day.

This week thousands of children, schools, colleges, workplaces and police officers from across the country will join together in Road Safety Week. The annual campaign led by the charity Brake reminds us that there is still a lot more we can do to make the streets in Hyndburn safer places to be.

Sadly recent figures show worrying trends in the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads – particularly for casualties amongst and motorcyclists. Every year over 3000 people are killed or seriously injured on a bike.

This week Brake are calling for action on distracted driving. The simple fact is that if you are distracted at the wheel you are 2-3 times more likely to crash, potentially causing a serious injury or even killing someone. With more and more of us reliant on smart phones and getting distracted by electronic devices, the risk of having a collision increases.

But we need to remember that strong leadership is crucial too. That's why the last Labour government was right to make road safety a priority. There are now almost 17,000 fewer deaths or serious injuries in a year than there were in the mid-1990s.

I'm worried that the Tory-led Government is distracted. Why have they axed targets to cut deaths and serious injuries on our roads? Since 2010 they have cut spending on safety, speed cameras and the frontline police vital for traffic enforcement. People in Hyndburn tell they are really worried about the worsening state of our streets.

This Road Safety Week I'm calling on Ministers and people in Hyndburn to tune into road safety and take action to save lives.