South Ayrshire Council again supported Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012) working in partnership with the road safety charity Brake.
This year the national focus is on “Slower Speeds = Happy People” and, during the week, Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) – pupils in South Ayrshire Council schools who help educate their peers with important road safety messages and activities – promoted the need for road users to look out for those who walk or cycle to/from work and school, especially now the evenings are closing in.
In particular, the JRSOs will be calling on drivers to slow down around homes, schools and shops, giving them more chance of stopping in an emergency.
Statistics show that speeding motorists are one of the biggest causes of deaths and injuries and slowing down is the single most important thing that drivers can do in towns, villages and around schools to dramatically improve road safety for themselves and others.
Councillor John McDowall Portfolio Holder for the Environment and Sustainability said: “With the evenings getting that bit darker and the roads a bit more slippery due to leaves and icy conditions, we all need to think about our speed and the need to take care in and around schools and other buildings.
“There’s no doubt that many accidents happen due to inappropriate speed and a lack of care and attention, so during Road Safety week and beyond, I’d ask motorists to pay heed to the campaign that slower speeds do indeed make for happier people!”
Councillor Rita Miller, Chair of the South Ayrshire Community Safety Partnership added: “We’ve already had a special visit from colleagues at Kerr and Smith who brought a rescue truck to Dalmilling Primary school, to show young cyclists just how big this is next to them when they are on their bikes.
“It really made an impression on them and it was interesting to learn more about how the company educates their drivers about the speed they do and how they look out for road users, especially pedestrians and cyclists.”
“There really is no need to speed, so the message is clear – the slower we drive, the more chance we have to react to the unexpected and the better chance we have to avoid an accident.”
Image 1: Safety first! Pupils Robbie McCarlie (11), Natasha Barclay (11), Alicia Allen (11) and Bailey Johnston (11) met with Mary Lawless from Kerr and Smith (left), Councillors Rita Miller and Douglas Campbell (centre) and South Ayrshire Council Road Safety Officer Mary Garret to learn more about staying safe while cycling on the road.
Image 2: A sense of scale. Robbie McCarlie (11) cycles safely past the Kerr and Smith rescue truck, giving an idea of the size difference between a young cyclist and a large road vehicle.