Despite road safety improvements in this country, around one in five people still die on the UK’s roads every day. While driver error is the most common cause of accidents in the UK, speeding and ‘careless driving’ also account for hundreds of lives each year.
Whether you own your car or you drive it through a contract hire or car lease agreement, keeping yourself safe on the roads should be your primary concern. Here, we look at how speed cameras and a new campaign about mobile phone usage are helping to keep Britain’s roads some of the safest in Europe.
Majority of drivers support speed camera use
According to data from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), around 400 people a year are killed in crashes in which someone exceeds the speed limit or drives too fast for the conditions.
So, perhaps it is no surprise that the use of speed cameras is supported by the majority of the motoring public. The latest research from the road safety charity, the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), found that four in five drivers are happy that speed cameras exist.
Eighty per cent of motorists accept the use of speed cameras, while seventy nine per cent think that speed cameras are useful to reducing injuries.
While the majority of drivers support the use of speed cameras, there is still scepticism amongst the motoring public. Over half of drivers (52 per cent) do not believe that cameras are only sited at locations where accidents happen while almost half of drivers think that raising money is the main purpose of safety cameras.
IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “Speed cameras are a successful road safety solution at key crash sites and it’s important that the government and safety camera partnerships work to maintain a positive view so that the rising suspicion amongst motorists does not become a trend.
“During times of austerity, drivers are increasingly seeing speed cameras as revenue raising apparatus and are sceptical of their importance for road safety.”
Drivers urged to avoid being distracted by their phone
Another major cause of deaths on the road in the UK is ‘careless driving’. ROSPA report that around 300 deaths a year involve someone being ‘careless, reckless or in a hurry’, and a further 125 involve ‘aggressive driving’.
A major contributing factor to careless driving is the use of a mobile phone while at the wheel. Now, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has backed a campaign to urge drivers to stay focused and not be distracted by the phone when driving.
The FTA has called on all contract hire, car leasing and commercial vehicle drivers to turn off their phones or to put them in the boot, and has urged everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to someone who’s driving.
Christopher Snelling, FTA Head of Urban Logistics and Regional Policy said: “The behaviour of the road user is the most important element in ensuring road safety, and it’s the thing we all have within our immediate control. When travelling we all need to focus on the road and the users around us, so we can keep ourselves and others safe”.
Despite it being ten years since hand-held mobiles were banned at the wheel, recent figures revealed that 575,000 motorists have been prosecuted for using a handset at the wheel or being otherwise distracted while driving.
Mr Snelling added: “In support of Road Safety Week we would discourage any driver from taking part in a phone conversation as it can affect their ability to control a vehicle. We believe it is imperative that all road users share the road safely – whether you are driving, cycling or walking it is vital to focus on keeping yourself and others safe”.