Stakeholders unite behind ‘Take Extra Care’ message

Road safety stakeholders have united behind a call for all road users to take extra care when making essential journeys.

Earlier this morning (24 March), Road Safety GB launched the ‘Take Extra Care’ campaign – urging all road users to do their bit to reduce the strain on the emergency services in the coming weeks and months – by taking extra care if they must make an essential journey.

The campaign has been backed by a number of stakeholders, as well as the Met Police, who says it is actively patrolling priority roads across the Capital.

Detective supt Andy Cox, head of the Met’s Road and Transport Policing Command, said: “With the impact of Covid-19 taking effect we are seeing less congestion on London’s roads; however frustratingly evidence is emerging that this has led some drivers to drive at very high speed risking their life and that of other road users.

“Such behaviour is totally unacceptable and in the event of a serious collision will further impact on the NHS and police by draining resources away from the intensive need to work on Covid related issues.

“With this in mind our roads policing officers are actively patrolling priority roads across London and robustly enforcing ‘Fatal 4’ offences.

“My message is simple; please drive lawfully, stay safe and keep a clean and in doing so keep precious emergency service resources free to focus on Covid and best supporting our communities.”

The campaign is also being supported by a number of stakeholders, including PACTS, Brake and FirstCar.

David Davies, executive director of PACTS, said: “In some ways coronavirus changes everything, but in others it doesn’t.

“It is every bit as essential that we keep road traffic crashes and casualties to a minimum to enable the emergency services to focus on dealing with Covid-19 patients and the wider effects – which will be huge.

“The quiet roads and spring weather are surely an opportunity to carry out badly-needed maintenance work – and perhaps more ambitious cycleways, safety schemes etc.

“The renewed spirit of common purpose and being All-in-it together may make it easier to tackle the important issues of public health, environment and social justice in the future. When it’s all over, I suspect we won’t want to go back to the old ways.”

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns at Brake, said: “With traffic reduced from the coronavirus pandemic the number of crashes on our roads may fall but needless deaths and serious injuries are still happening, devastating families and burdening the NHS.

“We urge people to stay home and stay safe but if a car trip is essential, always make sure to belt up, put your phone out of reach and drive at a safe speed.”

James Evans, founder of FirstCar, said: “All the scientific evidence indicates that the more seriously we take social distancing, the sooner this unprecedented threat to our health will be under control and with fewer casualties.

“We must therefore free the roads of unnecessary traffic and make way for those key workers whose journeys are so vital at this critical time – let’s keep them safe and help the emergency services focus on protecting our communities.”

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