Leaders back campaign to stay safe during Road Safety Awareness Month

Published Tuesday 1 November 2022 at 10:24

Today marks the start of Road Safety Awareness Month and leaders across the borough are reminding pedestrians and motorists to stay safe.

The campaign on road safety comes each year but leaders want to highlight Blackburn with Darwen’s strategy to prioritise safer travel on a consistent basis to prevent any fatality, injury or collisions on the roads.

The latest available crash and casualty data from the Department for Transport (DfT) is from 2020  – there were 269 crashes with 380 casualties in Blackburn with Darwen in 2020.

This resulted in two fatalities and 84 serious injuries and 19 of these serious injuries were in those aged 15 and under (It is important to note that due to the COVID-19 pandemic data from 2020 may not be representative of usual trends).

Councillor Damian Talbot, Executive member for Public Health, Prevention and Wellbeing, said:

Road Safety Month is a vital time to remind drivers and pedestrians to stay alert and make sure they have the safest journey possible. It is our priority to keep the borough’s roads safe and to ensure that residents receive the access to quality infrastructure to develop and maintain roads.  It’s a tragedy that in our borough two people have died and 84 have been seriously injured in recent years.

In a recent campaign young people across the borough designed a poster to highlight the issues of road safety.  The winner of the campaign is titled Be Aware, Stay Aware, created by Zainab Hanslod who is a member of the West End Girls activity group in Blackburn.

The poster will feature on bus stops, billboards and posters all over Blackburn and Darwen and contains colourful warning messages to drivers including sticking to the speed limit, not drinking and driving and staying off your phone when behind the wheel.

Councillor Talbot, added:

As we raise awareness of Road Safety Week during the middle of the month we want to educate young people on how they can keep safe on our roads and make sure they are confident navigating their routes. Our Safer Roads Strategy aims to reduce accidents and casualties on roads within the borough and we will continue to develop this which means safer and healthier environments for drivers and pedestrians.

Engagement around the Safer Roads agenda with different groups including: taxi drivers; driving instructors; car dealerships and car rental establishments; alternative transport providers; public consultation on contents of strategy and individual actions within strategy where appropriate; engagement with schools to develop school travel plans and improve safety around school drop-off and pick-up times, with a focus on sustainable travel.

Creating safer and healthier roads in Blackburn and Darwen ties into a number of agendas and priorities which means improving rates of walking and cycling is a key action within the road safety agenda – both via improving safety for these more vulnerable road users, and by encouraging active travel and thereby fewer cars on the road.

Councillor Zainab Rawat, Assistant Executive Member for Growth and Development and lead for the work on Climate Change, said:

In line with our Road Safety Strategy, our aim is to have a transport network that is safer for all.  We want people to feel safer whether they are walking, cycling or driving across the borough. The majority of us use roads every day and we want to encourage all road users to drive responsibly, safely and play their part in making our roads safer.

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