Safer road campaigners call for better driver licensing

There are calls for better driver licensing after new figures revealed nearly 53 people on average are killed or seriously injured on roads in the north west every week.

The findings have been published to mark the start of Road Safety Week.

A UK-wide survey of 2,000 adults, commissioned by the charity Brake, has also shown that nearly a third of adults were in a collision, or had a near miss, with a vehicle on a UK road in the past year, with a quarter (24%) of North West residents stating they were involved in such incidents.

Road safety campaigners believe that crashes and near misses have a big impact on people's perceptions of safety, making streets feel less welcoming and holding people back from choosing to walk and cycle, modes of transport which reduce the danger for others.

Brake says road danger is a serious issue in the North West.


People killed on north west roads in 2018


Increase in the number of people killed on north west roads from 2017 to 2018

Cheshire West and Chester has seen the biggest rise in the total number of people killed or seriously injured with an increase of 32%, rising from 112 in 2017 to 148 in 2018.

Brake is sharing inspiring stories of supporters in the region who are campaigning to reduce road danger and is also advising how everyone can step up in their daily lives, suggesting that people choose to leave the car at home, to help improve safety and air quality, or pledge to be a safe driver, always keeping within speed limits and never drinking or taking drugs and driving.

Schoolchildren, community groups and employees across the region will be taking part in the week by learning about, and celebrating, the safe systems solutions which can eliminate death and serious injury from the roads - from 20mph limits in urban areas, to technology which can prevent vehicles from speeding.


People seriously injured on north west roads in 2018


Proportion of all deaths and serious injuries which were pedestrians

"These findings paint an alarming picture of the danger on the North West's roads and yet it's what we're all exposed to, every day, when getting about. We shouldn't have to accept this level of risk as part of our daily lives and so we are calling on everyone to step up for Road Safety Week and shout out for the solutions that we know can make our roads safe."

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake

Sharron Huddleston's 18-year old daughter, Caitlin, was killed in a crash in 2017 when her friend, who had recently passed her driving test, lost control of their car.

Sharron, from Millom, Cumbria, is working with Brake to campaign for a change to the national driver licensing system.

She said: "The death of my daughter, Caitlin, broke my heart.

"Knowing that Caitlin's death could have been prevented is what pushes me on to campaign for better driver licensing and why I'm encouraging others to Step Up for Safe Streets for Road Safety Week.

"No mother should ever have to go through the pain of losing a child in a road crash but by working together we can try and make sure that tragedies like Caitlin's never happen again."

Watch Adam Mclean's report here: