Wednesday 21st September 2016 was the “European Day Without A Road Death”, also known as Project EDWARD. Students from Huxlow Science College were keen to get involved in this Europe-wide initiative and make an impact in the local community. We invited PCSO Alex Franklin from Northamptonshire Police to help students in tackling road safety problems on our doorstep.
A group of six Huxlow students helped PCSO Alex Franklin with traffic speed monitoring outside the school gates during the peak time, between 8.30 and 9.00am. “It’s good to feel safe in our environment” said Dhylyn. “A lot of people go too fast on this road and sometimes it makes us feel unsafe when we’re coming into school” added Louis.
“I wanted to get involved this morning because Project EDWARD sounded interesting” said Charlie. “It’s nice to know we can do something for our community and help to stop speeding” added Georgina.
Project EDWARD is organised by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, to “encourage all road users to reflect on their behaviour and attitude”. Their target is a reduction of 50% in deaths and serious injuries on Europe’s roads by 2020, but “driver behaviour remains the most important barrier to progress”.
TISPOL say “we want everyone to feel part of this and to know that small actions lead to big improvements.
“Drivers are unwittingly or sometimes knowingly putting other road users in danger in so many ways, perhaps by speeding, drink-driving, not wearing a seat belt, using the phone while driving, using vehicles they have not kept roadworthy, parking their cars on bicycle lanes, blocking pedestrian crossings, not turning on their lights or engaging in risky manoeuvres.
"But it’s not just drivers who are at fault. Many cyclists and pedestrians increase their risk levels by choosing to ignore the rules or look for risky short cuts. In the days leading up to the Project EDWARD day, we want all road users to think – even for a few short minutes – about the risks they face, the risks they may pose to others and how they can go about reducing those risks.”
We hope that many members of our local community will follow the example of Huxlow students and staff in making the pledge below on the Project EDWARD website:
My road safety pledge
I promise that I will:
- Remind my family, friends and colleagues to take extra care on the roads.
- Put my lights on for safety.
- Drive as safely as I can and follow the rules when behind the wheel or riding a motorbike or bicycle.
- Be extra vigilant and attentive to the needs of pedestrians, cyclists, children, older people and horse riders.
- Drive at speeds that are both legal and safe.
- Carry out proper safety checks on my tyres.
- Pay particular attention when driving near schools, and where there are lots of children.
- Never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs/medicines that could impair safety.
- Look as far ahead as possible and not tailgate other drivers
- Always wear my seat belt and ensure that everyone with me wears theirs.
- Not use my mobile phone while driving.
- Ensuring I am not distracted by anything inside or outside the car, or inside my head.
- Set a good example to my passengers by driving calmly and safely.
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