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Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors back Road Safety Week

Canter Levin & Berg Solicitors are backing the Road Safety Week campaign to make roads safer for walking and cycling, as a survey reveals most kids in the North West would get out more if streets were safer.

A survey of 445 children in the North West [1] by Brake and partners Brain Injury Group and Specsavers reveals how children are affected by danger from fast traffic:

  • Eight in 10 (81%) say drivers need to slow down around their home and school
  • Six in 10 children (60%) say they would be able to walk and cycle more if roads in their neighbourhood were safer
  • Four in 10 (42%) say they have been hit or nearly hit while walking or cycling, and more than half (54%) worry about being hurt by traffic when out and about (more survey results below)

Government statistics also show that every day in the UK, seven children and 19 adults are mowed down and killed or seriously hurt when on foot or bike, causing appalling anguish and suffering.[1]

Canter, Levin & Berg is getting behind Road Safety Week 2012 (19-25 November), a road safety education project, coordinated by the charity Brake, as part of a national campaign to make roads safer for children, families and adults on foot and bicycle.

Canter, Levin & Berg is joining schools and community groups in promoting lifesaving awareness during Road Safety Week, by visiting Litherland High School in Bootle to deliver key road safety messages to students on the 21st November at 10:00am.

Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service will be joining Canter, Levin & Berg to perform a live crash rescue demonstration, showing students what it looks like to be cut out of a car following a road crash. Merseyside Police will be giving road safety presentations to highlight the potential for devastation caused by road crashes and what they can do to stay safe.

Road Safety Week 2012, sees the launch of a major campaign calling for safer streets and communities for children and adults on foot and bike. Brake is appealing to drivers to ‘GO 20’ in built up areas, to help protect pedestrians and cyclists, and to enable people of all ages to get out and about for their health, enjoyment and to get to work or school.

GO 20 is being launched through events and demonstrations around the UK, where Brake and local partners will highlight that slower speeds in towns, cities and villages can help deliver a post 2012 legacy of active communities, and prevent devastating casualties.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive at Brake, says: “We’re delighted that Canter, Levin & Berg is flying the flag for road safety by getting involved in Road Safety Week. Road Safety Week this year is about us working together as communities to make streets safer for kids and adults to get out and about.

“Everyone should be able to walk and cycle in their neighbourhood without fear or threat. It’s a basic right, and important to people being able to live active, happy lifestyles. The GO 20 campaign is about defending that. Anyone who drives can make a difference by slowing down to 20 or below in villages and towns: you’ll hardly notice the difference to your journey, but you’ll be helping to protect people on foot and bike, and making our communities safer, happier places for everyone.”

Ian Fitzpatrick, Head of Road Traffic Accident Department at Canter Levin & Berg says: “ We see first hand the daily the impact of road traffic accidents on individual families and communities. As a father I am passionate about supporting Brake as they provide vital education in our community.

Why GO 20:

  • Fewer casualties: at 20, drivers have much more time to react, to help them stop in time if they need to, like if a child runs out. Studies show that when 20 limits replace 30, it means fewer casualties among pedestrians and cyclists[1].
  • More walking and cycling: danger from traffic is a major barrier in enabling more people to walk and cycle. Town and city-wide 20 limits have resulted in more people walking and cycling[1].
  • Healthier, happier communities: More walking and cycling means healthier people, and more enjoyable outdoors activity for kids and adults. It helps communities interact and be communities.
  • Less pollution: GOing 20 means lower emissions from vehicle journeys[1]. Plus if more people can switch their commute or school run to foot or bike, it means less polluting traffic.
  • Lower costs: Poor health from inactivity costs society dearly[1]. Road casualties cost even more, due to the suffering and burden on health and emergency services[1]. Preventing casualties and improving health means GOing 20 makes economic sense too[1].

Notes for editors

GO 20 is a partnership campaign being launched by Brake at the start of Road Safety Week 2012 (19-25 November). Find out more at www.go20.org.

Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake’s support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.

Road Safety Week is the UK’s flagship event to promote safer road use, coordinated annually by the charity Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country. Road Safety Week 2012 takes place 19-25 November, with support from headline sponsors Brain Injury Group and Specsavers, plus regional sponsors Woop young driver insurance, Bubblebum UK Ltd, Fleet Support Group and Leigh Day & Co Solicitors.

Canter Levin & Berg is a large regional firm of Solicitors based in Liverpool, Merseyside. With 13 partners and over 130 staff; it offers a comprehensive range of legal services; from road traffic and other accident claims to criminal, family law services and employment law.

The Brain Injury Group is the UK’s first national network of dedicated brain and head injury lawyers and expert specialists that provides a complete package of support for brain injured people and their families.  If you have been affected by brain injury, you can find a local, specialist, skilled brain injury lawyer and other associated support services to help you at www.braininjurygroup.co.uk

Good eyesight is imperative to road safety, which is why Specsavers has made a longstanding commitment to promoting the importance of clear vision behind the wheel, working alongside the national road safety charity Brake. The Specsavers Drive Safe road show tours events and town centres across the country with its specially designed trailer. Visitors to the trailer are invited to receive free vision and hearing screening, with experts on hand to answer any questions.

Road crashes are not accidents; the use of the term ‘accident’ undermines work to reduce road risk and causes insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by drivers taking risks on roads.

1 These figures are from Reported road casualties Great Britain 2011, Department for Transport, 2011, and Police recorded injury road traffic collisions and casualties Northern Ireland annual report 2011, Police Service of Northern Ireland, 2012. Figures for children were requested from the Department for Transport and Police Service for Northern Ireland and are for children aged 0 – 17.

2 For example, 20mph speed reduction initiative, Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, 2001;  20mph Speed Limit Pilots Evaluation Report, Warrington Borough Council, 2010

3 Where widespread 20 limits have been introduced levels of walking and cycling increased by 20% Citywide Rollout of 20mph speed limits, Bristol City Council Cabinet, 2012

4 Environmental effects of 30 km/h in urban areas – with regard to exhaust emissions and noise, The Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, 1999

5 The annual costs of physical inactivity in England are estimated at £8.2 billion. At least five a week - evidence on the impact of physical activity and its relationship to health - a report from the Chief Medical Officer, Department of Health, 2004

6 Road casualties in Britain cost an estimated £34.8billion in 2011, due to the burden on health and emergency services, criminal justice costs, insurance payouts, and human costs. Reported road casualties Great Britain annual reports 2011, Department for Transport, 2012

7 In Bristol, 20mph resulted in a massive return on investment because of cost savings to the health service through increased physical activity. They used the World Health Organisation’s Health Economic Assessment Tool to estimate the changes in costs. They found for every £1 spent they saw a return of £24.72 through increased walking and £7.47 through increased in cycling. Citywide Rollout of 20mph speed limits, Bristol City Council Cabinet, 2012. Reducing speeds in urban environments reduces casualties. For each 1mph speed reduction, casualties decrease by 5%, The effects of drivers’ speed on the frequency of road accidents, Transport Research Laboratory, 2000, fewer crashes reduces the burden on the NHS, emergency services and local economy. Each death on roads costs £1.7 million and each serious injury costs £190,000, Reported road casualties Great Britain 2011, Department for Transport, 2012.