Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death) is an awareness campaign that aims to bring casualty reduction and road safety to the forefront of people’s minds for a day in September.
TISPOL, the European Traffic Police network, have initiated this day after figures for fatalities on the continent’s roads reached over 25,000 last year.
In Surrey and Sussex, 84 people died in collisions in 2016. To combat this, Sussex Safer Roads Partnership (SSRP) and Surrey’s DriveSMART are combining forces for a high-visibility day of action on the 21st of September throughout the counties. Working closely with partners in the Fire Services and local authorities, we are aiming to encourage all road users to think about their performance on the highways, and how this can be improved for their own and others’ safety. The ultimate goal is to have no one dying needlessly.
Chief Inspector Warren Franklin of the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit elucidates: “Whilst we aim to have zero road deaths for the whole year round, if we can achieve this one day fatality-free, this can begin to change the current public perception that casualties when driving are just something we have to accept. Driving is such a normalised way of life, and we frequently don’t consider how to improve our skills here, or think about our journeys in the way they should be treated, which is potentially life-threatening.
“In total in 2015, there were 1732 road deaths in the UK. Although these figures sound high – and they are – we are still one of the leading countries for road safety in Europe. We need to build upon this expertise and this position to get the number of road deaths down, improve the knowledge and awareness of road safety in both our country and county, and encourage others to do the same. Even if you do not drive, we are all road users of one type or another, and unfortunately, we probably all know someone who has been in a collision.”
On the 21st of September, there will be road safety messaging on social media, in schools and universities by road safety officers, being delivered to members of the public by casualty reduction officers, and enforcement carried out by dedicated patrols throughout the road network of the counties.
To support this day and the work carried out by Sussex and Surrey Police, East Sussex and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services, and local authorities, members of the public can sign up to the pledge, committing to become a better driver and encouraging friends and family to do the same. Sign up here.