SERP engages with thousands during Road Safety Week

A my small change workshop

Students across the county were shocked to learn their ideas for sobering up – including sucking on an ice cube and eating a hot cross bun – were all myths.

As part of the Safer Essex Roads Partnership’s (SERP’s) extensive list of Road Safety Week activities, 650 students took part in young driver presentations, under the My Small Change campaign.

The campaign asks young and pre-drivers to pledge a small change that will inspire other young drivers or passengers and help save lives.

During the presentation, the students were shocked to discover their ideas for ‘sobering up’ were all myths. These included: sucking on an ice cube, smoking a cigarette, eating a hot cross bun, eating fast food and even making yourself sick.

Road Safety Week, organised by the charity Brake, took place from 14-20 November.

Other activities within schools included interactive sessions for reception-age children and their parents. In total, 445 pupils and 253 parents took part, with one particularly interested in her child not being able to see traffic, specifically using their peripheral vision.

Some 47 Year 3 pupils in Thurrock took part in Twilight Trails, educating them about the importance of wearing fluorescent and reflective clothing to ensure they are visible to road users – while 456 Year 5 pupils were reminded how they should behave when they are near the road, including how to cross the road in the safest way.

Another activity for Year 5 children was School Speedwatch, with 108 taking part.

This intervention gives pupils the opportunity to speak to speeding drivers who have been pulled over driving in excess of the speed limit near to their school.  

The drivers are given the option by the accompanying police officer of either receiving the fixed penalty notice or talking to the children (unless it is very excessive speed, where no option is given).

In total, 28 speeding drivers were detected – nine of whom were issued with FPNs.

Away from schools, a Vision Zero day took place in Southend. These events aim to promote SERP’s adopted target to achieve zero deaths and serious injuries by 2040 – through a combination of engagement and enforcement.

Among the offences to be detected were 12 people failing to wear seatbelt, five with no insurance and one for careless driving.

One person was arrested for drug driving.

A Community Speedwatch session also took place in Epping Forest.

15 December 2022

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