SERP reflects on busy and productive Project EDWARD

School children taking part in road safety activities in support of Project EDWARD
School children taking part in road safety activities during Project EDWARD

From public engagement days to School Speed Watch events, the Safer Essex Roads Partnership spent last week engaging with more than 1,400 road users of all ages in support of Project EDWARD.

Project EDWARD is the UK’s biggest platform for showcasing best practice in road safety. It’s an annual event which this year took place between 17-21 October.

EDWARD stands for Every Day Without A Road Death – a sentiment which matches with our Vision Zero aim to eliminate road death and serious injury by 2040.

Throughout the week, we carried out a host of events, many of which took place in schools and colleges across the county as we continue our program of road safety education, engagement and enforcement.

The SERP team spoke to 160 students at Epping College, promoting our My Small Change campaign which encourages pre/young drivers to make a road safety promise.

Students were particularly surprised by how distractions play a big part in collisions.

One said: “I always thought because I never touch my phone while driving and use it through my Bluetooth it wouldn’t distract me. But now I know even though it is legal to be handsfree it still takes my concentration off the road.”

After the students took part in an interactive presentation where the ‘Fatal 5’ causes of road collisions were covered – before being handed a young drivers guide to give them tips to stay safe as a passenger and driver.

Meanwhile, year 5 pupils at a number of schools took part in School Speed Watch events.

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).

Below are the results for the Project EDWARD week (all roads monitored were 30mph):

Elsenham School (17 Oct) – 40 pupils took part
A total of four speeding drivers were spoken to by the children, with the top speed recorded at 37mph

Engaines School (19 Oct) – 43 pupils took part
A total of ten speeding drivers were spoken to by the children, with the top speed recorded at 41mph (two drivers were caught at that speed)

Great Easton School (20 Oct) – 25 pupils took part
A total of 14 speeding drivers were pulled over. Ten were spoken to by children, three issued with a fixed penalty notice and one a caution.

Away from schools, there were also public engagement days in Frinton-on-Sea and Colchester, as well as engagement with gig economy riders in Chelmsford.

There was also a Youth Voice Conference at Anglia Ruskin University.

SERP officers in Colchester during Project EDWARD
SERP held a public engagement day in Colchester during Project EDWARD

26 October 2022

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