Follow U.N. Advice Urges GEM Motoring Assist
by Henry Floyd |
posted 12 May 2017
Last week was the fourth U.N. Global Road Safety Week. And the road safety and breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist is seizing the opportunity to encourage all drivers and riders to take responsibility for the speeds they use.
GEM Motoring Assist was established in 1932, as an independent driver-based road safety association. GEM's aim is to improve safety for all road users through the sponsorship and initiation of accident prevention measures throughout the UK. They also provide motoring and safety information to its members.
The U.N. theme to the week was Save Lives, Slow Down. They pointed out that slowing down is very easy and will make our roads much safer. Research shows that a 5% cut in average speed can result in a 30% reduction in the number of fatal road traffic accidents - small changes means big results.
Figures released by the World Health Organization (WHO) confirm that one in three deaths on the road in high income countries is due to speed, and it is estimated by WHO that between 40 and 50% of people drive above the speed limit.
Choose to Drive Safer
“The speeds we use as drivers and riders are entirely our own choice,” said Neil Worth, road safety officer at GEM Motoring Assist. “No one can force us to drive above the speed limit or at a speed that’s inappropriate for the conditions. So, we urge everyone to take a moment and think about speed and the consequences of going too fast.”
As the U.N. highlight, we all want to arrive safely at our destination. However, many agree that when it comes to personal decisions, drivers so often put their own needs ahead of what’s best for everyone. By slowing down even by a small percentage, roads will become safer for children, and the elderly, in fact, for everyone.
Worth particularly emphasised the need to drive slower near places frequented by children. “We want to see a reduction in vehicle speeds on roads where children are at significant risk. This can be achieved through a combination of community engagement, good engineering and education.” He mentioned that a real threat of enforcement to deter those drivers unwilling to heed the messages would need to be part of any ongoing strategy.