Road Safety Strategy launched at partnership showcase event

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Virtual reality goggles showing a simulation of a road collision. Picture: West Midlands Fire Service Photographic

The new Road Safety Strategy for Birmingham has been launched at an event showcasing the resources available to the agencies and groups working together to tackle road safety across the city.

The event, which took place at West Midlands Fire Service’s headquarters, saw members of the Birmingham Road Safety Partnership come together to talk about what they are aiming to achieve and to unveil some of the tools they will be using to do so. Those attending included community safety groups, school representatives and officers from local police and fire stations.

The Birmingham Road Safety Partnership consists of Birmingham City Council, West Midlands Police, West Midlands Fire Service and multiple community groups and third sector organisations, with the aim of working together to tackle the issue of road safety in the city.

The Road Safety Strategy for Birmingham includes an action plan, co-ordinated and delivered by the Road Safety Partnership and based around three themes:

  • Safer Roads – detailing the partnership’s approach towards maintaining, operating and improving the city’s roads.
  • Safer People – setting out plans for promoting road safety and sustainable travel through education, training, enforcement and promotional activities.
  • Safer Vehicles – setting out to ensure that vehicles using Birmingham’s roads are safe and roadworthy.

Resources showcased at the event included a Central Motorway Police Group simulator demonstrating the dangers of drunk, tired or distracted drivers, as well as virtual reality goggles from West Midlands Fire Service, putting the wearer in the passenger seat of a car involved in a serious road collision.

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Picture: West Midlands Fire Service Photographic

There were also demonstrations of the ‘Give Space, Be Safe’ initiative – a city council and police collaboration designed to educate drivers on the safe distance to leave when passing cyclists – while members of the council’s road safety team were also on hand to promote the recently implemented 20mph limits.

Councillor Stewart Stacey, Cabinet Member for Transport and Roads at Birmingham City Council, said: “This event was an excellent opportunity to showcase all the good work currently under way to tackle the issue of road safety in Birmingham.

“Road safety is something we take very seriously, but we also recognise that it cannot be addressed by the council alone, which is why we are working in partnership with the police, fire service and other organisations to deliver this important strategy.

“By working in partnership and carefully analysing road safety data we can move towards our vision of safer roads for all. But I also want to take this opportunity to remind the public that we all have a part to play in this, whether we are drivers, pedestrians, cyclists or other road users.”

Highgate Station Commander Wesley Williams, of West Midlands Fire Service, said: “The West Midlands region contains some of the busiest road networks in Europe.

“We invest a significant amount of resources in delivering a range of prevention activities both out in the community and at our purpose-built Safeside educational centres.

“Despite this there still remains work to be done especially around reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads in the West Midlands.”

Chief Inspector Jed White, from the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), said: “Road safety is a priority for us every single day.

“We are pleased to be working in partnership with the council, the fire service and other local agencies to tackle and highlight some of the main issues that lead to deaths and injuries on the roads of the West Midlands.”

Meanwhile, in the run-up to Road Safety Week (November 21-27), children at Moor Green Primary Academy, in Moseley, took part in another Kids’ Court event, in which drivers caught breaking the 20mph limit outside the school were given a choice between three points and a fine or facing a panel of Year 5 pupils to account for their actions.

-ENDS-

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