On Wednesday 1st June, Safer Roads will be supporting Wokingham Borough Council, along with the emergency services, in taking over the Market Place in Wokingham town centre at midday in a bid to prevent drivers using their mobile phone whilst driving.
The main event will involve Wokingham Fire Station’s fire fighters and Wexham Ambulance Station’s crews demonstrating the expertise needed to free a trapped driver from a car following a collision caused by using a phone whilst driving. There will be a raft of information on offer, as well as freebies such as key rings and hi-vis tabards for drivers to use if they break down and a first aid demonstration.
Using a mobile phone while you are driving means you are four times more likely to have a collision. Tests have also shown that reaction times for drivers using a hand-held phone were 30 per cent slower than for driving while drunk and were nearly 50 per cent worse than when driving under normal conditions.
Drivers will be informed of the risks of using a mobile phone, which include a fine of £60 and three penalty points if caught by the police, let alone the dangers posed to human life/personal safety.
The road safety event will also be supporting the global ‘UN Decade of Action for Road Safety’ campaign, which aims to save millions of lives by stressing the need to enforce stricter speed limits, mandatory helmet use for two-wheeled vehicles, stricter prevention of drinkdriving and enforcing seat-belt use.
Julie Pillai, Wokingham Borough Council’s road safety officer, said: “Why not come along with the family to experience this important and informative event? The information on hand should make everyone think twice about using their mobile whilst driving, the consequences of which could cause serious injury or worse to the occupants of the car as well as other road users.
“It is not only talking on your hand-held mobile phone which is illegal – drivers shouldn’t text or email, listen to messages or look at pictures – all of these actions affect a driver’s concentration.”
Richard Owen, Operations Director at Safer Roads added, “Driver inattention and distraction is a major cause of road traffic crashes, many of which are entirely avoidable. We are delighted to support WBC’s efforts to draw attention to this crucial issue; improving safety across the borough.”