In an effort to drive down the number of road deaths in the County, Essex County Fire and Rescue Service (ECFRS) has launched a poignant road safety video with a unique twist – using the voices of children to warn drivers not to speed.
Last year in Essex, 48 people died as a result of a serious road traffic collision, with 53 serious injuries being caused by speeding.
The fire service don’t just put out fires. Rescuing people from road traffic collisions is a big part of their role. ECFRS is part of the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) to help make Essex a safe place to live, work and travel.
The video was designed to show the concerns children have about road safety, especially around their schools. The video featured children from Iceni Academy in Colchester who were taking part in SERP’s School Speed Watch scheme.
The School Speed Watch sessions involve children from six priority towns in Essex learning about the dangers of speeding drivers, by allowing them, with a Road Safety and Police Officer, to educate offenders about the dangers and consequences of speeding near to their school.
The initiative is a powerful and emotive way to engage with speeding road users. Being asked ‘how would you feel if you ran me over’ by a 10-year-old is a conversation that will stay with them and hopefully deter them from speeding in the future.
Temporary Head of Live Safe, Andrea MacAlister said:
"By listening to the voices of our children, we hope to inspire change and create a safer environment on our roads.
“Our message is simple – you can help us achieve zero road deaths in Essex by reducing your speed.
“We hope this will serve as a stark reminder of the tragic impact that speeding can have on families and communities.”
Nicola Foster, Chairman of Safer Essex Roads Partnership, said:
“The Partnership believes that reducing risk for all our children by asking drivers to comply with the speed limits outside schools is something that every Essex resident would support.
"This work is so effective because it allows those who could be harmed to talk to those who might cause the harm and for both to recognise the importance of driving at or below the speed limit.”
Visit www.saferessexroads.org/visionzero to read the Vision Zero strategy and how you can help to make Essex roads safer.