MOD police officers are aiming to drive up awareness about road safety by travelling more than 1,000 miles (1,600km) across the UK this week visiting defence communities.
As part of Defence Road Safety Week a Ministry of Defence Police (MDP) Road Show will take a mobile police station to different MOD establishments under the banner of its Home Front Community Safety Partnership.
The initiative supports National Road Safety Week, promoted by Brake, the road safety charity, and both events run from Monday 21 November to Sunday 27 November 2011.
MDP Community Safety Manager for the North East, Sergeant Gavin Alcroft, who is managing the initiative for the MDP, said:
This will be the sixth year we have carried out a national road show event. We provide information on road safety but we also have equipment on board that allows us to carry out interactive activities.
We show high impact road safety films and we encourage visitors to take a Highway Code quiz with the chance to win a goody bag!
The national theme of Road Safety Week 2011 is ‘Too Young to Die’ and it focuses on the fact that road crashes are sudden, violent events that can rip families apart by ending lives too soon and causing life-changing injuries.
Many of those affected are young and these casualties send shock waves through families and communities.
MDP Community Safety Manager for Scotland, Sergeant George Smart, said:
These casualties are preventable as they are often caused by factors such as driving too fast, overtaking dangerously, driving while using a mobile, driving whilst over the limit, drug driving, driving when tired or failing to use a seat belt.
The latest official figures show that there were 1,850 road casualties in the UK overall in 2010 - a reduction of 17 per cent on 2009. Within the MOD, road casualty trends and statistics are down too.
But, 37 military personnel were killed in on and off duty road traffic incidents. The statistics show that Armed Services personnel are twice as likely to be killed in a road traffic incident as their civilian counterparts.
Mike Moate, of the Defence Road Safety Team, said:
In the first six months of 2011, six out of the ten MOD fatalities recorded were of personnel riding motorcycles. These statistics cover any MOD employee killed as a result of a road traffic accident, irrespective of circumstance, and include passengers.
Everything that we can do to help lower this figure through extra training and workshops, using the support of local authorities and the police, is time well spent.
The MDP have Community Police Officers and Community Safety Officers stationed across the country who can be contacted for information on road safety activities and initiatives:
We need to remain focused on raising awareness of road safety and promoting safer driving across the Defence Estate,” said Sergeant Alcroft.
We are keen to target attitudes to driving and road use - on and off duty - for military personnel, particularly the younger element, as well as raising awareness in Service families of those important safety messages.
Although the national theme is important, we are also mindful of local issues and problems. Where these are identified, they are targeted by our local officers, so please approach them if you have concerns.
The road show is scheduled to carry out visits to the Defence Munitions centres at Beith and Longtown, MOD St Athan, the Atomic Weapons Establishment at Aldermaston and HM Naval Base Clyde - covering defence communities in Scotland, England and Wales.