Local MP Jim Fitzpatrick is backing a national campaign launched by the charity Brake at the start of Road Safety Week, 18 - 24 November, calling on drivers to tune into road safety, to prevent crashes caused by multi-tasking at the wheel.
The campaign appeals to drivers to turn off their phones, and urges everyone to refuse to speak on the phone to someone who’s driving. It is being launched almost exactly a decade after hand-held mobiles were banned at the wheel and is being supported by a week-long campaign of heightened police enforcement across the country and calls for a ban on hands-free devices.
Jim Fitzpatrick MP said: “After years of relentless pressure to improve safety on our roads, recent increases in cyclist and motorcyclist casualties are concerning.
“People need to use their common sense at the wheel. Staying focused is vital to ensuring you’re safe, enabling you to spot hazards in time and react. It’s a simple fact that if you’re using a mobile phone or any other gadget you’re more likely to crash, potentially causing very serious injury or even killing yourself or a loved one.
“These tragedies are entirely preventable, and happen far too often in East London and across the country. If we all get behind this campaign, we can make a huge difference in making our local streets safer.”
Government figures released this month showed that the number of motorcycling and cycling casualties on our roads has risen in comparison to the same period in 2012. Cyclist casualties rose 12%, while motorcyclist casualties were up 4%. Fourteen cyclists have died on London’s streets so far this year.