South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership
25 Jan 2021
It hasn’t quite been the start to 2021 that we had hoped for. The news headlines are filled with numbers; the number of people testing positive for the virus, the number of people in hospital, the number of people who have sadly died.
There is some light at the end of the tunnel in the form of a vaccine and the number of people receiving their first jab is a welcome statistic from the Government. There is much chatter amongst family and friends about when we will get our jabs and where we are in the queue.
So along with all the sacrifices and challenges that lockdown 3 presents us with, from home schooling, shielding, not seeing friends and family, job worries, leisure opportunities curtailed and travel restricted, you’d be forgiven for thinking that we don’t need to worry about road safety as well. But you’d be wrong.
If key workers can’t get their children to school safely then they are not available to offer their valuable skills and vital services to the rest of us.
If deliveries can’t get through to supermarkets because the road is blocked due to a collision, shoppers see empty shelves and families have to go without important supplies.
Critical supplies of vaccines are being transported around the country on the road network; from the factory to the centres where patients eagerly await the jab in the arm that could save them from COVID in the future.
The NHS is working flat out to ensure that not one drop of the vaccine goes to waste. So, having a delivery delayed because the road is closed due to an avoidable incident is something that we want to prevent. We need the roads open and traffic flowing freely to enable the vaccines to get to their destination as quickly and efficiently as possible.
That’s where we can all play our part by sticking to the rules and taking extra care if we are out on the roads. Only travel for essential trips. As well as cutting down on the number of people we come into contact with, the fewer journeys we make also reduces our risk of being involved in a road traffic collision. Dealing with the aftermath of a serious collision will take up valuable time and resources of the emergency services. And whilst these services will still be available should the worst happen on the roads, those resources could be better used fighting COVID, at a time when care workers and health systems are stretched to breaking point.
If you do have to travel for work or education, to look after others or to shop for essential items, make sure that you follow the rules of the road. Drivers keep to the speed limit and look out for other road users. Slow down where there are pedestrian or cyclists about, to give yourself more time to react and take action if something unexpected happens. Don’t drink or take drugs and drive, as this can seriously impair your driving. Don’t get distracted whilst out on the road. Whatever is happening on your phone, it can’t be as important as what is going on around you, your focus needs to be on the road. Protect yourself in case the worst does happen; car users wear a seat belt, motorcycle riders wear the right protective personal equipment and cyclists consider wearing a helmet.
Avoiding collisions, or minimising their impact if they do happen, could not only prevent the heartache of losing a loved one in a crash but, by keeping the road network free flowing, it helps to make sure that vital deliveries of vaccines can be made, which could prevent the heartache of losing a loved one to COVID.
It just goes to show that road safety is important for us all, all of the time, for so many different reasons.
Stay safe until next time,