‘Stay at home’ urges road safety charity amid coronavirus pandemic

An ambulance on an empty road. Picture: Supplied by IAM RoadSmart

An ambulance on an empty road. Picture: Supplied by IAM RoadSmart

Supplied by IAM RoadSmart

A road safety charity based in Hertfordshire has urged drivers to stay at home to save lives and protect the NHS.

With the weather expected to be fine across many parts of the country this weekend, IAM RoadSmart has called upon people to resist the temptation to take to the roads for anything other than essential journeys for food, health reasons or work that cannot be done from home.

The call, from the UK’s largest independent road safety charity, comes after Professor Yvonne Doyle, medical director for Public Health England, expressed concern about an increase in traffic on the roads at yesterday’s (April 1) Government press briefing on the COVID-19 situation.

IAM RoadSmart, based in Hyde Way, Welwyn Garden City, is also supporting the Road Safety GB Take Extra Care campaign which encourages all road users to help reduce the strain on the emergency services during the coronavirus pandemic by being particularly careful when making essential journeys.

Neil Greig, the charity’s director of policy and research, said: “We urge drivers and riders to stay off the roads unless their journey is essential and continue to follow Government advice to help beat coronavirus (COVID-19).

“In support of the Road Safety GB Take Extra Care campaign, we also encourage drivers and riders to continue to do all they can to avoid collisions and casualties when making essential journeys.

“We should all reduce speeds, wear a seatbelt, drive sober and alert, and avoid distraction from mobile phones to help reduce the strain on the emergency services from road casualties.

“Traffic police are still active and are targeting the anti-social minority who seem to think that quiet roads are an excuse to put their foot down.”

A total of 31,690 people were killed or seriously injured on Great Britain’s roads in 2018 – an average of 87 people each day.

In the vast majority of these cases, the police and other emergency services would have attended, using up vital resources that are now needed elsewhere in the current crisis.

Mr Greig added: “Our incredible NHS staff and emergency services are concentrating all their efforts on tackling coronavirus.

“It’s crucial that we all maintain our driving and riding standards when making essential journeys.

“It’s just one way we can show our support for our fantastic frontline workers and do our bit.”

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