National Road Victims Month – What are we doing to help?

This week, we’re lighting up Civic Hall, City Museum and Town Hall to remember those who have lost their lives in road collisions in Leeds and to acknowledge the life-changing injuries suffered by many others.

Improving road safety is a key priority for Leeds City Council. For National Road Victims Month this August, we’re highlighting some of the support services available to people affected by road collisions and the work we’re doing to make our roads safer.

What support is available?

1. RoadPeace

RoadPeace supports road victims through its helpline, befriending service and trauma support programmes. The charity plans memorial events during August to remember those who have lost their lives on the roads.

Call 0845 4500 355 or email helpline@roadpeace.org

2. SCARD (Support and Care After Road Death and injury)

SCARD is a local charity that offers practical and emotional support to the families and friends of those lost in road related incidents. This includes legal advice, one-to one counselling and memorials for loved ones.

Call 0345 123 5542 or email info@scard.org.uk

3. Brake

Brake is a road safety charity working to prevent road deaths and injuries. Brake runs the National Road Victim Service, a free and confidential service for anyone who been bereaved or seriously injured in a road crash. Brake offers helpful guides on coping with grief and navigating the criminal justice system.

Call 0808 8000 401 or email help@brake.org.uk

What are we doing to help?

We work closely with partners to identify and respond to the main causes of road injuries.

Current areas of focus include:

1. Operation SPARC

Operation SPARC (Supporting Partnership Action to Reduce Road Casualties) is a pilot project developed by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police to address dangerous driving linked to fatal and high severity collisions. The project targets drivers who are speeding, using mobile phones, suspected to be under the influence of drugs or drink, not wearing seatbelts or who are otherwise driving dangerously.

Operation SPARC launched on 28 July 2020. A year later, roads policing officers had dealt with a total of 2,313 drivers, issuing 597 tickets for not wearing seatbelts and 457 for speeding.

2. Operation SNAP

You can now upload video footage of driving offences for the police to review. In the year since it launched in July 2020, Operation SNAP has received a total of 3,253 submissions. The footage was good enough and the evidence strong enough for the police to be able to take further action in 63% of cases. Of those, 43% resulted in the driver being sent on an educational course, 12% in the driver getting a conditional offer (3 points and a fine); 5% ended up in Court. All submitters receive e-mail feedback as to the outcome of their submissions. Any witness required to give evidence personally in court proceedings receives additional support and guidance.

3. Vision Zero

The Leeds Safer Roads Partnership is made up of partners from Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Highways England. We are working together to develop Vision Zero, a strategy to eliminate death and serious injury on Leeds roads by 2040.

4. School Streets

The School Streets scheme restricts traffic outside primary schools at opening and closing times. Drivers can’t access these roads and parents can’t drive into these streets to drop off or pick up children. This encourages families to walk or cycle to school, or to leave their car at a safer location and finish the journey on foot. We hope that this scheme will significantly reduce congestion around the school gates, prevent road accidents and protect children. There are currently 14 trial School Streets in Leeds. Find out more here.

5. Education

We run free workshops and training to help people in Leeds stay safe on the roads. This includes pedestrian, scooter and Bikeability training in schools, scouting groups, community groups and businesses. Find out more here.

6. Speed Indicator Devices

Community groups can apply for one of our speed indicator devices (SIDs) to help raise awareness about speeding in local communities. Schools can use these for projects around road safety, air quality and sustainable travel. Apply for a free SID here: road.safety@leeds.gov.uk

7. Leeds Transport Strategy

Leeds Transport Strategy is a city-wide infrastructure project, working towards making Leeds a city where you don’t need a car. This includes upgrading the public transport network and implementing segregated cycle lanes. This includes promoting safer alternatives to cars through adult cycle training, e-cargo bike trials and our #WalkItRideIt campaign.

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