"London has a strong history of making its roads safer for all, with last year seeing the total number of road casualties in London fall to its lowest ever level. However, complacency is not an option when it comes to saving lives. We hope that through these special assemblies and road safety pledges, we will encourage school children to travel more safely"
  • Brake Road Safety Week starts today (17-23 November)
  • TfL committed to improving safety for all road users across London

Schools across London are handing over the reins to pupils to lead a special assembly for Transport for London (TfL) to mark Brake's Road Safety Week which begins today.

To tie in with this year's theme 'Look out for each other', TfL's Youth Travel Ambassadors will talk with their school friends about the risks they face on the road and what they can do to stay safe. Across London, there are more than 1,000 Youth Travel Ambassadors in 125 schools, who engage with other young people to address travel and transport behaviour, helping to encourage safer, active and more responsible travel.

During Road Safety Week, pupils will be encouraged to write a road safety pledge and post a "selfie" holding the sign on social media to help spread the message. The pledges can be anything from 'look out at junctions' to 'take headphones out when crossing the road'.

One of TfL's top priorities is to reduce by 40 per cent the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads by 2020. Earlier this year, the Mayor and TfL published six commitments that are guiding initiatives to deliver this, and action is being taken to prioritise the safety of the most vulnerable road users: pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

This summer, TfL launched a powerful television campaign aimed at generating understanding and respect between all road users, asking them to reconsider their attitudes and 'share the road'. In the advert, the narrator walks through London's streets and asks why all road users; pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and drivers, momentarily get so angry with one another on the capital's streets.

The vivid black and white advert holds a mirror up to road users' behaviour, mixing different scenes of conflict; from the frustration of a cyclist and motorcyclist to the simmering rage between a car driver and a group of young people. By highlighting the conflicts that can occur between people, the advert looks to make people think of their actions and therefore look out for others when travelling around London.

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport at TfL said:

'London has a strong history of making its roads safer for all, with last year seeing the total number of road casualties in London fall to its lowest ever level. However, complacency is not an option when it comes to saving lives. We hope that through these special assemblies and road safety pledges, we will encourage school children to travel more safely.'

Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive, Brake, said:

'When drivers use roads without care for others the consequences can be tragic and horrific - people killed and badly injured, lives ruined forever, because of a moment of impatience or selfishness. At Brake we witness the suffering that results, daily, through our work supporting people affected by road death and injury. And there are wider consequences if we don't look out for each other on roads - people afraid to walk and cycle or let their kids walk and cycle, and unable to get out and enjoy their community and live active lifestyles. That's why, instead of making our streets stressful, risky places, we're asking all road users to look out for and protect each other, particularly the most vulnerable - that means drivers sticking to 20mph or below in towns and villages, looking carefully at junctions, and being considerate. Ultimately, we're all just human beings trying to get around, with equal right to use the roads, not competing tribes.'

TfL is investing £4bn in London's road network during the next ten years, which includes substantial funding to London boroughs for road safety schemes. The Youth Travel Ambassadors programme forms part of TfL's continuing work to improve road safety for all road users.

The road casualty figures for London, published in June 2014, showed that the number of people killed and seriously injured on London's roads fell 23 per cent during 2013 to its lowest level since records began. The total number of road casualties in London also fell by around five per cent to its lowest ever level.

This positive progress means that London is now on track to meet the Mayor's road safety target to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on London's roads by 40% by 2020 (from a 2005-09 baseline).

Further information about TFL's road safety work can be found at www.tfl.gov.uk/roadsafety

Notes to Editors:

  • Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs. Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.
  • Road Safety Week is the UK's flagship event to promote safer road use, coordinated annually by the charity Brake and involving thousands of schools, communities and organisations across the country. Road Safety Week 2014 takes place 17-23 November, with support from the Department for Transport and headline sponsors RSA and Specsavers.
  • In June 2013, the Mayor and Transport for London published Safe Streets for London: an ambitious and comprehensive plan to reduce further the number of people killed or seriously injured in London by 40 per cent by 2020: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/safe-streets-for-london.pdf
  • TfL has recently begun public consultation on improvements to Archway and Old Street roundabout, with a look to deliver all these as quickly as possible. Work on new segregated cycle lanes as part of Cycle Superhighway 5 at Vauxhall, a radical redesign of the northern roundabout at Elephant & Castle as well as improved junctions at Oval, will begin early next year as part of TfL's £4 billion Road Modernisation Plan. All these schemes will be built to the new stringent design standards, ensuring that the right approach is taken when making improvements at locations
  • In February 2014 the Mayor and TfL published six safety commitments, which supports the plan and brings focus to the range of actions needed by us and our partners to make our streets safer: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/cdn/static/cms/documents/safe-london-streets-our-six-road-safety-commitments.pdf
  • The six key commitments are:
  1. To lead the way in achieving a 40 per cent reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the capital's roads by 2020 - with a longer term ambition of freeing London's roads from death and serious injury;
  2. To prioritise safety of the most vulnerable groups - pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists - which make up 80 per cent of serious and fatal collisions;
  3. To provide substantial funding for road safety, invested in the most effective and innovative schemes;
  4. To increase efforts with the police and enforcement agencies in tackling illegal, dangerous and careless road user behaviour that puts people at risk ;
  5. To campaign for changes in national and EU law to make roads, vehicles and drivers safer;
  6. To work in partnership with boroughs and London's road safety stakeholders to spread best practice and share data and information.
  • Earlier this year, the Mayor confirmed that regular road safety police operations, based on the original "Operation Safeway" which ran at the end of last year, will continue to operate across London for two days every month, on unannounced days. The multi-agency Industrial HGV Task Force also continues to operate across London, targeting non-compliant heavy goods (particularly construction-related) vehicles, drivers and operators using the capital's roads.