This week sees a series of events to mark Project EDWARD – the UK’s biggest campaign for showcasing best practice in road safety.
Project EDWARD – it stands for Every Day Without a Road Death – is taking as its theme this year Safer Mobility, Everyone's Responsibility, which mirrors the new hierarchy of risk introduced into the latest Highway Code.
The hierarchy highlights how pedestrians and two wheel riders – whether powered or cyclists – are at the biggest risk on our roads, and how it’s the responsibility of everyone to keep the most vulnerable road users safe.
Every year Project EDWARD focuses a large part of its campaign on powered two wheelers riders as – tragically – they are over-represented in road deaths and injury statistics.
Motorcycles make-up just 1% of total motor vehicle traffic, yet accounted for 20% of all road deaths in 2020. 285 bikers died, with a further 4,429 seriously injured. During Project EDWARD’s road safety week organisers will be encouraging riders to think about improving their skills and ensuring their bikes are in the best possible condition before heading out for rides.
Jeremy Phillips, Head of Road Safety at National Highways, which runs major roads in Great Britain, said: “Safety is our top priority. The figures speak for themselves. When we travel on the roads, we must all respect the rules, be alert at all times and expect the unexpected. As the better weather arrives, the number of motorcycles on our roads increases significantly. It’s important that we look out for each other and anticipate the actions other road users will make. That final check in the mirror and indicating your change in direction before taking action will help to reduce the number of incidents each year.”
Philip Seccombe, Police and Crime Commissioner for Warwickshire and Chair of the Warwickshire Road Safety Partnership, said:
“It’s hugely important that everyone uses our roads safely, and these Project EDWARD events will help get that message directly to bikers in a more informal way, while still underlining the seriousness of that message.”
Darren Lindsey from Project EDWARD said:
“It’s inspiring for us to be working with such committed and motivated people across the country, whose wish is simply to ensure that every rider – every road user – who sets off in the morning will make it home safe at the end of the day.
“We thoroughly look forward to hearing from riders at all the events about their experiences and suggestions for great rides that don’t lead anyone to harm.”
With nearly 300 bikers dying every year and thousands more injured, it’s clearly time to change our attitudes towards the road and becoming more safe and responsible bikers. Let’s enjoy our bikes without the heartbreak and tragedy that collisions all too often bring.
Details about Project EDWARD can be found at www.projectedward.org.
The need to keep bikers in London safe was emphasised by a report from Transport for London in April which revealed that PTW riders are nearly twice as likely to be killed in a road crash as any other road user.
0.54 PTW riders are killed or seriously injured per 1,000 people – and the overwhelming majority of them are men aged 16-30.
The next most vulnerable group are male pedestrians aged 70+, but their risk is 0.34 per 1,000.
The report also revealed a striking increase in the risk to PTW riders living in London’s most deprived areas, too. Casualty rates among male motorcycle riders aged 16-30 who lived in the most deprived 30 per cent of London boroughs were double those of riders from the least deprived neighbourhoods.