Employers urged to ‘look out for kids’ and join Road Safety Week to help save lives

Employers, especially those with staff who drive for work, are being urged to sign up now to take part in this year's national Road Safety Week, for a free action pack to help them promote life-saving messages to staff and the wider community. Brake, the road safety charity, which coordinates the event with the support of sponsor QBE Insurance, is calling on companies to plan safety initiatives now, in advance of the big week, 4 to 10 May.

The theme that Brake will be promoting during the Week is Look out for kids. Brake will be appealing to everyone to look out for some of our most vulnerable road users, children, and help to keep them safe on roads. We're particularly calling on drivers to protect children by slowing down around schools and in communities and keeping their full attention on the task of driving.

Children make mistakes, they don't understand risks as well as adults, but they don't deserve to lose their life or be seriously injured because of it.

Employers can run activities during the Week that focus on any road safety issues, but Brake is particularly aiming to raise awareness about the vital importance of slowing down outside schools and homes.

Organisations can go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.nz for ideas of activities to run and ways to promote the week to staff, and register to receive an e-action pack with free downloadable resources and advice.

Road Safety Week can be used by employers to run road safety workshops or campaigns to promote a safe driving culture among employees, or to launch new initiatives aimed at reducing crashes or promoting sustainable travel. It's also a chance to engage customers and local communities in road safety, such as by working with local schools and colleges, or displaying road safety banners. View more ideas for getting involved.

Companies can also engage employee support for the cause by running an office fundraiser, such as a car wash or a Bright Day, when everyone comes to work dressed brightly to draw attention to the vulnerability of pedestrians and cyclists, helping raise funds in aid of Brake's support services for road crash victims. Go to www.brake.org.nz/fundraise for more.

Anyone can help in advance of Road Safety Week by completing our quick family road safety survey to help inform our work.

Caroline Perry, Brake's NZ Director said: Employers should seize the opportunity of Road Safety Week to make a difference to the safety of their staff and the wider community. At-work drivers are so often involved in fatal and injury crashes, which cause terrible and preventable suffering, and they cost businesses dearly. However, we know from our experience of working with employers that developing robust policies alongside a safe driving culture can make a massive difference to the safety of at-work drivers, and organisations' bottom line. Road Safety Week is the ideal time for organisations to get serious about at-work driver safety, or step up existing work.

"This year we're particularly calling on employers to promote the look out for kids' message to protect children - and we're pleased to be offering free resources to help employers get this vital message out."

Val Graham, marketing & communications manager at QBE said: "At QBE, we firmly believe that we have a responsibility to be a good corporate citizen in the communities in which we operate. This is one of the reasons that QBE Insurance in New Zealand is now in its fourth year of support for Brake and Road Safety Week. QBE sees the week as a great way to stimulate commitment - both personal and corporate - to road safety, and we are very pleased to continue with this community initiative."

Road Safety Week is also supported by a number of other agencies and organisations, including NZ Transport Agency, ACC and NZ Police.

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