Road safety action day

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WEST and East Sussex Fire & Rescue Services will be hosting a high profile road safety day at the M23 Pease Pottage Services on Wednesday May 11th.

This special event has been planned to support the official launch of the United Nations Decade of Road Safety Action, which is being marked simultaneously by countries worldwide.

To show their support on launch day, fire services from around the UK will be staging their own road safety events at motorway service areas right across the country.

In 2010 in Sussex, 1,726 road traffic collisions were recorded for occupational road users, of which 252 people were either killed or seriously injured.

This figure alone represents 30 per cent of the overall number of incidents recorded on the counties roads last year where people suffered serious or life threatening injuries.

Firefighters from both West and East Sussex, alongside colleagues from the county council Road Safety Team and Sussex Police, will be raising awareness of a range of road safety issues.

They will also be promoting COSTS - the Company Operator Safer Transport Scheme - � which has been specifically developed to address the dangers faced by business drivers, including the effects of fatigue, exceeding designated business vehicle speed limits and the dangers of distraction through mobile phone use.

A crashed car display will give drivers a stark reminder of the devastating consequences of collisions and safety demonstrations will be given using the seatbelt sled.

There will also be fire and rescue equipment displays, short road safety films, voluntary eyesight testing, as well as road safety professionals on hand to chat informally to drivers.

West Sussex Deputy District Commander for Crawley and Mid Sussex, Richard Davy, who organised the Pease Pottage event, said: “Unfortunately, firefighters often see first hand the devastating aftermath of road traffic collisions and this event is part of our continuing campaign to drive down the numbers of people losing their lives, often needlessly, on the counties roads.

“It is also an opportunity to join Fire and Rescue Services around the UK in supporting an important global road safety campaign.

“The emphasis of the day is on education, not enforcement so if, as a result of speaking to us or seeing the demonstration, people stop one bad driving habit or start one good one, then lives could well be saved.”

The road safety day will be held from 9am until 2pm. Public access to the motorway services will not be affected.