We are living in curious times. We are a society overly obsessed with safety. And yet, danger from motor traffic – particularly to vulnerable road users – is characterised by official tolerance.
This week has been Road Safety Week, an initiative that this year focussed on encouraging drivers to stop speeding. We wholeheartedly support better enforcement of speed limits – after all, a recent survey found that 40% per cent of motorists admitted driving at 30mph in 20mph zones. However, the term ‘road safety’ is divisive when the real goal is road danger reduction.
It’s easy to confuse one for the other, so for an explanation of the difference, we will defer to the Road Danger Reduction Forum (RDRF) – a group we support.
Those who formed the RDRF were professionals working in local government as Road Safety Officers, highway and traffic engineers, officers working to promote sustainable transport, with support from councillors in a number of local authorities. The thrust behind setting out the Road Danger Reduction (RDR) agenda was – and continues to be – dissatisfaction with various elements of the official ‘road safety’ establishment, arguing that this is often very much part of the problem of danger on the road.
For example, the definition of a ‘safe road’ is based on the number of casualties and yet often there may be a decline in, for example, child pedestrian casualties not because the road environment for children has become safer, but simply because of a decline in children’s walking. Any apparent progress, as officially defined, may be precisely because of an increase in danger from motor traffic: one of the main reasons for parents prohibiting children from being independently mobile. Other ways in which conventional ‘road safety’ falls short are explained in detail at rdrf.org.uk
For our part we continue to be the only insurance company that publicly and actively promote the road danger reduction. Occasionally, this challenging the status quo earns us a mouthful on twitter…but we have no intention of stopping.
We are an insurance company like no other
Not only are we Britain’s most ethical insurance company, we campaign for sustainable transport. Sometimes that means protesting until a school gets the zebra crossing they’ve been refused, or running 60 roadshows this year to encourage people out of their cars, or fixing bicycles for free. Supporting this work is easy – you simply have to take out cycle insurance with us, cover that just happens to be excellent.
Unlike other insurers we never devalue your bike. And if you ride a carbon bike, rest assured we will never have a cracked frame repaired – we will always replace your bike with a new one. How many other insurers can say that? Find out more
..and it’s not just cycle insurance that we offer. We provide home insurance, cycle insurance, travel insurance and breakdown cover – all while putting concern for the environment at the heart of all we do.