We have made the editorial decision to not refer to deaths or injuries on the road network as ‘accidents’, whether they involve users or workers. (This has already prompted some lively debate by email, and I do not shy away from this so please get in contact.)
We believe, as the road safety charity Brake does that calling them accidents conveys the idea that such tragic events are somehow just the price of having roads and doing business on them. That is not true and it’s not right that anyone, from the person on the street to the prime minister, should ever take that attitude.
Of course, road safety is about those working on the roads as well as travelling on them. They say you can’t choose your family, but in a manner of speaking, a profession is a family you choose. You see your colleagues every day, you laugh with them and I am sure, shed a tear if one day they can’t come back to work. They help guide you, teach you and develop your career. You care about the future of the profession; you want to see the next generation come through and be given opportunities you weren’t. Above all, you want to keep them safe from harm.
This profession is a family and it is the duty of all of us to speak up, to shout and to fight to make sure no one ever gets hurt on our roads. If you have something to say about safety on a job or site you are working on, say it. If you have to shout to be heard, shout until you are heard. If you have to go to a third party and make the situation known, then go there.
It doesn’t matter if you are the secretary of state or an apprentice; when it comes to safety we are all equal. No one was ever injured by asking a question and shame on any person, organisation or business that stands in the way of protecting our family.
I will pledge here and now, that if you ever need any help from this publication, we stand ready and willing to serve.
It is easy to forget the great danger you run for the benefit of the country and economy, after all it’s a day job, right? The fact that some of you risk your lives every day makes this effort more amazing, not less so.
This week is National Road Safety Week and Highways wants to hear from you. If you have a road safety scheme, product, venture or idea that you think the sector needs to hear about let us know. (Email address below).
Making a better society is too important to be left to other people. It is the business of all of us to make the world a better, safer place. Start work on that project today. Hey, you don’t even have to tender for it…
Ps in the magazine this month we have a special feature looking at road worker safety throughout the supply chain. Click here to take a look and tell us what we missed.