Optical professionals urged to support Road Safety Week 2012

26 October 2012

Optometrists and opticians across the UK are being encouraged to help raise awareness about the importance of driving with good vision by getting involved in Road Safety Week. Coordinated by charity Brake, Road Safety Week is the UK’s flagship road safety event which takes place from 19-25 November 2012.

The theme for Road Safety Week 2012 is ‘slower speeds = happy people’. Brake is appealing to drivers to slow down to 20mph in neighbourhoods and look out for pedestrians and cyclists. The emphasis will be on the importance of making it safer for pedestrians and cyclists in their communities, for their health and enjoyment, as well as a sustainable transport choice.

Mark Nevin, on behalf of the Optical Confederation, said: "We are delighted to be able to support Road Safety Week and alert drivers to the importance of always driving with good vision. Participation in Road Safety Week allows community optics to play its part to improve road safety. We hope that most optical practitioners and optical businesses will be able to support the week's activities."

Optical professionals can support the campaign in a number of ways, from displaying the new campaign poster, to registering for an email action pack at: www.roadsafetyweek.org.uk - which includes free electronic resources.

The Optical Confederation has repeatedly called for tougher and more frequent checks on drivers’ eyesight. Given the importance of being able to drive with good vision - so that drivers do not put themselves and others at risk unnecessarily - the Confederation believes that all drivers should undergo basic screening for distance vision and field of view, before they get behind the wheel of a car.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: “We’re calling on optical professionals to help make roads safer by engaging customers and the wider community on this critical issue during Road Safety Week. It’s a perfect opportunity to raise awareness about driver vision and encourage your customers to do everything they can to protect others when they’re at the wheel. Our theme for Road Safety Week is ‘slower speeds = happy people’. We’ll be urging drivers to slow down to 20mph in communities to enable families to get out and about on foot and bike, for their health and enjoyment, without being endangered. Optical professionals can help to reinforce this vital message: we need drivers to slow down and look out to prevent tragedies and enable safe walking and cycling.”

“The Road Safety Week website is full of ideas: log on now to register for your e-action pack to help you get involved in this life-saving, awareness-raising event.”


Notes to Editors

1.) For more information, please visit the 'Driving and Vision' section of the Optical Confederation website.

2.) A copy of the campaign poster is available here.

3.) Brake is an independent road safety charity. Brake exists to stop the five deaths and 66 serious injuries that happen on UK roads every day and to care for families bereaved and seriously injured in road crashes. Brake runs awareness-raising campaigns, community education programmes, events such as Road Safety Week (19-25 November 2012), and a Fleet Safety Forum, providing advice to companies. Brake’s support division cares for road crash victims through a helpline and other services.