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Brake’ National Road Safety Week – ‘Let’s Talk About Speed’ Campaign

No. 302/2023

Our Ref:  V4/23

To:  All Branches

Dear Colleagues,

‘Brake’ National Road Safety Week – ‘Let’s Talk About Speed’ Campaign


The ‘Brake’ National Road Safety Week campaign takes place this week and is again being supported by Royal Mail Group (RMG) and the CWU jointly. The RMG materials arrived only yesterday so our apologies for the late notice. However, the campaign messages are for the year not just the week.

Road Safety Week is the UK’s biggest annual road safety campaign event. Every year, thousands of companies, fleet operators, schools, organisations, trade unions and communities get involved to shout out for our right to make safe and healthy journeys on the UK’s roads every day. ‘BRAKE’ announced that the theme of Road Safety Week 2023 is ‘Let’s Talk About Speed’ – Five people die on UK roads every single day, so why do we still think it’s OK to speed? Please support and take part in Road Safety Week 2023 and join the national conversation.

‘Brake’ is a road safety charity working with communities and organisations across the UK to stop the tragedy of road deaths and injuries, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and support people bereaved and seriously injured on roads. ‘Brake’ has been working since 1995 to make a difference across the UK.

Royal Mail Group, the CWU and Unite/CMA will be supporting the 2023 ‘Brake’ road safety charity’s annual national road safety campaign again this year which takes place every November.  The idea is all about raising awareness of important road safety issues for all drivers in Royal Mail, Parcelforce, RMP&FS, RMSS, RM Fleet etc., and Post Office Ltd. Royal Mail operate one of the largest vehicle fleets in the UK and Europe with 49,000 vehicles currently and as such is a key player.

The 2023 campaign will concentrate on a number of key messages to drivers and managers to raise awareness of key areas of road safety, including safe vehicles and speeds, the recently updated (2022 and 2023) Highway Code and driving laws and the importance of inclusivity to keep us all safe on the roads, no matter who we are or how we travel, emphasising how important it is for drivers to ensure that they always drive safely, at a safe speed and make road journeys safe for everyone.

The theme, in keeping with the safe system approach to road safety, helps support UK Government objectives to invest in measures to enable people to make safe, healthy and sustainable journeys, including measures to encourage more people to move more often in active ways, such as walking and cycling.

The theme was set following discussions with representatives from community groups, the Police, Government, businesses, educators and other charities.

The emphasis is on employers and fleet operators working with drivers, their unions and others to help employees or members understand how to protect themselves and other road users through good policies, procedures, training and education.

The Road Safety Week campaign is supported by funding from the Department for Transport’s “Think! Campaign” and sponsors.

‘Brake’ the UK road safety charity is encouraging as many people as possible to get involved and support Road Safety Week and help create a national conversation about speed and challenge why so many people still consider it acceptable to break the speed limit.

Excessive and inappropriate speed continues to cause death and injury on our roads – locally as well as nationally – 5 die every day on UK roads.

Supporting Road Safety Week is an important way of raising the issue of speeding and highlighting the dangers involved. The majority of drivers and riders use the road responsibly, however there are many families that unfortunately know far too well the devastating consequences that speeding and collisions can lead to and many people are affected by a minority of people speeding on the roads and through communities. Speed limits are there for a reason; to protect all road users and it is the job of the Police to enforce them. In supporting the campaign, the Police stated “Apart from the obvious consequences if a driver is involved in a collision, if prosecuted for speeding, the minimum penalty is a £100 fine and three penalty points.”

In their launch statement ‘Brake’ stated: “We all use roads and deserve to feel safe when we move around, whether we walk, ride, drive or use public transport. Everyone’s safety on roads matters, whether we are young or old, wherever we live and whatever our ability.

‘Let’s Talk About Speed’ recognises that there are lots of different road users, from HGVs to vans and cars, to motorcyclists, horse riders, cyclists, and pedestrians. We are all just trying to get somewhere and none of us want to get hurt or hurt someone else – there is no ‘them and us’, we’re all in this together. We also all have the right to breathe clean air and be able to move around our communities and between places in ways that are safe and healthy for us and the planet. This is at the heart of the campaigning and ‘Brake’ would encourage everyone to take part by visiting the Road Safety website for more information at this link:

The Statistics:

  • 5 people die and 80 are seriously injured on UK roads every day.

  • 1,700 fatalities occurred on UK roads last year.

  • 30,000 were seriously injured on UK roads in 2022.

  • 136,000 casualties occurred in road accidents in respect of casualties of all severities, minor and serious.

  • 50% of the above were either motorcyclists, cyclists, or pedestrians.

  • This year Brake are campaigning for ‘Safe Speeds’.

The Campaign Messages on Speeding, Distraction and Impairment

This  week Royal Mail, Parcelforce and all other parts of Royal Mail Group will be asking drivers to concentrate on and think carefully about ‘Speed’. Following the advice and rules will help to protect drivers, passengers, other road users and pedestrians against one of the main causes of road deaths.  This aims to keep drivers safe at work, and also help to keep drivers and their family and friends safe when away from work. You might never know it, but it may just save a life! – Thank you, and Safe Driving!


Excessive speed is a contributory factor in one-third of fatal collisions.

At lower speeds, drivers have better control over their vehicle, better observation, and more time to react if something happens. Being in a low speed collision means the forces are much lower. An average speed reduction of just 1mph, reduces collision frequency by 5% – drivers need to remember that when travelling at ‘just a few mph’ over the limit.

Remember, it’s a limit, not a target – drive to the conditions, reducing speed according to the weather and the road.

‘20 is plenty’ in many urban and residential areas, even if the limit is 30mph. Nobody is saying to drive everywhere at 20mph but use your judgement to consider when and where this is appropriate. A vehicle driven at 20mph could be stopped in time to avoid a child running out three car-lengths in front. The same vehicle driven at 30mph could not stop in time and would hit the child at 27mph. This is roughly the same impact as a child falling from the third floor of a building!

Hundreds of 20 MPH Speed Limit zones have progressively been introduced across the UK since 1990 in restricted areas and the Welsh Government recently changed the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph across Wales, making it the first UK nation to introduce a default limit on speed.

Case Study:

Bradford Postman Chris Robbins was seriously injured when he was hit by a speeding car driver in 2008 and Chris told his story about the personal impact it had on him and his family, on RMTV during last year’s RSW campaign. Chris again calls for drivers to drive within the speed limit, to focus on the road, avoid distractions and never drive tired. If everybody was to do this all the time, then road casualties would decrease sharply.

RMG Campaign and Staff WTLL/Huddle:

See attached RMG Staff WTLL/SHE Huddle FY23 069 for National Road Safety Week. In RMG the campaign will be supported by plasma screen slide messages and TV screens will be used to promote ‘Brake National Road Safety Week.’ The attached Road Safety Week Huddle message will be delivered to promote the campaign and there will be a short video/film on RMTV and plasma TV screens and on social media.  There is a Road Safety Week Slide, copy attached and four ‘Brake’ Road Safety Week posters have been circulated and are attached for ASRs, WSRs and all Reps to utilize, download, print and display.

The WTLL/Huddle message:

We all drive too fast sometimes:

  • “I didn’t notice I was going so fast!”

  • “Everyone else is doing it so why can’t I?”

  • “A few miles an hour won’t make much difference, will it?”

But every time we drive faster than the speed limit, or too fast for the road conditions, we increase the risk of a crash – and we increase the chance that someone we love will be killed or hurt on a road.  Whoever you are, however you travel, we need to talk about SPEED. Speed is the single biggest contributing factor in road traffic collisions in the UK and over the last two decades, exceeding the speed limit has been involved in over one-third of fatal collisions.

Think about the difference that speed makes if something unexpected happens:

  • Reaction times – the faster you are going the more distance you cover before you even react.

  • Stopping distances are increased so when you do react, you have less chance of stopping.

  • Less control at speed means less opportunity to swerve to take avoiding action.

  • Impact speed – residual speed has a direct effect on the level of damage or injury.

Reducing your speed is the single most effective change you can make to reduce your risk of collision. A reduction of just 1kph reduces the risk of fatality by 11%. It is imperative that you always drive at a ‘safe speed’.

Benefits of the Campaign:

  • Improved compliance with RMG Policy and Road Traffic Law.

  • Increase road and driver safety awareness amongst drivers and managers.

  • Reduction in road traffic collisions, deaths and injuries.

CWU ASR Support and Participation:

  • CWU/ASR, Sub/ASR and WSR full support and participation is much appreciated by Royal Mail, Parcelforce Worldwide, RMSS, RMP&FS, POL and CWU HQ.

  • Engage front line managers and ask them if they’ve delivered the Road Safety Week message, WTLL/Huddle and displayed Posters.

  • Ask managers – have they made all drivers aware of the campaign message?

  • Check that drivers have received the Road Safety Week WTLL/Huddle briefing.

  • Carry out safety inspections and increase Road Safety Week awareness.

  • Remind drivers to carry out their ‘mandatory’ vehicle pre-use safety checks before they set out on their journeys and to stick to the speed limits.


  • RMG SHE Huddle FY23 069 Road Safety Week

  • Road Safety Week Slide

  • ‘Brake’ Road Safety Week Posters

Further information on the ‘Brake’ Road Safety Week can be found on their website:

Thanks for your support and assistance.

Yours sincerely

Dave Joyce

National Health, Safety & Environment Officer

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