This August marks National Road Victim Month in the UK.
The personal injury and clinical negligence team at Russell-Cooke would like to take this opportunity to remember those who have lost their lives or had their lives significantly affected by a road collision, and also to acknowledge the challenges that exist in ensuring road safety in the UK.
Unfortunately, the number of casualties caused by road collisions has remained largely the same over the past decade.
With the emergence of e-scooters on our roads, new challenges have arisen in ensuring road safety standards are met. Many people will be surprised to learn about the rules in place relating to these vehicles.
For instance, whilst e-scooters are freely available for sale and purchase, they are not allowed to be used on public roads (or pavements!) as a result of their classification as a Personal Light Electric Vehicle (PLEV). They can be used via an authorised hire scheme but riders must be at least 18 years old and hold a valid provisional or full UK driver’s licence in order to legally operate them.
As the way that we use our roads continues to change, it is important that safety standards are changed accordingly and that awareness is raised about the new challenges to all road users.
This year saw the introduction of the updated Highway Code. The updated code emphasises the need to support and look out for more vulnerable road users. It has clarified that cars and other vehicles should give way to pedestrians when they are crossing or are waiting to cross at a junction.
However, as stated here by Partner Grant Incles, there was no national campaign to spread the messages contained in the updated Code, which will inevitably have limited the positive effects of these changes for vulnerable road users in particular.
As we mark National Road Victim Month, the personal injury and clinical negligence team at Russell-Cooke would like to highlight the work of RoadPeace, a charity which provides support services to those who are bereaved or seriously injured in road crashes and which also campaigns to improve the position of victims and their families in facing the daunting legal processes that are involved following a road collision.