Widow of man killed in M27 tragedy backs new road safety campaign

THE widow of a driver killed on the M27 has thrown her support behind a new road safety campaign.

Tuesday, 15th March 2016, 11:59 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th March 2016, 12:04 pm
L-R Rachael Burton, widow of M27 crash victim Kevin Burton, and Paul Barringer of Lucketts Travel, which is supporting new road safety campaign Project Pictogram

Project Pictogram encourages organisations to use an industry-standard set of vehicle stickers to raise awareness of illegal driving.

They include using a mobile phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, drink/drug driving and not maintaining a safe braking distance.

The campaign is business-led and supported by a number of road safety organisations including the DfT Think!, Road Safety GB, RoSPA, IAM and the Association of British Insurers.

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Rachael Burton’s husband Kevin died on his way to work when his car was hit from behind by a lorry in March 2015 on the M27 eastbound near junction 9 at Whiteley.

The motorway was closed for nearly 24 hours.

Rachael said: ‘We all know roads in the south are very crowded.

‘At the inquest into my husband’s death, I called for experienced motorists to concentrate on their driving and lose the distractions.

‘We all need to get into better habits – keep stopping distances, reduce speed, dispose of the distractions, belt up.

‘I support Project Pictogram because its simple vehicle stickers reinforce those good habits, when we need them most: on the road.’

Unlike most safety programmes, Project Pictogram is aimed at business drivers and commuters.

Project Pictogram creator, Phil Palfrey said: ‘The backs of vehicles are well-known advertising locations; by taking a small part of that space for road safety pictograms, we can create brand awareness to influence behaviour.

‘Driving is a herd activity; as Project Pictogram positively influences large sections of the herd around these key risk-reducing driver behaviour habits, the wider group is likely to conform to the new safer practices being displayed.

‘Safer, freer flowing roads deliver business profit protection.’

Figures show collision harms business and the economy.

In 2011, the government estimated that lost hours caused by motorway closures cost the economy more than £1bn.

The RAC estimates that having vehicles off the road costs small businesses £500 a day.

Mr Phalfrey added: ‘Project Pictogram is a powerful initiative that protects profit and guards against the prospect of staff injury or fatality.

‘As businesses get involved, they can dive deeper with specific educational campaigns for their own staff and promote safer driving through other media, such as on-the-go coffee cups, insurance reminders and literature at tourist attractions.’