‘Young people using their own experience to fix their future’ is the tagline of this innovative media based campaigning platform called, Fixers. Fixers is a movement of young people tackling issues they feel strongly about to make a difference to others in the UK. As an issue that cropped up time and again, road safety was the feature topic last week at a special ‘Fixer Nation’ event called Road Savvy, where a group of young people passionate about road safety came together to decide the key issues affecting them. They then presented them to the UK Transport Minister and a host of decision makers.
With statistics showing that road traffic crashes are the number one killer of young people in the UK, Fixers are gearing up to take action on road safety. To have their voices heard, they were invited to attend the 'Fixers Road Savvy Forum' in London on Wednesday 4th September 2013.
The event brought together Fixers, politicians, road safety experts and emergency service representatives to discuss the biggest road safety issues facing the country today. The brainstorming of these issues comes at a point where the government are formulating their green paper (a government report on suggestions for new laws). As the biggest public health issue affecting young people in the UK, the ‘Fixers’ had the opportunity to identify the top issues in road safety for young people in a morning consultation session with nearly 20 young people.
In the morning session a group of young people brainstormed key issues affecting youth in terms of road safety in the UK.
In an afternoon session, the Fixers reported back in a special panel style conversation between the young people and decision makers, one of whom was the UK Minister for Transport, Mr Stephen Hammond.
On the panel, our very own Manpreet Darroch, road safety campaigner in the UK and staff member of YOURS was part of the consultation process and reported back suggestions of the morning session to the Minister.
He said, ‘This event was a brilliant example of youth advocacy. Young people were given a chance to talk about road safety as a serious issue that affects them and their peers and the fact that we were able to talk directly to power, that being the people who will shape road safety measures in the future, was a unique opportunity and I congratulate Fixers for organizing it and giving young people a voice. What happens next is a key part of the advocacy process, politicians and decision makers need to show that they have listened and taken our suggestions seriously if they really want to save young lives on our UK roads’.
The panel discussion included victims of road traffic crashes and young people who had lost loved ones. It also included YOURS network coordinator Manpreet Darroch and was compared by TV personality and journalist Nina Hossain.
Key conclusions from the event will be presented to the Department for Transport in a ‘Fixers Green Paper’ as a contribution to the Government’s forthcoming Road Safety Green Paper and details of the suggestions will be shared on the YOURS paper too.
For the next few weeks, YOURS will be featuring some of the inspiring road safety stories of Fixers from the UK on our website including their media documentaries that have been featured on British national media. This will serve as a case example of how road safety is being tackled, in a creative approach, across the UK. Stay tuned! Find out more about Fixers in the right column!