GEM Road Safety Charity
Since its formation in 1932, GEM's principle aim has been Road Safety. We established our registered Road Safety Charity in 1983. This is a research and campaigning organisation, separate from our breakdown service business. Through it, we provide financial support to a large number of Road Safety campaigns across the UK.
Recent projects by the charity include research into the nation's future Road Safety targets, and schemes aimed at improving the safety of inexperienced drivers and motorcyclists.
With the proposed reduction in Government public expenditure on Road Safety, the GEM Charity can play a vital role in safety initiatives. And that helps everyone using our roads.
2014 / 2015 Trustees
- Mr M Cooke (Chairman)
- Viscount Simon
- Mrs L Ward
- Mr D Swain
- Miss M Emms
- Mr C Clarke
The Charity's Recent Campaigns
Driving in Comfort
GEM Motoring Assist has published a brand new video to help older drivers and their passengers enjoy a more comfortable experience on journeys. The free video, funded by the GEM Road Safety Charity, looks at how the process of ageing can affect our ability to get in and out of the car, or drive around safely and in comfort. Most of us suffer the occasional ache and pain as we get older, leading to stiffness and reduced visibility. This video offers a few ideas that should make car journeys a bit easier and more enjoyable again. Watch the GEM driving in comfort video.
Game Zone for junior cyclists
A new Game Zone featuring a range of safer cycling puzzles, activities and competitions aimed at younger cyclists has been launched thanks to a grant from the GEM Motoring Assist Road Safety Charity. The new zone, which includes Spot the Difference, Dress the Cyclist and word search puzzles, is on the Cycle-Smart Foundation’s website (cycle-smartfoundation.org). Other puzzles for youngsters aged five to 11 include Match the Helmet, Memory Game and Road Signs. Once the youngsters have successfully completed all the activities, they can download a special certificate.
The Cycle-Smart Foundation, a registered charity founded in 1998, is committed to reducing the number of children who are killed and seriously injured in cycling collisions in the UK every year by promoting the use of cycle helmets, bike lights, high visibility clothing, cycle training, the use of cycle lanes and basic bicycle maintenance. Every year the charity distributes around 6,000 cycle helmets to children across the country, targeting those living in the most deprived areas as they are most at risk from a fatal cycling collision.
Still Safe to Drive
1 in 7 drivers in the UK are aged over 65 and by the year 2050 this figure will have risen significantly to 1 in 4.
Currently over 4 million drivers are aged over 70 and 1 million are aged over 80. Thus ‘older drivers’ are a significant and increasing proportion of road users.
Older age brings an increase in health and cognitive problems for such drivers. However, media calls for restrictions on older drivers are unhelpful and unrealistic.
GEM has always supported measures and initiatives that will help drivers to remain on the road longer, providing they are safe to do so. We therefore, sponsored the production of three short films and accompanying materials under the heading ‘ Still Safe to Drive’.
Watch the GEM still safe to drive videos.
There are many organisations within British society that rely on volunteer drivers to assist them in their worthwhile work. Very often such drivers receive no additional training or advice on their responsibilities behind the wheel beyond the normal training and testing that all drivers are required to undertake.
The GEM road safety charity has produced 3 short films aimed at improving the knowledge and skills of such drivers.
Watch the GEM volunteer driver videos.
Video regarding the use of mobile phones by drivers
The illegal use of mobile phones by drivers remains a high priority for road safety campaigns. The GEM Road safety Charity has funded a short video which is freely available online and which shows how distracting it can be to drive and a use a phone at the same time. Under controlled conditions a group of drivers undertake a series of driving tests while using their phones and the results show how on the open road the consequences could be disastrous. Watch the GEM mobile phone and driving video.
Getting young drivers back on the road in safety
The GEM Road Safety Charity was delighted to work closely with The Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) by sponsoring a policy research paper on the significant problem of young driver accidents.
412 people were killed in accidents involving young car drivers (17-24 years) in 2011 accounting for 22% of all road deaths. Nearly a fifth (1,552) of all car occupants killed or seriously injured were young car drivers.
The research paper makes a strong case to the Government to explore this problem thoroughly and rationally and take action that will reduce this costly and unnecessary waste of young life.
In particular the report asks for the introduction of a Graduated Licence scheme to be given serious consideration despite the fact that successive Governments have consigned it into the ‘too difficult’ pile.
Read the full report.
Volunteer Rider Training for 'Life Savers'
Throughout the country there are groups of volunteer riders (and some drivers) who carry out a lifesaving role by ensuring that blood and other medical products are delivered to hospitals out of normal working hours.
SERV – Service by Emergency Rider Volunteers offer their services free of charge and provide an emergency courier service for urgent medical items. The GEM Road Safety Charity has made an initial donation to SERV to provide funds to allow their volunteer riders to undergo advanced rider training.
Mobility Choices for Older Road Users
The GEM Charity has partly funded a major research study conducted by PACTS (Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety) which highlights a number of recommendations to ensure that the growing number of older road users remain mobile and safe on our roads. Read the full report
Get Clued Up
Drug driving is almost as widespread as drink driving among young people. We sponsor the Get Clued Up website, a resource for teachers, students and parents to help combat this growing problem.
Don't Motor on Meds
Illegal drugs are not the only danger. Medication supplied by doctors or pharmacists can seriously affect drivers and make them unsafe on the roads. To raise awareness GEM has produced a leaflet for distribution in surgeries and clinics throughout the UK.
How can the GEM Road Safety Charity help you?
The GEM Road Safety Charity has limited funds available but is keen to assist, financially, with campaigns and initiatives that will be benefit road users, in staying safe on our roads.
There is a formal application process and requests for assistance are assessed by the Board of Trustees after consultation with GEM’s Executive Council. In order to gain maximum benefit, in road safety terms, from the initiatives the Trustees prefer to consider applications that can have impact beyond a specific group or particular geographic area. Road safety research projects or safety campaigns aimed at a wide and diverse audience are particularly welcomed.
Typically, donations given range from £500 to £10,000 . If your project falls outside of this criteria or if you require help or advice on any road safety issue please ring 01342 825676 or submit your enquiry using our contact form.
Fill out the application form.
The Charity also produces a range of informative road safety leaflets , films and other materials which are available free of charge to anyone.
How can you help the GEM Road Safety Charity?
Spread the word
If you'd like carry one of our campaigns into your community, contact us for a supply of free leaflets and campaign materials.
We always need funding to continue and extend our life-saving work. We invite individuals and businesses to donate to the charity and sponsor campaigns. Even a small contribution can make a difference. Your gift is very much appreciated. Download a Charity Donation form today.