Help save lives by parking sensibly during Road Safety Week – and be a Road Safety Hero

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This week is Road Safety Week (15-21 November), sponsored by road safety charity BRAKE, and Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS) is reminding people of the vital importance of parking safely.

Inconsiderate parking could block access for emergency services and cost the life of someone you love.

Road Safety Week 2021 is showcasing the organisations that work to make roads safer for everyone – from caring for people after a road traffic collision to designing safer roads to.

It also enables everyone who uses roads to understand how they can take responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others.

During the week, HWFRS is encouraging people to be ‘Road Safety Heroes’ by considering the needs of the blue light services when they park, remembering that large vehicles – such as fire appliances – need extra space to get through and reach an emergency, especially in congested narrow streets.

The Service attended over 6,270 vehicle incidents (some 30 more than the previous ten year period) of various types in the ten-year period between 1 April 2011 and 31 March 2021. Over half of them involved a car and nearly 40% multiple vehicles, with nearly half of all incidents involving the rescue of trapped persons, while over a third involved leaking fuel.

Morning and evening rush hours were the most common times for incidents to occur, and Worcester, Redditch and Bromsgrove districts saw the highest number of incidents.

However, whether attending a vehicle incident, a fire or some other emergency, access is vital, as Station Commander Bob Sproat, the HWFRS Road Safety lead, explains:

“We fully understand that some streets weren’t designed for the number of cars that residents now have, but don’t forget that a fire engine is around one and a half car widths.

“Ask yourself – if I park here could a vehicle the size of mine get through? Because if not, then a fire appliance almost certainly can’t. Every second counts when someone needs the help of the fire service.

“Bad or careless parking can delay fire engines and emergency vehicles from reaching serious incidents in your area – that could endanger your life and the lives of your families, friends and neighbours.

“Only last month, one of our crews was seriously delayed by bad parking in Llewellyn Road, Kington, while returning to the fire station after helping helping the ambulance service with a cardiac arrest incident.

“The positioning of parked cars could just make the difference between the emergency services being able to save a life or not.”

So when parking, please:

  • park close to the kerb
  • park straight with wheels straight
  • fold in wing mirrors
  • in narrow streets only park on one side of the road (where possible)
  • obey the Highway Code and road markings such as yellow lines and box junctions
  • do not park too close to corners or traffic calming measures
  • leave extra room at tight junctions
  • remember every second counts when someone needs our help
  • ask yourself: ‘Could I get through this space?’ If not a fire engine probably couldn’t either

Check out a wealth of safe parking and driving tips on the BRAKE website at
and how to get involved.