Berwick dons road map frock to lead York safety call

Berwick Kaler and his gang. L-R: Dave Merrett, police chief Dave Jones, the ambulance service's Phil Bainbridge and Andy Trowsdale of the fire service. Photograph: City of York Council
23 Oct 2013 @ 10.10 pm
| Transport
Berwick Kaler and his gang. L-R: Dave Merrett, police chief Dave Jones, the ambulance service's Phil Bainbridge and Andy Trowsdale of the fire service. Photograph: City of York Council
Berwick Kaler and his gang. L-R: Dave Merrett, police chief Dave Jones, the ambulance service’s Phil Bainbridge and Andy Trowsdale of the fire service. Photograph: City of York Council

Britain’s legendary panto dame Berwick Kaler swapped his usual gang of goofy misfits for the chiefs of police, fire and council on Wednesday (October 23).

But he hadn’t just re-cast Aladdin And His Twankeys – Berwick had teamed up with city leaders to launch a new campaign to make York’s roads safer.

It’s called iPledge. The council are asking people to download a pledge card (PDF), print it out and sign up to some or all of the five promises:

  1. Respect all road users
  2. Stay within the speed limit
  3. Not use a mobile, when using the road
  4. Always wear a seatbelt
  5. Not drive under the influence of drink or drugs

Then send in the completed card to the council, where it will be added to an online pledge map.

“This is a council backed campaign which I am seriously passionate about, and reminds people of the dire consequences of driving a vehicle or bicycle whilst speaking or (unbelievably) sending a text on their hand held mobile phones,” Berwick said.

“Adverts for road safety disappear from our memory quite quickly.

“By asking drivers and cyclists to put their signatures on a piece of paper and send their pledge off to the council we are hoping that this commitment may live in their memories longer until not using a mobile while driving becomes the norm.”

Wearing his usual uniform so as not to upstage Dame Berwick, Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police Dave Jones added his support.

“As a police officer, I have seen all too often the devastating effects collisions can have on the families of all of those involved.

“I encourage all road users to sign the iPledge and keep each other safe when using the city’s roads.”

Andy Trowsdale, deputy chief fire officer for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, Yorkshire Ambulance Service head of emergency operations Phil Bainbridge, and York council cabinet member for transport Dave Merrett joined Berwick’s road safety gang.