Sheilas’ Wheels unveils PinkZones – gender split roads A proposal to create safe, new, women-only lanes on Britain’s most dangerous roads

Female focused car insurer Sheilas' Wheels has recognised the need to make UK roads safer for women drivers and have identified PinkZones, a concept that would see separate lanes for female drivers on UK roads, as a potential vision of the future.

The proposal came as the result of a number of reports showing how women are vulnerable on UK roads. Figures from Department for Transport (DfT)1 released in 2012 show men were involved in 114,190 traffic accidents compared to just 70,470 for women, but 53% of women involved in a traffic accident are badly injured, compared to just 38% of men.

DfT statistics2 also show a total of 1,713 road deaths occurred in Britain in 2013. Motorways, where PinkZones could be rolled out at relatively low cost, show deaths for both sexes rose to 100, up from 88 in 2012, marking the first increase in nearly a decade.

The latest government statistics for 2013 show men are four times more likely to be convicted of a motoring offence on British roads than women3.

To counteract these issues, the PinkZones design concept proposes two new types of roads. The first recommends demarcating lanes for women drivers on the existing road network, while the second puts forward the creation of women-only flyovers above some of Britain’s busiest roads. The accompanying images show these in greater detail.

Separate lanes for women on roads would not only increase safety, but also would remove them from a potentially dangerous environment. PinkZones would be designed specifically for female drivers to enhance quality of life.

Speaking on the concept, Andy Sommer, spokesperson for Sheilas’ Wheels said: "As the UK’s leading car insurer for women, Sheilas' Wheels is serious about creating a safer road network for female drivers and we believe a discussion about how best to achieve this is long overdue."

"While PinkZones may be a futuristic concept, there does need to be acceptance in Government circles that women and men drive very differently and solutions identified for how we manage that."

Peter Rodger, Chief Examiner, at Institute of Advanced Motorists said: "While PinkZones may be something of a utopia for female drivers, there’s clearly a need to identify how to provide a safer driving environment on the road. Driver safety is a paramount concern for us and we’re in favour of promoting further discussion about how to tackle the gender differences in driving to make it safer for all road users."

With the Government recently earmarking £70 billion for transport infrastructure spending4, reallocating existing road space to women drivers could be relatively cost efficient. For example, it is estimated that creating women only lanes on the entire motorway network would cost £250,000 per km5, requiring an investment of £880 million, 48 times cheaper than HS2 and around 18 times cheaper than Crossrail.

Researching into the concept, a survey conducted by YouGov6 on behalf of Sheilas' Wheels found 68% of those polled said they would support separate lanes for certain drivers, with only 11% believing that men in the UK were safer on the roads than women.

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