Road Safety News
 

Academy announces forthcoming seminar topics

Monday 3rd February 2014

The merits, or otherwise, of self test breathalysers and 20mph limits will be debated in the next two online seminars on the Academy website.

On Thursday 27 February (12.30 - 1.30pm) Hunter Abbott, managing director of Alcosense, will answer Academy members’ question about whether self–test breathalysers are an aid to road safety or an encouragement to drink drive.

Hunter Abbott, who is also a racing driver, says he first became interested in self-test breathalysers back in 2005 when a friend lost his licence, and ultimately his job, for failing a breath test the morning after drinking at a wedding. He described it as a “wake up call” and said: “The problem was that there was no way of telling when the alcohol had cleared your system, and because everyone’s different you can’t even calculate it.”

He established Alcosense in 2007 and today it is one of the UK's leading providers of self-test breathalysers. Hunter claims the company has "stopped more than 50% of its customers from unintentionally drink driving the morning after, saving countless lives in the process".

On Thursday 27 March (12.30 – 1.30pm) Professor Danny Dorling will be online to take members’ questions about 20mph limits.

Danny Dorling is Halford Mackinder Professor of the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford. He is a widely published and highly respected expert with a special interest in differential life expectancy between socio-economic groups. 

Recently, in a paper published by the British Academy, he suggested that introducing 20mph limits is the most effective thing a local authority can do to reduce health inequalities.

In his paper Danny suggests that “introducing 20mph zones would save lives, prevent injuries and reduce health inequalities in the process". He describes it as “a low cost measure and a devolved power that can only easily be enacted at the local level”.

He went on to suggest that “death is much less likely if a pedestrian is hit by a car travelling at 20mph, than at 30mph or more, and cyclists are far safer if travelling with traffic that does not exceed 20mph”.

He also says that “lower traffic speeds bring many other benefits: less congestion; less air pollution and CO2 emissions; stronger communities; more walking and cycling; and reduced obesity”.

Footnote:
The Road Safety GB Academy is the professional development arm of Road Safety GB. Complimentary membership of The Academy is offered to road safety practitioners employed by local authority members of Road Safety GB – up to a maximum of 10 places per authority. Applications are also welcomed from practitioners working in the private and voluntary sector, subject to meeting the membership criteria. The annual cost of membership for these practitioners is £35.

Since its introduction in July 2013, the monthly online seminar programme has proved popular with Academy members. The seminars are free and open to all members, and questions can be submitted in advance or during the session

For more details or to apply for membership visit The Academy website or contact Emma Norton, head of membership.

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