Road Safety News

National Conference 2014: live from the conference hall

Wednesday 26th November 2014

A collection of sound bites, bullet points, facts and figures and photos from the 2014 National Road Safety Conference - reported in real time from the conference hall.

Click here to download all of the full presentations.



1.05pm: Honor Byford
it's a prompt start, with Honor Byford, chair of Road Safety GB welcoming delegates to the opening session. Now the main event gets underway...

1.08: Lucy Saunders, public health specialist with GLA & TfL
Lucy opens by asking delegates how many lives they are saving without even knowing it.

• Lack of physical activity - a major concern for local authorities
• We have built physical activity out of how we get around every day (car dominating road scene)
• A mass shift in physical activity is required

Why do people not walk and cycle more?
• Too dangerous

Changing the street environment has broad range of health benefits
• 10 indicators of healthy streets include: more appealing to walk, shade & shelter, places to sit and/or rest, public transport infrastructure, cycle infrastructure, interesting street enviroment (shops, cafes etc), air quality.
• It's about making the street work for the people who live in the street

1.28: Simon D'Vali, Bradford Council
How can we secure financal support for road safety?
• Set local targets. Gov't doesn't like targets but targets work.
• Politicians and councillors can grasp targets

Partnership working
• The value of a safer roads partnership and a road safety plan
• If you haven't got a safer roads partnership or road safety plan, why not?

Public health - a joint approach
• NICE guidance is big on 20mph zones as a mechanism for improving health - "20s are good"
• Joint strategic needs assessment (JSNA) - get road safety written into the JSNA
• Road safety plan - set out strategic responsibility, what you want to achieve, who partners are etc

Public health and road safety
• Think outside of road safety and look at the wider determinants of health (cardio vascular, obesity, health inequalities due to poverty etc)

In Bradford, Public Health now funds the road safety team from Public Health Grant, with extra funding for cycling & walking initiatives.

Health & Wellbeing Board
• Who attends your local board - very important road safety team is represented
• Important to engage with politicians, they make final decisions on finance, budgets etc. Vital to have connection with cabinet members, decision makers

• Collate robust data
• Set targets
• Partnerhsip leads to funding opportunities
• Think beyond road safety
• Create your own corpaorte document (road safety plan) if you haven't got one
• Talk to people, don't sit in your silo

1.55: Tracey Fuller, ARVAL - how can road safety officers engage with the private sector?

The business case for road safety
• Legal - but that's a given
• Financial - makes good financial sense for businesses
• Moral - caring about your people.

Need to get road safety given the same importance as health & safety (within companies)

Social media - what would happen if one of your vehicles was involved in an incident that went viral?

Tracey's 'best friends' in road safety
• Margaret Tester, Swindon Borough Council - the enabler. Meeting Margaret opened up doors. She knew everyone, was there to help
• Brake - huge influence on Tracey
• Wiltshire FRS & Wiltshire Police
• Safe Drive, Stay Alive Roadshow
• Road Safety GB - stolen ideas from RSGB

You can all be 'best friends' to corporates in your area. They are keen to be involved and have some money to invest.

We're still on schedule - well almost - next up it's:

2.14: Olly Tayler & Rob Carlson - the Honest Truth
• Scheme gives 'The Honest Truth' to young drivers
• Who best to do that - driving instructors
• Partnership between police, fire, local authority, ADIs

The role of ADI
• Encouraging ADIs to teach life skills as well as driving skills

'Fatal four' (seat belts, drink, mobile phones & speed) & four additional messages:
• Distraction
• Showing off
• Tiredness/fatigue
• Drugs

Campaign in 10 areas of UK with 1,400 ADIs delivering consistent message

• No logos or badges on Honest Truth
• Don't be afraid to give things a go and look for quick wins.
• Make sure partnership has different strengths
• Don't let red tape get in the way - just get on and do it
• Tell your boss what you've done when you've done it!
• Don't be scared to let your campaign evolve

2.32pm: Richard Morris, University of Brighton - working with undergraduates

Students can bring different thinking to road safety projects

• Students are often people being injured on roads (target audience)
• Students good at multimedia & technology
• Innovative ideas
• Great publicity for all parties
• Feel good factor working with students
• Helps students employment opportunities
• Provides insights for more advanced research

Made it to the interval - cracking first session. Back at 3.15pm



 3.15pm: Lee Langford, Harris Interactive - UK social media landscape

The Harris Interactive survey covers 22 social media platforms
• 81% of population are active on social media
• 85% 11-15yrs
• 65% of those aged over 65yrs

Are people starting to get fed up with social media?
• 38% using social media more - 12% using it less than 12 months ago

Any organisation would be crazy to ignore social media

Ways we are social
• Keeping in touch (older users)
• Sharing content

Social complaints
• Increasingly using socal media to complain (bashtagging)
• 39% use social media to bashtag 'now and again'
• 46% believe it is important to share bad service experiences via social media

Platforms (name recognition)
• Biggest climbers: snapchat, vine, pinterest

Social media accounts
• Average of 4.1 accounts (per user)
• 2.4 among OAPs
• 5.4 among teenagers

Platforms used actively (not just membership)
• Facebook (80%)
• YouTube 48%
• Active use falls off the face beyond 33yrs

• 2013 - Facebook dominant overall (50% of all social media activity)
• 2014 - Facebook still comfortable leader (40%) but all others are catching up

Facebook retains crown as UK social media platform: most important & enjoyable platform

Devices used for social media
• Laptop 62%
• Tablet 35%
• Smartphone 10%

• Social media here to stay
• Which platforms - the big four still
• Road safety not top of the agenda for social media users right now

3.40pm: Iain Temperton & Matt Staton - RSGB twitter feed custodians

• Iain Temperton: set up Norfolk CC twitter feed and then told comms team
• Don't drown people with facts and information
• Light touch with road safety message, mixed with lighter material
• Significant proportion of enquiries through Facebook & twitter

Message content - basic principles
• Tell people to 'like' and 'share' something
• Basic marketing principles but applied in different way

Facebook ads
• Can only be 20% text
• More engagement through asking a question, rather than making a statement of fact
• More spend didn't neccessarily produce more engagement
• Advertising has to be through personal Facebook account

3.57pm: Vikkie Judd & Tim Lennon - the THINK! team

• Cycling dominates road safety conversation on social media, followed by drink driving
• Use Facebook insights to see when your audience is most likely to be online

What is the role for social media in THINK! campaign?
• Extend campaign reach
• Provide social proof
• Reinfoce social unacceptability
• Reach people at close to point of decision

Platforms - don't spread yourself too thin - do one or two platforms well

There are roughly 7,500 tweets every second

What makes great content?
• Make it visual
• Entertain & inform
• Ask questions
• Ask for an action

Community management
• Takes time
• Develop content schedule plan
• Two way dialogue (listen and engage)

Tools for community management
• Hootsuite (free account to schedule tweets)
• SocialBro (analysis of followers)

Organic social media reach is dropping - can be boosted by paid for advertising

• Listen to audience
• Understand who you are targeting
• Only be on the channels that matter to you and your aduince
• Use rich media (imagery)
• Engage followers
• Two way dialogue
• Ask for action
• Post and tweet at relevant times

Social media is not free - many channels require paid investment

4.15pm: Marie Brown, North Yorks CC& 95 Alive Partnership - using social media for road safety (day to day)

First lessons
• Resistance & reluctance from senior managers
• No templates to follow
• Person doing it has lot of responsibility - often one person with other responsibilities
• Don't set up a page and expect people to follow you.
• Picture speaks a 1,000 words
• Easy to send out the wrong message
• Must be treated as professional means of correspondance

Reporting to managers
• Keep it simple and to the point

Social media is like a baby - it can't look after itself and needs feeding regularly.

Customers expect us to be on social media.


4.33 Matthew Avery, Thatcham: Collision Avoidance

• Autonomous emergency braking: 23% reduction in collisions
• City Safety: reducing low speed collisions by up to 32%
• KSI reduction potential: 135,00 casualties reduction over 10 years if AEB is incentivised
• 30% of vehicles currently have AEB available - 10% fitted as standard
• It will take a long time for autonomous cars to get into the vehicle fleet - around 2045.

4.48pm Tyron Louw, Leeds University: Human Factors & Vehicle Automation

• Humans have always had full control of the car but this is beginning to change
• The race is on for manufacturers to build world's first driverless car
• Fully autonomous cars by 2025-30
• Developers of autonomous cars are not focusing enough on the humans
• Humans involved in 90% of road accidents - will automation solve 90% of road accidents? No.

How do we re-engage the driver in manual driving?
• The higher the levels of automation, the more drivers look elsewhere and engage in other tasks - therefore situational awareness is reduced.
• We don't know the effects of long durations under automation on the driver’s ability to resume control of the vehicle
• How will impaired/older drivers handle automation?
• What are the handover strategies?
• What will happened when we move from driver simulation to the real world?
• How will drivers handle complex driving scenarios after automation?
• Will drivers misuse automation (drinking alcohol etc)
• Automated driving has to be human centred & robust (driver training for automated vehicles).
• Initially fewer minor crashes, eventually fewer deaths.

• Don't have automation for the sake of automation
• Design needs to be human centred & robust
• Driver training for automated vehicles

5.05pm: Richard Cuerdon, TRL: the future of vehicle safety

Google car - is it a car or a computer on wheels?

• Good crash & casualty data in the UK
• Coming out of recession, road casualties going up
• Real world data sources, DfT’s RAIDS (Road accident in depth studies) contributory factors
• 96.9% of RAIDS have a human factor

• AEB has the potential to save around 20% of pedestrian casualties
• We've been successful in protecting people in the car but no evidence of improvement in secondary safety (impact of cars on pedestrians).

• Driving for work - disproportionately involved in crashes
• Possible solution - platooning or road chains - but what happens when the driver has to re-engage when leaving platoon? Humans are not good at this.

Predicting the future
• Vehicle fleet will change - increasing technology
• Population characteristics will change (ageing, obesity, reduction in number of younger drivers)
• Vehicles will be connected (talking to each other), platooning will happen
• Vision Zero - might begin to be attainable
• The evolution of vehicle technologies will be unprecedented - more than ever before.




9.05am: Emily Brooke - Laserlight

• The biggest problem for cyclists - personal safety
• 70% of bikes that are hit are going straight ahead
• Vehicle in front of cyclist - but cannot see them
• If you are caught in a vehicle blindspot you are invisible
• Birth of Laserlight - projects symbol of bike five yards ahead of bike
• Seemingly simple solution to a big problem.
• Crowdfunding campaign achieved target in five days
• £1.5m in capital raised for project
• Team of 10 people, shipping product to 47 countries

Comments from users
• Vehicles take longer to turn
• Pedestrians see symbol
• It's good fun - gets people talking

Near miss research project
• It's the near misses that influence how you cycle, and whether you cycle at all
• Recording near misses, qualatative & quantative
• On average people experience almost three near misses each day
• Interim report in January/ full report in March

Laserlight challenges
• Cost of technology is high, product is expensive
• Educating people - once you see it in action it makes sense
• Finding clinical data

9.22 Edmund King, AA President - Think bikes

Why Think bikes?
• 25% of roads deaths are people on two wheels
• 9 out of 10 drivers say it's hard to see cyclists & 85% say it's hard to see motorcyclists

• Original idea came from AA patrol of the year whose friend was killed in motorcycle crash
• Self explanatory
• Sent to all AA staff & via AA renewal packs, road safety partnerships etc
• Also distributed by Halfords

Social media
• Created video to go viral (the naked cyclist)
• Main message - what do cyclists have to do to get drivers to notice them

• More than 50 pieces of media coverage at launch
• More than 250,000 video views
• Distributed more than six million stickers
• Now getting requests for stickers from fleets

Learning points
• Didn't anticipate how popular the stickers would be
• Social media helped spread the word
• Do your homework - check legality etc
• This is not the solution - one little bit to make drivers more aware

• FIA Innovation Award, ACPO fleet safety award, Cycling Media Awards (shortlisted)


9.45am: Nick Clennett, Gateshead Council - bidding for LSTF funding

• Tips when bidding for funding: follow the advice, tell a story and be innovative

Partnership working when bidding - challenges
• Shared objectives - different organisations can have different objectives.
• Communications protocol - everyone agreed to it but some partners did not use it
• Local policies & cultures - everyone wants a piece of the pie
• Fairness - be prepared for internal negotiation with difficult people!
• Don't step back from making tough decisions - terminated two contracts that were not working


1.20pm: Adrian Walsh, RoadSafe - Prince Michael Awards presentations
• First winner - the Engage Programme
• Second winner - Safer Roads Yorkshire & Humber Cycle Project

1.27pm: Richard Owen & Tanya Fosdick, Road Safety Analysis - launch of a new pedestrian report (in partnership with Road Safety GB)
• Report looks at adult ped casualties at night
• Nigh time casualties tend to be men
• Younger adults most at risk (and even more so at night)
• Four main groups (including unemployed or low income, linked to deprivation)

Contributory factors
• 75% of incidents had at least one contributory factor
• Failed to look properly key factor
• Alcohol and drug impairment significantly increases at night
• Drivers at night more likely to be drunk or speeding

• Majority injured well away from ped crossings (encourage better use of crossing facilities)
• Home location - London dominates the picture, but Scotland, Wales & North East have higher levels at night

• Separate peds from vehicles
• Reduce speed limits
• Fencing in areas where there are clusters of bars etc
• Improve streetlighting
• Traffic calming devices
• Enforce drunkenness

• Drunk walkers do not think they are at risk
• More worried about assault
• Telling people not to drink won't work

Existing campaigns
• Never let a mate walk home drunk
• Fun theory - fun is the easiest way to change people's behaviour for the better

1.48pm Neil Snow, Nottingham City Council - BTEC in Driver Education

Aim of course is to reduce crash risk by increasing self-evaluation skills, and increasing understanding of personal risk issues, and increase levels of knowledge, extend learning periods

Science behind course
• Goals for driver eduction matrix
• Teaching self evaluation skills reduces crash risk
• Coaching skills increase situational judgement and risk perception

DfT research suggests
• Focusing in perceived benefits, rather than perceived risks
• Publicise positive behaviours and portray peer norms as pro-safety
• Adolescents shoudl be given the opportunity to evaluate each other's safety levels
• Interventions should develop broad ranging strategies

Course: five units, 40 hours in class & 20 hours in car

2.07pm Lawrence Pater & Jim Sanderson - Biker Down

Award winning course for motorcyclists
• Module 1 - safe approach & scene management
• Module 2 - first aid input
• Moduel 3 - the science of being seen

Scene management
• Reaching the casualty
• Establishing vocal contact - talking helps
• Assess resources available (does anyone know any first aid?)
• Assign task to onlookers
• What to do, and what not to do

Networking important (particularly Facebook, 2075 followers)

• 1,700 attendees in Kent
• Waiting list - 180 at any one time
• 15 areas of the UK
• Interest from America, Canada, Australia & Scotland

What's next?
• Ride skills days at Brands Hatch
• Bikerdown Taster session (1hr)
• Slow riding session

2.24pm David Williams, GEM Motoring Assist - older drivers

• Older drivers - big audience, increasing rapidly as are the associated problems
• Old age brings increased health & cognitive problems
• Independent travel important in older age

Produced three films with Valerie Singleton
• The process of ageing
• Stay safer on the road for longer
• Conversations about giving up driving

Films freely available for anyone to use

2.36pm Adrian Walsh - Global Road Safety Week 2015

Global plan - five pillers - key risk factors - helmets, speed, drink driving, seat belts, safe road design

Road death - biggest single killer in the world by far

Global Road Safety Week
• A milestone event
• Adds impetus to Decade of Action (goal - saving 5 million lives)

2015 Week - theme - children & road safety - 'save kids lives'
• Will draw atention to the urgent need to better protect children and generate action on the measures needed to do so.

Road Safety GB will lead on the event in the UK

• Opportunity for every child in the UK to be involved in road safety
• Opportunity to share knowledge with colleagues in other parts of the world







Comment on this story
Report a reader comment

What's your view - comment on this story:

I confirm that I have read and accept the moderation policy and house rules relating to comments posted on this website.
Your comment:
Your name and location:
Your email:

There are currently no comments about this news item.