Latest road safety news in brief:
- RAC asks those passing motorway breakdowns to ‘slow down, make space and move on’ (30 Nov)
- OEM develops ‘ground-breaking’ night time driving technology (30 Nov)
- English council parking profits up 10% in 2016-17 (27 Nov)
- More than 1,400 Pembrokeshire school children learn road safety lessons (27 Nov)
Click here to read the road safety news in brief from week commencing 20 November.
30 Nov: 16.00
RAC asks those passing motorway breakdowns to ‘slow down, make space and move on’
The RAC has launched a new campaign calling on drivers to ‘slow down, make space and move on’ when passing motorway breakdowns.
The campaign has been launched following an incident involving a RAC patrol, which occurred on the westbound hard shoulder of the M4 near Swindon on 23 November.
Andrew Barrett, an RAC patrol for 14 years, was assisting a motorist whose car had suffered a puncture when another car travelling at speed collided with his patrol vehicle.
The collision was of such force that it rolled the three-tonne patrol vehicle, pushing it along the hard shoulder.
The RAC is advising drivers to follow three rules:
- Slow down – take care when passing any vehicle and people on the side of the motorway, reduce your speed and reduce the risk
- Make space – widen the gap between your car and the broken-down vehicle and roadside workers. Use all of your lane by moving over to the right, only change lane if it is safe to do so
- Move on – get safely past the breakdown situation and avoid ‘rubber-necking’, or the temptation stare at someone’s else’s misfortune – it’s a unnecessary distraction from your focus on the road ahead
Steve Robinson, RAC health and safety consultant, said: “The RAC is calling on drivers to ‘slow down, make space and move on’ when passing motorway breakdowns leaving plenty of space between their car and any vehicles and people on the hard shoulder.
“With traffic volumes rising and several recent serious accidents involving roadside assistance patrols and breakdown contractors we need motorists to consider a new approach to how they drive past stricken vehicles, drivers and passengers, and those working in vulnerable locations.”
“By following this simple message we can significantly reduce the risk of a collision and, importantly, the fear factor for those standing or working at the side of the motorway.”
30 Nov: 10.35
OEM develops ‘ground-breaking’ night time driving technology
A German company is developing technology that will enable a driver to look into the rear view mirror at night, and the view reflected will appear to them as if they were driving in daylight.
It is claimed the technology, under development by the original equipment manufacturer and systems supplier HELLA, will ‘solve a basic problem of driving in the dark – limited sight and slower reaction times’.
The HELLA press release says: “Greater illumination of the area around them will significantly increase driver safety as they will be able to see more of the road behind, leading to less accidents and potential fatalities.”
The technology is currently being piloted, but HELLA is confident that the ‘realistic colour image technology’ will eventually pave the way for further uses in the automotive industry such as optimising camera-based driver assistance systems, as well as applications in aviation and aerospace.
MONDAY 27 NOVEMBER
Published on 27 November, the RAC Foundation report finds that the 2016-17 figure is 40% higher than the £587m made in 2012-13 – and is also £37m above what councils themselves had forecast for 2016-17.
Many of the highest totals were seen in London, with the largest in Westminster, which had a surplus of £73.2m.
The figures represent income from parking charges and penalty notices with running costs deducted.
The RAC Foundation, which carried out the research, said motorists should ask how their council spends the cash.
However, the Local Government Association (LGA) says parking charge surpluses were spent on ‘essential transport projects’.
Cllr Martin Tett, the LGA’s transport spokesman, said: “As the RAC Foundation highlights, income raised through on-street parking charges is spent on running parking services and any surplus is only spent on essential transport projects, such as tackling our national £12bn roads repair backlog and creating new parking spaces.
“Councils are on the side of motorists but have to try and strike a balance when setting parking charges to ensure there are spaces available for everyone at all times of the day and they can keep traffic moving.
“They help not only keep the roads clear but keeps pedestrians, motorists and cyclists safe and ensures people can park near their homes and local shops.”
27 Nov: 15.00
More than 1,400 Pembrokeshire school children learn road safety lessons
More than 1,400 school children from across Pembrokeshire received important road safety lessons as part of the annual Crucial Crew safety event.
Pembrokeshire County Council’s road safety team were among a number of organisations in attendance at the event, which is aimed at 10 and 11 year-old children.
The road safety team guided children through realistic scenarios in which they need to recognise the importance of staying safe – such as crossing the road.
Other organisations that participated in the event included the Welsh Ambulance Service, Dyfed Powys Police, the Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the Pembrokeshire County Council school transport team.
Cllr Phil Baker, cabinet member for planning and infrastructure, said: “If just some of the training stays with our young people it will help to save lives in the future.”
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