Award for brains behind ‘innovative and far-reaching’ campaign

13.41 | 25 June 2018 | | 4 comments

Image: Dan West (right) with RoSPA’s vice president Lord Jordan of Bournville

The man behind a campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of driving on pavements, particularly for workers, has been recognised with a national award.

Dave West, health and safety manager at waste company Biffa, was presented with a RoSPA Archangel Award on 19 June – an accolade granted to individuals that ‘go above and beyond the call of duty to protect the lives and wellbeing of others’.

The DRoPS (Driving Recklessly on Pavements) campaign was launched by Biffa in January 2017, on the back of figures which show that waste collection operatives report 30,000 incidents of motorists driving recklessly on pavements each month.

Working with the police, Mr West developed a new prosecution/reporting system, including fitting Biffa’s trucks with 360 degree cameras, that within 12 months has been adopted by 20 police forces across the UK – and is recognised by many safety bodies.

Biffa has also introduced clearer hi-vis clothing and is working on a resident awareness campaign.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA chief executive, said: “Dave’s tireless work has spread the DRoPs message to every private waste and recycling contractor in the UK, every local authority, and even internationally.

“While the problem hasn’t stopped, the campaign has greatly increased awareness of such dangerous driving being unacceptable – and seen an increase in action against reckless drivers. That’s why we’re delighted to present him with our Archangel Award.”

Dave West said: “It was an honour to accept this award from RoSPA, not only for myself but also for those who played the critical roles which enabled us to achieve this key initiative and bring it to the fore.

“DRoPs is still gaining momentum from within and now from outside of the waste industry with the aim of not only reducing the risk for waste workers, but also members of the public who form a large part of the average 2,400 incidents which occur annually, resulting in pedestrians being struck by vehicles in this manner.”



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    Congratulations Dave West and to all involved! A great awareness project and I can say first hand that when Dave has presented the video at our events for Businesses, it has been well received. We do continue to show the video when we engage with businesses and the feedback is always positive. A very well put together engagement / education tool.

    Rhian Hughes, Wirral
    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    R. Craven commented “If all the vehicles parked on the roads and not on the pavements then no cars or vans or emergency services, fire or ambulance or indeed waste disposal vehicles would be able to pass along many streets. Is that a situation that we want? I think not.”

    Well parking on the road such that you obstruct the road is an offence. And unlike driving (rather than parking) on pavements does not need the crime to be observed as it is being committed.

    I am sorry, but the idea that you can break one law in order to avoid breaking another law is not justifiable. The law says that you should not drive on pavements and that you should not obstruct the highway. Drivers do not have a choice of what they consider to be the lesser of two evils. Its easy, don’t park on the pavement and if there isn’t room to park in the road without causing an obstruction then abandon your 1.5 tons of steel somewhere that it doesn’t break the law.

    And yes, parking or driving on pavements is “reckless” in that it is “heedless of danger or the consequences of one’s actions”.

    Rod King, Lymm, Cheshire
    Agree (4) | Disagree (2)

    Driving recklessly on pavements, who does that? 30,000 incidents of reckless driving reported per month…. wow who would have thought that. It would appear that it’s far safer for pedestrians to be on our roads than on our pavements.

    Yes people drive over pavements but perhaps mainly in order to park on parts of it. Perhaps they may cause an obstruction and this is why it has became a nuisance to the fleets of waste disposal wagons that Biffa run.

    I can understand that it’s annoying and frustrating. So much so that perhaps they cannot complete rounds. There must be a financial cost or loss due to this. So by fixing cameras, similar to those that such wagons are already being used to detect potholes around our towns and cities, then video evidence of such offences, all 30,000 per month can then be presented to the police for their consideration and for the taking of suitable action against such offenders. I am sure that they are happy with this situation and are prosecuting offenders left right and centre. As regards to the clearer Hi vis uniforms I hope that they are staying cleaner as they will get dirty soon and a dirty one is about as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle…which is absolutely useless.

    Don’t get me wrong I do not defend drivers who flout the law and in such a reckless manner, they deserve to be prosecuted. The parking of cars appears to be a problem now identified and one that needs some consideration. If all the vehicles parked on the roads and not on the pavements then no cars or vans or emergency services, fire or ambulance or indeed waste disposal vehicles would be able to pass along many streets. Is that a situation that we want? I think not.

    So, well done, Mr. West, you deserve this accolade from Rospa for helping to make our streets a safer place.

    Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

    A welcome initiative…more of this sort of thing is needed. Many years ago I turned into my road and a refuse lorry was blocking the road. I waited behind another car, similarly held up, but instead of waiting, that particular driver pulled onto the offside footway, drove down it to pass the wagon (the full width of the car taking up the full width of the footway), passing close by the boundary walls and pedestrian accesses. Who was behind the wheel?…an off-duty traffic police officer!

    Hugh Jones
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