As the dust begins to settle on the National Road Safety Conference 2013, one of the big successes was the new live Twitter feed from the conference hall.
Expertly managed on behalf of Road Safety GB by Iain Temperton and Matt Staton, the Twitter feed (#RSGB2013) ran at breakneck speed throughout the conference and prompted healthy debate between tweeters at the conference and those not in attendance.
Unsurprisingly, the “Big Debate” about the merits of 20mph limits prompted much response. ‘Road Safety Analysis’ tweeted, “Wow, only 30% of the audience think 20mph limits make roads safer”. Road Safety GB also tweeted throughout the debate, highlighting some of the key points made by participants and encouraging others to join in.
On the subject of cycling safety, the Twitter account ‘Space for Cycling’ pressed the case for the reallocation of cycling space, tweeting, “will conference discuss #space4cycling and how it removes conflict on the roads?”, and also asked British Cycling representative Chris Boardman, “are you planning to speak on the topic of creating #space4cycling at conference? #PleaseSayYes”.
‘Nick T’ was unable to hide his enthusiasm at being in the presence of the cycling legend. “In the same room as Chris Boardman. Not excited at all… :-D”. He also applauded Boardman’s approach to cycling safety, saying “Wonderful from @Chris_Boardman ‘not groups, they’re modes of transport’, ‘we need to not make it tribal’.
The Nice Way Code also chipped into the debate, saying, “British roads, regardless of the region, will only be safe for cycling once drivers have become safer themselves”.
Two of the presenters used the feed to praise the conference itself. Sarah Jones, Public Health Wales, said, “thanks for the invite to great event!”. Mick Say, social media consultant, tweeted, “I thought it was #AWESOME – a privilege to attend and meet so many dedicated professionals”.
In total, Road Safety GB tweeted more than 450 times during the conference, prompting Nick T to say, “well done to tweet team for the last two days worth of tweets. That was a formidable level of information shared!”
Tristan Young, freelance motoring journalist and editorial director of Auto Retail Network, summarised perfectly, saying “you don’t have to agree with what’s being said at #RSGB2013 but it is fascinating.”