Chief fire officer Dave Etheridge, chair of the CFOA Road Safety Executive Board, was kept busy answering RSOs questions in a lively online seminar on the Academy website earlier today (23 Jan)
Dave fielded 13 questions about how road safety officers and the fire and rescue service can most effectively work together to help make roads safer for all.
In response to a question about which specific road user groups he felt the Fire & Rescue Service (FRS) was best placed to influence, he suggested those in the 15-24 age range, "who are are hard to influence but will listen to FRS ".
Answering a question about how to improve partnership working and co-ordination, he said that CFOA’s road safety executive board has four distinct workstreams to help FRS work with other partners to help deliver road safety. He added that he hopes Road Safety GB will chair one of these workstreams (stakeholders and partners) which he said would be a "giant positive leap" and "send very strong messages to both our organisations".
Asked whether he ever envisaged a role for FRS in road safety enforcement, he said that FRS is currently almost universally welcomed, in part because it is there to "help and educate rather than enforce". He added that "blurring our role over to enforcement could have a detrimental effect on our ability to influence those who are particulalry hard to reach".
Academy members can read all the questions and answers by following this link: http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/academy/pages/seminar-etheridge.html.
Others who would like to see a transcript of the seminar can request a copy from Nick Rawlings.
FOOTNOTE: The Road Safety GB Academy, the professional development arm of Road Safety GB, runs a monthly online seminar programme which is available free of charge to members. 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. For more details or to apply for membership visit The Academy website or contact Emma Norton, head of membership.