National Conference session will include focus on vulnerable road users

12.00 | 22 August 2016 | | 6 comments


The closing session at the 2016 National Road Safety Conference will include two presentations focusing on vulnerable road users – pre-school children and cyclists.

Honor Byford and Ian Edwards will present an analysis and evaluation of the North Yorkshire Walk-Wise project, while Dr George Ursachi from Road Safety Analysis (RSA) will present the ‘Safety in Numbers’ study which takes an alternative look at cycling casualty data.

Walk-Wise – developed by eDriving Solutions on behalf of North Yorkshire County Council and the 95 Alive Road Safety Partnership – aims to improve the road safety knowledge of pre-school children between three and four years of age. Walk-Wise includes an app aimed at young children and the use of social media aimed at their parents.

The presentation will explain how the project was based on psychological theory (social learning theory) and the systematic approach taken to evaluation. It will highlight that approaches used in this project can easily be transferred to other road safety interventions.

The double-header presentation will be delivered by Honor Byford, who is chair of Road Safety GB as well as North Yorkshire’s road safety team leader, and Ian Edwards from eDriving Solutions. Both presenters have more than 20 years’ road safety experience.

Through the ‘Safety in Numbers’ project, RSA is seeking to create a robust model to review the effect of increasing the number of people cycling on casualty figures.

This presentation will first analyse international results before looking at the problems associated with measuring risk using ‘count-based data’. It will explain how RSA sourced robust data about cyclists’ populations within local authority districts in England, and consider what this means for authorities who wish to both increase cycling numbers, while at the same time reducing casualties.

Dr George Ursachi has been involved in ‘Safety in Numbers’ since joining RSA in 2015. A former academic associate professor, Dr Ursachi has a strong background in markets’ analysis, research, strategies, marketing management and project management.

2016 National Road Safety Conference
The 2016 National Road Safety Conference is being hosted by Road Safety GB South West Region in Bristol on 15-16 November and is co-sponsored by Colas, Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK and Insure The Box.

More than 240 people have already registered to attend the event and 18 companies will participate in the exhibition which runs alongside the conference.

In addition to the closing ’round-up’ session, the conference includes sessions focusing on public health and road safety, psychology and social marketing, social media and engagement.

Click here to register to attend the conference; click here for more information about exhibiting alongside the conference; or for more information contact Sally Bartrum (delegate registration and exhibition) or Nick Rawlings (speakers and agenda) on 01379 650112.



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    Believe it or not, I’m actually in agreement with Rod.

    Referring to the comment regarding looking at a bull in a field, how is this different to looking for a tractor coming out of a blind junction, or looking in your mirrors for motorcyclists? All of these potentially require your eyes to be taken off of the road for a moment, and require a fair bit of brain processing.

    David Weston, Corby
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    I don’t think there will ever be a road layout which doens’t make it necessary for a driver to keep watching the road and give it his/her full attention. Obviously nothing wrong in occasional conversation with a passenger whilst still looking ahead and concentrating, but looking out of the window to spot animals in a field to please a child is where one might draw the line and I don’t think not doing so is going to traumatise the child too much. A driver does have to have a certain amount of self-discipline to do the job safely which is clearly their priority – especially with pasengers on board.

    Hugh Jones,Cheshire
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    I am all in favour of reducing distractions, but am asking how far should that be taken. Are we really suggesting that when commenting on seeing an animal in field then a child should be “firmly” told to stop talking and instead draw a picture. That seems to stop all those I-spy games then! And if its so important to have completely focused drivers then shouldn’t this “don’t talk to me” be extended to adults in the car as well. I am trying to test just how far we are prepared to limit our parenting and natural interaction with passengers in order to cope with the road environment.

    The context of this story was that mummy was living apart from Ben and his dad and it was “her day” to have access to Ben. It seems that in such circumstances Ben would be longing to interact. Somehow, drawing pictures would be a very poor second best. From a parenting perspective the “keep quiet and draw pictures” would not seem the ideal way to handle things. We need a road environment that can cope with real-world drivers in real-world situations. And somehow answering and engaging with a child passenger is part of that real-world.

    Rod King,Cheshire, 20’s Plenty for Us
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    Bit surprised to read your comment Rod. As a regular advocate of safer driving and lower speeds to reduce the likelihood of collisions, I would have expected you to support a campaign which might reduce distractions to drivers from their passengers. For a parent who is driving, interaction with their children should be kept to a minimum surely? Or did you say it tongue-in- cheek – perhaps too subtly?

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    We all know that at times children can be highly distracting in a vehicle, I suspect, all parents have been in this position. The book is simply offering a possible strategy the parent could use, if required – a strategy that distracts the child whilst giving them something positive to do. The child’s comment is “Look Mummy!” and Mummy replies, quite correctly, that she has to concentrate on her driving.

    Ian Edwards – Doncaster
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    After downloading the Walk-Wise app I was surprised at the message regarding children in cars. In the “Going to the Seaside” story the seemingly separated mum arrives to take child Ben to the seaside for the day. When driving Mum tells Ben to look out of the window and “see if you can see any animals”.

    When Ben does notice a Bull shouts “look Mum a bull”. Mum replies firmly that she is driving and has to concentrate in order to arrive safely. Ben is then told that if he sees any animals he should draw them in a book and talk about them with mum when they arrive.

    Are we really to believe that roads are now so dangerous that children are not allowed to talk or interact with their parents when in the car for fear of them being too distracted to drive safely?

    Or hopefully was this story just presented to highlight the fact that we need a road network that is inherently safe enough to allow parents to interact with their children whilst they are passengers.

    Rod King, Cheshire, 20’s Plenty for Us
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