National Conference – Topical Topics (the final session)

12.00 | 15 November 2017 |

Images and soundbites from ‘Topical Topics’ – the final session of the 2017 National Road Safety Conference.

About the session 
As the name suggests, this final main conference session comprises a series of quick-fire presentations covering a range of topical road safety topics.


15.25 – Liz Brooker MBE, road safety & sustainable transport manager, Lewisham Council

Liz Brooker MBE has been involved in road safety within Lewisham for more than three decades.

Presentation: Pre-CBT training in Lewisham

  • Motorcycle in depth study report
  • Plan an intervention
  • Design a presentation
  • Work with Partners – CBT provider
  • Develop an online support module
  • Evaluate
  • Lessons learned!


Lewisham roads – up to 125cc

  • A clear peak in collision involvement for riders up to 125cc at aged 20-24 years
  • Compared to London residents involved in collisions, there were fewer 16-19 year olds among Lewisham residents than expected


Why Lewisham?

Approximately one-third of motorcyclists involved in collisions on Lewisham’s roads are from Lewisham and therefore targeting residents will reduce the collision rates on the Borough’s roads.


COM – Behaviour Change Model


  • The intervention will improve the participants’ hazard perception skills
  • Will improve the riders’ ability to learn from their own experience by developing their own self-evaluation skills.



  • Provide the participants with coping strategies that will allow them to maintain control of their actions in difficult situations, for example, when in a social setting in relation to alcohol and drugs use.



  • The intervention will seek to motivate the participants to behave correctly by increasing the participants understanding of the benefits of the behaviours being advocated.
  • Road safety interventions have often been criticised for their lack of follow-up after the initial intervention. The course will also include a follow-up e-learning module that reminds the participants of the key messages and will allow the participants to further improve their hazard perception self-evaluation skills.
  • Within the intervention the participants will also complete a self-affirmation exercise. This approach has been shown to increase the acceptance of key messages in a number of health


Educational Approaches – Behaviourism and Constructivist



TFL funded

  • 50% discount on CBT over 2 years
  • In depth study – Road Safety Analysis
  • Evaluation



  • Presentation – and online module
  • Delivery of presentations
  • Officer time (6 hours every 4 weeks)

So far…

202 participants July 2016 – October 2017

Cost £8k pa on CBT discounts

15.05 – Shaun Helman, head of transport psychology, Transport Research Laboratory

Dr Shaun Helman is a cognitive psychologist who has been involved in researching road safety and driver behaviour for the last 15 years.

Presentation: Transforming the practical driving test

Study set out to assess the impact of the revised test on:

  • Learning to drive
  • Roads / conditions / situations
  • Safety-related attitudes / confidence
  • Test difficulty
  • Post-test driving
  • Roads / conditions / situations
  • Safety-related attitudes / confidence
  • Collisions


  • The revised test group
  • Had more sat-nav training
  • Had slightly more learning ‘independently’
  • Felt they needed more improvement in a range of driving skills
  • Had greater confidence overall in being a good, safe driver

Some evidence of training bias in preparation

  • National control group had more hours with ADI
  • National control group spend more time training in quiet areas and less time on fast roads

Test performance

No differences between revised and existing test groups

Post test driving

Revised and existing test groups did not differ in the following variables:

  • Mileage
  • Frequency of driving overall
  • Driving on different roads
  • Driving in different environmental conditions

Only difference – driving using a sat-nav

Post test driving

No differences in:

  • Level of improvement needed in driving skills
  • Confidence
  • Driving style
  • Attitudes to risk
  • Collisions

Take home message re: new test

  • The new test does not reduce collisions directly.
  • Nonetheless, drivers who take the new test have a little more insight into their limitations as drivers and, potentially as a result, have more confidence that they will go on to be a safe driver (an attitude which previous work has shown has a beneficial effect over the early years of driving).

Other things to note

  • The statement “One in five drivers have a collision within six months of passing their test” may no longer be true – it is now about one in 10 or 11
  • No gender effect – difference between datasets using (largely) damage-only collisions and those using injury collisions
  • Time learning with an instructor on country roads or ‘independently’: in both cases, doing eight hours or more of training in the situation led to a 40% reduction in collisions, relative to someone doing none
  • People who have a telematics policy have more collisions than those who don’t

14.45 – Iain Watson, senior road safety officer (education), Suffolk County Council

  • After working a as a teacher and an advisory teacher, Iain Watson joined Suffolk County Council’s road safety team in 2007, and now leads the education team.
  • Presentation: ‘Braking Point’ – focusing on the positives
  • Project aim
  • Focus on young people doing the right thing
  • Multiple engagements
  • Partnership delivery
  • Empower passengers (and drivers)
  • Not a lecture
  • Evaluation
  • Key points
  • Successful delivery of road safety is difficult
  • Multiple engagements are better than one offs
  • Accessing schools for multiple sessions is difficult
  • Delivery partners have different objectives
  • Lecturing gives information – engagement gives change
  • Evaluation
  • Background & philosophy
  • Not a fan of blood and guts
  • I don’t think you can get engagement if people are crying or vomiting
  • We simply can’t do hard hitting and fear
  • Fear appeals may have a negative effect

  • Target audience – risk takers, male 17-24yrs – now targeting their peers
  • We are looking to normalise GOOD behaviour – deliver something to the 90%
  • Elicit opinion and encourage debate
  • Didn’t want to have partners in uniforms (police & FRS)
  • Delivery – phase one
  • A play developed by Performance in Education
  • Features ‘normal teenagers
  • About decision making in risky situations
  • Talked about social and life consequences
  • Delivery – phase two (first year)
  • First year follow up session
  • Aim for as much discussion as possible
  • Why do the majority of young people choose to wear seat belts, not to use mobile phones etc
  • What reason might the 10% give? Can you think of an argument?
  • Delivery – phase two (second year)
  • Come up with a campaign for your school
  • Take one aspect from the play
  • The 10% v the 90%
  • What information would your friends need to keep safe?
  • 14.35 – Teresa Healy, operations manager, GoSafe – the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership & Steve Davis, specialist operations inspector, South Wales Police.
  • Teresa Healy has been working with safety cameras since 2005 when she was employed by the then Mid & South Wales Safety Camera Partnership as a data analyst.  Teresa was promoted to operations manager in 2009 and now responsible for the staff in management office for GoSafe, the Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, and is currently acting partnership manager.
  • Steve Davies joined South Wales Police in 1992 and has carried out a vast array of roles ranging from general patrol duties, custody officer, Criminal Justice Unit Inspector. His most favoured role however and the one which he has carried out for the majority of his service is on the Roads Policing Unit. 
  • Presentation: Operation Snap
  • What is Operation Snap?
  • Simply a process
  • Receipt of Digital Media
  • North Wales Pilot
  • All Wales roll out
  • NOT about detecting offences
  • Influence driver behaviour
  • Improve road safety
  • What offences are accepted?
  • Careless & Inconsiderate Driving
  • Dangerous Driving
  • Contravening Double White Lines
  • Contravening Red Traffic Light
  • Pedestrian Crossing offences
  • Mobile Phones
  • Failing to wear Seat Belts
  • Distracted Drivers
  • Benefits of dash cameras
  • Evidence in case of collision
  • Monitor driver standards
  • Influence driver behaviour
  • Avoid fraudulent insurance claims
  • Reduce insurance premium

  • 14.25 – Felix Vandemeulebroek, project manager, Belgian Road Safety Institute (BRSI)
  • Félix Vandemeulebroek has a Masters in Environmental Science and Management and a Bachelor in Socio-anthropology (Université libre de Bruxelles (BE), 2014, 2012). In his masters thesis he focused on cycling infrastructure such as modal shift vectors in Brussels.
  • Since December 2014 Felix has worked for the BRSI as project manager – mobility & infrastructure.
  • Presentation: European Road Safety Charter – our commitments save lives
  • Launched in 2004 as part of the road safety action programme 2011–2020, aimed at halving the number of traffic fatalities on the European Roads
  • Based on the principle of shared responsibility – everyone can help improve road safety
  • Represents what civil society can do in order to support the authorities in accident prevention
  • Main objectives for 2016 – 2019 ERS Charter
  • Enlarge the charter community
  • Facilitate the exchange of information, knowledge and experience
  • Identify and highlight best practices
  • Benefits of joining the Charter
  • A great source of inspiration & networking – and it is free
  • Join the charter here
  • Excellence in road safety award
  • Recognizes commitments to road safety that have a significant impact on saving lives on Europe’s roads.
  • These commitments good practices:
  • Respond to a road safety problem
  • Clear objectives
  • Evidence-based
  • Clear indicators

  • 14.00 – Simon French, chief inspector, Rail Accident Investigation Branch
  • Simon French is a graduate of the London School of Economics and joined the railway industry in 1982 as a management trainee. He held a number of operational posts in British Rail and worked on number of major railway projects including the Channel Tunnel and Heathrow Express.
  • Presentation: Lessons from 12 years of rail accident investigation
  • The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is one of three AIBs covering Air, Marine and Rail Accidents
  • Characteristics of all AIB investigations
  • Independence from industry, also prosecution and law enforcement bodies
  • The purpose of any investigation is limited to the improvement of safety – no blame is attributed, issues of liability are never considered
  • Investigations are undertaken by specialists (with inputs from industry and external experts)
  • Industry is obliged to notify certain types of accidents and incidents to the relevant AIB, and to provide certain types of safety data
  • AIBs have powers of entry and the right to seize evidence
  • AIBs have the right to carry out interviews of those who may be able to provide evidence – those interviewed must answer questions put to them (it is an offence to refuse to answer a question or to mislead an AIB inspector)
  • Witnesses are protected from ‘self-incrimination’ – statements made to AIBs are not shared with other agencies (except by order of a high court)
  • Collaboration and consultation with industry and external experts
  • Those involved in accidents are kept informed of progress and key issues
  • Although AIBs play no part in the prosecution process, they will share most technical evidence with others that have a duty to investigate (unless this is legally prohibited)
  • If requested by a coroner AIBs will give evidence at an inquest
  • The outcome of all AIB investigations will be published in the form of a report
  • Where appropriate AIBs will make recommendations to improve safety by:
  • reducing the likelihood of a recurrence; 
  • reducing the severity of an accident should it occur;
  • improving the emergency response; or
  • addressing any other safety issues.
  • Could such a model work for highways?
  • Top-level principles of independent, no-blame and specialist investigation are applicable to any mode.
  • This approach can be applied to the analysis of individual accidents or larger data sets drawn from numerous investigations.
  • A supporting safety system across the industry is needed – to turn learning and recommendations into action (eg RAIB/ORR/RSSB).
  • Possible approaches to the investigation of road traffic accidents
  • Safety learning from statistical analysis
  • Thematic investigations based on wide data
  • Detailed investigations focused on specific accidents, possibly selected on the basis of:
  • Severity of outcome
  • Potential for safety learning
  • Novel/new technology
  • Wide implications
  • Review of randomly selected accident investigation reports to aid the dissemination of good practice
  • Conclusions
  • There is a case for considering the best means of delivering independent ‘no-blame’ safety investigation of (selected) road traffic accidents, and wider road safety issues
  • Such investigations should never replace existing arrangements focused on the detection of crime and questions of liability
  • To be of value, independent road traffic investigations must be:
  • Independent
  • Supported by suitable legal powers (including immediate access to evidence and data held by others)
  • Conducted by specialists/trained investigators
  • Focused on safety learning



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