Road safety news – an alternate view (10/3/17)

12.00 | 10 March 2017 |

Following the buzz around last week’s introduction of new mobile phone penalties – and the ensuing campaign launches from THINK! and the RAC – it is no great surprise that road safety has experienced something of a lull on social media this week.

Yesterday’s budget announcement – quite often the source of much comment and debate – didn’t feature too much in terms of road safety, although funding for the development 5G networks, key for the future of driverless vehicles, was welcomed by TRL.

Elsewhere, the Alliance of British Drivers’ call for drivers to be given a greater say on traffic restrictions was met with some cynicism.

Here’s a full rundown of what was hot, and what was not, on social media this week, compiled by Edward Seaman, assistant editor of Road Safety News:

Food for thought?
One news item that did catch the attention of the social media universe was from GEM Motoring Assist, who on Monday warned drivers about the dangers of eating and drinking at the wheel – pointing to research which suggests the action doubles a driver’s chances of being involved in a crash.

Although the research is not exactly new (it was published by Brunel University, London in 2006), it is an area of distraction that perhaps doesn’t get the same level of publicity as others, most notably mobile phones.

However, the Metropolitan Police’s Cycle Safety Team clearly take it seriously…

What would the alliance of British burglars say?
Grass is green, the sky is blue – and the latest Alliance of British Drivers statement was met with great cynicism by many in the road safety community.

In a press release issued on 3 March (reported by RSGB on 6 March), the ABD called on the Government to give drivers a greater say when it comes to traffic restrictions.

The campaign group says all too often drivers are ‘suddenly confronted’ with a new traffic restriction they were unaware of, such as a reduced speed limit.

Now first things first, it must be stressed – as is always the case – the RSGB newsfeed is entirely impartial, unless it is clearly stated otherwise.

So bearing that in mind, the following tweet is in no way endorsed – but the creativeness is applauded.

Some did however react more positively…

Road Safety Wales in drink-drive warning to rugby fans
The Six Nations returns this weekend, and for Road Safety Wales, tonight’s match-up between Wales and Ireland in Cardiff provides the perfect opportunity to reinforce the vitally important drink-drive message.

The sentiment is great, but we’re far from convinced about the photoshopping quality – or that of the Welsh rugby team…

Are we all doomed?
On Thursday, Cycling UK launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money to help police forces across the country to adopt an initiative developed by West Midlands Police to discourage ‘close passing’ of cyclists.

First introduced in September 2016, and widely acclaimed since, ‘Give Space, Be Safe’ sees plain-clothed police officers saddle up to identify motorists who do not leave the required space when passing cyclists.

The campaign has been well supported, and we are pleased to report that as of 11.08am today (10 Mar), Cycling UK has raised nearly 11k of its 12k target. However, the tweet below did catch our eye.

As we are often told, the UK’s cycle infrastructure pales into insignificance when compared to our Dutch friends across the North Sea – a point reinforced by the Wandering Dutchman (although they may have a point).

Are EU sure?
You don’t need me to tell you that ‘Brexit’ remains a sensitive subject to many.

On Wednesday, a new ETSC report urged EU Governments to step up the fight against drug-driving. The report draws on the latest research to provide an overview of how drugs affect collision risk and the prevalence of different types of drugs in different road users and EU regions.

Antonio Avenoso, executive director of ETSC, launched the report with a call for Governments to learn from each other

One Twitter user was quick to remind us of the outcome of the EU Referendum last year:

Again, it must be stressed that this is entirely impartial, but last time we checked, Theresa May hadn’t actually triggered Article 50…

As always, we thank you for your Twitter comments and interaction. Click here to join the 15.5k others who follow the Road Safety GB Twitter account.



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