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

12.00 | 17 March 2017 | | 1 comment

In a week that saw TISPOL unveil details of the 2017 edition of Project Edward, I’m sure the European Traffic Police Network would have been pleasantly surprised to see its seatbelt enforcement campaign gain support from police forces across the UK.

Police in Wales launched an ‘All Wales Seatbelt Campaign’, while Norfolk Police is one of a number of constabularies participating in the TISPOL initiative (13-19 March).

Elsewhere in the news, British Cycling launched phase two of its ‘Turning the Corner’ campaign, while in the wake of Manchester City Council’s decision to review its 20mph scheme, the campaign group 20’s Plenty for Us published what it is calling the ‘lessons to be learnt’ from the episode.

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.

Project Edward is back – but can it have the same impact as last year?
So, TISPOL has announced details of Project EDWARD 2017, the ‘European Day Without A Road Death’.

Taking place on Thursday 21 September 2017, Project EDWARD encourages drivers, riders and pedestrians to spare an extra thought for their safety.

While the inaugural event, which took place on 21 September 2016, saw a fall in death across the continent, TISPOL was – rightly – cautious in attributing that fall to Project EDWARD.

However, it did say the initiative delivered fantastic results in terms of revitalising Europe-wide collaboration and participation, and in truth EDWARD’s impact on social media was eye-catchingly successful.

The event hashtag, #ProjectEdward, trended for much of the morning, peaking as high as number six in the UK – and I can tell you that is no mean feat.

In total, there were 7,923 Twitter posts using the hashtag, equating to a reach of 19,298,225 users.

So can the 2017 event, which has its own dedicated Twitter feed, match or even eclipse that success? Early signs show that it is already garnering support…


 Belt up!


A Misleading headline? If you say so…
While shared spaces and 20mph limits keep the competition honest, there is no greater trench war in road safety than that surrounding the issue of cycling.

And this week, a story about a new report into London’s Cycle Superhighways and the effects they have on cycle collisions, evoked a strong reaction from those who believe there is a media campaign against cycling*…

Published in November 2016, the Centre for Transport Studies (Imperial College London) report found that the introduction of Cycle Superhighways in London has had no significant impact on collision rates, and concludes that Cycle Superhighways are ‘no more dangerous, or safer’ than other roads.

The report also found that routes with a large proportion of segregated lanes, most notably CS3, were more effective in protecting cyclists. It recommends that consistent safety designs should be applied on all Cycle Superhighways.

Our news item on the report carried the headline ‘Cycle Superhighways have ‘no significant impact’ on collision rates’ – something we remain comfortable with.

Now of course, we are open to feedback – and we take all constructive comments on board –  but here is also some text, taken directly from the report’s abstract…

“The introduction of cycle superhighways caused cycling traffic volumes to increase dramatically along CS routes with no significant impacts on collision rates.

“However, when we re-estimate the effects based on cycle collision rates rather than levels, our results also show that the CS routes are not more dangerous or safer than the control roads.”

Despite this, some disagreed with our choice of headline…

*Those who insist that there is a media campaign against cycling should perhaps check Road Safety GB’s position statement on cycling – and remember this newsfeed remains entirely impartial, unless very obviously stated otherwise…

The Manchester United of road safety
While on the pitch, Maidstone United are very much a non-league outfit, their recent visit to the Kent & Medway Road Safety Experience earlier this week puts them in the Premier League in terms of road safety, well as far as we are concerned anyway.

Players from Maidstone United’s first team followed in the footsteps of the club’s Academy by visiting the centre – organised by the club in an effort to teach their players about the importance of staying safe at the wheel.

Manager Jay Saunders described the visit as a ‘real eye-opener’, while midfielder Reece Prestedge took to Twitter to recommend the experience…


A straight red for for Gary Neville
Sticking with the theme of football, and in particular Manchester United, Gary Neville was pictured driving on a motorway with his phone in his hand.

I’m sure you don’t need me to remind you, on 1 March penalties for those caught using a mobile phone while driving doubled to six points and a £200 fine.

Naturally, this story was going to be picked up by the tabloid newspapers, who attracted some clever replies from Twitter users…

I always prefered Phil Neville anyway… 

You’re welcome
We’re glad someone appreciates our daily news recap!


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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    This article was extremely shy of any comments regarding the Manchester 20 is plenty scheme which appears to have been run since 2003 and yet there appears to have been only a 1 mph average speed decline with 3 phases constructed at a cost to taxpayers of nearly £9 million. Value for money? Does it work? Should we continue? However, more importantly there was no information of any reduction in incidents, collision, injuries or deaths in the many areas chosen. That must say something by reading between the lines. If there had have been some substantial reductions then surely it would have been made public.

    Bob Craven Lancs
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