Road safety news in brief: February 2017

12.00 | 28 February 2017 |

A recap of all the other road safety news from February 2017.

28 Feb: 15.30
Project Pictogram provides timely mobile phone reminder
With mobile phone penalties increasing tomorrow, Project Pictogram says many council fleets are utilising its free artwork files as a ready-made solution for in-cab reminder stickers, display screens and social media cascades. For more information contact Phil Palfrey by email.

Click here to view a larger version of the above picture. Click here to find out more about Project Pictogram. 

28 Feb: 12.30
Are courses the answer to stopping repeat mobile phone offenders?
A driver caught by police using his mobile phone while driving has said he would ‘never do it again’ after attending a special course for offenders run by the TTC Group on behalf of police.

Chris Snowden volunteered to attend the course after police drove alongside him as he checked work emails on his phone. He said driving was now ‘much less stressful’ and that he only checked emails at the end of a journey when the ignition was switched off.

Mr Snowden said: “I knew using my phone while driving was illegal so I started the course thinking I’ll get through this and avoid the three points.

“But I walked out of the course thinking I could be the next news story on a family killed by a driver not paying attention to the road, using a mobile.”

The TTC Group road safety organisation has worked with a number of police forces, and organisations across the UK to deliver specialist half day behavioural change courses aimed at changing the way drivers think about risks.

The mobile phone course attendees take part in activities that prove they can’t effectively carry out two simple tasks at the same time.

Click here to read more.


22 Feb: 15.45
EU transport ministers back ‘ambitious’ vehicle safety improvements
Eight EU transport ministers have called on the European Commission to ‘speed up’ plans to upgrade vehicle safety standards saying road safety should be ‘top priority’.

In a letter to the European Commissioner for industry Elżbieta Bieńkowska, the transport ministers of Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg and Holland said ‘ambitious’ new vehicle safety standards are needed ‘to help Member States halve the number of road deaths by 2020’.

The ministers point to figures which show that 26,000 people die on European Union roads annually, with at least 135,000 suffering ‘life-changing’ serious injuries.

Antonio Avenoso, Executive Director of the European Transport Safety Council said: “It’s great to see transport ministers demanding faster action on vehicle safety in Europe. They recognise that, while national governments can take many measures to improve road safety, improving vehicle safety is absolutely critical.

"Tougher European standards are urgently needed to ensure that effective, proven and widely available technologies like overridable Intelligent Speed Assistance, Automated Emergency Braking and Advanced Seat-belt Reminder Systems are fitted as standard, not as optional extras.”

Click here to find out more.


17 Feb: 12.30
Castle Point MP wins Brake’s road safety award
Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point, has been named as Parliamentarian of the Month for January, by the road safety charity Brake and Direct Line Group.

Brake says the award recognises Rebecca’s road safety work in the community she represents and the continued support of road safety campaigns, such as Brake’s Roads to Justice and Road Safety Week.

Rebecca’s work on road safety has particularly focused on raising awareness on drivers getting their eyes tested regularly. This follows the story of her constituent Reverend Brenda Gutberlet who lost her niece to a driver who shouldn’t have been driving. Despite the driver being told by medical professionals his eyesight wasn’t good enough to be on the road, he continued to drive and ran down Natalie Wade whilst she was on a pedestrian crossing.

Alongside this, the Castle Point MP has also signed the PACTS & Direct Line pledge to improve road safety on UK roads and is a key supporter of Road Safety Week, which Brake co-ordinates.

Gary Rae, campaigns director, for Brake, said: “Rebecca fully deserves this recognition for her continued hard work in aiming to improve road safety on the United Kingdom’s roads. Not only has she sought to end the injustices that we see through ineffective sentencing following criminal driving, but she has long campaigned to end road deaths due to visual impairment. We are pleased to give this award to yet another dedicated and passionate road safety campaigner.

Rebecca Harris, MP for Castle Point, said: “I am honoured to be Brake’s Parliamentarian of the month and I would like to share this honour with my constituent Reverend Brenda Gutberlet who is the inspiration for my efforts. I am a big supporter of Brake’s work and I firmly believe that every week should be Road Safety Week.

Click here to find out more.


16 Feb: 15.15
Crossing lights for smartphone zombies
Light-up strips have been installed at a pedestrian crossing in Bodegraven, Netherlands, to help smartphone users cross the road safely.

16 Feb: 12.30
Entries invited for the TyreSafe Awards 2017
TyreSafe, the UK’s tyre safety awareness charity, is calling all road safety stakeholders to prepare submissions for the TyreSafe Awards 2017 – demonstrating their tyre safety awareness activities during 2016.

Entries for the categories are welcomed from members and non-members of TyreSafe and can span a range of initiatives from social media and online campaigns to tyre workshops, themed events and local displays.

Winners will be presented with their awards at an evening ceremony on 6 July at The Belfry, Wishaw, which will be attended by senior members of the road safety community, representatives from the tyre and vehicle manufacturing and retail industries, and guests.

Single or multiple entries are invited for each of the following categories:

  • Independent garage award
  • Franchise dealership award
  • Tyre manufacturer award
  • Tyre retailer award
  • Vehicle manufacturer award
  • Best use of technology to support a tyre safety campaign
  • Safety in the community award
  • Emergency services award
  • On-line and social media award

Click here for more information.


15 Feb: 12.30
FTA offers RSGB members free place at Van Excellence Operational Briefings
The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is offering 20 Road Safety GB members complimentary tickets to one of its Van Excellence Operational Briefings in March.

Available on a first come first served basis, those booking will have the choice to attend one of three events:

  • 1 March – Aston Villa, Birmingham
  • 23rd March – Twickenham Stadium
  • 29th March – The Pavillions, Harrogate 

The theme for this year’s event is managing operational risk in van fleets and the day will be based around a dramatization of a serious RTC involving a van and its ramifications.

Speakers will cover the best practice in driver management, the development of policies for and practical management of drug driving, driver psychology and minimisation of distraction and health screening. The day will culminate with a live mock sentencing of the defendants from the dramatized RTC. 

Last year’s event scored an ‘unprecedented’ 93% ‘would recommend’ rating from delegates.

For more information, visit the FTA website or the RSGB calendar of events.


14 Feb: 14.30
Mobile phone penalties – have you say!

14 Feb: 11.30
More than half ‘would misuse disabled parking areas’
More than half of the motorists surveyed as part of new research admitted that they would misuse disabled parking areas.

The research, which surveyed nearly 1,000 drivers, found that 53% would park without a valid permit for reasons such as ‘an emergency’, ‘lack of other parking spaces’ and ‘only leaving the car for a second.

Despite that figure, only 7% of motorists questioned admitted to previously misusing a disabled parking space.

93% said they thought those who did misuse these spaces should face a penalty, while 40% said they would confront or report an offending motorist for doing so.

Graham Footer, Disabled Motoring UK, said: “Disabled Motoring UK is not surprised by the outcomes of the survey. That is why DMUK created its Disabled Parking Accreditation. We are working with the British Parking Association to raise standards within the parking sector.”


10 Feb: 13.30
‘Not indicating clearly’ voted most inconsiderate driving behaviour
Not indicating clearly has been named as the most inconsiderate driving behaviour on UK roads in a new RAC Insurance survey published today (10 Feb).

In the poll of more than 2,100 motorists, 58% of respondents described not signalling clearly, or failing to indicate at all, as the most inconsiderate action by other drivers.

56% of respondents named hogging the middle lane of a motorway, followed by driving too close to the car in front, which was voted for by more than half (51%).

The next most popular answers in the top five driving behaviours that cause other motorists the greatest angst were: getting angry with other drivers (46%) and selfish parking (45%).

Almost all drivers surveyed described themselves as being a courteous and considerate driver – only 1% didn’t – but they believe that poor driving is an all-too-common sight on the nation’s roads with only 4% saying they were unlikely to see any thoughtless behaviour on a typical half-hour drive.

Simon Williams, RAC insurance spokesman, said: “There are a variety of behaviours at the wheel that motorists class as being inconsiderate, most of which involve deliberate acts which are blatantly thoughtless, but the top answer of ‘not indicating clearly’ is probably more due to misunderstanding or forgetfulness.

“The confusion that it can cause is no doubt responsible for, at worst: accidents and at best: needless wasted seconds of waiting only to find out the driver wasn’t really going where you thought they were. 

“The biggest example of ‘indicator confusion’ has to be at roundabouts. There seem to be different schools of thought on how to signal at roundabout and very few that follow the rules set out in Rule 186 of the Highway Code. If more of us were to follow the indicating rules there would probably be fewer bumps at roundabouts.”


08 Feb: 10.45
Event will highlight latest safety developments in road marking
Road safety officers are invited to attend a one-day event in the Capital where the road marking industry’s latest safety and research and development initiatives will be showcased.

Taking place at the ExCel on 29 March, the ‘Innovation Day’ will feature a keynote speech from Dana Skelley OBE, TfL’s asset management director of surface transport.

The event is being hosted by WJ South, one of the UK’s largest road marking specialists, responsible for projects including the cycle superhighways and Olympic route network.

The event, which is CPD endorsed, will feature the latest thinking in the road marking sector alongside a series of live practical demonstrations.

It is supported by the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE), the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) and the Road Markings Association (RMA).

The agenda will cover safety, efficiency, collaboration, delivery and innovation, with a number of technical presentations introducing new products and processes.

The event will also see a number of supply chain partners exhibit the latest developments in road marking vehicles and associated services.

Delegate numbers are limited for the free event. To register, email


06 Feb: 15.30
Ireland: Drivers of mobility scooters to be given road safety guidelines 
Mayo County Council has announced that drivers of mobility scooters in the region are to be given road safety guidelines.

Despite only being able to travel at 8mph, the local authority says it has become so concerned about the potential for accidents involving mobility scooter drivers.

Presently, operators of these vehicles are exempt from road traffic rules meaning they do not need to take a driving test or have a license to use a scooter. There is also no legal requirement for insurance. 

Noel Gibbons, road safety officer, said: "The aim of the project is to help people with mobility issues to maintain their independence whilst enhancing their own safety and confidence on our roads and other public areas,mobility scooters are essential lifelines.

"These guidelines have provided a great opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of mobility scooter safety.

“Safety is everyone’s responsibility from pedestrian, cyclist, vehicle user to those who use mobility scooters. We all have a duty to stay safe. I would encourage mobility scooter users to avail of these information leaflets, especially those who may never have driven a vehicle or ridden a cycle. Our pedestrian areas and roads are increasingly busy and we all need our wits about us.”


02 Feb: 14.45
CAPT issues call for papers ahead of road safety seminar
The Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT)* has issued a ‘call for papers’ ahead of its annual road safety seminar which takes place on 29 March.

The seminar, titled ‘Road safety, children and young people – innovation in tough times: what matters and what works?’, is being held in Camden, London.

The event is intended for road safety professionals, senior teachers and school governors, public health specialists, highways engineers, policy makers and researchers.

CAPT is inviting presentations from successful initiatives that have either been developed in response to restricted resources, or activities that has been protected and have continued to thrive.

Anyone interested in making a presentation, or requiring more information about the seminar, should contact Kevin Lowe by email or on 020 7608 7363.

The deadline for submissions is 10 February.

*The Child Accident Prevention Trust
CAPT is a national charity committed to reducing the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents.

Click here to read news in brief from January 2017.



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