Road safety news in brief: November 2016

12.00 | 30 November 2016 |



30 Nov: 14.45
IAM RoadSmart to pilot ‘bite-size’ safer driving modules
IAM RoadSmart has today (30 Nov) announced that it is to pilot a range of bite-size safer driving modules for those who drive at work in a bid to satisfy consumer demand.

The shorter courses, which will be officially launched in early 2017, address six specific driving needs:

  • Driving on motorways
  • Driving on rural roads
  • Driving on urban roads
  • Vehicle management
  • Overtaking
  • Confined space manoeuvring

They have been created as one-off one-to-one sessions which last between one and two hours, enabling drivers to brush up on a particular area of concern. All of these modules are conducted by IAM RoadSmart’s advanced driving experts in the customer’s own vehicle.

Sarah Sillars OBE, IAM RoadSmart chief executive officer, said: “We know that business have little spare time in a fast-paced commercial environment and what we have come up with offers great flexibility and a chance to be a safer, more confident driver in a way that fits into operational schedules and supports.”

Click here to find out more.

30 Nov: 10.45
Colas trials ‘innovative’ solar road solution
Colas has started trialling its innovative solar road solution, Wattway, and is in the process of identifying potential UK sites with clients interested in the world’s first ever photovoltaic road surfacing.

The innovative technology provides clean, renewable energy in the form of electricity, while allowing for all types of road traffic. Installed on top of an existing road surface, the solar panels are extremely lightweight and strong.
Carl Fergusson, executive director strategy and development, said: “Without doubt this is an extremely exciting time for the industry and we are looking for a number of forward-thinking clients who are interested in running Wattway trials with us. The UK trials will form part of about 100 trials taking place world-wide.”

Click here to read more


29 Nov: 12.30
Watch: Firefighters use ‘Mannequin Challenge’ to deliver safety message
Firefighters from Eynshaw Fire Station, Oxfordshire, have used the mannequin challenge to urge drivers not to use their mobile phone behind the wheel. The video has attracted more than 12m views.

29 Nov: 10.00
Moving walkways ‘an efficient transport option for car-free cities’
A new study into car-free cities by researchers at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) has concluded that Jetson-style moving walkways could not only replace the car, but could carry passengers more efficiently than buses.


28 Nov: 12.00
ScORSA ‘drive for work’ seminar to be broadcast live
An annual road safety seminar addressing the risks faced by organisations’ fleets and drivers is to be broadcast live on the internet for the first time.

The annual St Andrews Seminar, hosted by the Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ScORSA) and supported by Health Workplaces, seeks to shine a light on the health of those who drive for work and the management of occupational road risk.

This year the event, being held on Thursday (1 December), will be broadcast in full on the internet for those who are unable to attend in person.

A half-day series of talks will be held from 9.30am-12.30pm, covering issues such as the impact of ill health on driving and engaging with ageing workforces, before an afternoon Q+A session from 2.30-4pm will broaden the discussion and summarise the issues covered in the morning.

Speakers include Dr Karen McDonnell, head of RoSPA Scotland and chairman of ScORSA, Ian Tasker of the Scottish Trades Union Congress, and Robert Atkinson, OHS development manager at the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives. The afternoon panel features Mr Atkinson, Dr McDonnell, George Cairns and Inspector Darren Faulds from Glasgow City Council, and Sandy Allan from ScORSA.

Click here when the seminar goes live to access the live broadcast.


24 Nov: 16.40
Vision Express lobbies Highways England to display ‘eye test’ messages

Vision Express has been lobbying Government to display ‘Eye Tests Save Lives’ signs across major highways during Road Safety Week. The optician group says six in 10 drivers surveyed agreed this would be worthwhile. While Transport Scotland and the Welsh Government pledged to display the messages, Highways England has ‘declined the proposal’.

24 Nov: 13.30
JRSO scheme launches in Ireland 
A Junior Road Safety Officer scheme (JRSO) has launched in Ireland in a bid to help capture the imagination of children while reinforcing the road safety message.

The JRSO scheme, for fifth and sixth class pupils, was launched at Derrywash National School, Castlebar, (pictured) – one of the first schools to sign up to the new initiative.

The successful pupils will be empowered to highlight road safety issues within their school by raising awareness among fellow pupils, their teachers and the local community while maintaining an important link with their Road Safety Education Officer. 

Noel Gibbons, road safety Officer, said: “Young people are generally open minded and eager to learn, particularly when the subject matter is meaningful and relevant to their everyday lives. 

"The JRSO scheme will enable the young officers to help their friends and others in their school to be aware of the importance of road safety and what they can do to keep themselves safe."


23 Nov: 09.30
Time to ditch the stereotypes and work together – IAM RoadSmart
With Road Safety Week now in full flow, road safety charity IAM RoadSmart says it’s time to ditch the stereotypes of ‘who is the better driver’ … men or women, young or old – and work together to make our roads safer.


22 Nov: 11.15
Brighten up behind, GEM urges drivers using daytime running lights
GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging motorists to ensure they’re as visible as possible at all times amid concern that many drivers may be inadvertently making themselves harder to spot from behind when daytime visibility is reduced.

22 Nov: 10.00
RAC reacts to National Police Chiefs’ Council ‘community spotters’ scheme to target mobile phone use at the wheel
Pete Williams, RAC road safety spokesman, said: "While this is an unusual initiative, desperate times call for desperate measures. We know the use of handheld mobile phones at the wheel is at epidemic proportions and imaginative ways of tackling the problem are clearly needed. It is, of course, paramount that any such scheme needs to be very carefully managed."


21 Nov: 10.45
Bexley SCP recognised for outstanding service
An ‘inspirational’ school crossing patrol has seen her 42 years of exemplary service recognised by Bexley Council. Yvonne Cocksedge, who started her vocation as a school crossing patrol in 1974, was selected as a special representative in the category of ‘Outstanding Service’ in the Council’s staff recognition scheme called ‘Stars’.

Click here to read more


18 Nov: 09.40
Do you know a ‘Guardian Angel’ who deserves to be recognised?
Do you know someone who goes above and beyond the call of duty to save lives and protect others from harm? Do you have a colleague that goes the extra mile in helping to keep others out of harm’s way, or a friend or family member who campaigns to make the world a safer place? Nominations are now open for the RoSPA Guardian Angel Awards.

18 Nov: 06.40
Folding bike helmet wins James Dyson design award
The inventor of a foldable bicycle helmet has won a £30,000 prize to take it towards commercialisation.

10 Nov: 16.00
Video: Chinese city reintroduces odd motoring punishment
Police in China’s Shenzhen city have re-launched an unusual punishment for people who drive with their full beams on. As well as a 300 yuan fine (£36), they are also made to stare into car lights for 60 seconds. (BBC Monitoring)

10 Nov: 13.00
Theresa May: phone use while driving as bad as drink-driving
The prime minister has called for an urgent cultural shift that would make using a phone on the road as much of a taboo as drink-driving, saying that “a moment’s distraction can wreck the lives of others forever”. (The Guardian)


09 Nov: 13.30
RAC warns drivers to prepare for snow
The RAC is urging drivers to be prepared as up to 15cm of snowfall is expected to bring travel disruption. The warning came as temperatures fell to minus 5C in central England overnight on Monday with motorists set to face ‘their first taste of winter’ over the coming days.


03 Nov: 13.00
TISPOL appoints new president
TISPOL has appointed Paolo Cestra as the organisation’s new president, replacing Aidan Reid.
Read more


01 Nov: 16.00
Nearly a third of tyres replaced in Wales ‘already illegal’
A recent study, compiled by TyreSafe as part of Tyre Safety Month, which tested more than 25,000 tyres as they were being replaced at Welsh tyre outlets, showed that 29.1% were already illegal.



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