Road safety news in brief: w/comm 1 August

12.00 | 3 August 2017 |

The latest road safety news in brief:

Click here to read the road safety news in brief from the week commencing 24 July.


03 Aug: 10.45
Learn from those ‘oops factor’ moments – GEM
GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging drivers to reflect on the dangerous moments they have experienced at the wheel.

The road safety organisation is asking drivers to think about risks on journeys – which could take the form of a dangerous stretch of road, adverse weather, an unwise choice of speed or a lack of focus on the driving task.

Among the other tips it is providing is to expect the unexpected, eliminate the word ‘suddenly’ from your driving vocabulary and learn from mistakes.

Neil Worth, GEM road safety officer, said: “We are all familiar with those ‘oops factor’ moments, where no harm was actually done but where we came close to disaster.

“We’re encouraging drivers to set aside time to think about their own particular ‘oops factor’ moments. But rather than allowing themselves to dwell on the danger and risk being distracted, we suggest they wait until the end of a journey and set aside a few moments to think about why it happened.

“That short period of reflection may be all that’s needed to identify the reason, and to adapt techniques of observation or concentration in order to prevent a similar situation happening again.”


02 Aug: 15.30
Remembrance events the focal point of National Road Victim Month
RoadPeace has organised two remembrance events as part of Nation Road Victim Month, which got underway yesterday (1 August).

This year, the annual event marks 25 years since RoadPeace was founded. It also marks 20 years since the death of Princess Diana – and the charity welcomes focus from the media and the Royal family on the lifelong impact of road crashes on the family and loved ones of those killed.

RoadPeace will be commemorating the month with Ceremonies of Remembrance at the RoadPeace Wood in Staffordshire, and Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, giving families an opportunity for private remembrance, as well as giving public recognition to the terrible toll of road death. 

Pauline Fielding, RoadPeace trustee, said: “My son Andrew was killed in a road crash, caused by a driver who did not stop and who was never traced. Since that day, 23 years ago, I have been fighting for justice for him and to have the junction where he died made safer, to help prevent others also experiencing the loss of a loved one.

“I was helped emotionally and practically by RoadPeace and I now coordinate RoadPeace’s Merseyside activities. I urge all those bereaved or injured by road crashes, together with those who support us, to join us in remembrance this August and raise awareness to help prevent further death and injury on our roads."

Event details:

12 August 2017
Ceremony of Rememberance
Organised by the RoadPeace : National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire
This annual gathering brings families and friends together to remember all those killed in a road crash. The event will begin with a service in the Chapel followed by a short walk and ceremony at the RoadPeace Wood, followed by refreshments. More

31 August 2017
Liverpool Remembrance of Diana, Princess of Wales, and All Road Crash Victims
Organised by the RoadPeace : Liverpool
On the 20th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, RoadPeace Northwest group will once again be organising a Remembrance of Princess Diana and All Road Crash Victims, meeting in The Lady Chapel inside Liverpool Anglican Cathedral, St James Mount, Liverpool, at 2pm.

02 Aug: 12.30
Equestrian retailer publishes safety ‘infographic’
An online equestrian retailer has created an ‘infographic’ designed to remind horse riders of key safety points when travelling on the roads.

Country & Stable says the ‘serious road risk to horses and riders is an on going issue’, and points to a 29% rise in reported incidents ‘since last year’.

In a blog on its website which accompanies the infographic, Country & Stable says: “Whether you’re riding on a main road or a country lane, horses and their riders are amongst the most vulnerable road users.

“On occasions where it may be necessary to ride your horse on the road, it is imperative that you are fully familiar with the best practices when it comes to safety.

“If you aren’t, you are putting your own life and those of other road users in danger.”


02 Aug: 10.00
UKGRS secures Uber training contract
The fleet driver training company UK Global Road Safety (UKGRS) has won a contract to develop and deliver training for Uber’s UberASSIST option to support people with disabilities.

The UberASSIST app enables people with limited mobility, visual impairments, folding wheelchairs, walkers, scooters and other disabilities to easily book a licensed private hire driver at the touch of a button. The drivers are all ‘top-rated’ and have received training to be able to best support those who need extra assistance.

Uber approached UKGRS to design a bespoke training programme that addresses how drivers who use UberASSIST should interact with people that have disabilities. The training covers correct language, how to guide people with visual disabilities, the law as it relates to assistance dogs and general etiquette.

Jane Sneddon, UKGRS director, said: “Feedback from the training team has been extremely positive, trainees claimed that the course was remarkably informative and they took a lot away from the programme which will help them provide the level of service that Uber clients deserve.”


01 Aug: 16.45
DVSA endorses MCIA training programme
The Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA) has announced that the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) is officially endorsing the Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre’s ATB managers’ course

The endorsement follows a formal process of evaluation carried out by Mark Winn, the DVSA’s head of rider policy, and Chris Parr, DVSA rider policy manager.

In a joint statement the DVSA pair said: “The comprehensive framework developed by MCIAC provides detailed and clear exemplar standards of business operations that ATBs should aspire to as best practice.”

Karen Cole, director of safety and training at the MCIA, said: “The DVSA has always been sympathetic to the aims of MCIAC, but it was vital that we had an official endorsement gained through evaluation. We are delighted that we now have this and that we have exceeded expectations."

01 Aug: 15.15
Figures highlight ‘major inconsistencies’ in drug driving arrests
New figures published by the BBC Newsbeat programme suggest there are ‘major inconsistencies’ in the number of drug driving arrests in England and Wales.

Newsbeat looked at the number of arrests since the law changed two years ago, which point to a ‘worrying’ pattern of enforcement, according to Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

Newsbeat asked all 43 police forces in England and Wales how many drug driving arrests they have made since the law changed, and 39 replied with usable data.

Newsbeat says some forces have made thousands of arrests, some have made hundreds and ‘a handful’ made fewer than 100.

Newsbeat then looked at arrest numbers per force in relation to the total number of officers. Around half made one arrest for every one, two, three or four officers, while nine forces made one arrest for every 10 or more officers.

Newsbeat says: “These figures must be treated with caution because they can’t be taken as an accurate, like-for-like comparison between forces and don’t take into account whether drug driving is more or less common in different parts of England and Wales.

“The police watchdog also says they can only offer a snapshot into how the law is policed. But that they do provide interesting insight into the much wider issue of the policing of drug driving laws.”

The road safety charity Brake says more drug testing devices are ‘desperately needed’.

Jason Wakeford, spokesman for Brake, said: "The (drug drive) law in England and Wales has gone a long way to help tackle the problem but more needs to be done.

"The Government must make traffic policing a greater national priority, giving the police more resources to deal with drug driving throughout the year.

“More approved testing devices are also desperately needed; just two of the drugs listed as illegal under the law – cannabis and cocaine – can be tested for at the roadside. An approved kit to detect ecstasy/MDMA should be made a priority.”

The National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC) told Newsbeat that while all forces take drug driving seriously, there is no ‘one size fits all’ approach.

A NPCC spokesperson said: "Individual forces make decisions about local priorities and how best to balance their demand and resourcing in order to keep the public safe.

"Some neighbouring forces might share resources to meet demand and each will have different approaches to reducing casualties on the road, depending on the risk they face.

"This means simply dividing officer numbers by arrests cannot possibly provide an accurate ‘like for like’ comparison."

01 Aug: 11.00
New rules will help van operators to go greener
The Government has announced changes to driver licensing rules designed to make it easier for van drivers to switch to electric vehicles.

Under the new rules van drivers will be able to operate heavier electric or gas-powered vehicles without having to apply for a new licence.

The reforms are a step towards the government’s aim for nearly all cars and vans on our roads to be zero emission by 2050.

Jesse Norman, transport minister, said: “We want to make it easier for businesses to opt for cleaner vehicles, and these proposals are designed to do just that.

“Vans spend much of their time driving around our towns and cities and over 96% of them are diesel powered so making them greener is essential for people’s health and the environment.” 


31 Jul: 15.00
GEM issues fatigue warning
GEM Motoring Assist is urging drivers to be wise to the dangers of fatigue on journeys this summer, as thousands of families across the country embark on long road journeys to holiday destinations.

GEM points to the Highway Code, which it says offers specific advice to reduce the risk of being in a fatigue-related collision. Tips include:
  • proper journey planning
  • the importance of taking a 15-minute break after every two hours or 100 miles of driving
  • avoiding certain medications
  • the times of day and night to avoid
  • the importance of overnight stops on long road trips

Neil Worth, GEM road safety officer, said: “It is widely accepted that fatigue is a major contributory factor in road crashes, particularly in the early hours of the morning. Many thousands of collisions occur because of a driver’s reduced ability to respond quickly and safely if a dangerous situation arises.

“If you’re making a long road journey, then it’s vital to be properly rested before you set off – and to ensure you build in time for breaks on the way.

“Statistics show that those most at risk from a fatigue-related collision include young male drivers, shift workers, truck drivers and company car drivers. Around 85% of drivers who cause fatigue-related crashes are male, and more than one third of these are aged under 30.”

31 Jul: 12.00
Finalists unveiled ahead of 2017 Healthy Streets Awards
The shortlists for the 2017 Healthy Streets Awards, formerly the Cycle Planning Awards, have been unveiled.

Taking place on 28 September at the Walthamstow Assembly Hall, the event is organised by Landor Links and hosted by Enjoy Waltham Forest.

The awards recognise and reward excellence in the planning and delivery of healthy street improvements in towns and cities in Great Britain and Ireland.

The awards are presented in the following categories:

  • Best Behaviour Change Initiative Award
  • Best Innovation Award
  • Active Travel Workplace of the Year Award
  • Healthy Street Proposal of the Year Award
  • Best Modal Shift Award
  • Best Healthy Streets Local Policies Award
  • Best Air Quality Improvement Project Award
  • Healthy Streets Champion of the Year Award

Click here to view the shortlist.




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