Latest road safety news in brief:
- Figures show vehicle thefts on the rise (27 Sept)
- GEM champions older drivers (27 Sept)
- British Cycling joins forces with Mobike to get 2m people cycling by 2020 (26 Sept)
- Rider training schools support Macmillan fund raiser (25 Sept)
- Birmingham MP wins Brake road safety award (25 Sept)
Click here to read the road safety news in brief from the week commencing 18 September.
27 Sept: 15.15
Figures show vehicle thefts on the rise
The number of vehicles stolen in England and Wales has increased by 30% over the last three years, according to data seen by RAC Insurance.
A Freedom of Information (FOI) request to police forces in England and Wales shows that 85,688 vehicles were reported stolen in 2016 – compared to 65,783 in 2013.
The figures show that more vehicles are stolen in London than anywhere else in the UK with 26,496 thefts being reported to the Metropolitan Police Force in 2016 – equating to nearly a third of all vehicles stolen (31%).
Similar to the national trend, this represented a 29% increase on 2013 when 20,565 were stolen.
Outside London, the region with the highest reported number of vehicles stolen is the West Midlands with West Midlands Police reporting 5,930 thefts, a 43% increase on 2013 (4,161) and a 33% on 2015 (4,474).
Mark Godfrey, RAC Insurance director, said: “Unfortunately, these figures show a very unwelcome rise in the theft of vehicles from much lower numbers in 2013.
“Technology advances in immobilisers, keys and car alarms had caused the number of vehicle thefts to decrease significantly from more than 300,000 in 2002 but sadly they have now increased after bottoming out in 2013 and 2014.”
27 Sept: 10.45
GEM champions older drivers
Ahead of the International Day of Older Persons on Sunday (1 Oct), GEM Motoring Assist says it is keen to stand up for the increasing number of older people who chose to continue driving.
More than 100,000 people over 90 years still have driving licences in the UK and GEM says its support is backed up by findings from a recent Swansea University study which shows that mature road users are no more dangerous than other drivers.
GEM is encouraging older drivers to use its video-based web resource ‘Still Safe to Drive’, which offers practical advice for staying safe at the wheel, and also helps family members to find kind but effective ways of helping those senior drivers who may not realise – or will not admit – that they pose a greater risk to others.
Neil Worth, GEM Motoring Assist’s road safety officer, said: “Age discrimination shapes how older persons are treated and perceived, nowhere more than on the road. There is a perception too widely held that older people are slow, dithery and downright dangerous, which is just not true.
“The study, prepared by researchers at Swansea University, showed that although reaction times may increase as people grow older, this is compensated by older drivers taking more care on road journeys.”
TUESDAY 26 SEPTEMBER
26 Sept: 12.00
British Cycling joins forces with Mobike to get 2m people cycling by 2020
British Cycling has announced a new collaboration with Mobike – ‘the world’s largest smart and sustainable bike-share platform’ – to get two million people cycling by 2020.
Unveiled yesterday (25 Sept), the partnership will set out to increase accessibility to bikes by supporting new Mobike schemes in 13 cities across the UK – taking the total number of locations to 15.
Image: British Cycling
The aim is to implement the schemes over the next 12 months and to inspire two million people to get on a bike and create a ‘cleaner, greener, healthier and happier’ Britain.
Julie Harrington, chief executive of British Cycling, said: “Mobike will help us achieve our shared goal of getting people back on their bikes. One of the biggest deterrents of getting on a bike is not having one.
“Not only will Mobike help provide bikes to people where they are needed and encourage them to rediscover their inner cyclist, but we will also get insights from Mobike’s smart technology which will help us understand cycling behaviours.”
Mobike’s ‘iconic’ silver and orange bikes are already available in London (Ealing) and Manchester. In announcing the new partnership, Mobike confirmed Newcastle will become the third city where the bikes are available.
MONDAY 25 SEPTEMBER
25 Sept: 11.30
Rider training schools support Macmillan fund raiser
Some of the UK’s motorcycle and scooter training schools are inviting anyone curious about motorcycling to call in and enjoy coffee and cake, while supporting the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday 29 September.
The training schools taking part are all accredited, or close to completing accreditation with the Motorcycle Industry Accreditation Centre (MCIAC). This means they meet strict criteria around customer service, how well the needs of learners are met and how seriously safety is taken.
MCIAC is backed by the UK’s motorcycle industry, to raise standards and signpost high quality training and was recently endorsed by the DVSA.
Karen Cole, director of safety and training for the UK’s Motorcycle Industry Association, which runs MCIAC says:
“This is the first year MCIAC accredited training schools have taken part in this great cause and provides an alternative venue for those who like to support the World’s Biggest Coffee Morning. Coffee, cakes and motorcycles mix very well, as anyone who visits the Cotswolds will know, where tea rooms are always packed with riders at the weekends!"
Click here to see the full list of training schools that are participating in the event.
Richard Burden, MP for Birmingham Northfield, has been awarded a parliamentarian road safety award by the road safety charity Brake.
Brake says the award recognises Mr Burden’s ‘long-standing involvement in transport and his commitment to road safety’, particularly during his time as shadow transport minister between 2013 and 2017. Brake says he has established himself as a strong supporter of the transport safety agenda across the years; promoting new vehicle technologies and calling for tougher law enforcement and sentencing.
The road safety charity says Mr Burden has strong connections with vehicle development and has consistently urged the industry to develop safe, sustainable and fair practices.
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