Road safety news in brief from the w/comm 4 September.
- Scotland to introduce low emission zones (7 September)
- RoSPA to evaluate its own evaluation website (7 September)
- GEM calls on drivers to heed mobile phone warnings (5 September)
- New Government proposals ‘to cut congestion’ on busiest roads (5 September)
Click here to read the road safety news in brief from the week commencing 28 August.
07 Sept: 14.45
Scotland to introduce low emission zones
The Scottish Government has committed to introducing low emission zones (LEZs) in four of the county’s biggest cities by 2020, and has launched a consultation on how best to put in place these zones.
Launched yesterday (6 September), the consultation also seeks views on issues such as lead-in times, operating hours and enforcement.
Additionally, the Scottish Government says it will shortly announce the location of the first LEZ which will be put in place in 2018.
Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s transport secretary, said: “This consultation will help us deliver LEZs that are well designed with consistent national standards, in partnership with Scottish local authorities and regional transport partnerships.
“LEZs allow local authorities to set an environmental limit on key transport routes in order to improve air quality by allowing access to only the cleanest vehicles.
“As well as improving air quality LEZs can also contribute to tackling congestion and improve our urban environments.”
07 Sept: 09.15
RoSPA to evaluate its evaluation website
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is asking road safety practitioners to take part in a short anonymous survey as part of evaluation of its own evaluation website.
The survey focusses on the Road Safety Evaluation website, which is designed to help anyone who delivers education, training or publicity campaigns to evaluate their road safety interventions.
At the heart of the website is the E-valu-it toolkit, which asks users to complete a set of questions about their intervention and guides them through the evaluation process, providing recommendations and a partly completed report template.
The E-valu-it team are currently promoting the website and attempting to increase its use.
Therefore, RoSPA is currently conducting research to find out why road safety practitioners do and do not use the Road Safety Evaluation website and what improvements might increase its use. Responses will be used to write a report, which will be published on the website.
As part of this research, RoSPA is inviting road safety practitioners to take part in a short anonymous survey, which should take around 10-15 minutes to complete.
If you have any further questions about the survey or research, contact Becky Needham by email or on 0121 248 2149.
TUESDAY 05 SEPTEMBER
05 Sept: 15.45
GEM calls on drivers to heed mobile phone warnings
Six months after new penalties were introduced, GEM Motoring Assist is appealing to drivers to heed the warnings on the dangers of using a mobile phone at the wheel.
The charity is calling on drivers to make sure they have parked somewhere safe – with the car engine off and the handbrake on – if they need to use a mobile phone.
Neil Worth, GEM road safety officer, said: “It is very worrying to know that more than 200 drivers were still being caught using their phones illegally every day, months after the new penalties were brought in.
“These drivers cannot or will not heed the message that using a phone while driving is a serious offence, because it puts not only a driver’s safety at risk, but also the safety of other road users.
“The risk comes not only from the physical distraction of holding a phone while driving, but also from the mental distraction every driver faces when trying to do something else other than drive.
“We all have 100% concentration available at any one time; anyone deliberately allowing some of that concentration to be directed at something other than the driving task is compromising safety.”
Announced on 2 September, the proposals would allow local authorities to charge utility companies by the hour to carry out works on selected routes, encouraging them to avoid busy roads and peak times.
The DfT says trials in London and Kent have already seen severe congestion caused by utility works fall by more than half.
Under the proposals, firms will also be encouraged to coordinate their plans. In London, utility companies have worked together more than 600 times since the trials began, up from just 100 beforehand.
The schemes also act as an incentive for companies to avoid congested routes and peak times where possible.
Chris Grayling, transport secretary, said: “Delays caused by roadworks can be the bane of drivers’ lives – especially when they take place at rush hour on busy routes.
“These proposals would give councils greater powers to ensure utility companies avoid carrying out works at the busiest times and on the most popular routes. This would not only improve journeys and cut congestion but also save businesses from the increased costs they incur as a result of traffic on our roads.”
BECAUSE OF THE ALL-ENCOMPASSING NATURE OF THIS COLUMN WE HAVE DEACTIVATED THE READER COMMENTS FACILITY.