Road safety news in brief from the week commencing 7 August:
- GEM encourages drivers to be ‘Blue Light Aware’ as video hits 400,000 views (11 August)
- Checks in Norfolk reveal 38% of child car seats incorrectly fitted (11 August)
- ‘Horse sense’ keeps Somerset’s road users safe (10 August)
- ADINJC unveils speakers ahead of 2017 conference (7 August)
- Motorcycle conference to look at ‘diverse’ ways of reducing casualties (7 August)
Click here to read the road safety news in brief from the week commencing 31 July.
11 Aug: 11.00
GEM ‘Blue Light’ video hits 400,000 views
GEM Motoring Assist is encouraging all road users to be ‘Blue Light Aware’, by knowing how to assist emergency services vehicles when required.
The call comes as an online video, launched by GEM in 2011, reached 400,000 views. The video shows drivers the actions they should take when faced by an emergency vehicle.
GEM has also published a number of tips for drivers:
- Stay safe and legal – no one expects you to put yourself at risk or break the law in an attempt to help an emergency vehicle.
- Remain calm and observant – the earlier you spot an emergency vehicle, the more time you have to plan.
- Don’t make judgements on which emergency vehicles deserve your help and which ones don’t.
- If you slow down or stop, don’t move off or accelerate until the emergency vehicle has passed completely.
- There may be more than one emergency vehicle coming, so listen for different sirens, and look all round before moving off.
Neil Worth, GEM road safety officer, said: “We all want to help emergency service drivers, and most of the time it’s just a simple case of pulling over to let them past. But we need to ensure that anything we do as drivers is safe and legal.
“We occasionally experience difficulties because we don’t know what’s expected of us. There is the risk that we could be putting ourselves or others in danger – or on the wrong side of the law.
“The GEM video includes details of how we can help at junctions, on motorways and on stretches of road where overtaking is not permitted. It was produced in partnership with fire, police and ambulance services across the UK. It is regularly reviewed by experts to ensure it still represents good practice.”
11 Aug: 10.15
Checks in Norfolk reveal 38% of child car seats incorrectly fitted
Checks by Norfolk County Council’s road safety team have found that more than one in three child safety car seats are incorrectly fitted.
Alongside crews from Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, the road safety team has been touring around the county this summer hosting free child car seat checks across the county.
At these, the team has checked 893 children’s car seats – uncovering 335 faults, 314 of which were able to be fixed on the spot. The 38% fault rate is slightly higher than last year.
Margaret Dewsbury, chair of the Communities Committee, said: “It’s good to see the road safety team, supported by Norfolk Fire & Rescue, actively going out and sharing their expertise on child car seat fitting within the community.
“Simple fitting errors can be easily remedied but badly fitted seats can have devastating results and now thanks to the dedication of the crew hundreds of parents and carers can be reassured that their child seats are now correctly fitted.”
Iain Temperton, road safety officer, said: “It usually only takes one minute to check a seat and not much longer to fix any problems we find. We find all sorts of errors from incorrect fixing to the wrong type of seat being used for the size of the child.
“It can be a complicated subject, so why not take five minutes out of your day and let us provide advice and guidance to keep your most precious cargo safe?”
THURSDAY 10 AUGUST
10 Aug: 15.00
‘Horse sense’ keeps Somerset’s road users safe
Somerset County Council’s road safety team is encouraging the county’s drivers to ‘show a little bit of horse sense’ to keep everyone safe on the road.
Supporting the British Horse Society’s ‘Dead? Or Dead Slow?’ campaign, the road safety team are educating road users on how to pass horse riders safely.
To achieve this, it has published four ‘simple’ steps:
- Slow down to 15mph
- Be patient, don’t sound your horn or rev your engine
- Pass wide (at least a car’s width)
- Drive slowly
The campaign also has a number of recommendations for horse riders on how best to stay safe when riding on the road:
- Be safe be seen – both horse and rider should wear hi-vis even on bright and sunny days
- Don’t ride in poor weather or light conditions
- Be courteous to drivers – if you show courtesy to them then they are more likely to show courtesy to you
- If the horse you are riding is not used to the road ensure you are accompanied by an experienced rider and horse
- Concentrate at all times and avoid distractions
- Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back
Alan Hiscox, the BHS’s director of safety, said: “Most horse riders would prefer not to ride on the roads. However, a lack of off-road access means using roads is a necessity for many riders.
“Riders have the same right to be on the road as motorists, cyclists or any other user group. With a bit of understanding and consideration on both sides, there’s room for everyone to use the roads in harmony and safety.
“The Dead or Dead Slow campaign urges drivers to slow down to 15mph, pass wide –at least a car’s width when they meet a horse and rider on the road.”
Cllr John Woodman, Somerset County Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “Horse riders are a common sight on the roads of Somerset and as the ‘Dead? or Dead Slow?’ campaign clearly shows we can ensure their safety with some simple common sense steps.”
MONDAY 7 AUGUST
07 Aug: 15.00
ADINJC unveils speakers ahead of 2017 conference
The Approved Driving Instructors National Joint Council (ADINJC) has confirmed a number of speakers ahead of its 2017 conference, which takes place in Dudley on 8 October.
Among those already confirmed for the annual event are Sue Baker (freelance motoring writer, editor and broadcaster), Elizabeth Box (RAC Foundation) and Graham Lucas.
The event will also feature a ‘DVSA Question Time’ with Mark Magee, John Sheridan and Graham O’Brien answering questions and and providing an update on the new practical test and other important industry news.
Other presenters include the Speed of Sight Charity, the Marmalade Network and Nick Croft, chair of the Association of Industrial Road Safety Officers (AIRSO).
Sue Baker is an award-winning freelance motoring writer, editor and broadcaster, with over 30 years’ experience of car testing and new product launch reporting, analysis and commentary.
Sue will talk about young drivers, new driving test and the use of sat nav, automated parking, electric vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell cars, new technology and autonomous cars.
Elizabeth Box is head of research at the RAC Foundation, an independent charity established to promote for the public benefit research into environmental, economic, mobility and safety issues relating to the use of motor vehicles.
Elizabeth is responsible for commissioning a large programme of research and will speak about behavioural change, young drivers and the relevance of research for driving instructors.
Click here for more information on the one-day conference.
07 Aug: 10.15
Motorcycle conference to look at ‘diverse’ ways of reducing casualties
With a little over three weeks until the 2017 National Motorcycle Conference, AIRSO has provided updated details of the event’s agenda.
Taking place in Hinckley in Leicestershire on 30 August, the conference will set out to provide delegates with the opportunity to learn about the diverse ways in which AIRSO is working to reduce motorcycle casualties.
Among the highlights of the event will be the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC) new lead for motorcycling, ACC Nick Adderley, providing an overview of NPCC’s efforts to reduce motorcycle casualties.
Tanya Fosdick will present an evaluation of the National BikeSafe scheme, while Lembit Opik will look at issues from a motorcyclist’s perspective.
Kathrine Wilson-Ellis will explain what Highways England is doing to reduce motorcycle casualties, with Dr Shaun Helman providing an insight into ‘Looked But Failed To See’ collisions.
Other topics on the agenda include engineering solutions, young riders, the use of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy for reducing rider stress and the marketing of motorcycle safety initiatives.
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