The road safety news in brief from the week commencing 10 July:
- Young male drivers targeted in County Mayo campaign (13 July)
- Parents urged to prevent children from ‘playing chicken’ (13 July)
- #OpRingtone – Norfolk Police target illegal mobile phone use (11 July)
- £3.25m awarded to low carbon projects in Scotland (10 July)
- Event will focus on reducing suicides on UK roads (10 July)
Click here to read the road safety news in brief from the week commencing 3 July.
The campaign, which is being promoted across all social media platforms, uses a novel approach – including an image of an ass behind the wheel.
As part of the campaign, road safety professionals are calling on young drivers to put an end to ‘selfish and dangerous’ behaviour, including ‘performing donuts’ on the roads around Co Mayo – and think of others.
The council is also calling on members of the community to report incidents of dangerous driving to the local police.
Noel Gibbons, road safety officer, said: “This campaign delivers a strong message that makes speeding uncool. Young drivers don’t put themselves in that image, they think that’s all about bad drivers.
“But the image of an ass behind the wheel resonates more with acting stupidly, it is about cultural and peer pressure.
“This is a serious matter. We see too many deaths on the roads and would like the community to report these incidents. This type of dangerous driving may result in serious injury or worse.
“Your tyres may become worn more quickly, affecting your car’s ability to stop in an emergency and there is a chance that you, your passengers or innocent road users could be seriously injured, or even killed.”
The plea was made today (13 July) by Fay Goodman, managing director of DriveSafe & StaySafe, who is encouraging the Government to launch a public child safety education campaign.
Fay has highlighted a particular concern over ‘daredevil’ activities, such as playing chicken (when children run across roads, aiming to get as close to an oncoming vehicle as possible).
Fay Goodman said: “It’s a crying shame that we don’t have national public safety campaigns anymore. Risky activities like these show that child safety education needs a massive boost. Teaching children simple check points and tips will make all the difference to accident prevention.”
Fay is also the founder of ‘The Conies’ – a family of cartoon traffic cones that educate children in road and personal safety.
The Conies charity was formally launched this month (pictured above) by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Cllr Anne Underwood (second left), at an event sponsored by the president of Pertemps, Tim Watts (right)*.
Fay Goodman (third right) added: “I was thrilled by the tremendous show of support at our launch. The Conies have the potential to save countless young lives regionally and nationally. Our ‘Walking to School Safely’ scheme is just the first of many covering areas that pose greatest risk to children.
"Our pilot showed that children really engaged with The Conies and remembered the safety messages. We now need to work together to consistently educate children to be self-aware and prevent them from putting themselves in danger in the first place.”
*Also pictured (left) is Sir Graham Meldrum CBE, chairman, West Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust.
TUESDAY 11 JULY
11 Jul: 14.00
#OpRingtone – Norfolk Police target illegal mobile phone use
As part of a week long campaign focusing efforts to tackle drivers using mobile phones, Norfolk Police are appealing to the public to help identify offenders.
Operation Ringtone, which launches this week (10-16 July), sees officers patrolling the roads with marked and unmarked cars and motorcycles, all fitted with cameras to obtain evidence to help secure successful prosecutions.
In addition to this, a new reporting form on the police website means members of the public can now submit dash cam footage to support the fight against those breaking the law.
Chief Inspector Kris Barnard, head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing and Firearms Operations Unit, said: "We all witness it, momentary glances looking down at a phone or the more blatant offender seen holding and talking on their phone.
"The key thing to remember here is that while you’re behind the wheel you are in charge of a machine, a machine which can seriously injure and even kill people if you’re not in proper control.
"If you take your eyes off the road for just three seconds when doing 70mph you will travel further than the length of a football pitch. Ask yourself, what could happen in that time?
"We are doing everything within our power to stop offenders and hopefully prevent serious or fatal collisions. However, with the help of the public, submitting footage and supporting our investigations, we will be able to hold more lawbreakers to account.”
MONDAY 10 JULY
10 Jul: 14.45
£3.25m awarded to low carbon projects in Scotland
Five projects across Scotland have received a share of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to support the shift towards active or low carbon modes of travel and transportation.
The ERDF Low Carbon Travel and Transport (LCTT) Challenge Fund was launched last year in an effort to develop active travel and low carbon transport hubs.
Transport Scotland says it hopes the funding – worth £3.25m – will help it encourage more every day journeys to be taken by walking, cycling or public transport, as well as increasing the proportion of ultra-low emission vehicles on Scotland’s roads.
One of the five projects will be undertaken by Falkirk Council and its delivery partner Forth Environment Link. They will develop a public-facing active travel hub in Falkirk town centre and a low carbon vehicle hub at Falkirk Community Stadium.
Humza Yousaf, Scotland’s transport minister, said: “The ERDF Low Carbon Travel and Transport Challenge Fund provides a fantastic opportunity to help individuals, communities and our population benefit from sustainable and greener travel options.
“I am delighted that five projects will benefit from ERDF funding to deliver active travel and low carbon transport hubs. The Scottish Government is committed to increasing the number of journeys made by active travel and public transport as well as freeing Scotland’s towns, cities and communities from the damaging emissions of petrol and diesel fuelled vehicles."
Organised by PACTS, the event takes place in Westminster on 19 October and will bring together experts from many sectors, including transport, health, emergency services, academia and government.
Themes will include:
- National government policy on suicide prevention;
- The experience of the rail sector in preventing suicides
- Links between the Safe System approach to road safety and suicide prevention
- Sources of data on suicides on the roads, and how these can be improved
- Policy and institutional barriers to action
- Interventions to reduce suicides on the roads
- The role of Local Suicide Prevention Action Plans
- International experience in tackling suicides on the roads.
To date, four speakers have been confirmed on the agenda, including Ruth Sutherland (Samaritans), Tim Holland (Highways England), Dr Anna-Lena Andersson, (Swedish Traffic Institute) and Katy Harrison (PACTS).
The event’s bio reads: "Some 6,000 people take their lives every year in the UK, often involving transport. The railway industry, working with Samaritans, has developed interventions that are having positive results. The roads sector lags behind.
"Data from Highways England suggests it is a significant problem but the wider scale of the tragedy is unknown and action is not co-ordinated."
BECAUSE OF THE ALL-ENCOMPASSING NATURE OF THIS COLUMN WE HAVE DEACTIVATED THE READER COMMENTS FACILITY.