Road safety news in brief: week commencing 5 June.

12.00 | 8 June 2017 |

The latest road safety news in brief:

08 Jun: 15.45
IAM RoadSmart offers free taster session to UK drivers
IAM RoadSmart has launched the first of its summer promotions, offering drivers a complimentary 60-minute, expert-led, taster session.

Announced yesterday (7 June), the introduction to advanced driving session is designed to help drivers improve their confidence behind the wheel while updating their skills.

The session, which is carried out one-to-one by an observer from a local IAM RoadSmart group, is open to every full car licence holder regardless of their level of experience. Drivers will use their own car on local roads, and can discuss any areas of concern with their assessor during their session.

Each participant will receive a concise briefing and an overview of IAM RoadSmart driving principles followed by an on-road session and ending with a debrief. The tone of the session is a low-pressure introduction on how to make driving enjoyable, stress-free and fun.

Updates of further offers from the charity, to include free on-road driving modules (covering topics such as driving on motorways and driving with distractions) will be issued via IAM RoadSmart’s website over the coming weeks.

Sarah Sillars, IAM RoadSmart Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are hoping that as many drivers as possible will take up the chance of a free driving session with us. It’s all about helping the individual enjoy their driving more, and ultimately helping them become a safer driver.

“And if they want to take the next step and become an advanced driver, they can have a discount to make the process even easier. It’s a win-win all round!”


07 Jun: 12.45
Drivers encouraged to follow the two second tailgating rule
GEM Motoring Assist is calling on drivers to follow the ‘two-second rule’ and ensure they’re not putting lives at risk by tailgating.

The road safety and breakdown organisation has provided the advice comes amid concern that too many motorists are simply unaware of the distance they need to stop safely in an emergency.

GEM says that in normal driving conditions drivers should leave a two second gap. In wet conditions, GEM says this gap should be increased to four seconds.

Writing in the summer edition of GEM’s membership magazine, Good Motoring, road safety expert Peter Rodger explains that being followed too closely is one of the most hated experiences among drivers.

Peter Rodger said: “The two-second rule is a great guide, and it works because it’s time-based, not distance-based.

"There’s flexibility that matches your speed, so it doesn’t mean carrying a spreadsheet of distances and speeds around in your head.

"You should note as the vehicle in front passes a fixed point, such as a tree or lamp-post. Then you say ‘Only a fool breaks the two-second rule.’ If you are still speaking when you pass the same fixed point, then you are following too close."

07 Jun: 10.00
Invention to prevent mobile phone temptation
A new product – described as a ‘universal in-car phone case’ – has been developed in an effort to prevent the distraction and temptation caused by mobile phones.

The ‘Phonesafe’ case has been produced by Drive PHONESAFE and differs from a conventional phone case by being able to ‘lock’ – making a phone’s contents both physically and visually inaccessible for those driving.

To unlock the case requires the use of both hands, therefore the hope is that it will constrain the driver to pull over in a safe place to access their mobile phone.

Despite being compact in design, the Phonesafe case is large enough to accommodate all mobile phones – including an outer protective case. The case enables the charging of the phones battery through the various charging ports.

Although ‘strongly discouraged’, vehicles equipped with bluetooth hands-free technology may still be used to communicate with the enclosed mobile phone.


06 Jun: 12.15
GEM issues hay fever medicine warning
GEM Motoring Assist is warning hay fever sufferers to check their medicines carefully before getting behind the wheel, and to be aware of the possible effects these drugs can have on their driving.

In a press release issued today (6 June) as we head into summer, GEM has compiled a safety checklist for any driver likely to need a hay fever medicine.

The advice includes:

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist if a medicine could affect your ability to drive. Be particularly careful if you are using a medicine for the first time.
  • Don’t drive if you experience potentially dangerous side effects from a medicine.
  • If you find a particular medicine is making you sleepy, consider asking if there is a non-sedating alternative available.

GEM has also produced a video, aimed at a more mature audience, titled ‘Drugs, medicines, driving and the law’, which offers information on how certain prescription medicines and other can affect driving.

Neil Worth, GEM’s road safety officer, said: “Some medicines, including those used to treat hay fever, can have an effect on your ability to drive safely. They can affect your vision, your hearing, your reaction time, your perception of risk and your ability to carry out a variety of tasks. 

“You may feel sleepy, sick, dizzy or unable to move quickly. Your vision may be blurred, and you may also find it hard to focus or pay attention. Symptoms like this make you much more likely to be involved in a collision.”

06 Jun: 09.15
Nominations sought for EVONIK road safety award
Public authorities are being encouraged to submit an application for the EVONIK road safety award, designed to support sustainable road safety initiatives.

Now in its second year, the award acknowledges and rewards the contributions to road safety of public authorities worldwide, with the winner selected by an independent jury of internationally recognized experts in the field of road safety, transport, and city design.

Key criteria for the winning project/initiative are its contribution to road safety and sustainability as well as its innovative character and potential replicability.

Any completed – at least one year track record – infrastructure initiative which includes some form of road marking is a potential candidate for the award. Public authorities of a city, state, national or regional level, responsible for such an initiative can apply.

The deadline for applications is 30 June.


05 Jun: 10.15
New online training tool designed to improve fleet safety
A new online training tool on occupational road safety has been launched in an effort to improve fleet safety across the globe.

The fully accredited ‘Road Safety at Work: Online Course for Managers’ is designed to give managers and businesses the skills needed to deliver and sustain a robust road safety management strategy.

The educational project has been developed by the Eastern Alliance for Safe and Sustainable Transport (EASST), together with UK’s Cranfield University and IRU Academy.

Through a series of 10 video lectures, quizzes and reading materials, the course uses real-life examples and case studies to give those who manage road safety at work the competencies and skills they need to safely manage a fleet of vehicles – awarding them at the end with an accredited certificate of completion. 

Led by an ‘impressive’ line up of UK Road Safety professionals, the course is accessible online 24/7, and described as ‘affordable’ and with ‘no geographical boundaries’. 

Patrick Philipp, head, IRU Academy said: “We are excited about the first universal digital training course in the field of managing fleet safety and are confident that this course will offer managers with key knowledge necessary to instill a culture of road safety awareness in their organisations.”

05 Jun: 09.45
TTC Group to run driver education courses in Gloucestershire
The TTC Group has been appointed to run driver education courses, including speed awareness, for Gloucestershire Police.

Announced in a press release on 1 June, the new contract award means the TTC Group now run courses for 12 police forces across the UK and means motorists in the area will have more choice with extra venues and course times extended to evenings and weekends.

The TTC Group is the UK’s largest provider of courses for motorists and educates more than 350,000 people each year, including motorists who drink and drug drive, speed or who are responsible for non-injury collisions.

Sharon Haynes, operations director, said: “Drivers usually speed due to an error of judgement and we help them to change their driving behaviour so they stay within the limits in the future and are more aware of road hazards. 
“We receive hundreds of emails and letters from drivers who say their driving improves as a result.”
Martin Surl, Gloucestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Obviously, it would be better if every motorist adhered to the legal limits and there was no need for speed awareness courses.
"However, what the TTC Group is offering ensures there will be a seamless transition from what was in place before and at more locations in the county, making it easier for people to attend."



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