|You are in: Road Safety News: 23 April 2007
Rhyming for road safety
A road safety limerick competition led to a radio appearance for four Leicestershire schoolchildren.
Leicestershire’s road safety and travel awareness team ran the competition, giving the children the opening line of the limerick in which they had to mention their school.
The four winners went along to the BBC Radio Leicester studio to read out their poems on the Drivetime show.
Nigel Horsley, team leader, said: “We ask JRSOs for ideas for competitions to keep them involved. They came up with the idea of a limerick competition as a fun way to remind other pupils about road safety.”
For further information contact Liz Goodman on 0116 265 8341, firstname.lastname@example.org
WIMA supports Bikesafe launch
Four Welsh police forces launched this year’s Bikesafe Cymru programme at Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, on 15 April – and WIMA (Women’s International Motorcycle Association) was invited to take part.
WIMA members circulated among the crowds handing out information leaflets to the women present. Widge Thorpe, general secretary, said: “I was amused that often the male partner would put out his hand to take the proffered leaflet, which enabled me to say: It’s not for you, it’s for her - but you can come along too!”
This year, WIMA has been invited to support Bikesafe launches at Abergavenny, Lytham and Humberside.
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Camera-caught drivers not fined
Hundreds of thousands of drivers caught on camera speeding and going through red lights are not being prosecuted, according to the BBC radio programme, The Investigation.
The programme, which was aired on 19 April, said it was difficult to produce national figures partly because there were differences in the way some areas collect their data.
But it said that according to figures supplied by safety camera partnerships to the government, hundreds of thousands are getting away with breaking the law.
The Association of Chief Police Officers traffic spokesman, chief constable Meredydd Hughes, said the detection rate for all crimes is 30% - and that in that context camera offences were being reasonably enforced.
For the full story go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6568813.stm
Deadly ride for passengers
Two in three young people say they have been a passenger in a speeding car, and more than half of those put their lives at risk by not asking the driver to slow down, according to a survey of 4,500 young people conducted by Brake.
Brake is calling for the Government to make road safety education a compulsory part of the national curriculum and demanding the urgent introduction of Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL).
The ABI organised parliamentary reception in the House of Commons on young drivers last week. Christopher Grayling MP (pictured), Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, ABI Director General Stephen Haddrill and bereaved mother Jane Evason - whose 19-year-old son Gareth was knocked down and killed by his drunk friend – all spoke about the young driver problem.
Jools Townsend, head of education at Brake, said: “Now is the time for the Government to take action and tackle the problem of risk-taking young drivers.
“Too many people have died due to a deadly combination of inexperience and recklessness among many young drivers. More will die if positive steps are not taken immediately to educate young people and reform the learning to drive process.”
TISPOL conference invite
Road safety professionals are invited to attend a conference organised by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network, in London on 22 May.
The conference, Making Europe’s Roads Safe, will take place at One Great George Street, Westminster, London.
There will be a number of key speakers from across Europe, including Dr Stephen Ladyman MP.
For further information about the programme and delegates fees contact Russ Jordan on 07736 083615, or go to: www.tispol.org.
Language penalty for Latvian driver
A Latvian drink-driver has been told that he can get a reduction in a two-year ban if he takes a rehabilitation programme – but first he must learn to speak English.
Immigrant Guntars Vuskans, 28, speaks almost no English but, through an interpreter, said that in a multi-cultural country it was not fair that he had to endure ‘extra punishment’.
At Blackburn Magistrates' Court Vuskans was offered the chance to take the drink drive rehabilitation programme but was told he would not have the assistance of an interpreter.
"We will offer you the programme but you will have to improve your level of English," said the chairman. "You have been in this country for a year now and you should have more understanding."
Vuskans pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol. He was banned from driving for two years. If he completes the course his ban will be reduced by six months.
For the full story go to: http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk
Hayfever concentration fears
A survey of almost 5,000 adults by Privilege Insurance found that one in seven suffered from hayfever or other allergies - and almost half of these had driven after taking medication.
Many of those questioned said they had lost concentration at the wheel because of side effects such as drowsiness.
GP Dr James Lawrie commented: "Certain types of drugs, or even herbal supplements can affect a person's ability to drive safely and if they are combining several over-the-counter drugs for the treatment of the same ailment, they could be very dangerous on the road.
"It's important drivers always read the label of any medication they plan to take - either prescribed by a doctor or purchased at their local chemist - and discuss possible side effects with their pharmacist."
To read the full story go to: http://www.channel4.com
Helpline proves popular
A further four police forces – Hertfordshire, Greater Manchester, Thames Valley and Bedfordshire – are using the recently-launched MIB police helpline. This brings the number of forces using the helpline to 13.
The helpline is a dedicated service provided by the MIB to police forces in the UK in support of ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) camera enforcement. It is designed to assist the police when they stop a vehicle after carrying out an automatic check on the MID (Motor Insurance Database).
For more information contact Susan Beck on 01908 821985, or firstname.lastname@example.org
UK's 'shortest yellow line' claim
Residents in north London believe they have one of the country’s shortest yellow lines in their street.
The 18-inch parking restriction in Highbury Crescent is just about long enough to fit one wheel. "I was amazed to see the yellow line," said Elly Lishman, who lives nearby.
Islington Council said no ticket has ever been issued on the line, which was put there ‘to help drivers’.
Councillor Lucy Watt said the stretch of kerb was shared by residents' bays and pay and display bays. "The yellow line simply separates the two," she said. “We've put it there to help drivers avoid parking in the wrong one and getting a ticket. In Islington we take a common sense approach to parking enforcement.”
For the full story go to: http://www.ananova.com
Boy collects traffic lights
Schoolboy Simon Patterson is a real shining light - he collects traffic signals.
The 14-year-old – who has six sets of lights, more than 30 beacons and hundreds of photographs of foreign designs - wants to be a traffic signal engineer when he is older.
Simon, of Prescott, Merseyside, said: "It's hard to put my finger on it, but traffic lights just excite me. People at school think I'm crazy. Some people like football or music, but I'm into road-related stuff."
Simon gathered his collection by writing to councils and offering to give old lights a home. He also bought several sets on eBay for around £25 each.
And he has hundreds of photos of lights from around the world sent to him by pals on holiday. He said: "My favourite ones are Parisian lights and the old-style British ones aren't bad either.
"People think they are just a matter of red, green and amber - but there are loads of designs and lighting systems, and so much clever stuff inside."
Simon, a member of the Society for All British Road Enthusiasts, now plans to put up the lights in his back garden with a signal box to make them flash in turn.
For the full story go to: http://www.ananova.com