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Hat trick of Walking Buses in Wear Valley
Two schools in the Wear Valley District of County Durham have recently launched walking buses - bringing the total number of walking buses in the area to three.
Peases West Primary School launched its bus on 2 May to coincide with receiving a Healthy Schools Award. The picture below shows the children with SAM, Durham County Council's Safer, Fitter, Greener mascot.
Witton-le -Wear Primary School launched its bus on 15 May - and nearly a quarter of the children attending the school took part. As the majority of pupils travel to this school by car from outlying areas, one of the aims of the bus is to relieve congestion at the school entrance.
The photo (top of page) shows the children making their way through the local churchyard after being dropped off at the bus's starting point.
The other school operating a walking bus in Wear Valley is Stanhope Barrington Primary.
For further information contact Ann Corbett, firstname.lastname@example.org
MPs back cyclists' fears
MPs have backed cyclists campaigning against a change in the Highway Code that they believe will undermine claims by injured riders against motorists (Surveyor, 18 May).
New wording in the draft code, stating that cyclists should use facilities provided for them, would remove their discretion, according to the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC).
The CTC warns that lawyers acting for drivers and insurance companies could argue that a cyclist injured on the general highway, where there were alternative cycle facilities nearby, was at least partly to blame for an accident.
As consultations on the new code closed last week, former transport minister Charlotte Atkins and other MPs spoke out against the revision in an adjournment debate.
"Given that cyclists are just about the most vulnerable road users, it is important that they can make their own choices about whether to ride along a cycle route or along the road, without fear of adverse legal consequences," Charlotte Atkins said.
The CTC's lobbying generated 11,000 letters and e-mails, jamming the Driving Standards Agency's mail server and forcing a two-day extension of the consultation deadline to 12 May.
Britain 'blocks EU safety moves' - The Times
Britain is blocking pan-European road safety measures, including reducing the drink-drive limit and installing speed limiters on cars, according to leaked documents obtained by The Times.
The Times said the 'DfT has intervened in the drafting of a landmark statement on road safety due to be agreed by European Union transport ministers in Brussels next month'.
The paper went on to say that the department has deleted references to several measures it had previously claimed to support, including speed limiters, steps to reduce the number of crashes caused by elderly drivers, and systems for monitoring driver attentiveness. It has also removed a section on harmonising drink-drive laws across the EU.
Rob Gifford, of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, said: "It is extremely disappointing to see the UK weakening the text when this country has always sought to be the leader.
"It seems hypocritical to try and fetter progress on issues such as speed limiters when the UK has already acknowledged that they have a role to play."
Westminster Briefing - details announced
Gwyneth Dunwoody MP, Chair, Transport Select Committee, is one of the speakers at the next Westminster Briefing on 20 June.
Other speakers at the seminar, which is entitled Education and Enforcement: How Can Local Authorities Improve Road Safety? , include Adrian Walsh (Roadsafe), Andrew Howard (AA Motoring Trust) David Lindsay (North Yorkshire County Council) and inspector Chris Charlton (North Yorkshire Police).
For further information contact Guy Evans-Tipping on 020-7091 7698, or email@example.com
Or click here to download a booking form.
Read the small print, RAC Foundation advises
More than three million motorists use medicines that could impair their driving - and most drivers are unaware that over-the-counter and prescription medicines can affect their concentration and reaction speeds, according to the RAC Foundation.
MP Andrew Dismore has presented a Bill to Parliament calling for better information for drivers about the medicines they may be taking.
Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation, said: "We believe that a clear, eye-catching system is needed to warn motorists about the risks of mixing certain medicines and driving.
"It is easy to believe that a medicine sold over the counter is a safe medicine, but motorists should always read the small print before taking to the road. We hope that the House of Commons will back this important Bill."
For the full story go to: http://www.racfoundation.org
Tower Hamlets deploys CCTV
The London Borough of Tower Hamlets will use footage from CCTV cameras from the start of June to issue £100 fines to motorists disobeying traffic signs and posing a threat to the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists.
London boroughs were given the powers from police to enforce moving traffic offences under the London Local Authority Act 2003.
Enforcement will be carried out using both static CCTV cameras and branded CCTV camera vehicles. Temporary signage will be in place while a camera vehicle is active in an area.
A council spokesman said statistics indicated that CCTV enforcement works as an effective deterrent, and it was hoped it could cut the number of motorists breaking traffic regulations by as much as 50%.
The use of cameras for bus lane contraventions has seen the number of fines drop dramatically.
For the full story go to: http://www.eastlondonadvertiser.co.uk/
Plans to change the structure of the Driving Standards Agency (DSA) were revealed last week.
The restructure is designed to 'enable DSA to help to deliver the government's road safety strategy through new working practices and new emphasis on its strapline Safe Driving for Life'.
"We need to put more emphasis on the education of drivers at various stages of their career" said Rosemary Thew, DSA chief executive. "Since I joined the Agency people have consistently told me that they want to make a reality of our strapline and this is a unique opportunity for us to do just that."
For further information contact the DSA's press office on 0115 901 5874/5.
Medical school hosts road safety symposium
The Postgraduate Medical School at the University of Surrey is hosting a road safety seminar on 21 June and invites RSOs to attend.
The Symposium on Road Traffic Injury: The Silent Epidemic will be held on Tuesday 20 June. The guest speaker will be Nick Ross, journalist and broadcaster. Other speakers will include Robert Gifford PACTS' executive director and Dr Mike Gill regional director of public health, Government Office for the South East.
For further information, or to register, contact Pat Robertson on 01483 688510, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campaign designed to save deer
Drivers are being urged to keep within the 40mph speed limit as part of a campaign to save deer living in the Ashdown Forest.
There were 478 accidents on the roads through the forest last year, resulting in one fatality and 57 injuries. Over 200 deer also died, with 18 killed in just three days last January on the Kent/Sussex border.
As part of the Slow Down-Give Space campaign, volunteers are taking mobile speed indicators to accident black spots and asking drivers to slow down.
The scheme is being run by the Ashdown Forest Villages Road Safety Partnership, which comprises East Sussex County Council, six parish councils, Sussex Police, the Conservators of Ashdown Forest, and East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service.
Councillor Matthew Lock said the aim of the campaign was to make the forest safer for walkers, cyclists, horse riders and roaming livestock, including sheep and deer.
For the full story go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england