Brake says 'thanks' to RSOs
The road safety charity, Brake, has issued a 'big thank you' to road safety professionals for their support during the 2006 Road Safety Week. Brake held media launches in cities around the UK and launched results from a survey of 4,500 young drivers and passengers.
To find out more about events during the week go to www.roadsafetyweek.org . Brake will continue to add case studies of local initiatives that took place during the week to the campaign website.
School Travel Plan 'first' for Thurrock
Thurrock Council is claiming to be the first local authority in the country to have achieved 100% of its schools with a School Travel Plan.
Central government requires that all schools have an approved School Travel Plan by 2010, and Thurrock has completed this four years ahead of schedule.
Denise Langan, Thurrock's road safety manager, said: "The road safety team has worked extremely hard - it is through their dedication that we are the first authority to have accomplished this nationally."
Pupils rise to Road Safety Week challenge
The London Safety Camera Partnership (LSCP) used the recent Road Safety Week to challenge 3500 Year Six pupils from 36 London primary schools to create their own road safety posters.
During October, an LSCP representative, accompanied by an RSO and a police officer, visited each school to discuss road safety and road policing - including the dangers that speeding vehicles can pose to pupils as pedestrians and passengers.
Pupils were then asked to design a road safety poster - and thousands were received. The judges selected the best three from each school, some of which will feature in the 2007 LSCP calendar, and winning pupils were presented with certificates and vouchers during school assemblies.
Safety weeks prove popular
Hampshire's road safety team and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service launched the latest phase of the young driver campaign, Are you off your head!, with a series of road safety weeks in sixth form colleges across the county.
A new teaching pack produced by the road safety team covers key issues for 17-24 year-olds, including drink and drug driving, mobile phones, speeding in rural and urban areas, passenger safety and the New Driver Act.
Students participated in a fit test using impairment goggles to understand the effects of drink and drugs, and a fire crew from performed a crash scene reconstruction.
More colleges have signed up for a second phase of the event, which will take place early in 2007. For more information contact Chris Collins, email@example.com.
TSO publishes Road Safety Act
The recently published Road Safety Act 2006 is now available to order from TSO.
Measures covered by the Act include new offences such as causing death by driving; provisions for speeding (including speed assessment equipment detection devices) and drink driving (including alcohol ignition interlocks); a new system of endorsement addressing unlicensed and foreign drivers; and penalties including fixed financial penalties, penalty points and attendance on courses.
For further information about bulk discounts, or to place an order, contact Stephen McCluskey on 01603 696860 or mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org.
Roadside fingerprint reader piloted
Police trials of a hand-held electronic fingerprint reader are being launched in Luton. It is hoped that the device will save police time and money by allowing officers to identify suspects on the roadside without having to take them to a police station.
The gadget allows officers to search 6.5 million fingerprints archived on the National Automated Fingerprint System. The Home Office calculates it could save more than £2.2m a year.
For the full story go to: http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_2087819.html
RSOs and firefighters unite
Cornwall's road safety unit and the county's firefighters came together to stage mock extraction events and education sessions at colleges throughout the county during the recent Road Safety Week.
Carol Wright, road safety project co-ordinator, said: "We hope that by raising awareness to young drivers of the consequences of a road collision it will make them think twice before they risk the lives of themselves and their passengers."
For further information contact Wendy Rizza on 01872 327342.
Funding withdrawn for bereavement pack
Brake is calling on road safety professionals to join its fight to save a literature pack it produces for bereaved road crash victims.
The Brakecare pack includes advice on coping with grief, and information on practical procedures that often follow a death on the road. It is currently handed to families by police following every UK road death.
The pack for families in England and Wales has been funded by the Home Office for the past six years, and is currently the only government-funded support for road crash victims. However, the Home Office has announced funding will cease from October 2007 for at least five years.
Brake has set up an online petition urging the government to re-consider. For further information or to sign the petition go to: < http://www.brake.org.uk/index.php?p=915 >
SCP survives hit and run
School crossing patrol Marie Bint is recovering after becoming the victim of a hit and run driver last week.
"I feel as though I've been hit by a bulldozer," said Marie, who escaped with severe bruising following the accident near Harry Dack Infant School, where she has been Redcar and Cleveland Council's SCP for 10 years.
Cleveland Police is investigating the incident, and witnesses claim the car was being driven at over 50mph in a 30mph limit.
Marie explained: "I thought my life was gone - my time was up. I feel very lucky. I've had a few 'failed to stops' at the last minute, but never anything like this. Will I go back? I don't know, I can't answer that one yet."
Road safety manager, Mike Hall, said: "Everyone is extremely shocked at what's happened and we're just relieved that Marie has not been more seriously hurt. We want to see her back at work as soon as possible."
For further information contact Paul Daniel on 01642 771153.
Nursery walk delivers right message
Pupils from Blackwood Primary Nursery School in Kirkmuirhill set a great exampleby completing a Nursery Walk to School Week as part of their School Travel Plan (STP) development.
Pupils from Blackwood Primary and Nursery Schools have produced STPs. Aside from the health and safety aspects, these STPs also have a wider impact on positive citizenship, battling social exclusion and increasing the overall enjoyment of daily journeys.
To promote their STP, the nursery pupils also produced a banner featuring their drawings and also wore reflective and fluorescent stickers and armbands to reinforce the Be Safe Be Seen theme.
Professional competence focus for conference
The Police Federation of England & Wales has unveiled plans for its second Roads Policing Conference, to be held on 29 November at the RBS Williams Formula One Conference Centre at Wantage in Oxfordshire.
The conference will focus primarily on professional competence and accreditation of skills and knowledge. The head of ACPO roads policing, Meredydd Hughes, will map out his vision for the coming years.
The £95 fee includes lunch and refreshments. Click here to download the booking form, or contact Jasmin Anderson on 0208 335 1000.
Car seat toolkit published
AVI Productions has developed an interactive CD ROM covering the new legislation regarding in-car child seat safety. Topics covered include car seat fitting, choosing the right type of car seat and car seat laws.
Liz Barkwith, Lewisham Road Safety Unit, says: "The CD is an ideal way of getting a message across verbally and visually at a time to suit the parent - probably when the baby is asleep! It's also a great resource for parents to go back to later."
For further information about prices and minimum quantities contact Matthew Philpott on 0151 652 8000, or email@example.com.
Week used as catalyst for campaigns
Two British companies used the recent Road Safety Week to highlight some of the dangers its employees face when driving at work.
The building materials supplier, Wolseley UK, invited its graduate employees to participate in an online driver RoadRISK assessment, which is currently being rolled out to all the company's drivers.
The bespoke assessment, developed with insurers Zurich and risk management partners Interactive Driving Systems, is designed to identify potential 'at risk' drivers.
Meanwhile, the energy company Centrica raised awareness of road risks through events at its 22 main office locations by asking participants to pledge to drive safely.
Jon York, fleet operations manager, said: 'We challenged our 16,000 office-based employees to undertake an electronic driver knowledge check to identify their understanding of the Highway Code. The initiative was a great success, engaging many colleagues who do not drive on company business - so are not normally covered by our road safety policy.'
For further information contact Dr Will Murray on 44 (0) 7713-415454, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cars seized in police crackdown
1,320 cars were seized by police during a month-long crackdown on uninsured drivers in the London Boroughs of Haringey, Hackney and Newham. The operation was launched after a study showed uninsured drivers are most likely to be involved in a hit and run.
For the full story go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk
Gritter depots blessed by Bishop
Lincolnshire's road gritting depots have been blessed by church leaders in recognition of the important road safety work they perform.
The Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Dr John Saxbee, led the blessings in a service at the Sturton by Stow depot near Gainsborough. Ministers took services at the eight other depots across the county.
"The gritting lorries are very visible on the county's roads, but their work is often taken for granted," said Dr Saxbee, who wrote the prayer for the ceremonies. "It is very important to remember the hard work of the drivers and those working at the depots through the long winter nights to make the roads safer for everyone."
For the full story go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk
Council officers swoop to seize signs
Walsall Council officers have confiscated 15 illegal pavement signs, which were presenting a hazard to blind, elderly and disabled people, as well as distracting motorists.
Public protection officers acted on information from members of the public and made two trips to Pleck Road to confiscate a range of signs, which businesses had placed unlawfully on the pavement.
The recent crackdown is part of an ongoing borough-wide approach to ensuring that vulnerable people are not placed at risk of injury by thoughtlessly erected advertising signs.
For further information ring 01922 653573 .
Raise the driving age, survey says
Four out of 10 people surveyed in Cumbria supported raising the minimum driving age to 21 in a bid to reduce the number of young people dying on the county's roads. This was one of a series of findings from the latest poll to be carried out on behalf of Cumbria Safety Cameras.
The survey also found that less than 10% of Cumbria's motorists admitted to speeding every day, and almost half said they never broke the speed limit.
Kevin Tea, communications manager for Cumbria Safety Cameras, said: "The low number of drivers who admitted speeding on a regular basis indicates that Cumbrians are taking safety messages on board.
For the full story go to: http://www.cumbriasafetycameras.org
DfT publishes traffic stats
The DfT has published National Statistics on Traffic in Great Britain, for the first quarter of 2006. The provisional figures indicate that estimated traffic levels rose by 1.2% between Q1 2005 and Q1 2006.
Other key results include an increase in light van traffic of 8%, and a rise of 3% in goods vehicle traffic.
The publication is available online at : http://www.dft.gov.uk/transtat/roadtraff
Drink-drive policeman fights ban
A police officer who was caught drink-driving has launched a legal bid to hold on to his licence.
Strathclyde Pc Scott Walker was nearly three-and-a-half times the limit when stopped near Callander, Perthshire. The 26-year-old admitted the offence at Stirling Sheriff Court. His claim that he was driving because of a medical emergency and should not be subject to a mandatory ban will be investigated at a later court hearing.
It is understood that Walker, who has been suspended as a Strathclyde Police probationer, had been camping with friends on 7 October when the alleged emergency occured. The Crown said it would dispute that Walker was entitled to escape a driving ban.
Disciplinary proceedings against him have been put on hold, pending outcome of the proceedings. Isobel Brydie, of the Scottish Campaign Against Irresponsible Drivers, said: "We shall be watching the outcome of this with interest."
For the full story go to: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland
Pensioner survives 100ft fall
A pensioner walked away with cuts and bruises - after driving his car over a 100ft cliff.
The drama was witnessed by Andy Baldwin who called 999 - but only realised later the driver was his stepfather Terry Flynn, 72.
Mr Flynn swerved off a coast road in his Vauxhall Corsa and smashed through a barbed wire fence into a field. He then drove in circles round the field in the pitch black before plunging over the cliff 300 yards from the road.
But, amazingly, Mr Flynn had only minor head and rib injuries. He was winched to safety by coastguards and taken to hospital where he was said to be 'comfortable'.
Mr Baldwin, 54, who was driving past at the time of the crash, said: "It seems Terry swerved to avoid an animal and ended up in a field. He got disoriented, probably banged his head, and drove over the cliff. The car is almost completely flattened. It was low tide otherwise he could have drowned."
A Hampshire Police spokeswoman said: "We are treating it as an accident. We have no idea why he lost control."