Road Safety Week spotlights those dying young
National Road Safety Week (6-12 November), organised by the road safety charity Brake, this year puts the spotlight on deaths and injuries caused by 'risk-taking young drivers'.
Brake is aiming to provide practical advice to young people on staying safe behind the wheel, and will also be calling for urgent action from the Government.
The campaign is supported by volunteers who have experienced first-hand the horrors of a sudden and violent death or injury on the road caused by a young driver, and who are now working with Brake to try to prevent similar tragedies happening to other families.
Mary Williams, chief executive of Brake, says: "Too many young people think racing, drink-driving, talking on mobiles while driving or even not belting up is cool and will impress friends.
"This risk-taking, combined with lack of experience, is the reason that so many drivers are dying young on our roads - and taking their young passengers and other road users with them. Through Road Safety Week we hope to reach out to thousands of young people and urge them to acknowledge the life-shattering consequences of risk-taking behind the wheel."
For further information go to www.roadsafetyweek.org.
Crash course for motorists
Stockport council is raising awareness of a rural accident blackspot with eight-foot signs and a crashed car (Surveyor, 14/09).
The special signs flag up the fact that a highway wall was knocked down in most of the nine accidents occurring at the site in the last 10 months. Temporary A boards - erected for the latest rebuilding of the wall - explain the reason for the temporary traffic lights.
Richard Clark, Stockport's road safety manager, said: "The council has tried everything to slow motorists down - new surfacing, additional signage and lining - but still the accidents are happening."
New driver manual launched
Road safety professionals joined Viscount Jan Simon last week for the launch of the new driver manual, 'Mind Driving'.
Published by the road safety charity Safety House, and written by first-time writer Stephen Haley, Mind Driving gives a 'unique insight into the mental process behind expert driving'.
Stephen Haley wrote the book as a result of the frustrations of being unable to articulate to his children exactly what constituted 'good driving'.
He said: "When I asked people to define safe driving it was all hands and feet rather than eyes and brain, but safe driving is so much more than this. Driving is a mental exercise about the choices you make rather than a physical one about the actions you take. When the thinking is right, the right actions will follow and the more I dwelled on this the more this seemed to be the holy grail of safe driving."
For further information contact Vikki Carley on 020 8665 8024, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Scottish trainer warns of trailer licencing issues
A Scottish driver training company is warning that a large number of people who tow a trailer may not be licensed or insured to do so.
Driver Training (Central Scotland) explains that if an individual has passed their driving test after 1 January 1997 , then they must sit a Category B+E test before towing a trailer greater than 750kgs - or a combined vehicle trailer weight of less than 3500kg - on public roads.
This includes trailers being towed for commercial or leisure purposes including horseboxes or other livestock, plant equipment, cars, boats and caravans.
In a paper the company has prepared on this subject, it explains that: "Since 1997 the DSA has passed approximately 4.8 million new drivers in the UK who will not have a Category B+E entitlement. If just 1% need the licence, that would be 48,000 drivers - and assuming a national pass rate of 50% for the Category B+E test then the DSA should have already conducted 96,000 B+E tests .
'Figures obtained from the DSA indicate an average of 250 B+E tests were conducted during 2002 / 03 in the UK. In 2003/ 0 4 the figure is 1183. Based on this analysis, a large number of people are allegedly towing trailers illegally, unlicensed and uninsured."
For further information contact Driver Training (Central Scotland) on 01259 753 600, or go to: www.drivertraining-limited.com.
Drivers live in fear for their loved ones, Brake says
Four out of five drivers say they consciously worry that the people they love will be killed on the road, according to a survey of 1,000 drivers by the road safety charity Brake and Green Flag.
And one third of respondents admitted that having a loved one die on the road was one of their biggest fears.
Brake believes public fear about road crashes is intensified by the lack of visible policing on the roads. In previous surveys, Brake says that nearly two-thirds of respondents said drivers would take more care if there were more police on the roads.
Mary Williams, chief executive of Brake, said: 'Not only do we have a horrifying daily toll of deaths and injuries on our roads, but widespread fear of losing a loved one on the road cannot be good for the health of the nation. Justifiable fears about road safety should be taken seriously by the Government and more resources should be made available to police for their essential, life-saving role.'
For further information contact Dianne Ferreira on 01484 559909, or email@example.com
Fine and points for SCP offender
A Sidcup man received four penalty points and was fined £400 plus £150 costs at Bexley Magistrates' Court after failing to stop for one of Bexley Council's school crossing patrols.
The car he was driving approached the patrol from behind but did not stop and drove past her patrol point.
Councillor Peter Craske said: "This case reminds drivers they must obey the signals of our patrols who do a valuable job helping people cross the road. Bexley Council will always seek prosecution for drivers who put our staff and the people they help at risk."
For further information contact Jane Parson on 020 8294 6078, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Safety campaigners take to the streets
Traffic slowed to a crawl as Leeds' families took to the streets last week to demand improved road safety for their children.
Cars and a lorry carried banners and posters during the protest over the use of HGVs on two roads at Oulton in Leeds. Leeds and Wakefield Road Residents' Action Group is also campaigning for stricter speed limits to be introduced to deter commuters from using the roads as a rat run between the M1 and M62.
The campaign, which has been running for three years, has support from local families and the local MP, Education Leeds, and The Oulton Society.
For the full story go to: http://www.leedstoday.net/