16 local authorities are to receive £2m of extra funding in recognition of their road safety efforts (Surveyor, 13/03/08).
Road safety partnership grants have been awarded to Dorset, Devon, Buckinghamshire, Milton Keynes, West Sussex, Cheshire, Manchester, Liverpool, Wigan, Sheffield, York, Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, Luton, and the London boroughs of Richmond and Haringey.
Liverpool won £36,390 for its pedestrian safety project, which involves changing traffic signals. Cllr Mike Storey said: “We have identified a particular problem affecting young people at road junctions and we believe changes to the signalling system will help reduce the number of casualties.”
Elsewhere, West Sussex was awarded £156,000 for its driving for work scheme, and Milton Keynes £155,000 for its road safety market analysis and segmentation tools (MAST) programme.
Bikers get free safety training
A scheme offering free safety and first aid courses to motorcyclists in North Wales has been launched.
The North Wales road safety group is worried about the safety of motorcyclists - more than 400 have been involved in accidents in North Wales in the last two years.
The Group is to provide free BikeSafe and First Bike on Scene first aid courses to residents holding a full motorcycle licence.
The Young Marmalade scheme is claiming that its drivers are more than 2½ times safer on the road than other young drivers.
Young Marmalade is a combined car purchase and insurance scheme that provides a newer car and insists on additional driver training, the minimum being the DSA’s Pass Plus scheme.
Young Marmalade has been running parallel studies over the last 12 months between young drivers on its scheme and those that are not.
It says that 6.07% of Young Marmalade drivers were at fault in a crash compared to 15.91% of the control group, and that 2.86% of Young Marmalade drivers were involved in a no fault crash compared to 6.06% of the control group.
Crispin Moger, from Young Marmalade, said: “These figures show a solution to the widely reported problems faced by young drivers. We are aware that lives have already been saved, a result that gives us a great sense of purpose.”
An Irish road safety officer is warning motorists to take care while driving on St Patrick’s Day – because of the increased number of drunk or ‘buzzed’ drivers on the roads.
Noel Gibbons, County Mayo’s RSO, says that For many Irish people, St Patrick's Day is a popular night to celebrate with friends and family – but also a dangerous night on roads. He says that on the weekend of St Patrick's Days 2007, there were 481 people detected for drink driving across Ireland.
Noel has offered a series of tips to help people stay safe including planning ahead and arranging a safe way home before the festivities begin. He also asks people to remember that ‘Friends Don't Let Friends Drive Drunk’.
For further information contact Noel Gibbons on 094 9047115.
Top Gear and soccer stars caught offside on mobiles
Police are examining a photograph apparently showing the Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson talking on his mobile phone while driving at 70mph on the motorway in his 6.3 litre Mercedes.
The 47-year-old is facing a police investigation and could get three points on his driving licence as well as a £60 fine. Police are also analysing the photograph - snapped on a mobile phone - to decide whether he ought to be charged with dangerous driving.
A few days later, two Chelsea football stars appear to have been caught committing the same offence.
Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard were not bothering with seatbelts either as they drove away from Stamford Bridge on Wednesday night with phones clamped to their ears, no doubt feeling invincible after a 6-1 win over Derby County.
Both risk a £60 fine and up to six points on their licence for their double misdemeanours.
GPS technology rolled out for accidents
The Highways Agency is rolling out GPS technology to help get traffic moving more quickly after serious traffic collisions (Surveyor, 13/03/08).
The kit allows the police to make a virtual map of the collision scene, enabling the road to be reopened quicker after an accident. HA has invested £2.5m in the equipment, and is rolling it out to ensure police forces in England who patrol motorways and major A-roads can benefit from it.
Livingstone rules out bikers in bus lanes
London’s mayor, Ken Livingstone, has ruled out allowing motorcyclists to ride in bus lanes following a trial which he says fails to suggest the move would lead to increased safety.
The possibility of allowing motorcycle users access to bus lanes has been raised by both the Respect party and Tory mayoral candidate Boris Johnson who point to a report by Transport for London (TfL) which, it is claimed, showed accidents involving motorcycles fell 45% on trial routes of Brixton Road and Finchley Road while a control route saw a 19% rise.
But TfL says its officials had ‘concerns about the validity of some of the early results of the study’.
Drivers using West Midlands’ motorways are being urged to ensure they do not run out of fuel, in order to cut the number of deaths on hard shoulders.
The Highways Agency launched the regional campaign to stop people ‘needlessly’ endangering themselves. Officials said in the West Midlands last year more than 1,300 ran out of petrol or diesel on motorways.
They said that in Britain an average of 50 people were killed or seriously injured on hard shoulders each year.
A Chinese lorry driver whose vehicle was wrecked in a smash bought a crash helmet and carried on his journey.
A police patrol pulled up the badly damaged, speeding truck as it weaved from side-to-side on a motorway outside Wuhan city. Officers could not believe their eyes when they saw the driver wearing a crash helmet in the crushed shell of his cab.
A police spokesman said: "We signalled the driver to stop immediately, and he told us he had to continue, since he was under contract and had a very tight schedule."
The driver, Mr Zhao, told them he had an accident not long after setting off to deliver vegetables to Hunan province. "I found the truck was still functional, so I bought myself a helmet and continued," he said.