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6/12/13 The family of a man who was killed by a drink driver are joining forces with the police to help launch their annual Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign. Kieran Lea Arnold from Cymau near Wrexham was killed following a road traffic collision on the A541 Pontblyddyn to Caergwrle road in June this year.
The 21-year-old plumber sustained fatal injuries during the two-vehicle collision of which one of the drivers, Robert Bryn Williams was found to be twice over the legal drink drive limit. After pleading guilty the 48-year-old was recently sentenced to five years four months imprisonment and was banned from driving for three years.
Kieran’s Mum, Mrs Donna Lea is helping North Wales Police as they launch the campaign on behalf of the four Welsh police forces.
Speaking during a short film created by the Force, Mrs Lea explained how losing Kieran has become a living nightmare for the family. She said: “Drink driving ruins people’s lives, it is total devastation for our family who now have been given a life sentence of living without our son, brother and grandson. It’s all been taken away by somebody who had the selfish attitude of thinking ‘you know, I’m going to have that extra drink’.”
“Kieran was a very popular lad who was well thought of by everybody – especially by his two younger brothers, Aaron and Steffan who adored him. As a youngster he was very sporty and played football for many local teams. As he got older he was passionate about going to the gym and started bodybuilding – even competing in the Mr Wales championships last year.
“He was a gentle giant who was very quietly spoken and loved his job as a plumber.”
Kieran was on his way home from work when the collision happened at around 5pm on Monday 17th June. Mrs Lea said: “The day started off as a normal working day. In the morning the boys went to school, my husband went to work, and I went to work a shift at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
“My husband had spoken to Kieran about when he was coming home at tea time, and it was only later on in the evening I was informed, whilst I was in work, of the accident.
“It’s one of the most horrific things you can ever be told and to be brought out of work and to be faced by police officers. It’s one of the hardest things and it’s every parent’s nightmare - a nightmare that you realise you are never going to wake up from and that you’ve got to live with it for the rest of your life.”
“For those who continue to drink and drive I would beg them not to do it. It’s just not worth it.
During the 2012 Christmas campaign over 500 drivers in Wales were caught over the drink drive limit after 35,493 breath tests.
North Wales Police carried out 18,780 breath tests – double the amount carried out during the 2011 Christmas campaign with 107 of those being positive.
The two highest readings recorded by North Wales Police during the 2012 Christmas campaign were 147 and 142, where two individuals were over four times the legal drink drive limit. The legal limit is 35.
Over the next four weeks, thousands of motorists face being stopped as teams from the four forces – North Wales, Dyfed Powys, South Wales and Gwent - conduct road checks at various locations across the country.
Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales Police Gareth Pritchard said: “To lose a child must be one of the hardest things a parent can face and I would like to thank Kieran’s family for assisting us with this year’s campaign.
“This year's All Wales Christmas Anti Drink Drive campaign will once again set about warning drivers that drinking and driving will not be tolerated.
“If you drink and drive you significantly increase the risk of killing an innocent person, or yourself or both. It is really that simple.
He added: “Drink driving is not just about Christmas. It ruins lives all year round. Perpetual drink drivers will choose to drink and drive any day of the year so we need support from the public 365 days a year to help us take these people off the roads of Wales.”
“Please don’t drink and drive. Think about the consequences. You could face losing your licence and your job, face imprisonment and, much worse, have to live with the guilt of taking a life for the rest of yours. Don’t take the risk.”
Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: “Unfortunately too many drivers are still prepared to risk driving under the influence of drink or drugs. No-one should be in any doubt that alcohol, in any amount, will have a detrimental effect on driving ability. Road Safety Wales partners are committed to educating people about the consequences of impairment, and fully support the Police during this seasonal campaign, and throughout the year.”
If you have information relating to someone you think is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please contact North Wales Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.
The sixth All Wales Multimedia Competition by Road Safety Wales challenged all Welsh schools, colleges and youth groups to devise, perform and record a presentation with an anti drink-drive message using a variety of genre: film, music, PowerPoint, poetry, animation – the choice was theirs.
The winning videos, which premiered at the launch of the All Wales Anti Drink and Drug Driving campaign, will now be used by police to and their partners in Road Safety Wales to highlight the consequences of drink driving.
Four regional winners, who each received a £500 prize, viewed their work on the big screen at the Cineworld, Llandudno Junction event yesterday.
For the Gwent Police Force region - Coleg Gwent at Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone. Its entry, “The Next Day”, is a timely reminder that drivers need to be very aware that even though it’s a new day, they could still be over the drink-drive limit following a night out. Drivers may do the right thing on the night by not driving – but then get behind the wheel the following morning without considering that they are very probably still way over the drink drive limit. The film highlights the consequences of doing just that.
Last year, Coleg Menai, Anglesey, submitted an entry which was highly commended by the judges. This year, the students have been selected as North Wales winners thanks to their submission, “Teddy Bear”. The video emphasises the consequences of drink driving , not just for the driver, but for their passengers and other road users.
Spark Blaenymaes Youth Project, from Swansea, produced the regional winning entry for South Wales. Their film “A Christmas Carol” is a drama based around the serious, life changing implications of drinking and driving on family’s life. Six young people aged 11-13 devised the concept which became “A Christmas Carol”
Dyfed Powys – The winning entry for the Dyfed Powys Police region is an animation by Ben Dazeley of Pembrokeshire College, titled “Barcula”. Ben has utilised his terrific animation skills to effectively deliver the message that drinking and drug driving is an undesirable cocktail which brings a host of very negative consequences.
In addition to this year’s Multimedia competition, Road Safety Wales re-introduced the Anti Drink Drive Poster Competition. We are very grateful to all those young artists who contributed with their exceptional entries.
Eight outstanding regional posters were selected by the judges (four in the junior category and four in the senior category) and the winning artists will receive their £50 prize in presentations across Wales during the next week. The overall winner, Kieran Jenkins of Cynffig Comprehensive School, Bridgend, attended the campaign launch to collect his prizes. Kieran’s poster will be used by road safety partners across Wales to promote the anti drink drive message.
Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales, said: “I would like to congratulate all those who participated in the competitions, not just the winners, but everyone from across Wales, who took the time and effort to consider this vitally important message.
“The festive season should be a time when people enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, too many drivers are still prepared to risk driving under the influence of drink or drugs. No-one should be in any doubt that alcohol, in any amount, will have a detrimental effect on driving ability. Every year across Wales and the UK, impaired driving causes unnecessary deaths and casualties that could easily be prevented.
“I hope these films and poster will bring the message home to all who see them, that drinking and driving is gambling with your licence, your life and the lives of other people.”
The competitions, which were promoted by Road Safety Wales partners, were launched to young people across Wales in September and inspired a host of schools, colleges and organisations to deliver an impactive anti drink drive message using their creative talents.
All four films can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/user/rospatube and Kieran’s poster can be downloaded here
Primary school children in Swansea have been given the chance to dress up as lollipop boys and girls to get the road safety message across.
Swansea Council officers visited local schools during National Road Safety Week, to pass on life-saving skills to children.
To celebrate the week, year one and two pupils at Danygraig Primary School had a special assembly where pupils dressed up as one of the city’s many road-crossing heroes — lollipop men and women.
The council’s road safety team has been given two specially-made patrol uniforms and matching lollipop stop signs which they will use to help promote road safety.
Insurance firm Admiral is the official sponsor for the uniforms.
June Burtonshaw, the council’s cabinet member for place, said: “Road safety is such an important part of a child’s learning.
“The school crossing patrols do an excellent job in the communities and the majority of children can relate to them as someone who helps them during the school day.
“I’m sure the children will enjoy dressing up and getting involved in road safety week.”
Admiral managing director Dave Halliday added: “As a car insurance company there is a natural link to road safety. The school patrol officers do a fantastic job and our staff will be proud to see the company they work for supporting this great initiative.
“The majority of our staff’s children attend local schools so this sponsorship is not only helping our staff but their family members, neighbours and friends. I think you will agree the kids look great in their road safety jackets.”
The results of a survey of drivers in Wales, published today by Alcohol Concern, show that around half are in favour of reducing the amount of alcohol that can be consumed before getting behind the wheel.
Of 500 Welsh drivers questioned, 51% agreed that the drink drive limit should be lowered in Wales, and only 12% strongly disagreed.
The survey findings are included in a new Alcohol Concern report On the Road, published on the same day as new Welsh Government statistics showing that 1 in 9 motorists killed in traffic collisions in 2012 was over the legal blood alcohol limit for driving. http://wales.gov.uk/docs/statistics/2013/131126-drinking-driving-2012-en.pdf
The report also highlights inconsistencies in our attitudes to drinking and driving. Whilst 80% of survey respondents agreed that people should not be allowed to drink any alcohol at all before driving, only 48% said that they themselves would never have alcohol before driving.
One possible reason for this mismatch is that stereotypes about what sort of people are likely to be caught over the limit allow us to drink before driving without considering ourselves ‘drunk drivers’.
Alcohol Concern Cymru Director, Andrew Misell said:
“There is a widespread belief, encouraged by the drinks industry, that ‘drunk drivers’ are a fringe group, beyond the pale of normal drinking society. They’re seen as the most extreme example of the so called ‘mindless minority that does not understand how to drink sensibly’.
“Thinking like this prevents us identifying who it is that is actually drink driving, and taking action to reduce it. Alcohol Concern wants us all, as a drinking society, to start an open and honest conversation about how much we drink, when and why, and about how this impacts on our lives.”
The report, in partnership with Road Safety Wales, traces the history of drinking and travelling from the 18th century stagecoach in rural Wales, to recent proposals to allow motorway pubs.
Chair of Road Safety Wales, Susan Storch said:
“Road fatalities and casualties attributable to drink-driving are preventable. Throughout the year, too many families are affected by the consequences of a driver’s deliberate decision to get behind the wheel whilst impaired. Continued education and enforcement campaigns are needed to keep pressing home the Don’t Drink and Drive message.”
In order to push down levels of alcohol-related harm on the roads, and promote an alcohol-free driving environment, Alcohol Concern recommends:
• Lowering the blood alcohol limit for driving in England and Wales from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood, in line with common practice across Europe; and increasing police powers to stop and test drivers for alcohol
• All messages relating to drinking and driving should make clear that avoiding alcohol entirely before driving is always the safest option
• Given the obvious conflict between the drinks industry’s need to promote the use of alcohol, and the need to promote sensible drinking, and abstinence before driving, alcohol producers should have no role in campaigns against drinking and driving
• Given the clear dangers of making alcohol available for consumption by motorists likely to be travelling at high speed, current proposals to allow the sale of alcohol on motorways should be reversed.
Dyfed Powys Police and partners have taken part in the UK’s biggest road safety event co-orindated by Brake which this year focuses on road traffic collisions being caused by distracted drivers.
This year’s theme was ‘tune in to road safety’ and the force was keen to help raise awareness among drivers across the force area of the need to be attentive at all times when driving.
“When driving a vehicle, we all need to ensure we tune in and pay attention,” said Inspector Mark Davies. “This year’s Brake theme was all about reminding people of that.
“And it’s also about making pedestrians, runners and cyclists understand that they need to tune in also.
“Driving is the most dangerous thing that most of us do on a daily basis, and sadly driver distraction is a major cause of death and serious injury in the UK each year.
“Road Safety Week is a unique opportunity for us to help reinforce important safety messages and conduct heightened enforcement or one off special events to encourage safer road use.
“So what I would do is encourage people to switch off their ipods, turn down the radio, pack away the mobile phone and really tune in to what’s going on around you.
“Throughout Road Safety Week, officers were out and about with partner agencies ensuring that drivers are following the law and wearing seatbelts, not using their phones while at the wheel and educating pupils on road safety issues in schools."
Following initial checks with a police officer, Gwen Evans and Heulwen Davies from Ceredigion Road Safety carried out drivers and eyesight surveys.
Conwy County Borough Councils Road Safety section attended the GB Rally on Sunday 17th November.
The GB Rally final stage was in Llandudno. The Rally cars went around the Orme and then lined up down the main street in Llandudno for people to take pictures and talk to the drivers. They then went over the final ramp to end the Rally. The event was a success and tens of thousands of people from all over the world poured into Llandudno.
The Road Safety department was very busy giving out information and talking to the public about Road Safety initiatives. The young Drivers theme was promoted on the day with the new Pass Plus and Deadly Mates graphics on prime display on the back of the Exhibition Trailer all Rally cars past it.
A NEWPORT-BASED bus safety group is today launching a national campaign to change minibus driving laws – on the 20th anniversary of the worst minibus crash the UK has ever seen.
Pressure group Busk have teamed up with some of the parents of the 12 children who died on November 18, 1993 as they were driven home from London to Hagley High School in Worcestershire by their teacher, who was also killed after falling asleep at the wheel on the M40.
The campaign – called ‘Now is the time...’ – is calling on the UK Government to put an end to a system under which teachers and other volunteers can drive school-owned minibuses, carrying up to 16 passengers, without having to sit a minibus driving test, pass a medical, or carry out safety checks, unlike commercial drivers.
BUSK director Pat Harris said children were being put at risk “on a daily basis”, including wheelchair users and those with special needs. She said this was a result of Permit 19 licences – which are issued to schools by local authorities, and not the DVLA. “No regulating body monitors any of these Permit 19 minibus operations once they are up and running and that is no longer acceptable,” added Ms Harris, who has called for them to be scrapped altogether.
She called a UK refusal more than twenty years ago to become regulated - when all other EU member states agreed it was necessary on grounds of passenger safety - a mistake. “The UK government could have prevented the M40 crash by ending this two-tier system if it has signed the agreement but instead it failed to put children’s safety first,” she said. “Its continued failure to protect passengers is a disgrace.”
Busk has dedicated a part of its website to tributes for the victims of the tragic accident 20 years ago.
The family of Claire Fitzgerald, 13, who lost her life, has spoken out for the first time since the tragedy in support of the campaign push.
They said in a statement: “Surely as a lasting memorial to Claire and her friends, those wonderful, talented children whose lives were ended much too early because they were failed by the system, now is the time to show them and their families the respect they deserve but have not yet been afforded.”
Ms Harris urged parents and minibus drivers to get in touch with BUSK, either anonymously or otherwise, for answers or advice.
To get in touch go to www.busk-uk.co.uk/ or call 01633 274 944.
A young Llanrhystud motorist is the first Ceredigion winner of the Pass Plus Cymru quarterly
Lewis Jones who studies Media was presented with a cheque for £250 by Ceredigion County Council Road Safety Officer Terry Jones after his evaluation form was entered into the Road Safety Wales prize draw.
Lewis is planning a trip to America next year and the £250 will go towards this, Lewis also said that he will be driving down to Cardiff next weekend and the Pass Plus Cymru practical driving session he received has given him the confidence to do this.
3/.10/13Two organisations have been working in partnership to tackle the issue of parents and children not wearing their seatbelts as they arrive at a school in south Powys.
Officers from Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit have been working in partnership with Dyfed Powys Police to highlight to parents and children who arrive at Ysgol Dolafon in Llanwrtyd Wells the importance of seatbelt use.
During the morning of Friday 11 October, officers from both organisations observed the problem and gave advice to parents whose children were using incorrect seats for their weight/age and those parents who didn’t have a seatbelt on at all.
Officers were back at the school the following Thursday (17 October) to see if the issue had improved and were delighted that parents seemed to have listened to what they have been told the previous week. Only one parent was given a fixed penalty notice for not wearing their seatbelt.
Cllr Barry Thomas, the council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Road Safety, said: “This was a very successful collaboration between us and the police. Not wearing a seatbelt when travelling can have devastating consequences. It is vital that vehicle users and passengers wear a seatbelt at all times as they can save lives.”
PSCO Lee Whiitaker of Dyfed Powys Police, said: “We must continue to make drivers and passengers aware of the importance of seatbelt use. No matter how low the speed at which you are travelling or how short the journey, collisions still happen. By not wearing a seatbelt, vehicle users are putting their own lives at risk as well as that of other passengers in the vehicle.”
Nichola Davies, the council’s Area Road Safety Officer, said: “The benefits of seatbelts needs to be promoted and the perceived reasons for not wearing seatbelts reduced, particularly when it comes to educating children. Adults can set an example by wearing their own seatbelts so that children under the necessity for them as they grow older.”
The officers will be returning to the school in the near future and also plan to visit other schools in the area in the coming months.
STUDENTS in Ystad Mynach have taken part in a project to address the problem of young drivers being involved in road crashes.
Around 150 Coleg y Cymoedd students took part in the Mega Drive project earlier this month, which is an initiative led by Caerphilly council’s Road Safety Team and supported by partners including South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, DAYS drug and alcohol support, the Red Cross and approved driving instructors. The project is supported by funding from the Welsh Government’s Regional Transport Consortia Grant.
The MegaDrive project is aimed at young people who will be learning to drive over the next few months but do not have any driving experience, and gives students the opportunity to drive around a special course accompanied by an approved driving instructor. In most cases this gives students their first taste of what it is like to be behind the wheel of a car.
Participating students are also given valuable information on driving related topics including hazard awareness, crash causation, effects and consequences of drink and drugs, buying a new or second hand car, and what to do at the scene of a crash.
Cllr Tom Williams, Caerphilly council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering, said: “The MegaDrive scheme was originally set up in Gwent in 1995 to address the very serious problem of young drivers being involved in a disproportionate number of road crashes, largely due to inexperience.
“The MegaDrive project has been successful in engaging with these young drivers and arming them with the knowledge they need to stay safe on the road.”
Sandra Butcher, a teacher at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “This project is extremely popular with the students, and they’ve all been really enthusiastic about being a part of the programme. The MegaDrive project has been a great way for these young people to learn about road safety.”
For further details about the MegaDrive programme, contact the Road Safety Team on 01495 235402
Recently the Gwynedd-Môn Road Safety Partnership launched a new cycle safety initiative aimed at cyclists and drivers. The key message of the campaign is to encourage cyclists to be more visible on the road and to raise awareness amongst motorists of the importance of a minimum 1.5 metre space when passing.
Keen cyclists from both Counties are promoting this initiative by wearing vivid gillets displaying the 1.5 metre vital road safety message when out and about on the roads of not only North Wales but also further afield.
Pictured above from left to right are Wayne Owen, Alun Williams and Gary Ellis members of Energy Cycles Club who recently visited France to follow the Tour de France . Alun Williams said “ I personally along with fellow cyclists embrace the 1.5 metre initiative, from personal experience we have encountered several near misses due to cars passing at close proximity. On several occasions friends have been injured and hospitalised due to motorists disregarding our right to be on the roads"
A School Crossing Patroller from the Vale of Glamorgan, who risked her own safety to protect children from an out-of-control car, was last night honoured for her bravery with a Daily Mirror Pride of Britain award. Karin Williams was helping children cross the road just before 9am on June 20 when they were hit by a car outside Rhoose Primary.
She stepped in front of the car using her body as a human shield. The 50-year-old took the brunt of the impact before becoming trapped under the car which had hit a bollard and overturned in front of terrified parents and children.
Some of the children she saved joined her on stage at the ceremony as she received her award. And in another major advance in her progress, Karin, who has been relying on a wheelchair to get around, stood up on stage to take the rapturous applause from the audience.
Ms Williams was recognised in London alongside a host of ordinary people honoured for extraordinary acts. Hosted by Carol Vorderman, the annual glittering ceremony marked its 15th year with a star-studded gala at the Grosvenor House on Park Lane.
Ms Williams was seriously injured and had an eight-hour operation on her kneecaps, legs, elbow and shoulder. Her outstanding actions were prompted by the 61-year-old driver losing control after mounting a speed bump and stepping on the accelerator instead of the brake in what was reported to be a “coughing fit”.
She spent seven weeks in hospital, still has regular physiotherapy and has been using a wheelchair to get around. Three other adults and five children needed hospital treatment but are all recovering.
Ms Williams was nominated for a Daily Mirror Pride of Britain award after impressing local residents and even strangers with her act of bravery.
Onlookers said they were in no doubt children would have died without her courage and quick-thinking and a Facebook page was set up soon afterwards calling for her bravery to be recognised.
Doctors say it could be a year before she is completely mobile again but Ms Williams is determined to go back to the job she loves.
Describing the horrifying incident in which a 61-year-old driver lost control of his car, she said: “I don’t remember pushing the children away.
“I just remember standing on the pavement with the children around me waiting to cross, and the next thing I knew I was on the ground with a paramedic leaning over me telling me not to move.
“I wasn’t in pain. I was in shock.”
After being handed the award, she said: “I’m not brave.
“I did my job. It was pure instinct.”
Police in Wales, led by South Wales Police together with Road Safety Wales, launch the All-Wales Anti-Mobile Phone Driving Campaign which will run through October.
Despite the law change in February 2007 where using a mobile phone while driving can result in three penalty points and a £100 fine, drivers in Wales are still persisting with this dangerous activity and breaking the law.
Nearly 1,000 motorists were caught using their mobile phones while at the wheel during the 2012 campaign.
Police patrols to target mobile phone driving will increase across Welsh roads for the duration of the enforcement campaign, which runs from 15th October to 31st October, to promote the safety message and raise awareness of the dangers and penalties among motorists.
Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis of South Wales Police, said:
“The consequences of a lapse in concentration when driving can be devastating to road users and pedestrians.
“As soon as a driver answers a call, looks at their phone to text or read a message, their concentration is affected and as a result, they cannot give their full attention to the road and risk becoming involved in a collision.
“With the increased use of smart phones, drivers must be aware that it is not just making a call or texting that are distractions, but using a phone to access applications, e-mails or the internet. These actions carry the same danger and the same penalty.
“Always remember to switch your phone off before you drive. You can pick up any missed calls or texts when it is safe and convenient to do so. If you need to use the phone when driving, then stop at the first safe opportunity.”
Chair of Road Safety Wales, Susan Storch, added:
“Road Safety Wales partners are supporting our police colleagues throughout this campaign by publicising the dangers of using a mobile device while driving.
“We will continue to raise awareness of this issue and work closely with our colleagues in future campaigns.
“Unfortunately many people still consider it normal to use their mobile phone whilst driving, putting themselves, their passengers and other innocent road users in potentially serious danger.
“We need to send a strong message not to use any mobile phones whilst driving because of the distraction they cause.”
October is International Walk to School Month. Each year, primary school pupils from across the UK join forces with children in more than 40 countries worldwide to celebrate the benefits of walking to school. This year over 3,000 children throughout Caerphilly county borough will be taking part in International Walk to School Month.
During October, Caerphilly residents are being asked to ditch their cars and use their feet and walk their children to school or encourage their children to join in their school’s walking bus.
A walking bus provides safety in numbers and not only offers a healthy way for children to travel to school, it is also an excellent way for children to socialise with their friends on the journey. Hundreds of children throughout the Borough regularly take the walking bus to school.
There are many benefits to children taking the walking bus, not only is it a good source of exercise, keeping our children fit and healthy but also reduces the number of cars on the road, which ultimately benefits the environment and reduces traffic outside our schools.
Cwmaber Infants, Abercarn Primary, Ysgol-y-Lawnt, Hendredenny Park Primary, Libanus Primary, Bryn Awel Primary,Glyn Gaer Primary, Deri Primary, Nant-y-park Primary, Cwmcarn Primary, Blackwood Primary, Ysgol Penalltau, Rudry Primary and the Twyn Primaryare all taking part in this years International Walk to School Month activities. Schools will record the number of pupils walking and will award prizes and certificates to those who made an effort and walked during the month.
Cllr. Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering said “Walking to school regularly is not only a fantastic way to encourage an active lifestyle, it is also a great opportunity to teach children vital road safety skills and ensure they are alert and ready to learn at the start of a new day.
From an environmental perspective, walking to school also eases road congestion and reduces the associated pollution levels that driving or taking a bus to school would generate.”
For more information about schools that participate in the walking bus scheme please visit www.caerphilly.gov.uk/walkingbus or contact Susan Davies, Road Safety Projects Officer on 01495 235402.
A CRASH awareness day at a Neath school had a hard impact upon the pupils, the headmaster has said.
Llangatwg Community School's year 11 pupils were visited by fire and road safety officers earlier this month, as part of an event to warn them of the responsibility of driving safely.
Headteacher, Alan Rowlands, said: "The event went really well.
"We focussed on it with year 11 pupils, and they were spoken to about speeding, drink-driving and drugs, and the consequences of these.
They also learned about the dangers of texting and using a mobile phone while driving, so it was raising awareness of all these issues.
"It probably had quite a hard impact on many of them."
STUDENTS across North Wales have been getting a hard-hitting lesson in road safety.
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service has joined forces with The Welsh Ambulance Service and North Wales Police for an education tour of colleges across the region.
The partnership is designed to teach youngsters about the dangers of the 'Fatal Five' - excessive speed, anti-social driving, no seatbelts, drink or drug-driving and using a mobile phone whilst driving.
Emergency service partners are hoping to reach more youngsters than ever in the run-up to Road Safety Week (November 18-24).
The Deadly Impacts Roadshow was launched at Coleg Cambria in Wrexham, where paramedic Dermot O' Leary gave a graphic account of what happens to the human body in a collision.
He said: "I explain what injuries they could suffer in a collision, the damage inflicted on the body and the clinical skills I would use to ultimately try and save their life. These young adults deserve a future and I don't beat around the bush when I tell them what could go wrong while driving."
Rhyl-based Dermot added: "Road collisions are sudden tragic events which can send shockwaves through families, friends and communities. Making young adults aware of the danger on the roads might mean less incidents for us where we literally have to pick up the pieces."
North Wales Fire and Rescue Service used video clips and audience participation to try and educate students.
Community safety team leader, Sharon Bouckley, said: "The Deadly Impacts Roadshow is designed to deliver hard-hitting messages to young drivers by making them aware of their responsibilities on the road, and the potentially fatal consequences of speeding or not paying attention while driving.
"We as a fire and rescue service attend a high number of road traffic collisions involving young people - and we are doing all that we can to educate our youngsters and drive down the number of tragedies on our roads."
North Wales Police warned of the consequences of being responsible for a collision, including penalty points on your licence and even prison.
Inspector Martin Best from North Wales Police' Roads Policing Unit said: "Multi-agency road safety events have proved to be an excellent way of getting people to think about the consequences of their driving, and by working in partnership, we want to get across to young drivers messages such as the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt, driving too fast and using mobile phones.
He added: "The practical demonstrations of realistic events, coupled with presentations from all partners has hopefully brought home some of the realities and we hope that many of the young people have taken this on board."
Emergency service partners will also visit colleges in Deeside and Northop, as well as Glynllifon, Dolgellau, Pwllheli, Llandrillo, Llangefni and Bangor in the run-up to Road Safety Week, which is co-ordinated annually by road safety charity Brake.
The Biker Down course is an educational and engagement tool aimed primarily at the motorcycle community with the focus on contributing to the reduction in the number of KSI’s (killed and seriously injured) involving motorcyclists in the SWF&RS area and is delivered by Operational Fire Fighters.
The course is comprised of three modules:
Managing an Accident Scene
The Science of Being Seen
The course aims to give participants a better understanding of what to do if they come across a road traffic collision and how to manage it safely. It also promotes advanced rider skills courses in conjunction with our other road safety partner agencies.
The course is free and on completion of the course the participants will get a certificate of attendance and a free first aid kit.
Dates of the course are available on the Organisations web site and via the South Wales Fire and Rescue face book page and interested parties will be able to book places on the course via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Latest Course dates:
23rd September 2013 - 18:30 at Tonypandy Fire Station CF40 2JQ
30th September 2013 - 18:30 at Bridgend Fire Station CF31 4AH
8th October 2013 - 18:30 at Cardiff Central Fire Station CF24 2FH
Some schools in the county already have the appropriate signage in place, and schedules are now being drawn up to implement the speed limit outside all 83 schools in Flintshire.
Councillor Aaron Shotton, Leader of the Council, said:
“The Council has made it a priority to introduce the first phase of our 20mph zones around schools initiative. This commitment to introduce 20 mph signage around all Flintshire schools is a positive step to making our roads safer for schoolchildren.”
Councillor Bernie Attridge, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, added:
“I feel passionately and strongly about the issue of child safety and have long believed that we should have a 20mph limit outside every school. The limits will be introduced on a phased basis. Reduced speed limits will lower the risk of collisions on the road network and will improve safety for all road users.”
is being launched targeting drivers who are rude and abusive to lollipop men and ladies in Carmarthenshire.
'The Stop Means Stop' campaign follows an increasing number of incidents involving motorists failing to stop for lollipop men and women.
Carmarthenshire Council's road safety unit, supported by Carmarthenshire Road Safety Action Group, is launching the drive which will be backed up with radio advertising, school banners, posters and leaflets. It starts in September to coincide with the new school term. There are currently 72 schools crossing patrols officers working at schools across the county. There were 12 reported failure to stop incidents reported to police last year and many more reports of abuse to lollipop men and women logged.
County road safety manager Keith Griffiths said: "School crossing patrol officers play a vital role by ensuring school children are provided with a safe route to and from school.
"They should be able to do this without fear of intimidation and threatening behaviour from some inconsiderate motorists.
"The school crossing patrol team are among the most committed group of people that continue to play a very important role in keeping our community a safe and friendly place.
"The message is quite simple. All road users must stop when a school crossing patrol officer asks them to do so.
"Drivers should allow a little extra journey time if their route takes them through a patrolled area — and be prepared to slow down and stop when requested to do so by a patrol officer."
Today, every school crossing patrol officer is issued with a notebook to record detailed information about any motorist that fails to stop or continues to drive by when it is obvious that the patrol officer has asked them to stop from the side of the road. They are encouraged to make a note of the registration number, make, model and colour of vehicle, time of the incident and gender of the driver. The information is forwarded onto Dyfed-Powys Police so they can take appropriate action.
There are vacancies for lollipop people throughout the county including Felinfoel and Llanelli.
Contact transport officer Rhys John on 01267 228285.
‘Don't take the high road,’ driving under the influence of drugs is the latest thought provoking road safety message aimed at Carmarthenshire drivers.
A graphic showing roadway filled with pills and drugs paraphernalia is being repeated on the backs of buses and on A-board trailers that will be touring the county’s municipal car parks throughout September. Colourful cards have also been distributed to colleges to get the messages out to as many drivers and age groups as possible.
There is a monthly road safety theme that has already covered texting at the wheel; driving under the influence of drugs; winter maintenance and speeding. Think motor cycle, among many others. The monthly cards are the brainchild of Carmarthenshire council’s road safety team supported by Carmarthenshire Community Safety Partnership’s Road Safety Action Group.
County road safety manager Keith Griffiths said the campaign was having a significant and positive impact on drivers especilly the campaigns covering bald tyres, drink driving and speeding. He said: “This month we are reinforcing the message that driving under the influence of drugs is illegal.
“Drugs that impair your driving need not be illegal ones. It can also be an offence to drive after taking certain products that are sold over the counter, like some cough medicines and antihistamines.
“Drugs can affect your mind and body in a variety of ways that mean you are not able to drive safely and the effect can last for hours or even days.
“Drivers should always know about the effects of any medicine they caretaking, check the labels carefully and if in doubt check with their doctor or pharmacist."
Mr Griffiths warned against adopting silly rules about how much you could and couldn’t drink because there was no safe way to calculate that with age, weight, stress and metabolism and food intake affecting driving ability after drinking". "Drivers should remember that if they take drugs and drive it might not be just their licence they lose.”
A group of six youngsters, based in Cardigan aged 15 - 18 are undertaking the Duke of Edinburgh Gold award.
As part of the award they will hopefully complete a 150 mile cycle expedition, camping en route, using tandems and single bicycles. In preparation, the group needed to complete Level three National Standard Cycle Training.
Pictured are the six candidates with their National Standard’s Instructor having received their certificates.
Over 1000 visitors took part in activities highlighting important road safety issues at this year’s Big Cheese.
Parents and children came along to buy helmets, talk about current road safety initiatives and take part in a ‘spot the dangers’ competition, badge making and of course the Road Safety quiz to win a fabulous mountain bike.
The winner from over 300 entries was Jordan Walther-Bates from Abercarn who was thrilled to have won the competition and have a new bike to use over the summer holidays with Cwmcarn's mountain bike trails right on his doorstep.
Cllr Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Engineering who presented the family with the bike said, “Congratulations, I am sure you will get great use from the bike especially on all of the cycle routes throughout our borough.”
Sandy Walther-Bates, Jordan’s mother said, “Thank you once again for the bike, Jordan is already putting the bike to good use, and is getting ready to go off on another long bike ridetoday!”
To find out more about Road Safety initiatives in Caerphilly County Borough, contact the Road Safety Team on 01495 235402
Motorists and farmers are being reminded to make sure their vehicles, caravans and trailersare road worthy before they take to the road
Carmarthenshire council road safety manager Keith Griffiths said trailers not in use all the year round can fail with disastrous consequences when taken out on to the road after a long lay up.
He urges motorists and farmers to ensure their vehicles and trailers are road worthy before they hit the road. The warning comes as figures from the Highways Agency show that between April and June 2013 alone, there have been 1,408 towing incidents on the UK’s roads, 246 in the south west with 43 in Carmarthenshire.
The Carmarthenshire Road Safety Action Group have encouraged random roadside checks following an increase of incidents with towed vehicles being involved in accidents many of which have been caravans being towed to holiday campsites through or into the county from elsewhere.
The Highways Agency has warned that towing incidents are often caused by overloading the caravan or trailer, a mismatch with the towing vehicle, tyres which have burst because they have not been checked or replaced where needed, and poor towing technique from drivers such as excessive speed.
The Institute of Advanced motorists offers the following tips for successfully towing another vehicle:
• Watch the weight of the towed vehicle – this should not exceed 85 per cent of the car’s kerb weight. Excess weight will cause instability.
• Check the unit you are towing is secure before pulling away, and check again after a short distance. Look for anything loose, disconnected, missing or broken.
• Check that your extra rear lights are all connected and fully functional. Get somebody to help while you test the brakes and indicators. As well as additional lights, you will also need an illuminated number plate at the rear of the unit.
• Check the pressure of all tyres before you set off, bearing in mind those of the towed unit as well as your own vehicle.
• Stopping distances and the space between you and other vehicles should be increased appropriately, allowing for the extra weight you are carrying. You should also allocate more time to overtaking, to position yourself for turns, parking, pulling into traffic streams, changing lanes and joining and leaving motorways.
• Use your mirrors frequently - the fact you have lost the use of your rear view mirror makes extended door mirrors very useful. Extended towing mirrors are not a legal requirement, but drivers are obliged to be able to see traffic behind them, so the use of mirrors is encouraged for caravans and anything but a small trailer. Mirrors will also give you a better feel for overtaking and reversing.
• Be aware that reduced speed limits usually apply when towing vehicles, and remember to extend courtesy to vehicles following you by allowing them to pass.
Mr Griffiths said: “Whether you’re towing a speedboat, a horsebox, a caravan or another car or farm equipment there are certain rules which must be applied. It is important to recognise the challenges which come with having to control not just one vehicle, but two.
“Check the being towed vehicles tyre pressures and tyre condition before setting off. Unlike in the car, you’re unlikely to feel a slow puncture on the caravan, so regular checks are essential. It’s also important to load your caravan correctly and within its limits.”
This years’ action packed programme of events and attractions at the Royal Welsh Show included Road Safety input from many Road Safety Wales partners.
At the Young Peoples Village, the Fire and Rescue Service from South Wales took along the Fire ‘Cruize’ Car to engage with young people camping at the village educating them on the main causes of car crashes.
The Focus ST is fully equipped with:
- A high performance ‘Focal’ music system
- Wide screen 40” LCD TV
- LED Undercar Lighting
- X-Box Kinnect
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Services’ new youth engagement vehicle, the state of the art VW Transporter made its show debut, and attracted a crowd at the Young Peoples’ Village Green. And Chair of Road Safety Wales, and Road Safety Officer for Dyfed Powys Police, Sue Storch, was on hand to demonstrate breathalysers and educate the young revelers on drinking and driving.
On the Showground, contributors included Go Safe and Powys County Council with their informative exhibition stands along with MAG, the Motorcycle Action Group, which campaigns to protect and promote the interests and rights of all riders, from learner to advanced.
Outside Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service carried out vehicle extrication with entrapment, a demonstration which drew a large interested crowd.
The Dyfed Powys Police stand showcased the personnel and equipment used on a daily basis in a modern police force. The roads policing unit were present to show what a traffic cop’s car looks like and what tools they have available to catch drivers who break the law.
School Community Police Officers were there every day, engaging with primary school pupils and their parents about personal safety and on Wednesday Road Safety Advisor Sue Storch delivered a presentation reminding people of the dangers of not following the law when out and about on the roads.
Glorious weather and a show full of attractions and exhibits made this years' Royal Welsh Show as successful as ever.
Welsh Police are warning motorists to avoid the temptation to drink and drive in the hot weather, after more than 400 people were caught in a summer crackdown. The four Welsh forces stopped 20,000 drivers in the month long campaign which launched on the 1st June.
The police forces said they were also receiving more tip-offs from the public on drink-drivers. But the number of arrests has remained stubbornly similar to previous years, at about 2%.
Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from North Wales Police said: "We are disappointed that there is still a group of people who are not listening or ignoring the consequences and continuing to drink or take drugs and drive. It is socially unacceptable. There is a small hardcore of individuals who persist in drink-driving”
"With the current warm weather, more people may be tempted to have a few drinks, at barbecues or whilst drinking in beer gardens during the afternoons, and may drive without thinking of the consequences."
In total, 420 people were arrested for failing roadside breath tests, while other arrests pushed the number up to 436.
Insp Lee Ford of Gwent Police's road policing unit said he believed more people are willing to report those they think may have been drinking and driving.
"We have seen a rise in the amount of information that is coming into us. A lot of that has been down to us publicising the single non-emergency number, 101," he said.
"It is socially unacceptable. There is a small hardcore of individuals who persist in drink-driving and there will be a few others who foolishly may have had one or two too many. I think where people have to be aware is that individuals who witness this are prepared to report this to the police."
"As a result of that we have good intelligence where we can target these individuals and place them before courts."
As in previous years, it was the north Wales force that carried out the most roadside tests, stopping 8,281 motorists, with 109 failing.
The legal limit for alcohol consumption and driving in the UK stands at 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.
In South Wales, of the 2,023 people stopped - 105 drivers were over that limit.
The Gwent force stopped almost exactly the same number of drivers, but just 64 were arrested.
The most arrests were in the Dyfed-Powys force area, where 7,544 motorists were tested and 142 failed, or 1.9% of those tested.
Chief Inspector Wareing of North Wales Police added: "We want to get the message across that drinking alcohol and driving or driving under the influence of drugs is unacceptable and that it puts other roads users' lives at risk.
"It can also lead to a lengthy driving ban and possible loss of jobs and livelihoods with some even facing imprisonment."
||North Wales Police
||South Wales Police
||Dyfed Powys Police
SOURCE: North Wales Police
Pembrokeshire young driver Jessica Cull took part in the Pass Plus Cymru scheme and filled in the questionnaire which was automatically entered into the all Wales quarterly prize draw.
Jessica was thrilled to be chosen as the winner and receive a cheque for £250.00 from Pembrokeshire Road Safety Officer John Gobbi. She is hoping to put the money towards her savings. She said she would recommend Pass Plus Cymru to any young driver who had just passed their test.
She went on to say she learned a great deal about being a safe driver and how to deal with the challenging environments of city and motorway driving.
Find out more about Pass Plus Cymru and book a course here
Rhonda Cynon Taff County Borough Council are holding two FREE courses on 5th and 6th August to enable drivers over 45 years of age who live in Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil and the Vale of Glamorgan to refresh their driving skills.
The two half-day Mature Drivers courses are being held at Ty Glantaf, Treforest Industrial Estate, Pontypridd, where they can learn key skills to reduce general motoring and repair costs and attain fuel economy.
The course includes a practical on road drive with an Approved Driving Instructor. Booking early is highly recommended as places are limited. For further information please contact the Road Safety Unit 01443 494785.
The Gwynedd-Môn Road Safety Partnership recently launched a new cycle safety initiative aimed at cyclists and drivers. The key message of the campaign is to encourage cyclists to be more visible on the road and to raise awareness amongst motorists of the importance of a minimum 1.5 metre space when passing .
Keen cyclists from both Counties are promoting this initiative by wearing vivid gillets displaying the 1.5 metre vital road safety message when out and about on the roads of not only North Wales but also further afield .
Pictured above from left to right are Wayne Owen , Alun Williams and Gary Ellis members of Energy Cycles Club who recently visited France to follow the Tour de France . Alun Williams said “ I personally along with fellow cyclists embrace the 1.5 metre initiative , from personal experience we have encountered several near misses due to cars passing at close proximity . On several occasions friends have been injured and hospitalized due to motorists disregarding our right to be on the roads “ .
Zarla the Zebra, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s new Road Safety mascot, has been introduced to the public for the first time.
The character came about after a competition among all primary schools within the County Borough who operate the Council’s Junior Road Safety Officers Scheme. Students were invited to design and name a Road Safety mascot - and Zarla the Zebra was born!
The award-winning creator of Zarla the Zebra is Jania George, of SS Gabriel & Raphel RC School in Tonypandy. Jania had no idea she had won the competition until Zarla the Zebra was introduced to her at a special school assembly. She also received her prize - a brand-new bicycle and a cycling helmet - from Cllr Andrew Morgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Frontline Services.
Zarla the Zebra made her first public appearance at the Council’s annual Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd, and was greeted by thousands of excited youngsters in the glorious sunshine.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is committed to spreading Road Safety messages across the County Borough to school children of all ages. A key element of preventing childhood accidents is ensuring future generations have an excellent understanding of road safety.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Road Safety Unit works throughout the year with South Wales Police, schools, pupils, parents and teachers to ensure continued awareness of the issue.
Cllr Andrew Morgan said: “Every day, there is work taking place by the Council’s Road Safety team, in one form or another, to engage with residents of all ages to ensure we are all safe pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
“Our teams work hard with their partners throughout the year to deliver a consistently-excellent and important road safety. Zarla the Zebra is now the face of our on-going Road Safety campaign.
“Congratulations to Jania George who has come up with such a wonderful character. Zarla the Zebra is instantly recognisable and already she has had a wonderful reception from all of the people she has met.”
Zarla the Zebra aims to be out and about all-year-round spreading the Road Safety message, visiting schools across Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Transport Minister Edwina Hart has published the Welsh Government’s Road Safety Framework for Wales, which sets targets for a substantial reduction in road casualties - with an aspiration to reach zero fatalities on Welsh roads in the future. Friday 19 July 2013.
Mrs Hart said:
“Road traffic collisions happen every day with potentially tragic consequences, but almost all are entirely avoidable. We want to reduce the number of road traffic collisions, particularly those which result in serious and fatal injuries.
"Wales’ roads are amongst the safest in the world and we can all be rightly proud of this. However, I do not think that we should settle for what has been achieved to date. I believe that we all have a responsibility to try and stop these unnecessary deaths and injuries.
"This framework identifies two groups that are most at risk – young people ,aged 16-24, and motorcyclists. Young people are at significantly greater risk of being involved in a collision than any other age group. Motorcyclists account for only 1% of road traffic in Wales, but 37% of those killed or seriously injured in motor vehicle collisions.
"I do not believe these statistics are inevitable and that is why I have set specific targets for casualty reduction amongst these two groups.”
The Framework, which sets out the Welsh Government’s priorities for road safety until 2020, also includes:
- An aspiration of no fatalities on Welsh roads in the future
- Targets for casualty reduction
- Actions in respect of vulnerable road user groups, causes of collision and road safety engineering in order to reduce casualties
Mrs Hart added:
“We had a very good response to the consultation on the framework and the final version reflects this and the active involvement of our partners. By continuing to work together I believe we can build upon the progress made so far and ensure that everyone is safe on Welsh roads.”
Pembrokeshire’s Director of Transportation is leading the way in adopting safe motorcycling skills.
Ian Westley Director of Transportation Housing and Environment - and keen motorcyclist - has just completed the Dragon Rider Cymru road safety course for motorcyclists.
Dragon Rider Cymru is a version of the Driving Standards Agency Enhanced Rider Scheme, which aims to improve the road safety skills of motor bike riders.
“The course is an invaluable opportunity to improve riding skills and technical knowledge for both the novice and experienced rider,” said Mr Westley . “It should be seen as essential for those who take safe riding seriously.”
Geared towards riders who already have a full licence, the Dragon Rider Cymru course costs £30 and includes a morning motorcycle presentation and a full afternoon ride out with a Driving Standards Agency qualified instructor.
It is designed to meet individual riders’ concerns and requirements and, although there is no test at the end, all riders receive an agreed assessment sheet and certificate, which might help them receive a reduction on their insurance.
The course is held once a month at Haverfordwest Fire Station Command Offices Merlin’s, Hill Haverfordwest for Pembrokeshire riders.
For further information ring 01639 686580, or contact John Gobbi County Road Safety Education Officer 01437 775144.
Powys drivers are being invited to have their skills assessed to make sure they are as sharp as ever by the County Council.
Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit is piloting a brand new driving assessment scheme for people aged 26 to 54 years of age called ‘Switched On Driving’. This confidential and practical assessment will hopefully help those taking part to develop their driving skills and identify any areas of weakness that may have developed.
It is hoped the programme will improve driving skills and ultimately lead to a reduction in collisions and casualties. Forty free places are available on the scheme thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.
Cllr Barry Thomas, Cabinet Member responsible for Road Safety, said: “The Road Safety Unit is committed to providing education, training and publicity in an attempt to reduce collisions and casualties. I urge residents to take the opportunity to take part in this innovative driving scheme.”
Sarah Morris, the Council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said: “Unfortunately, this age group is now featuring in an increasing number of collisions within the county.
“The Road Safety Unit provides training for all other road user groups, where we have seen great benefits. I truly hope that this initiative will be supported by residents, and leads to a further reduction in collisions.”
The one-hour assessment will be carried out by Approved Driving Instructors and is completely free. Please remember that only 40 places are available this year.
If you would like to find out more or to register to take part, please phone 01597 826637 or email email@example.com
You can also visit the Unit’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/roadsafetypowys
Monmouthshire County Council Road Safety Officer Carolyn Derosaire and her colleague Jayne Haycock recently attended the Abergavenny Motorcycle Show to promote the CRASH Card scheme. This encourages motorcyclists to carry cards holding potentially life-saving information. The card has a set of easy to follow steps which could prove invaluable following a collision.
Children took part in activities in the Road Safety exhibition unit and won prizes while advice was available to motorcyclists out in force to support the Blood Bikes Wales charity. Blood Bikes is a collection of enthusiasts who volunteer their time to transport emergency supplies to hospitals after hours - 7pm to 7am Monday to Friday, bank holidays and weekends.
CRASH Cards can be obtained free of charge from Abergavenny’s Oasis Snack Bar, the Steel Horse Café between Raglan and Abergavenny, RM Hockey & Son of Abergavenny and Carolyn Derosaire herself. They are suitable for all users of powered two wheelers from the young person on a scooter, the worker commuting on a daily basis, or weekend superbike riders.
A Motorcycle Taster Day was recently held in Aberystwyth, organised by MAG, Aberystwyth Motorcycle Training Centre School and Ceredigion County Council Road Safety Section. The aim was to give beginners the opportunity to experience riding in a safe and supervised environment. Beginners received half an hours training with instructors in Canolfan Rheidol Aberystwyth car park where they learnt the basic skills of motorcycling. It was a fun filled day and many beginners are considering trying for their CBT test now that they’ve had first-hand experience on a motorcycle. Statistics show that while Ceredigion opens its roads for many out of county riders, local riders account the most for the killed and seriously injured statistics. As well as gaining an insight into motorcycling, it also gave the candidates the opportunity to see the dangers motorcyclists face from car drivers failing to see them.
Trading Standards in Caerphilly are hosting two FREE safety events this Summer offering parents and carers in the area the chance to have their child car seats tested as part of a safety drive to identify unsuitable or poorly fitted equipment.
Experts will be on hand to offer help and advice on choosing and securing the correct equipment for both the child and the vehicle. And a free information pack offering advice to parents, and related activities for children will be given for each test carried out.
The events will take place on:
- Thursday 18th July – Asda, Pontygwindy Road, Caerphilly – between 9.30am and 4pm
- Friday 9th August – Tesco, Pontymister Ind Estate, Risca – between 9.30am and 4pm
Today sees the publication of Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Main Result 2012. This publication presents statistics on personal-injury accidents in 2012 on public roads (including footways) in Great Britain, which became known to the police.
Figures are derived from the ‘STATS 19’ forms completed by the police. These collect detailed data on individual personal-injury road accidents, covering the circumstances of the accident and the casualties and vehicles involved. The resulting data are supplied to local authorities and to the Department for Transport.
Figures for deaths refer to persons who sustained injuries which caused death within 30 days of the accident.
Summary statistics are published quarterly. A more comprehensive analysis of 2012 casualty statistics will be published later this year.
The number of people killed in road accidents reported to the police decreased to 1,754 in 2012 from 1,901 in 2011. This means that there were 147 fewer deaths in 2012 in comparison with the previous year, a fall of 8 per cent. This is the lowest number of people killed in road accidents on record and an apparent return to the downward trend that ran from 2003 to 2010.
The number of people seriously injured decreased by 0.4 per cent to 23,039 in 2012 from 23,122 in 2011. The overall number of casualties in road accidents reported to the police in 2012 was 195,723, down 4 per cent from the 2011 total. The total number of people seriously injured has fallen by 15 per cent from the 2005-09 average.
A total of 145,571 personal-injury road accidents were reported to the police in 2012, 4 per cent lower than in 2011. This total is the fewest reported accidents in a single year apart from 1926 and 1927, the first two years national records were kept. This is in the context of a 0.4 per cent decrease in traffic between 2011 and 2012.
Find out more here
The Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) at St Illtyd’s Primary School, Llanhilleth, recently organised a competition to design a banner warning drivers about the dangers of parking hazardously outside their school.
Funded by Blaenau Gwent Council, the JRSO scheme has been running in Blaenau Gwent since 2004.
The JRSO scheme aims to empower children to highlight road safety issues affecting their school and local community, raise awareness amongst other pupils and promote a change of attitude
The poster is part of an ongoing campaign about drivers who regularly park in the bus bay, putting the safety of the children at risk.
The JRSOs have tried tackling this problem on several occasions by asking the local police to visit the school at opening and closing times to talk to the parents and by producing a flyer explaining their fears.
It is hoped the colourful and eye-catching new banner will prompt drivers to take more care during the school run.
The Department for Transport has produced a series of 6 short films that aim to remind motorcyclists of essential riding skills to help stay safe. The clips cover the following situations:
- Entering the motorway
- Anticipating other road users
- Negotiating roundabouts
- Positioning on bends
- Separation distances
The videos can all be viewed on the THINK BIKER facebook page, or by following @THINKgovuk
All of the clips are taken from the DSA’s Better Biking training DVD which is available to buy here.
Caerphilly Council’s Road Safety Team has been working with Gwent Police trying to tackle parking issues outside schools.
They have recruited Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSO’s) in year 5 and 6 to help promote the road safety message within their schools and community. The Junior Road Safety Officer Scheme is supported by the Welsh Government’s Regional Transport Consortia Grant.
Cwrt Rawling Primary School JRSOs put together a banner from competitions held in the school to try and stop parents parking on the zig zag markings outside the school. They also designed a leaflet that was handed out to the parents.
CSO John McDonnell advised ‘Parents beware! Parking near schools illegally can result in a £30 or £60 and 3 point fine. Please park safely’.
The headteacher Mr Cole and JRSO teacher Mrs Speed also added ‘The children have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the JRSO scheme and feel passionate about the safety of pupils, parents and visitors when entering our school. We hope the launching of the roadside banner will encourage all drivers to think about where they park when dropping their children off for school’.
If you would like further information on road safety please contact Miss Tracy Plant, Road Safety Officer, on 01495 235427.
Careless drivers who put other road users at risk face on-the-spot penalties under new measures announced today by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.
The changes will give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving, giving them greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences - such as tailgating or middle lane hogging - and freeing them from resource-intensive court processes. The fixed penalty will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.
In addition, existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences - including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt - will rise to £100 to bring them into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties.
Stephen Hammond said:
“Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people’s lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.
“We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences."
Edmund King, AA President said:
“It is worrying that three quarters of drivers see others using mobile phones behind the wheel on some or most journeys.* This epidemic of hand held mobile phone use while driving has already cost lives and our members have demanded action. An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use. AA members broadly support an increase in the level of the fixed penalty. Our members also fully support educational training as an alternative to penalty points.
“We are also pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers – tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle lane hogs.”
Chief Constable Suzette Davenport ACPO lead on roads policing said:
“The new penalties are absolutely necessary to deal with drivers who are putting people’s lives at risk and police will not hesitate to enforce them.
“These measures should also act as a reminder to careless drivers that their behaviour will not be tolerated.
“The vast majority of drivers are law abiding, but some are still not getting the message. We said we would get tougher on those who make our roads dangerous and that is exactly what we have done.”
The fixed penalty for careless driving will be £100 with three points on the driver's licence. The most serious examples will continue to go through court, where offenders may face higher penalties.
There are no changes to penalty levels for parking offences.
Fixed penalty levels for most of these motoring offences have not increased since 2000, and are now lower than other penalties of a similar severity. In addition, raising the penalty levels for these offences offers an additional incentive for drivers to take up remedial courses which address poor driving behaviour in the longer term.
The changes - which the Government aim to bring into force in July this year - are being introduced following extensive public consultation with road safety groups and Police forces.
The latest National Statistics produced by the Welsh Government were released on 29 May 2013 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.
Statistics include data for Wales for the period up to the end of December 2012. The latest release updates the statistics previously released on 22 May 2012.
The key points from the latest release are:
- during 2012 there were 5,971 road accidents involving personal injury recorded by the police in Wales, 463 (7 per cent) fewer than in 2011
These accidents resulted in 8,565 casualties, 841 (9 per cent) fewer than in 2011. Within this total:
93 people were killed on Welsh roads in 2012, some 28 (23 per cent) fewer than in 2011, it is estimated that this was the second lowest figure for road deaths in Wales (the lowest level was 2010) since the mid 1920s; and it is a little over a fifth of the peak level for the number of people killed on the roads in Wales, which was in 1974 at 424 deaths
- 941 people were seriously injured in 2012, 185 (16 per cent) less than in 2011
- 7,531 people were slightly injured, a decrease of 628 (8 per cent) compared with 2011
SDR 84/2013 Police recorded road casualties, 2012 (File size: 188KB)
Tables: Police recorded road casualties, 2012 (File size: 163KB)
Tables: Police recorded road casualties, 2012: by local authority (File size: 3.51MB)
The National All Wales Summer Anti Drink/Drug Drive campaign 2013, backed by all four Welsh Police Forces, will begin on Saturday 1st June. The month long campaign, launched by Gwent Police, will see Forces increase the pressure and focus on those drivers who drink and drive or drive under the influence of drugs.
There will be increased stop checks to catch those breaking the law and police will use the campaign to reinforce the message and educate drivers.
Superintendent Gary Ashton from North Wales Police said: “If you drink and drive you will potentially not only ruin your life, but the lives of others innocently associated with you and your actions. There is absolutely no excuse for drinking and driving and the consequences can be devastating.
“You not only risk killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else, but you will end up in court and could face a fine, lose your licence or receive a jail sentence. You will have a criminal record and you could lose your job.
“As summer approaches, more people may be tempted to have a few drinks, at barbecues or whilst drinking in the afternoon, and may drive without thinking of the consequences.
He added: “Think before you go out, watch what you drink and plan how you will get home.”
Anyone with information regarding individuals who are believed to drive while over the legal limit or who drive whilst under the influence of drugs can contact the Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
- During the 2012 campaign, 19,277 people were stopped and breath tested by police in Wales and 360 of those tested positive, refused or failed to provide representing 1.9%
- In June 2012 more than 83,000 people were tested in England and Wales during the campaign and nearly 5,000 failed a breath test.
- Earlier this year The Institute of Advanced Motorists calculated the personal financial cost of drink-driving and priced it between £20,000 and £50,000. The calculation reflects the fines, legal costs, rise in insurance premiums and possible job losses faced by those who are convicted.
Do you know the legal limit for alcohol when driving?
The legal limit in the UK is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. However, any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely. The effects can include slower reactions, poorer judgement of speed and distance and a reduced field of vision. Alcohol also tends to make you feel over-confident and more likely to take risks when driving, which increases the danger to all road-users.
If you are convicted for a drink driving offences you will:
- Have a criminal record
- Lose your licence for a minimum of one year
- You may go to prison for up to six months
- You may have to pay a fine of up to £5,000
- Have difficulty hiring a car within ten years of your conviction
If you are convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink you face:
- Up to 14 years in prison
- An unlimited fine
- A minimum two-year driving ban
- Face exceptionally high insurance costs once you get your licence back
- You may lose your job
The THINK! team has launched a new online resource centre to help teachers plan road safety lessons for school children.
The THINK! Resource Centre brings together a wide range of road safety materials for children and teenagers in one place. It is designed to help teachers, road safety officers and anyone teaching road safety to plan lessons easily and effectively.
Launching the resource, Stephen Hammond road safety minister, said: “Road deaths are at a record low and child casualties have fallen considerably in recent years, but we know there is room for improvement and I am determined to reduce casualties even further.
“THINK! education resources are already highly regarded, but we wanted to make them much easier to use in road safety lessons. This new online resource will be used by teachers across the country to give children the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe on the roads.”
The materials are organised into 25 themed lesson packs and aimed at all ages, from early years to Key Stage 4.
Each Lesson Pack is clearly labelled by Key Stage and includes a lesson plan and a range of teaching resources, such as online games, posters, stories, films and ideas for activities both in and out of the classroom. The packs also include information and activities for parents and carers, to ensure children are taught consistently at school and at home.
The Resource Centre can be used by teachers in Personal, Social, Health and Economics lessons and to provide examples for core curriculum subjects such as maths and science. The Resource Centre is also intended be useful for road safety officers and out of school groups such as Rainbows, Beavers, Brownies and Cub Scouts.
Click here to visit the THINK! Resource Centre website.
A young Ebbw Vale motorist is the first Blaenau Gwent winner of the Pass Plus Cymru quarterly draw.
Conor Jones, a student at the Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone, was presented with a cheque for £250 by Road Safety Officer Maria Barsi-Mills after his a feedback form was entered into a free prize draw. Conor’s name was drawn from a list of all participants throughout Wales who returned their evaluation form on completion of the Pass Plus Cymru Course.
Young people are over represented in incident statistics and so Pass PlusCymru is aimed at 17 to 25 year olds who live in Wales and have recently passed their driving test.
Young people taking part in the scheme will pick up tips and pointers about:
• Heading off on the motorway
• Driving techniques and hazard awareness
• Getting around at night
• Coping with busy towns and cities
• Driving on rural country roads
Blaenau Gwent Road Safety Officer Maria Barsi-Mills said:
“New drivers can lack the vital skills and experience needed to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road. Pass PlusCymru aims to influence them to become better and more responsible drivers and the course costs just £20.”
Young motorists are being urged to ensure they can see clearly when driving after a police crackdown found many at the wheel with poor eyesight. Random checks in south Wales found young drivers who did not realise they needed glasses.
The crackdown, which led to nine motorists with bad eyesight losing their licence, is to be extended to the M4.
A force road safety manager blamed a lack of eye tests in schools. During a month-long crackdown held earlier this year, police stopped 821 motorists, nine of whom lost their licences because they could not see clearly while driving. Another 29 people received cautions.
South Wales Police Insp Wayne Tucker, South Wales Police's road safety manager, said while most of those discovered to have bad eyesight were elderly, officers also found many younger people needed sight tests. We find these days young people aren't having eyesight tests in schools like they used to and as they get older they're not going to the optician”
"We feel we have made people more aware of their responsibilities in relation to eyesight when driving, especially young people," he said.
"We find these days young people aren't having eyesight tests in schools like they used to and as they get older they're not going to the optician and don't realise the danger they are putting themselves and others in by driving.
"We're not banging people over the head with a big stick about it but asking them to please be responsible. "We have had incidents where we have had to recommend they get an eye test."
Insp Tucker said one man in particular, who was in his early 30s and drove for a living, had such bad eyesight that police prevented him from driving until he got glasses. "He went straight away to an optician and got glasses there and then over the counter," he added.
The South Wales Police crackdown against drivers with poor eyesight was launched at the end of February.
Motorists in Talbot Green, Cardiff, Aberdare and Rhondda were stopped and asked to read the registration plate of a vehicle parked 20m (65ft) away.
Police said that new handheld devices meant they could refer motorists to the DVLA immediately and they could lose their licences within hours.
In the past it could take days for a licence to be revoked, meaning potentially dangerous drivers could still get behind the wheel after police had stopped them.
The changes followed a campaign to highlight the issue after 16-year-old Cassie McCord, from Colchester, Essex, was killed by an 87-year-old driver in 2011. He had refused to surrender his licence despite failing an on-the-spot eye sight test three days earlier.
Insp Tucker said the crackdown would now be extended along the M4 corridor.
Motorcyclists are being urged to take greater care on roads in Wales as part of a £6m road safety drive, with mid Wales seen as an accident blackspot.
Nearly 70 bikers were killed or injured in Powys in 2011 along with 53 in Carmarthenshire and 51 in Swansea.
Transport Minister Edwina Hart said mid Wales had a "disproportionate" casualty rate.
The quiet, rural roads of Powys are known to attract visiting motorcyclists from the Midlands and South Wales, especially on summer weekends. There have been a variety of safety campaigns by the police and councils in Wales over the years to try and cut death and injury rates.
"Motorcyclists are amongst the most at-risk groups of road users in Wales," said Mrs Hart. "We have not seen a significant reduction in casualty numbers amongst motorcyclists over the last decade, in contrast to the reductions amongst other groups of road users. This is not something that I consider acceptable."
In Powys, 68 motorcyclists were killed or injured in 2011, with 51 of the incidents involving bikes with over 500cc engines, according to the latest available statistics.
"Mid Wales does have a disproportionate number of motorcyclist road casualties," added Mrs Hart. "Statistical analysis has shown that these tend to be male riders on powerful bikes, during the drier months of the year. "We will continue to work with Dyfed Powys Police and other partners through Operation Darwin which targets these riders to educate them about the importance of safety and, where appropriate, enforce the law."
Other areas of Wales with worrying crash rates include Carmarthenshire, which had 53 motorcycle casualties in 2011. Swansea had 51, Cardiff 43, Denbighshire 38, Flintshire 36 and Gwynedd 35.
'Cause for concern'
Mrs Hart said some of the £6m road safety funding would be used to fund advanced rider training courses, practical safety advice, targeted publicity and engineering schemes. "I will also soon publish our road safety framework," said the Minister.
"The consultation document highlighted the vulnerability of motorcyclists, included a specific target for casualty reduction amongst this group and placed an onus on partners to actively engage with riders."
Montgomeryshire's Conservative AM Russell George hopes Powys council will receive a significant share of the road safety funding. "I welcome the statement from the minister, particularly highlighting the real problem of motorcyclist road casualties that exists in mid Wales," he said. "It's a real cause for concern."
Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, said: "We all have a part to play in making our roads safer. "I will continue to work with Welsh government, Dyfed Powys Police and all road users to try to achieve this."
14/5/13Children in Caerphilly County Borough braved the wet weather last week and took to the roads outside their school, giving parents and drivers a lesson in road safety.
Pupils from Ynysddu Primary School have signed up to the Junior Road Safety Officer scheme which encourages children to promote road safety issues in school and around their community.
Earlier this year, Gwent Police launched the All Wales Seat Belt campaign, which stressed the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt and warned that “belting up can save a life.” In support of that campaign, pupils from the school gathered outside the school at the end of the day to speak to parents and other drivers about the importance of wearing a seatbelt and took part in a seatbelt count, counting the number of drivers wearing their seatbelts as they drove past.
In just 10 minutes the children counted 14 drivers, 2 passengers and 6 rear seat passengers who were not wearing seatbelts.
Cllr Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering said, “Belting up should be a driver’s number one priority as soon as they enter their vehicle, but unfortunately some drivers still fail to wear their seatbelts. It is encouraging to see some of our youngest residents promoting the importance of a seatbelt and getting the message across to their parents and other drivers in their community that wearing a seat belt can save your life.”
The Junior Road Safety Officers assist Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Road Safety Officers by promoting road safety issues in their school. They run competitions, encourage road safety amongst their peers and their parents and give out prizes for good road safety behaviour.
Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Ceredigion County Council’s Road Safety Team are joining forces to check child car seats as part of their In Car Safety Campaign 2013.
Previous checks in Ceredigion have shown that 8 out of 10 car seats are fitted incorrectly – so please take just a couple of minutes out of your shopping trip to get your child car seat checked for free by qualified personnel.
The teams can be visited at any one of the following locations:
20/05/2013 Tesco, Cardigan, 10am - 3pm
21/05/2013 Sainsbury’s, Lampeter, 10am – 3pm
22/05/2012 Morrisons, Aberystwyth, 10am – 3pm
23/05/2013 Matalan, Aberystwyth, 10am – 3pm
Ceredigion Road Safety Officer Terry Jones said: "The overall aim of this initiative is to raise awareness amongst parents of how their child car seats should be fitted and ultimately reduce serious injuries and death on our roads. I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to stop by at any one of our locations to get their sets checked free of charge by qualified personnel”.
Mrs Catrin Davies from Llandysul, who had her car seat checked during the last round of checks said: “I was horrified that I had been travelling with my 3 year old daughter in the car with an ill fitted car seat. I’m extremely grateful to the staff for fitting the car seat correctly”’.
Did you know that…
- Children under 3 years MUST use the child restraint appropriate for their weight in any vehicle (including vans and other goods vehicle).
- Rear facing baby seats MUST NOT be used in a seat protected by a frontal air bag unless the air bag has been deactivated manually or automatically.
- In vehicles where seat belts are fitted, children under 3 years to 135cms in height (approx. 4ft 5 inch) MUST use the appropriate child restraint.
Three exceptions allow these children to travel in the rear and use an adult belt:
- in a taxi, if the correct restraint is not available
- for a short distance in an unexpected necessity, if the correct restraint is not available.
- where two child seats in the rear prevent the fitness of a third child seat
If you have any queries regarding In car Safety or the new child car seat law please come along to one of the campaigns/initiatives or call the Road Safety Team on 01545 572 409.
Sixty years since he was created, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ retired road safety squirrel Tufty Fluffytail will feature in an exhibition exploring international state-related propaganda from the 20th and 21st centuries, which opens next week.
Tufty, a red squirrel with signature blue and yellow clothing, was created by the late Elsie Mills MBE in 1953 to help communicate simple safety messages to children. Now, the ever-popular creature, who was joined in his adventures by Minnie Mole and Willy Weasel to name a few of his companions, will feature in the British Library’s exhibition Propaganda: Power and Persuasion, from May 17 to September 17.
The exhibition, which covers state-related propaganda from around the world, will be split into six sections: origins; nation; war; enemy; health; and, propaganda in the 21st century. It will feature Tufty memorabilia from the British Library’s archives, including a bag and greetings card, plus a RoSPA poster from the 1960s featuring statistics about children and road accidents. Tufty is displayed alongside other examples of the ways in which state organisations, and those with close links to the state, attempt to change behaviour and influence attitudes on a range of issues relating to health and risky behaviour.
Tufty had a long and varied career in road safety. In 1961, the Tufty Club was set up as a nationwide network of local groups through which millions of children learned about road safety. At its peak, there were 24,500 registered Tufty Clubs. Tufty’s image was changed to keep up with the times in 1979 and again in 1993. Then in 2007, he made a guest appearance in the cult BBC series Life on Mars.
Tom Mullarkey, chief executive of RoSPA, a safety charity with a history stretching back 97 years, said: “The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to mark Tufty’s 60th birthday and to acknowledge his contribution to society. Tufty was an iconic aid to road safety education, teaching generations of children right through the 60s and 70s and into the 80s and 90s.
“Although it might seem strange to consider him as propaganda, the British Library’s exhibition is a fitting reminder of Tufty, his powers of persuasion and his enduring legacy as artwork.”
Jude England, head of social sciences at the British Library and curator of Propaganda, said: “Tufty is featuring in our exhibition as a wonderful example of a successful propaganda campaign. At its peak in the early 1970s, around two million children were members of local Tufty Clubs.
“The best public health campaigns use a number of techniques to relate their messages, ranging from shocking to humorous; Tufty’s appeal lay in the friendly images and accessible language used, for example, in the ‘kerb drill’. We expect that the Tufty exhibits will evoke childhood memories for many of the visitors to the exhibition.”
The British Library is based in Euston Road, London. The exhibition opening times will be 10am-6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 10am-8pm on Tuesdays, 10am-5pm on Saturdays, and 11am-5pm on Sundays. Last admission is an hour before closing. See www.bl.uk/whatson/exhibitions/propaganda for ticket information.
Tufty has his own web page - www.tuftyclub.org.uk - and still receives emails from former Tufty Club members. Although Tufty is now retired, RoSPA remains active in tackling the principal cause of death among children - accidents - through its work on the road, in the home, at leisure and at school. See www.rospa.com for more details.
RoSPA still produces a range of Tufty educational materials for use by children’s groups, teachers and road safety professionals, available at www.rospashop.com.
In April the School Crossing Patrol Service celebrated it’s 60th birthday.
To commemorate and to highlight the importance of crossing with a School crossing patrol, Road Safety Wales invited the primary school children of Wales to take part in a poster competition.
A prize was awarded to one winner in each Regional Transport Consortia donated by Bristol Oilskins Ltd.
The winner in the TAITH region was Ffion Haf Jones a pupil at Ysgol Bethel, Caernarfon, Gwynedd.
yng Sion Jones, Paula Owen Swyddog Diogelwch Ffyrdd, Ffion Haf Jones, Malcolm Fox Bristol Oilskins Ltd
Three schools from the Caerphilly county borough were rewarded for their excellence in travel planning during an awards ceremony held at Cardiff City Hall recently.
The first annual Sewta (South East Wales Transport Alliance) Travel Planning Awards took place on Tuesday 23rd April, providing the opportunity to recognise and reward best practice and excellence in travel planning, as demonstrated by organisations in South East Wales.
Ysgol Gynradd Penalltau, Rhiw-Syr-Dafydd Primary School, and Bryn Awel Primary School, each received the Bronze award having successfully achieved the required standard of excellence in travel planning.
Cllr Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering said, “The active and effective travel planning of our schools is truly commendable. There has been a significant reduction in car use due to an increasing number walking to and from school, helping to make the Caerphilly county borough a greener place for all residents. I would like to thank the staff for their commitment and effort, without whom these awards would not have been possible.”
Cllr Rhianon Passmore, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning added, “Well done to all three schools for their success in obtaining the Bronze award. All three establishments continue to show total commitment to sustainability and to reducing congestion around their schools.”
Sewta is an alliance of 10 local authorities in South East Wales, which prepares and co-ordinates regional transport policies, plans and programmes on behalf of its constituent councils.
Wales’ Sustainable Futures Commissioner, Peter Davies, was the keynote speaker at the event, which also offered a series of free training workshops, providing valuable advice on travel planning, marketing and sustainable travel.
A Caerphilly Primary School has found inspiration around the school grounds for the artwork to accompany 20mph signs, with the winning design crafted by one of their own pupils.
Ysgol Y Castell recently developed a School Travel Plan, identifying the need for a reduced speed limit outside their school. With the limit agreed and introduced, the school launched a competition to create a sign to accompany the 20mph signs.
Beca Evans Lugg, aged 9, was the lucky winner with her innovative design of geese crossing the road, a rare sight that is only seen in one place in the county borough – opposite Caerphilly Castle where the school is located.
Beca, along with three runners up were presented with their artwork and prizes by the Mayor of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Cllr Gaynor Oliver.
Pictured with Cllr Gaynor Oliver are:
William Dewi 8
Holly Pipe 9
Beca Evans Lugg 9
Delun Thomas 9
A budding young artist from Rhondda Cynon Taf has won a prize for her school by winning a poster competition to mark the 60th anniversary of school crossing patrols.
Rhianydd Jones from Llwynypia Primary School created the winning poster for the South East Wales area in the competition organised by Road Safety Wales.
Competition sponsors were Bristol Oilskins and director Malcolm Fox kindly visited the school to present an I-pod shuffle to Rhianydd and £100 for the school. Rhondda Cynon Taf Road Safety Training Officer Geoff Evans also attended the presentation.
Cllr Andrew Morgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Frontline Services, including Road Safety, said: “Well done to Rhianydd on winning the competition for the South East Wales area and in turn helping to promote the important work done by school crossing patrol officers.”
School Crossing Patrol vacancies often exist at certain locations throughout the County Borough and these can be very difficult to fill. If you have a few hours to spare, or know someone who does, and would like to help our children stay safe on the roads, please visit the recruitment pages of the Council’s website to view the list of current vacancies.
This week road safety professionals from across Wales met at the annual Road Safety Wales Convention at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells. Topics included black box technology, data analysis, young road users, an introduction to social media, a cycling case study and motorcycle safety and tourism.
The convention lunch also included the presentation of the Annual Road Safety Awards, which recognise the good road safety practice, innovative projects and personal contributions being undertaken in Wales.
Recipients this year were:
Tina Martin and Jamie Carey nominated by Monmouthshire Road Safety
Tina and Jamie are staff at Nevill Hall Hospital and were alarmed at the number of children admitted with head injuries, which could have been avoided had a cycle helmet been worn. Following research by Monmouthshire Road Safety, into numbers of children who are wearing helmets, the ‘Kool Kids’ campaign was launched. Partnership working between Monmouthshire Road Safety, local schools and Gwent Police spread the word and helped to change behaviour, while Tina and Jamie continue to campaign by encouraging children who come into their care to wear helmets. They also relate their experiences in show and tell sessions.
Kingsley McCarthy nominated by Swansea Road Safety
Kingsley McCarthy has volunteered with Kerbcraft in five Swansea schools for over ten years. He is reliable, good fun and totally committed to child pedestrian training. Mike Bowen Deputy Head Teacher of Burlais Primary School described him as giving of his time freely; his passion for keeping the children safe being clear to see. Gwyrosydd Primary School described Kingsley as a ‘real gentleman’. Since 2003, he has regularly visited the school every Wednesday afternoon to teach the children road safety. He has wonderful patience with such young and lively children and has time for everyone. He is a much valued visitor to the school.
Gary Jones nominated by the Taith Regional Consortia
The Older Driver scheme was developed by Denbighshire County Council in 2004 following an accident analysis involving older drivers. A partnership between the North Wales Road Safety Group and the Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment Service was established to conduct assessment drives, with Gary at the helm. The current scheme was launched in October 2011 with over 400 assessments undertaken so far. Gary continues to provide advice and valuable support leading to a strategic approach towards the provision of a driver development programme focussing upon the needs of the older driver population throughout North Wales.
Pauline Davies nominated by Newport City Council
In September 2013, Mrs Davies will enter her fortieth year of exemplary service as a School Crossing Patrol in Newport. As Newport City Council’s longest serving School Crossing Patrol, Mrs Davies has performed her role with great passion, diligence and without complaint. Mrs Davies’s site is located at a busy signalised junction where red-light running is far from rare and traffic flow is heavy. Her longevity in the role at such a challenging site means that she has enhanced the safety of generations of children attending St. Patrick’s and St. Andrew’s Primary Schools, and now crosses the grandchildren of those she assisted at the beginning of her career! Mrs Davies was not able to join us on the day, as she was on duty, and her award was collected by Andrew Jenkins of Newport City Council. Mrs Davies will receive her award at a school assembly later this month.
Ian Williamson nominated by Powys County Council Road Safety Team
Ian is nominated for his support of the Powys and Ceredigion Road Safety Units with their work in motorcycle casualty reduction. Ian is a member of the Aberystwyth branch of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), a group that exists to promote and protect the interests and rights of all riders. He has assisted Powys Road Safety Unit through his support of existing and new initiatives, has attended engagement events and promotes RSU motorcycling initiatives to the MAG group and beyond. He has built bridges and connections between the RSU and the motorcycling community, and provided valuable feedback and constructive criticism on initiatives to move projects forward.
Dr Mark Boulcott nominated by Dyfed Powys Police
Dr Mark Boulcott, was thrown from his motorcycle after being hit by a drunk driver who had also been taking drugs. His wife Karen died at the scene and Dr Boulcott was left disabled. Since his accident he has been actively involved in promoting the anti-drink drive message across Wales. In 2008 he took part in a seven-minute film, commissioned by the Pembrokeshire Road Safety Forum, to be shown to young people throughout the county. In telling his story he hoped to encourage social responsibility among teenage drivers and passengers. Dr Boulcott has also lent his support to all-Wales Police anti-drink drive campaigns, giving weight to the message that people who drink and drive not only affect the life of the drink driver, but the lives of others innocently associated with them and their actions.
South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Road Safety team is offering a Free three-hour Biker Down Course.
They will be held at Cardiff Central Fire Station, Adam Street, Cardiff on 2nd and 14th May, commencing at 18.30pm.
Subjects covered will be:
- Accident scene management
- First Aid for motorcyclists
- Science of being seen
On completion you will receive a South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Certificate of Attendance and a biker's First Aid kit..
For further information email: bikerdown@southwales-fire..gov.uk, search for 'SWFire and Rescue' on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.southwales-fire.gov.uk
Pupils from St David's Church in Wales Primary School in Colwinston emerged triumphant from the Road Safety Quiz 2013, walking away with a first prize following a nail biting final against pupils from Penarth's Ysgol Gymraeg Pen Y Garth. This marked the second victory for St David's in the competition - 16 years after their last success in 1997.
The annual event, which was hosted by the Vale Council's Road Safety Team, aims to make pupils more safety conscious and aware of their responsibilities as pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle passengers in an effort to reduce overall child casualties. A combination of individual, team and 'fingers on buzzers' questions made up the 10 rounds that each team faced - all based on their knowledge of the Young Person's Highway Code.
The competition is open to all primary schools in the Vale, with 38 schools taking part in the qualifying rounds using the interactive electronic technology of 'Qwizdom'. This involves teams from all schools answering multiple-choice questions via their remote control keypads, followed by a written final question decider. The teams with the highest scores are then invited to the live final.
2013 saw the first all-boys final for several years. The team of four year six pupils from Pen y Garth and the foursome from St David's were neck and neck for much of the final. The lead changed several times in the last round before St David's pipped Pen y Garth to the post, winning by 40 points to 37.5 - the closest score in recent memory.
An experienced panel of judges from the Vale of Glamorgan Council Road Safety Team presided over the event led by Clare Cameron, Principal Transport and Road Safety Officer, who was assisted by fellow officers Karen Stokes and Jayne Jenkins.
John Rogers, Quizmaster and Vale of Glamorgan Council Road Safety Officer, said:
"A big thank you must go to all the schools who took part in this worthwhile exercise. Win or lose, we hope that all the children enjoyed the experience and managed to take away at least a little more knowledge about road safety, which will hopefully stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives."
Both finalist teams received gift vouchers plus a commemorative plaque each. The winners, St David's, also received £200 for their school and a magnificent glass trophy, with £100 going to the runners-up, Pen y Garth.
Pupils at Ysgol Gwaun Gynfi, Deiniolen recently received a special visit from Gwynedd’s most famous cat, Carys Ofalus.
Carys Ofalus, Gwynedd Council’s road safety character visited the school to thank Mrs Jackie Warrington’s year 1 class for their hard work in spreading the important message of road safety amongst their fellow pupils.
The year 1 pupils held a special school service to raise awareness of road safety amongst their fellow classmates based on the information they had learnt from Mai Jones, Kerbcraft co-ordinator.
Kerbcraft is a popular and effective scheme that promotes road safety to young pupils. The childrenbenefit from the scheme by receiving practical training by going out and about around the school learning how to keep safe by the side of the road and when crossing.
As part of the scheme the pupil’s learnt the Green Cross Code, passing their knowledge to the rest of the school pupils.
Councillor Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council’s Environment Cabinet Member said:
“There are more vehicles than ever on our roads and ensuring that everyone is safe on the road is very important to the Council.
“I’m delighted that we were able to establish Kerbcraft at Ysgol Gwaun Gynfi to help the pupils be aware of the dangers they could face on our roads.”
Almost 700 roadside eyesight checks have been carried out by police as part of an initiative to raise awareness of the dangers of driving with poor vision.
On Tuesday 9th April, officers from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit carried out the checks at two locations – Llandudno and Menai Bridge, to highlight the importance of good eyesight. A total of 680 vehicles were stopped and four of those drivers received immediate driving licence revocations after being referred to the DVLA.
Acting Sergeant Mark Jones, who led the day operation said: “In North Wales there is a steady increase in the number of drivers, in particular older drivers, being involved in collisions. These collisions usually happen at junctions with one of the common themes being defective eyesight.
“All drivers have a responsibility to make sure they are fit to drive, every time they get behind the wheel and this includes making sure they meet minimum eyesight standards." He added: “Our aim, through these operations is to raise public awareness about the importance of good eyesight when driving.”
As part of the initiative, motorists were asked to stop and read the registration plate of a vehicle parked 20.5 metres away – which is the legal standard set by the DVLA. Officers now use hand-held devices to report offending drivers, and a quick email response from the DVLA means a licence can be revoked on the same day somebody is caught. Police previously had to write or fax a request for licence removal, which would take a number of days.
The changes, which came into effect in February ,follow a campaign to highlight the issue after 16-year-old Cassie McCord, from Colchester, Essex, was killed by an 87-year-old driver in 2011. He had refused to surrender his licence despite failing an on-the-spot eye sight test three days earlier.
A/Sgt Mark Jones added: “Overall the public response was very positive and in support of our operation and we will carry out further operations in the near future.”
“Our lives have been ruined completely” – these are the words of a mother who lost her son in a fatal road traffic collision on Anglesey back in 2011.
Carl Wynne Hughes, or Carl ‘Felin’ as he was known to his friends, died following the collision which happened during the early hours of March 26th 2011 on the A5 in Star, near Gaerwen.
The 22-year-old had been driving a silver coloured BMW with three other people on board when he lost control of the car and collided with a wall.
Tests showed that he had taken drugs, was over the legal drink drive limit and was not wearing a seatbelt.
“This has had a massive effect on the family and we are all completely devastated. Our lives will never be the same again,” said his Mum, Susan Hughes, who, jointly with Eleri Thomas, Carl’s partner, are helping North Wales Police with the promotion of Operation Sodium, a force-wide campaign aimed at tackling drink and drug driving amongst young people.
“I’ll never forget that night when we were told what had happened. Words can’t describe how we feel about Carl’s death. We support this campaign as we don’t want another family to go through the nightmare we are experiencing.”
Eleri and Carl have a son together, who was just a toddler when Carl died. She said: “Thankfully or son Gethin is still too young to fully understand but when he’s older we will tell him all about Carl and how kind he was with people.”
Operation Sodium launched throughout North Wales last summer. Just over six months on North Wales Police are continuing in their efforts to tackle drink and drug driving amongst young people aged between 17 and 25-years-old.
Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from North Wales Police said: “The campaign involves officers from the Roads Policing Unit as well as Local Policing Services using covert and overt tactics, stepping up checks, stopping vehicles and where appropriate, breathalysing drivers and conducting field impairment tests.
“The campaign was launched in response to the growing number of young people who are being killed on the roads of north Wales, and especially on rural roads.”
Recent statistics have showed that between *August 2012 and February 2013 287 people have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. During the same period 5,041 negative breath tests were conducted.
“It is quite shocking that so far, almost 300 drivers have been arrested throughout this operation for being over the legal drink drive limit. This is simply unacceptable and strengthens our message that we will not tolerate drink or drug driving on the roads of North Wales.”
Specially designed posters have been distributed across licensed premises throughout north Wales and leaflets are being handed out by the officers who are visiting those premises in rural areas.
North Wales Police has a robust strategy around enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences which are drink and drug driving, dangerous driving including unnecessary risk taking, speeding, failing to wear a seat belt and using a mobile phone whilst driving.
Chief Inspector Wareing added: “We are committed to assisting in reducing casualties on the road through the use of targeted operations around high risk groups of people and locations while enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences.
“The risk of being seriously injured or killed rises dramatically if a decision is taken to commit a ‘Fatal 5’ offence and I want people to be aware of the devastating affect it can have and make a conscious decision not to take any chances.”
“This is about saving lives and we will continue to enforce the campaign.”
“If you have information regarding drink or drug driving or if know of anybody who regularly drives whilst over the legal drink drive limit, or who drive after taking illegal drugs, contact North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 – it could help save a life.”
*Operation Sodium patrols are held on weekends between Friday evenings and Monday mornings.
The Operation Sodium statistics between August 10th and February 28th do not include the 2012 Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign statistics.
During the All Wales Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign a total of 18,780 breath tests were administered in North Wales with 107 of those being positive.
An operation which is aimed at reducing motorcycle related deaths and serious injuries on the roads of North Walesis being launched this weekend to coincide with its 10th anniversary.
Launched in 2003, the annual Operation Focus will run from early April until early autumn and will see police officers out and about stopping and talking to bikers to educate them about the dangers, and to also prosecute those who ride dangerously.
Historically high numbers of motorcyclists descend on North Wales due to the challenging nature of the roads in areas of outstanding natural beauty such as Snowdonia.
Motorcyclists are more at risk of being killed or seriously injured in a road traffic collision than any other road user, representing 1% of road traffic but accounting for 18% of all fatalities.
During 2012 there were a total of 63 serious collisions involving motorcyclists with a notable increase in the number of riders from outside the Force area.
Officers hope to reduce this figure by encouraging riders to take responsibility for their safety and the safety of other road users.
Police will patrol the roads where collisions are most common, which include the A494, A5104, A5, A470 and the A487.
Throughout the operationBikesafe representatives will also be out and about speaking to riders and promoting the Bikesafe initiative, which offer free workshops in North Wales (subject to booking fee).
Chief Inspector Darren Wareing, who is in charge of North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “Operation Focus is one of many campaigns and initiatives that we run throughout the year targeting high-risk road users. It is not about alienating the motorcycling community – it is about education and enforcement.
“Whilst the vast majority of motorcyclists ride appropriately, someriders choose to use the roads as a racetrack, committing serious breaches of road safety legislation, such as speeding and riding dangerously thereby putting themselves and other road users at risk of death or life changing injury.”
“We are committed to keeping people safe on the roads of North Wales. This isn’t about catching bikers out, we want them to enjoy the roads but most of all we want them to ride safely and responsibly.
“Responsible riders are welcome to visit the area and take in the stunning scenery and landscape, but even they face risk of death or serious injury by underestimating the risk posed by fatigue brought on by a combination of driving long distances and concentrating on navigating challenging and unfamiliar routes.
“I would also urge bikers to take the opportunity to enhance their skills through training and attend thefree Bikesafe workshops. Bikesafe is an accredited scheme which is run nationally by police forces which aims to reduce motorcycling casualties.
He added: “We will continue to target, with a view to prosecution, all those that ride or drive dangerously, at excess speed, overtake on solid white lines or commit any other road traffic offences.”
The operation is expected to run from Easter through to early October.
Further details regarding the free Bikesafe workshops are available via the Bikesafe website (www.bikesafe.co.uk)
Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Road Safety Team marked 60 years of continuous service of the UK School Crossing Patrol Service in a special event at Llancaiach Fawr Manor House on St David’s Day.
The annual Road Safety and School Crossing Patrol Seminar showcased the range of road safety education and engineering work that is undertaken across the county borough, contributing to a reduction in the number of people being killed or seriously injured on the roads in Caerphilly county borough.
The event had a particularly Welsh theme to mark the momentous occasion, with daffodils and dragons displayed throughout the event.
Volunteers and officers who work tirelessly across Caerphilly county borough delivering Kerbcraft were all recognised and thanked for their commitment and enthusiasm, with Carol Lloyd, from Cefn Fforest, and Dorothy Thomas, from Nelson, each receiving recognition for their 25 years of continuous service as School Crossing Patrol.
Kerbcraft is an innovative road safety scheme that provides approximately 1800 school children, aged 5 to 7, with road safety training each year. The initiative aims to reduce the number of children injured on our roads by giving children practical roadside training and advice, teaching them how to be safe and responsible pedestrians.
Entertainment was provided at the event by children from Libanus Primary School, who gave beautiful musical performances in Welsh and English. As a school, Libanus Primary is committed to ensuring all pupils are trained in Road Safety, and currently provides a walking bus during the spring, summer and autumn months.
Cllr Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering, commented, “The volunteers and officers who work so hard to ensure safety on our roads truly deserve the recognition they received on St David’s Day. They are determined to providing the youngest residents of our county borough with the tools and knowledge required to be safe when walking near to or crossing the road. I would like to thank them for their tireless work, protecting the residents of Caerphilly county borough
Motorcylists are being urged to carry cards which contain potentially life-saving information in the event of an incident.
At some point in a motorcyclist’s riding life they may have an ‘unscheduled dismount’ or they may be with a rider who does. CRASH is a set of easy to remember steps to keep themselves safe, as well as the unfortunate rider who has been involved in a collision.
There is space to record information which could be vital to the attending paramedic, including current medical history and the details of any medication currently being taken.
Importantly there is also space to list the name and contact telephone number of next of kin. Many phones nowadays require a pin code to access any information, which means that the ICE number stored there cannot be retrieved.
‘Working in Partnership’
The cards were created by the national Ambulance Motorcycle Club (AMC) whose membership consists of ambulance staff who are passionate about motorcycling, and are already used in a number of areas in England and parts of Wales. In 2012 the Club was awarded a Federation Internationale de Motorcyclisme Road Safety Award for the scheme.
Local Authority Road Safety teams have been working in partnership with other road safety professionals who make up Road Safety Wales, and the scheme has the backing of the Wales NHS Ambulance Trust. It is hoped that eventually these cards will be available throughout the Principality.
CRASH Cards can be obtained, free of charge from motorcycle dealers and road safety teams throughout Wales, and are suitable for all users of powered two wheelers from the young person on a scooter, the worker commuting on a daily basis, or the motorcyclist riding superbikes around country lanes at the weekend.
Welsh Ambulance Service Medical Director, Dr Paul Hughes, said “The CRASH cards will provide our staff with vital clinical information to improve the care we can provide for motorcyclists across Wales. It’s important to remember that removing a motorcyclist’s helmet after an accident is a specialist task which should only be performed by ambulance crews or other trained personnel.”
“Such a simple thing as carrying the CRASH card could well enable us as a service to make more informed decisions regarding the treatment needed to a motorcycle collision or incident,” added Dr Hughes.
Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said “Road Safety Wales is pleased to be involved in the CRASH Card scheme, and we look forward to the day when all motorcyclists in Wales will carry one of the cards in their helmet. Doing something as easy as picking up a card and filling it out could make a real difference to a casualty, and we hope that this is a scheme that will be embraced wholeheartedly by the motorcycling community.”
‘Belting up can save a life’, people will be warned as part of an All Wales campaign stressing the dangers of not wearing seatbelts. From 11th March 2013 Dyfed Powys Police will lead the All Wales Seatbelt Campaign, warning drivers they are risking their lives by not wearing belts and cracking down on motorists and passengers who
refuse to belt up.
Although most road users are fully aware of the potential consequences of not wearing a seat belt, police officers throughout Wales will be clamping down on those who continue to ignore the law, endangering all road users. Officers will also be on the roads stopping and fining drivers and passengers of all ages who flout the law.
Assistant Chief Constable Carl Langley said
“Wearing a seat belt is such a simple, easy thing to do. As police officers, we see the consequences of driving without a seat belt all too often at crash scenes. While you will face a fine if you are caught without your seat belt on, the key message we are trying to get across is that wearing a seat belt really could mean the difference between life and death - and that applies just as much to passengers as it does to drivers.
It's such a simple act to carry out and we will continue to work closely with our partners in tackling these issues."
Motorists and passengers who choose to risk their lives by not wearing a seatbelt could receive a £60 Fixed Penalty Notice or be summonsed to court where they could face fines of up to £500.
Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales added:
“We want to encourage people to recognise the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt and
we know that
there are still people across Wales who are taking that risk.
“Wearing a seatbelt can mean the difference between life and death so drivers and passengers need to realise the importance of belting up not only for their own safety but for others also.”
The month long enforcement campaign will run throughout Wales from 11th March to 24th March.
Car drivers are being urged to see the person behind the helmet and take longer to look for motorcyclists in the latest THINK! motorcycle safety campaign, launched today by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.
The £1.3m campaign, timed to coincide with the anticipated Spring increase in motorcyclists’ return to the roads, encourages drivers to take longer to look for motorcyclists and think about the biker, not just the bike.
Stephen Hammond said:
“Motorcyclists account for just 1% of traffic but 19% of deaths on Britain’s roads and 30 bikers are killed or injured in accidents at junctions every day. I am determined to reduce this terrible toll.
"That is why we are funding this THINK! campaign to remind drivers to look out for motorcyclists - particularly at junctions - and to see the person behind the helmet not just a motorbike."
The campaign was informed by accident statistics, which show that motorists failing to look properly is a factor in half of all accidents where motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured at a junction; and wider research showing that drivers are more likely to notice motorcyclists on the roads if they know a biker themselves.
1. In Great Britain in 2011, 5,609 motorcyclists were killed or seriously injured with 74% of these occurring in accidents involving another vehicle. 69% of these casualties happened at junctions. The number of accidents increases significantly during March and April as improved weather encourages more motorcyclists onto the road.
2. Visit the THINK! website at: think.direct.gov.uk/.
An All Wales Art Competition is being held to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the School Crossing Patrol Service. For more information please contact your local Road Safety Officer. The winning artist from each of the four Welsh Regional Transport Consortia will receive £100 thanks to sponsorship from Bristol Oilskins, who specialise in the design of High Visibility Clothing, in particular School Crossing Patrol Uniforms/Ancillary items.
The National final of the All Wales Core Programme Quiz took place in the Copthorne Hotel, Cardiff. The four teams competing for the national trophy were the successful regional winners from each of the Welsh force areas:
Each of these teams comprised of 5, year 8 pupils, who have devoted considerable time and effort in learning information about the three main themes of the Core Programme:
During the quiz, hosted by Kevin Johns, from Swansea Sound Radio, the teams answered questions on, drugs and substances, antisocial behaviour, arson reduction, personal safety, road safety, health issues, ages in law and were also tested on their powers of observation. Tension mounted as the rounds progressed with all the teams only having a few points between them at the start of the final round. At the end of round six, everyone waited in anticipation for the final score to be announced. Kevin John then confirmed the winning school as Sir Thomas Picton School from Haverfordwest, with an overall score of 55.
All the participants received a plaque and certificate presented by ACC Simon Prince, Gwent Police and Assistant Chief Fire Officer Christopher Davies. As an extra surprise and thank you for all the pupils’ hard work they were presented with an iTunes voucher and the winning school received a Lenovo ThinkPad Edge 11 Notebook with soft wear and case from G4S Group 4 Securicor.
As an extra treat the next day the teams were involved in a visit to Ely Fire Station and Techniquest, before travelling back to their home areas.
20/2/13Troedyraur, Llangwyrfon, Mydroilyn and Llanddeiniol YFC clubs were the joint winners of the 2012 Road Safety YFC Quiz in which every club within Ceredigion participate.
During Road Safety Week in November, the Road Safety Section prepares a quiz covering different aspects which includes driving and pedestrian safety, speed limits, trailer towing regulations, consequences of dangerous driving and horse riding.
A cheque for £50 was presented to each winning club by Emyr Lloyd YFC Chairman for Ceredigion. RTC talks are regularly delivered to the county’s clubs during their weekly meetings.
County Road Safety Officer Terry Jones said “The Road Safety section regularly collaborates with the YFC organisation throughout the year visiting various shows with the exhibition trailer, arranging quizzes and competitions and I feel the annual quiz is an important element in enhancing young road users knowledge of the Highway Code.
THREE pupils from a Llanelli school are the envy of their friends, after they worked with some town rugby heroes to produce a road safety magazine.
Ysgol Cymraeg Brynseirfel friends Nathan, Ffion and Keelan worked with Scarlets team members to produce Over the Line, packed with hints about getting to school safely and healthily.
Among those the children worked with on the magazine, designed to encourage children to walk to school more, was Six Nations try-scorer George North. Team-talk messages are delivered by bulky forward Deacon Manu, backed up by healthy eating tips for school lunch boxes from Ken Owens and Aled Thomas. Full-back Liam Williams chipped in with some rules of the road and the game.
County Road Safety Manager Keith Griffiths said the Scarlets were active partners in their county-wide road safety rolling campaign. He added: "I am delighted they were so willing to give their time for this important walking to school safety initiative."
Chief Superintendent Cliff Filer recently welcomed Dr Charles Msiska, District Medical Officer, from the Chongwe District in Zambia and Travers Merrill of ABESU UK to South Wales Police Headquarters’ Public Service Centre.
Dr Msiska is part of a team who are working in partnership with Cardiff and the Vale University Board to pilot a project in the Chongwe District of Zambia, which aims to improve the outcomes for road traffic accident casualties.
There is virtually no rail network in Zambia and therefore most transportation is by road. The Great East Road is the only highway linking the Eastern Province with the rest of the country and carries very high volumes of traffic of every sort. Vehicles are regularly overloaded; poorly serviced and mechanical breakdowns are repaired on the side of the road. The risk to pedestrians is also high particularly at night due to poor roadside and vehicle lights.
From 2009 to 2011 road traffic accidents in the District increased from 479 to 1116, an increase of 133%.
As part of this fact finding visit, Dr. Msiska and his colleagues met with a number of key policy and operational managers in Wales includng Mrs Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales, to identify good practice.
Chief Superintendent Cliff Filer provided an overview of UK road legislation, and measures taken by South Wales Police and partners such as DVLA to help prevent road traffic accidents. This was followed by a tour of the Public Service Centre by Superintendent Tony Smith to highlight the importance of effective communication in providing a quality emergency care service.
Chief Superintendent Cliff Filer said: “For Dr. Msiska my key word was ‘prevention’. Work to prevent road travel accidents so that there is less need for a ‘cure’. In Zambia, and the Chongwe District in particular, this means starting with the basics and ensuring that vehicles are roadworthy and drivers regulated.”
Dr. Msiska said “It was very helpful to see how South Wales Police operates. This is the high level of service that we aspire to.”
Travers Merrill, ABESU UK, added: “Meeting the team at South Wales Police today was very beneficial. The Zambian Government are working hard to develop the infrastructure to support the emergency services in the Chongwe District, and we really appreciate the input from experts like Chief Superintendent Filer and his team.”
Cyclists in Cardiff are to be offered training in a bid to tackle "irresponsible" riding after complaints of dangerous speeding.
Cardiff Council is to lay on adult classes at leisure centres after the Olympics inspired more cyclists.
Cycling organisation Sustrans said safer routes were also needed.
The plans were revealed after a puppy had two leg bones broken by a speeding cyclist on the Taff Trail footpath in Llandaff North. The council said the classes will be open to all and will be run from leisure centres across the city from the spring. It wants to tackle problems such as cyclists riding too fast, on pavements and going through red lights.
'Seen and Heard'
A Code of Conduct has been introduced for the Taff Trail, which runs 55 miles (88km) between Cardiff Bay and Brecon, after years of concern and reports of accidents. Signs along the route advise cyclists to ride at a sensible speed, while dog walkers are urged to keep their animals under contro. However, locals say they are concerned about an increase in cyclists since Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France and a gold medal at the Olympics.
Roger Huckson, who lives in Llandaff North and walks his dog there every day, said: "It's like a Velodrome when cyclists are going to and from work. "Ever since Bradley Wiggins won his medal, we've seen a lot more cyclists and they have swapped their mountain bikes for racing bikes."
Cycling organisation Sustrans Cymru said the Olympics had "certainly" inspired many adults to use a bike again, which it hailed as a positive step. It said more training for adults was a good idea as it would help them gain an understanding of how to handle a bike and where to position it on a road.
"But it won't solve all of the problems," said Matt Hemsley, policy officer at Sustrans Cymru.
"You have to ask why cyclists are using the pavements and shared paths like the Taff Trail - is it because they don't feel safe on the roads?
"More safe routes are needed."
Last summer South Wales Police launched a seven week crackdown on cyclists using the pavements in Cardiff.
Cardiff council said it was working with partners including the police to come up with an action plan for cycling in the city, including the cycling training.
A Newport-based group has launched a new scheme with will see coaches and minibuses star rated for safety – a first for the UK.
Benchmark is a unique new scheme offered by BUSK, which allows operators to demonstrate they are safety compliant by displaying awarded green stars on their fleet.
Pat Harris set up BUSK, the Newport-based bus safety group, 20 years ago this month. Originally set up as a pressure group it mounted a high profile national campaign resulting in seat belt legislation, making it a legal requirement for all coaches and minibuses to be fitted with safety belts when carrying children in the UK.
The new scheme, which was launched today will give a star rating to transport operators based on how safe they are. More than 50 companies across the country are already on board, including Pontypool-based Peakes coaches
Mrs Harris believes it allows transport companies to prove they care about passenger safety, but also shows which companies reinvest in their fleet and maintain them safely.
She said: "It’s about time parents stood up and insisted their child’s school hired on safety criteria and not just cost, and are also prepared to pay an extra pound for the trip."
Mrs Harris added: "A Benchmark company has been checked out by BUSK before they are accepted onto the scheme and they will be policed by us for as long as they remain members.
"This gives parents confidence that their child is guaranteed to be in safe hands when travelling with a Benchmarked company.
"Benchmark star rating has nothing to do with luxury and absolutely everything to do with safety."
"Cheap coach hire must always be challenged because it is normally only possible when the company offering it has fallen below an acceptable level of safety and is flaunting the regulations.
"I personally challenge any coach operator offering cheap hire to prove me wrong. "
For more information visit www.busk-uk.co.uk
Driving? Don’t use your phone! Support Daybreak's national campaign to stop using mobile phones while driving and help save lives.
You can support the campaign by making a pledge to make your car a Phone Free Zone. All you have to do is click here and press the button to join the campaign!
An exclusive Daybreak/One Poll survey has revealed that 1 in 4 drivers have been distracted from driving safely because of their mobile phone, with 1 in 10 admitting that they have had an accident or damaged their car. Research has shown that drivers are four times more likely to have an accident while on the phone in a moving car as reaction times are 50 per cent slower. Even with a hands free kit, reaction times can be up to 20 per cent slower.
Daybreak wants to stop drivers using their phones while driving and save lives.
Daybreak is giving away 50,000 free rear window stickers to drivers who want to show their support for the campaign. You can collect your sticker from one of 500 participating Shell Stations across Great Britain from Monday 4th February to Wednesday 6th February 2013 - not using mobile phones whilst driving is one of Shell’s 12 life saving rules that all Shell employees and contractors must follow.
Road Safety Minister, Stephen Hammond said: “Using a mobile phone whilst driving is incredibly dangerous and the vast majority of drivers know that if caught they could face a fine, penalty points and even prison in serious cases. I welcome Daybreak’s work to highlight the dangers of mobile phone use at the wheel and hope that it will make more people switch off their phones before they set off on a journey.”
Greater compliance with seatbelt legislation could help save lives in road crashes says RoSPA, as it marks the 30th anniversary of the law coming into force.
Well over 60,000 lives have been saved by seatbelts since January 31, 1983, when the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ then-President, Lord Nugent of Guildford, won the day for compulsory wearing in the front seat of cars by introducing an amendment to the Transport Bill in the House of Lords. A law making it compulsory to wear seatbelts in the back of cars was introduced in 1991.
There is evidence to show that seatbelt use in Great Britain remains high, with 95 per cent of car drivers and front seat passengers opting to wear them. But RoSPA is concerned that seatbelt use is lower in the rear of cars (89 per cent) and in the front seat of other vehicles (69 per cent).
Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “Despite the fact that thousands of lives have been saved by seatbelts thanks to RoSPA’s and Lord Nugent’s efforts, latest figures still show that a minority of people are not belting up.
“We must not become complacent over seatbelt wearing; seatbelts are highly effective in protecting vehicle occupants and significantly reduce the risk of being fatally or seriously injured in a crash.
“As television advertisements have shown, an unbelted rear seat passenger can be thrown forward and kill someone in the front of a car. In a crash at 30mph, if unrestrained you will be thrown forward with a force of between 30 and 60 times your own bodyweight.
“Ultimately, the benefits of seatbelts need to be promoted, and the perceived reasons for not wearing seatbelts reduced, particularly when it comes to educating children. Adults can set an example by wearing their own seatbelts so that children understand the necessity for them as they grow older.”
PCSOs in Newtown were joined recently by colleagues from Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service to carry out a series of observations outside local schools as part of Road Safety Week.
For the week beginning 19th November 2012, the officers from both emergency services visited all the primary Schools in Newtown and conducted observations for road safety offences outside their school.
The findings of the observations are as follows:
Not wearing Seatbelts: 115
Children not in car seats: 52
Parking on pavements: 16
Driving too fast: 47
Driving and talking on mobile phone:5
Riding bikes with no helmets: 32
Riding bikes on pavements: 10
No lights on a bike: 10
Parking on Zig Zag lines: 8
Passengers standing on buses: 3
Inappropriate parking: 7
Using bus routes as a short cut: 4
“We are now working closely with our colleagues in the fire service and the schools themselves to encourage the children to find innovative solutions to address some of the examples of road safety offences which we encountered,” said Sergeant Jonathan Rees.
“Head teachers have been spoken to and following an initial meeting with the School Council and Junior road safety officers, a road safety group will be set up within the schools.
“The six individual Schools in Newtown will be paired with their adjoining school and will meet every two weeks to discuss the issues local to their schools. Every half term a meeting will take place with representatives from the three groups to look at the most appropriate interventions.
“Hopefully this will allow the students to take ownership of the problem and come up with solutions to educate those responsible.
“PCSO'S in Newtown are also linking in with their roads policing colleagues to target and tackle the main problems highlighted from the Road Safety Week.”
Rhondda Cynon Taff CBC has recently rewarded dedicated school crossing patrol Gareth Watkins of Ynyswen with Family Tickets for the Christmas Pantomime of Aladdin.
Gareth has been a school crossing patrol for 10years and prior to this his wife Evelyn was a SCP on the same site for 22years. Gareth has gone out his way to help keep the children of Ynyswen safe when near the roadside by going into the school to give road safety presentations and highlighting his role as school crossing patrol. Gareth went to the pantomime with his wife Evelyn and 2 young neighbours Ellie and Pheobe. When asked if he enjoyed the panto Gareth replied:
“We all thought it was brilliant and Frank Vickery was fantastic”
The Road Safety Team would once again like to thank Gareth for all his hard work and dedication the service.
The number of motorists who failed roadside alcohol breath tests in Wales over the Christmas period fell in 2012.
Welsh forces tested more than 35,000 drivers from 1 December 2012 to 1 January 2013, an increase of more than 7,700 tests The number of people testing positive, failing or refusing a test was 502, a drop of 43, or nearly 8%, on 2011. But police said it was "disappointing to see a minority who are continuing to ignore the law
Dyfed-Powys Police had the highest number of positive, failed or refused tests - 200 out of 11,075.
North Wales Police carried out the highest number of breath tests at 18,780, with 107 people testing positive, failing or refusing.
South Wales Police tested 3,703 people, and 156 were positive, failed or refused.
In Gwent, there were 1,935 tests, with 39 being positive, failed or refused.
The number of under-25s arrested in 2012 remains unchanged at 142.
South Wales Police led the campaign, and the force road safety manager, Wayne Tucker, said: "Although there has been a marked increase in testing across Wales, it is still disappointing to see that some drivers are continuing to risk their lives and those of others by consuming alcohol and then getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.
"It is evident from the results that a majority of drivers across Wales are responsible and law-abiding, however it is still disappointing to see a minority who are continuing to ignore the law."
He added: "It cannot be stressed highly enough that any amount of drugs or alcohol can impair a person's ability to judge speed and distance, and inevitably endanger the lives of other motorists."
He said officers across Wales would continue to "target areas where drink driving is prevalent".
Daniel Badrock an Engineering student from Connahs Quay recently won the Pass Plus Cymru Quarterly Draw.
Daniel's name was drawn from a list of all participants, throughout Wales, who returned their evaluation form on completion of the Young Drivers Course after completing the Pass Plus Cymru driver training programme.
He is pictured here receiving his cheque for £250.00 from his Approved Driving Instructor Eddie Cliffe accompanied by Flintshire Assistant Road Safety Officer Chris Cogswell.
The annual Welsh Road Safety Awards recognise the good road safety practice, innovative projects and personal contributions being undertaken in Wales. The Award Scheme publicises and raises awareness of the contributions towards road casualty reduction targets.
Nominations should be submitted on the form below, (accompanied by any relevant supporting material).
Winners will be invited to receive their Award at the Road Safety Wales Convention lunch, on Tuesday 16 April, at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells.
Award winners will receive £100 and a souvenir gift.
Click here for the nomination form.
Please return completed forms to:
Road Safety Wales, RoSPA, 2 Cwrt-y-Parc, Llanishen, Cardiff CF14 5GH
Tel: 029 2025 0600 Fax: 029 2025 0601 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The talented pupils who beat off competition from other youngsters throughout the Vale to win the Design a Banner Competition as part of the Vale’s Road Safety Awards have been revealed.
The competition required pupils to design a new banner to display outside Vale primary schools to remind people not to park on zig-zag lines or near school gates.
Ella Hadley of Ysgol Gymraeg Pen y Garth was crowned the winner at the annual Vale Road Safety Awards earlier this month and was awarded her prize by Jamie Hobbs, Aberthaw Production Manager of sponsors Celtic Ash.
Runners-up prizes were handed to Lowri and Rhianna Reynolds of St David’s C/W Primary School, Colwinston; Molli Maclean of Peterston-Super-Ely Primary School and the Junior Road Safety Officers from Victoria Primary School, Penarth.
The winning banners will be available for schools to hire in the New Year.
The winners were then treated to a buffet and fun road safety quiz. The Vale Council’s Road Safety Officer, John Rogers, thanked everyone for attending the presentation.
The unsung heroes and heroines who guide the Vale’s youngsters safely across our roads twice a day, every day, were given the recognition they deserve at the Vale Road Safety Awards held earlier this month.
The annual awards presentation, organised by the Vale Council’s Road Safety Officer, John Rogers, recognises and rewards the contribution provided by those working on schools crossing patrols throughout the county. The co-ordinators and volunteers of the Kerbcraft Child Pedestrian Training Scheme were also thanked during this year’s presentation.
The top award for School’s Crossing Patrol of the Year, was handed to Jane Haines who patrols Wordsworth Avenue in Penarth. A worthy winner of the award, and described as ‘one of the quiet, unsung heroines of the Lollipop Service’, Jane is held in high regard by the children and adults of Fairfield Primary School where she’s worked on the crossing patrol for almost 10 years.
Other award-winning school’s crossing patrol winners at the 2012 awards included Ernest Ling who won the award for Barry. Ernie, as he’s known to his friends, is a popular member of the Cadoxton School community and a familiar figure at the Victoria Park Crossing where he’s worked for over 11 years.
David Letts was the winner for Penarth, Sully & Dinas Powys. David has worked as a Vale ‘lollipop man’ for nearly nine years and most recently made the move from outside Dinas Powys Infants School to his new crossing point at Murch Junior School where he’s already made a great impression with the parents and children there.
The winner of the Rural Vale area award, which comprises of Rhoose, St Athan, Llantwit Major and Cowbridge areas, was named as Karin Williams. Karin is very pro-active both inside and outside the school where she has worked for over ten years. She has a wonderful rapport with the children and parents alike at Rhws Primary School, and always has a small gathering at her crossing point.
The co-ordinators and volunteers of the Kerbcraft Child Pedestrian Training Scheme were also thanked for another successful year under the guidance of Jayne Jenkins. Kirsten Howe from Barry Island Primary School and Vicky Ahern from Cadoxton Primary School, received ‘thank you’ presentations on behalf of all volunteers. Kerbcraft is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary during which time more than 4,000 children in the Vale have received road safety instruction from a dedicated band of over 200 volunteers.
The winners were then treated to a buffet and fun road safety quiz. The Vale Council’s Road Safety Officer, John Rogers, thanked everyone for attending the presentation, he said:
‘Everyone here has played their part in contributing to road safety over the past year in the Vale – to those present, and to those who are not here, we thank you all and wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We look forward to working with you again in 2013’.
During October’s National Tyre Month, Road Safety Wales partners alerted drivers, through a variety of media, to the perils of driving with worn tyres. It seems that for some the message went unheeded.
Police forces in Wales, during a week of enforcement (12 – 18 November) stopped and checked 1,016 vehicles. 56 drivers were issued with fixed penalty notices and advice regarding tyres was given to 24 drivers.
92 drivers were issued with endorsable fixed penalty notices, which means that the driver will receive 3 points on their licence for each defective tyre,
As well as detecting illegal and unsafe tyres, officers also found an array other defects and offences during the operation, leading to the issue of 56 vehicle defect rectification notices and there were 18 document offences relating to insurance, MOT and road tax.
Lighting defects, the presence of drugs, tachograph offences and positive breath tests were among the other issues highlighted during the enforcement campaign. Four vehicles were seized due to the driver having either no insurance or driving licence.
Alarmingly 3 vehicles were prohibited from proceeding with their journey, and 2 drivers were summonsed to appear in court due to the severe condition of their tyres.
Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said “Every day on Welsh roads people are taking chances with their lives by driving defective vehicles. During the winter period it is more important than ever that vehicles are roadworthy, legal and safe. Don’t forget that your tyres are the only parts of the car which are in contact with the road. Safety in acceleration, braking steering and cornering all depend on a relatively small area of road contact. Correct tyre maintenance and care is critical for your safety, no matter what type of vehicle you are driving.”
During the current Christmas anti drink/drug drive campaign, Road Safety Wales is issuing reminders for vehicle and personal safety. Take time to check your vehicle for defects, and ensure that you and your vehicle are fit for the road at all times.
For further information on road safety initiatives throughout Wales please visit www.roadsafetywales.org.uk or contact Michelle Harrington RSW Secretary
02920 250 600 email@example.com
Ceredigion County Council Road Safety Section recently launched a Motorcycle Rider Improvement Scheme, aimed at enhancing local motorcyclist’s awareness and thus increasing their safety on the roads.
Terry Jones, Road Safety Officer for Ceredigion County Council said that unfortunately accidents stats revealed that a large percentage of motorcycle accidents in Ceredigion involved local riders and that this scheme which is funded by the Welsh Government had been introduced to try and address this statistic.
The scheme consists of a power point presentation and short theory session in the morning followed by an hour’s on road assessment and de-brief and then an afternoons on road session with a maximum of two riders per instructor. The instructor’s bikes are equipped with cameras that capture the riders motorcycling ability and provide useful visual feedback at the end of the day.
Alun Williams, the Cabinet Member for Transport, Waste and Carbon Management said “Anyone travelling at speed on two wheels is extremely vulnerable and the numbers of motorcyclists killed and injured on the roads is far too high. The advice and self-awareness training provided in this scheme has been shown to preserve life and I’m sure the scheme will help to reduce accidents on Ceredigion’s roads.”
An anti-drink drive film created by an 11-year-old from St Athan has won a Road Safety Wales award. Harry Taylor worked with the Vale Youth Street Team to devise a script, shoot and edit the short film, which the team entered into this year's Road Safety Wales Anti-Drink Drive Multimedia Competition.
And at an awards ceremony on 7 December, Harry was announced as the winner for the Vale of Glamorgan county.
The Vale Youth Street Team is a partnership approach with the Vale Youth Service and Vibe Experience.
Rhys Jones, community cohesion officer for the Vale council, said: "The Vale Youth Street Team and staff from the V-POD bus have been working with a variety of young people in St Athan for the last six months.
"A particular issue that arose was centered on drinking and young boy racers. Thinking outside the box, we asked young people to develop ideas around drink driving, being with friends and how things can change.
"We were so impressed with Harry's film that we entered it into this year's Road Safety Wales Anti-Drink Drive Competition.
"Harry has done a fantastic job and thoroughly deserves his award after all his hard work - well done Harry!"
The Vale's road safety officer, John Rogers, said: "It is so important to get the 'Don't Drink and Drive' message across to everyone, especially at this time of year.
"Harry's film highlights the fact that while most people enjoy themselves sensibly, there are still some drivers who take a chance with theirs and other people's lives by drinking and driving. They should never, ever mix."
Harry's film can be viewed on our Road Safety Education pages
Don’t die for a drink this Christmas Drivers supping at bars across the county this Christmas will be getting a sobering message from Carmarthenshire Council’s road safety unit Many public houses are being supplied with bar runners with the message “Don’t die for a drink this Christmas.”
This year’s Christmas anti drink driving campaign, run in conjunction with the Community Safety Partnerships Road Safety Group, is aimed at people of all ages who deceive themselves with the notion that they are safe to drive after consuming what they regard as small amounts of alcohol.
County road safety manager Keith Griffiths said: “These people who mistakenly believe they are being ‘responsible’ are likely to be responsible for death and injury on roads."
Figures show that approximately one in six deaths on Welsh roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit.
Despite 30 years of drink drive education and enforcement, over 80,000 people in Wales are still caught drink driving annually. Often it is an innocent person who suffers, not the driver who is over the drink drive limit.
Causing death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of drink will result in a maximum 14-year jail sentence and a minimum two year driving ban.
In addition to the bar runners the county road safety unit are producing posters, banners and z-cards with some thought-provoking facts and figures on drink-driving and the consequences of a conviction.
Drivers should remember a person can easily still be over the limit the morning after an evening’s drinking. It can take over 10-hours to be alcohol free after drinking one bottle of wine and up to 18-hours after drinking four pints of strong lager or ale.
A road safety seminar lifting the lid on new ways to help deliver cost-effective road safety programmes will be hosted by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
With road fatalities showing their first increase since 2003, and with significantly reduced resources available for road safety, the RoSPA Road Safety Seminar will examine the potential for new technologies, engagement methods, and ways of working. It will be held at Conference Aston, in Birmingham, on March 7, 2013.
The event, sponsored by Britax, will be the safety charity’s 78th annual gathering for road safety researchers, practitioners and policymakers. The programme will explore the following themes:
- The power of using social media to spread essential road safety messages
- The benefits of adopting black box technology to record driver behaviour – especially young and at-work drivers – monitoring areas such as braking, acceleration and vehicle location
- The implications that the new public health framework – centred on the new Health and Wellbeing Boards – will have on the setting and delivery of road safety objectives in England.
Guest speakers who will outline presentations on the above themes include Kevin Clinton, road safety manager at RoSPA, who will reveal how black box technology can be harnessed to improve safety for vulnerable road users; Ruth Gore, marketing officer at Safer Roads Humber (East Riding of Yorkshire Council), who will provide a case study on the “Think B4U Drink” campaign, and how it aims to influence behaviours and attitudes towards drink driving; and Richard Jelbert, chief technology officer for MyDrive Solutions, who will provide an example of current and forthcoming black box schemes for young and at-work drivers.
Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “The detailed figures for 2011 for Great Britain, published by the Department for Transport (DfT), show that road deaths rose by three per cent from 1,850 in 2010 to 1,901 in 2011.
“These figures must be taken as an opportunity to revise the way we work to make roads safer. It is a chance for road safety professionals and the new ministerial team at the DfT to come together and discuss the way forward.
“As road safety practitioners continue to be asked to do ‘more for less’, this seminar will be examining how effective results can still be achieved and looking at new technologies, engagement methods and ways of working. It is not to be missed.”
Anglesey college students will be playing their part in a national campaign to highlight the dangers of drink driving this Christmas.
Schools and colleges throughout Wales were recently invited to write, perform and record a live action multimedia presentation warning of the dangers and consequences of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol.
A short film produced by second year media studies students at Coleg Menai, Llangefni, won first prize on Anglesey and gained a highly commended award nationally.
Bethan Parry from the County Council’s Road Safety Team this week presented the students with a £300 cheque to buy equipment for the college. They will also receive a £200 cheque from Road Safety Wales and ROSPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents).
Bethan stressed, “It’s essential that all drivers know the dangers and consequences of drinking and driving. With Christmas and New Year parties coming up, we hope that this film will help re-enforce the message that drinking and driving do not mix.”
“The students’ film will now help promote the launch of the Wales Christmas Campaign against Drinking and Driving which is supported by the Isle of Anglesey County Council.
Coleg Menai’s film centres around a character portrayed by actor/co-writer, Simon Guy, who is reflecting emotionally on the death of a close friend involved in a drink drive collision. Fellow students Kirsty Grainger, Jack Close and Rhys Davies were involved in the writing and production of the imaginative film during their Welsh Baccalaureate module.
Lecturer Richard Williams said, "The students worked extremely hard on the Drink-Drive Awareness campaign, and pulled their entry together in very little time. It's such an important message to get across, and I'm very proud that their efforts have been recognised. I'll most definitely be encouraging our students to take part in this competition every year from now on."
The film can be viewed on You Tube by following the link:
Powys partygoers are being issued with a timely reminder to keep themselves safe on their journey home this Christmas by Powys County Council.
As well as the usual messages surrounding anti drink-driving, the council’s Road Safety Unit is reminding people that drunk walking can also be a problem
The Unit is urging people to look at a video that highlights some of the behaviours shown by revellers and drunk pedestrians on a regular night out. The short film, produced by Rataplan Films, is being advertised on the ITV Player catch-up service over the festive period and also available to watch on YouTube.
Cllr Barry Thomas, Cabinet Member responsible for Road Safety, said: “The advert is complimentary to the Road Safety Unit’s Mission: Fatal4law Facebook campaign, which offers tips and advice to followers on how to keep safe throughout the party season.
“No one wants to spoil the fun over the Christmas period but consider how it would affect those around you if you were involved in a collision because of the way you were behaving when you were drunk.”
Alyson Broome, the council’s Road Safety Project Officer, said: “We want to remind everyone to enjoy and stay safe this Christmas and keep a look out for their mates on a night out to ensure everyone gets home safely.”
If you want to see the film produced by Rataplan Films visit www.youtube.com/roadsafetypowys or follow the Road Safety Unit’s Mission: Fatal4law campaign Facebook campaign by visiting www.facebook.com/MissionFatal4law
Adam Thomas, 18, an Extended Diploma Design student has won a national Dyfed Powys road safety prize for his ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ short film, which was designed to convey the seriousness of drink driving to schools in Wales.
The competition was rolled out to schools and colleges in all four police authorities in Wales. Adam, who lives in Solva, is the first Pembrokeshire student to be awarded a first prize for the Dyfed Powys area.
Adam, whose creativity is thriving in the College environment, said: “I am delighted to have won this prize, the creative freedom that I am allowed at College has helped me enormously, I made the right decision to come to College.”
Adam’s professional approach to his brief included; developing story-boards, characters, sequence planning and visual research; Adam even arranged his own music! John Gobbi, Pembrokeshire Council’s Road Safety Officer, said “We are once again pleased to be collaborating with Pembrokeshire College on addressing the important issue of road safety amongst our young people. A recent study showed 37% of 11-25 year olds were positively tested for blood alcohol in their system, which is a stark reminder of the importance of conveying the seriousness of road safety. The students did this brilliantly through their animation, the standard of work this year has been exceptional, my congratulations go to the winner – Adam, not forgetting Ross Hurst and Andy Moss who also submitted excellent work.”
As temperatures plummet across the UK, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is urging people to heed advice from its new Winter Safety Hub. Families and businesses are being offered a wealth of information including responsible working conditions in freezing weather, advice for driving on ice and snow and how to react if a dog or child falls into a frozen pond.
RoSPA’s Winter Safety Hub also highlights home safety issues from the threat of carbon monoxide to the importance of fire safety over Christmas when using candles. Families are encouraged to check on elderly relatives and neighbours to prevent life-threatening situations from hypothermia to a fall.
The online webpage by the UK’s leading accident prevention charity includes a safer journey planner for drivers setting out on long journeys over the festive season and a winter driving factsheet to help motorists stay safe in poor conditions.
Figures from the Department for Transport show that across Great Britain in 2011, 32 people were killed and 3,912 people were injured in reported road accidents when there was snow or ice on the road. There were also six people killed and 672 injured when it was snowing at the time.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “With the UK braced for frost, ice and snow, it is a good time to get prepared.
“Driving conditions at this time of year can be treacherous so it pays for drivers to be one step ahead and for employers to also think about keeping their staff stay safe by considering options such as working from home when the snow arrives.
“RoSPA’s Winter Safety Hub has plenty of tips on how to adjust your driving to suit the conditions, but is also packed with other useful information on how to stay safe at home and in the community.”
The dedicated web page features sections on clearing ice and snow on pavements and how to avoid slips, trips and falls as figures show there were over 4,000 admissions to hospital in England last year due to people falling over on snow or ice.
Drivers are being encouraged to check whether their car is ready for winter. RoSPA’s advice includes:
• Check your lights are clean and working
• Keep the windscreen and windows clean and the washer bottle filled with screenwash to the correct concentration (which may be a stronger concentration during below-freezing temperatures)
Items to carry in the car include de-icing equipment (keep some outside the car too), a first aid kit and a working torch
• Think about whether you could cope if you got stuck in snow. You might want to carry a blanket, a pair of boots, a shovel, a high-visibility jacket and a mobile phone (although don’t use it when you’re driving).
And don’t forget - alcohol and driving do not mix. If you are celebrating with alcohol this Christmas, plan in advance how you will get home safely. Any amount of alcohol can impair driving ability. Be aware that you may be over the limit the morning after too - and even if you’re not over the limit, you may still be impaired. In difficult driving conditions, any impairment is magnified.
RoSPA’s Winter Safety Hub is found at: www.rospa.com/wintersafety/
Conwy CBC Road Safety team had a busy week during Road Safety Week. See below pictures of activities which took place.
Joanne Price- Child Pedestrian training coordinator talking to years 0,1,2,3 at Ysgol Eglwysbach about the importance of Road Safety and in particular holding hands and being seen (wearing bright clothing in the dark evenings) on the roadside.
Years 5/6 designed a speeding posters and one was chosen to be made into posters that will be put up on the lampposts into the village to remind people not to speed through the village of Eglwysbach.
Barry Dunn went into all the secondary schools/colleges in the county to talk to Year 12 pupils about becoming a young driver and all the different things to think about when they start to drive. He discussed the impact on families, friends and communities if they don’t wear a seat belt, drink and drugs drive and speed.
There was also a ‘Be Bright’ event at Ysgol Glan Conwy in partnership with the police, where all the children came to school in bright clothing and they designed posters to make people aware of the importance of wearing bright clothing on the roadside in these dark evenings. Prizes were awarded to the best designed posters.
The fifth All Wales Multimedia Competition was launched in September 2012 with a challenge to all Welsh schools, colleges and youth groups to devise, perform and record a multimedia presentation with an anti drink-drive message in time for Christmas.
Participants were encouraged to use a variety of genre: film, music, PowerPoint, poetry, animation – the choice was theirs. For their considerable efforts, four regional winners have been selected by the judges to receive a prize of £500.
North Wales – Yale College, Wrexham, have entered the annual competition since its inception five years ago. The college media department submit entries of the highest quality and this years’ is no exception. ‘Where’s Nan?’ shows the effects of the loss of a well-loved family member on those left behind.
Dyfed Powys – An animation by Adam Thomas of Pembrokeshire College titled ‘Nightclub’ highlights how easily one drink can lead to another, with serious and possibly catastrophic results for all. The advice to take a bus, taxi or walk home from a night out is timely and sensible.
South Wales – Bridgend College have produced the regional winning entry for South Wales. The film ‘Results Day’, addresses the issues of young people drinking before they have even started their night out. This film rightly points out that the consequences of drinking and driving can affect your whole life, but with a little thought can be avoided.
Gwent – The winning entry for the Gwent area comes from Ebbw Vale College, Blaenau Gwent. This is the first time that the Media Department has submitted an entry to the competition, but we are sure that it will not be the last. ‘SatNav’ takes a humorous, yet serious, look at the perils of drinking and driving.
The judges also highly commended the entry from Coleg Menai Llangefni, Anglesey. A highly impactive film, graphically illustrating the turmoil that can haunt a person who has been irresponsible enough to get behind the wheel whilst impaired by drink or drugs.
Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: “I would like to congratulate all who participated in the competition, not just the winners, but everyone from across Wales, who took the time and effort to consider this vitally important message.
“The festive season should be a time when people enjoy themselves. Unfortunately too many drivers are still prepared to risk driving under the influence of drink or drugs. No-one should be in any doubt that alcohol, in any amount, will have a detrimental effect on driving ability. Every year across Wales and the UK, impaired driving causes unnecessary deaths and casualties that could easily be prevented.
“I hope these films will bring the message home to all who see them, that drinking and driving is gambling with your licence, your life and the lives of other people.”
All five films can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/user/rospatube
Paralympic cyclist Simon Richardson has suggested naming and shaming drink-drivers as he backed the Wales Christmas clampdown. The 46-year-old Porthcawl rider spent nearly a month in hospital, still needs a wheelchair, and missed the London Paralympics after he was seriously injured by a drunk driver.
He suggested putting the names of photos of those convicted on buses.
Mr Richardson was injured when farmer Edward Adams, 60, of Cowbridge, ran into him on the A48 near Bridgend in August 2011. The cyclist won two gold medals and a silver at the Beijing Paralympics in 2008, but could not compete at this year's London Games.
Adams, who had been drinking the night before and told police had had had his first whisky at 6am on the morning of the accident, was jailed for 18 months last August. His trial heard that Adams had bad eyesight and should not have been driving anyway.
Mr Richardson told BBC Wales at the drink-driving launch he did not think anybody went out to cause an accident, but some could be prevented.
Giving the example of people who drove the night after drinking, he said: "You're still drunk the next day. accidents can be prevented just by leaving it that extra couple of hours.
He thinks a stronger message needs to be sent to those who drink-drive.
"I always believe drink-drivers should be named and shamed and their pictures should be on the backs of buses," he said.
The launch representing all four Wales police forces and Road Safety Wales looked at the case of a young driver who did exactly what Mr Richardson mentioned and drove the morning after drinking, not realising she was still over the limit.
Actress Kirsty Jones gave a performance as an anonymous driver who drove into a barrier on the Llanedeyrn interchange on the A48 in Cardiff in May. The 22-year-old woman who had no previous convictions was breathalysed and found to have 71mg of alcohol per 100ml breath, or nearly twice the legal limit.
Reading the woman's words, Ms Jones said: "I didn't think for a moment I'd be over the limit. I was driving to work." Following her arrest and wait in cells, she added: "I had never been so frightened and ashamed."
The woman was banned from driving for a year and fined £250 plus costs, but said the biggest impact was on her family, citing the effect on their lives and their disappointment.
She is now worried about the effect of a criminal conviction on her record and does not know whether she will return to driving when the ban ends.
The launch also saw a presentation of the four winning films by young people from around Wales to highlight the anti drink drive message.
The winners were from Yale College, Wrexham, Pembrokeshire College in Haverfordwest, Bridgend College, and the Ebbw Vale campus of Coleg Gwent.
View the winning entries here
This Christmas police will be targeting drivers who risk their lives and the lives of others by driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs. South Wales Police will lead the month-long campaign on behalf of the four Welsh police forces, with the launch taking place at the All Nations Centre in Cardiff on Tuesday 27th November.
Last year in Wales, police officers tested a total of 27,744 motorists as part of the campaign, with 545 individuals (2%) returning either positive results or failing/refusing to take the breath test.
South Wales Police Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis said:
“Our message to drivers is that the smallest amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely, so the only safe option is to not drink at all.
“It is also important to remember that a drink you enjoy in the evening can leave you over the limit when driving your car the next morning as alcohol stays in the system for many hours after you stop drinking.
“We urge the public to contact the police if they are aware of anyone drinking and driving. That phone call could save a life this Christmas.”
The campaign will see officers across Wales conducting high profile roadside checks and using intelligence to identify offenders 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
The Christmas and New Year initiative comes as just part of the four Welsh forces’ commitment to change attitudes to drink driving, increase road safety and catch offenders all year round.
The Chair of Road Safety Wales, Susan Storch, said:
"My advice is that if you're expecting to drink alcohol during the Christmas holiday, plan how to get home without driving. Don't offer an alcoholic drink to someone you know is planning to drive and don’t accept a lift from a driver you know has drunk alcohol."
If you have information relating to someone you think is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please contact police on 101. In an emergency always call 999.
Pembrokeshire County Council’s road safety team is distributing seat belts and child restraint leaflets to every school in the County in a bid to promote seatbelt use.
The Grizzly Gravell bear helped to launch the new seatbelt and child restraint campaign at Ysgol Eglwyswrw on Monday (Nov19th).
Junior Road Safety Officers at the school created a lifesize poster of a child 135cm tall so pupils could measure themselves to check whether they still need to legally sit on a booster seat.
The new campaign is part of Road Safety Week organised by the charity Brake.
John Gobbi, County Road Safety Officer said that earlier this autumn over 300 people had been prosecuted for not obeying car safety rules in a campaign organised by Dyfed Powys Police.
“These prosecutions highlight the need to continue to promote seatbelt use to all drivers and passengers,” he said.
“Wearing a seat belt and using the correct car restraint for a child’s height and weight, can be a life or death decision - for both drivers and their passengers.”
Under the law drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts where one is fitted and drivers are liable to prosecution if a child under the age of 14 years does not wear their seatbelt or child restraint .
If they disobey not only do they risk their lives but they could face a £60 fixed penalty notice or a court-imposed fine of up to £500.
Pembrokeshire County Council Road Safety Unit can provide free literature on the Good Egg Guide to In-Car Child Safety (in English and Welsh). For a copy please ring 01437 775144 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Survey Shows 3 in 4 children in the region want slower speeds in their community. A campaign launched today at the start of Road Safety Week is appealing to drivers and authorities in Wales to GO 20, to bring about a 2012 legacy of safe walking and cycling.
Brake, the road safety charity, is appealing to drivers to slow down to 20mph or below in communities, and calling for widespread 20mph limits in built up areas, so children, families and adults can walk and cycle for their health and enjoyment, and as a cheap and sustainable travel choice, without their lives being endangered.
As the GO 20 campaign is launched through events across the UK, including in Swansea (see box below), a survey of 506 children in Wales  by Brake and partners Brain Injury Group and Specsavers reveals how children are affected by danger from fast traffic:
- More than three-quarters (77%) say drivers need to slow down around their home and school.
- Nearly three-quarters (74%) say they would be able to walk and cycle more if roads in their neighbourhood were safer.
- Four in 10 (40%) say they have been hit or nearly hit while walking or cycling, and nearly three quarters (73%) worry about being hurt by traffic when out and about (more results below).
Through events and activities around the UK, Brake, with local partners, is highlighting that slower speeds in towns, cities and villages can help deliver a post-2012 legacy of active communities, and prevent devastating pedestrian and cyclist casualties (see below). Brake is working with GoSafe in Wales to raise awareness among drivers about the importance of slower speeds. Throughout the Week GoSafe will be using mobile speed cameras to address community speed concerns at sites across Wales, reinforcing the message slower speeds save lives.
In 2012 the Welsh Government put forward proposals through the Active Travel Bill, requiring local authorities to set up a network of walking and cycling routes, to encourage more journeys on foot and bike. Brake welcomed this, but highlighted that alongside safe routes, work is needed to make whole communities safer for walking and cycling. Across the UK, more and more local authorities are choosing to GO 20 on a big scale for the benefit of the whole community.Brake is calling for: more authorities to implement widespread 20mph limits around homes, shops and schools; the UK and Welsh governments to work towards 20mph being the norm in all communities; and drivers to pledge to GO 20 in built up areas, even where 30 limits remain.
Why GO 20
- Fewer casualties: at 20, drivers have much more time to react, to help them stop in time if they need to, like if a child runs out. Studies show that when 20 limits replace 30, it means fewer casualties among pedestrians and cyclists 
- More walking and cycling: danger from traffic is a major barrier in enabling more people to walk and cycle.. Town and city-wide 20 limits have resulted in more people walking and cycling .Healthier, happier people
- More walking and cycling means healthier people, and more enjoyable outdoors activity for kids and adults. It helps communities interact and be communities
- Less pollution: GOing 20 means lower emissions from vehicle journeys . Plus if more people can switch their commute or school run to foot or bike, it means less polluting traffic
- Lower costs: Poor health from inactivity costs society dearly . Road casualties cost even more, due to the suffering and burden on health and emergency services . Preventing casualties and improving health means GOing 20 pays for itself many times over . It also helps people save money by choosing the cheapest ways to get about: foot and bike.
Read more about the case for GO 20.
Richard Coteau, campaign spokesperson at Brake, says: “Everyone in Wales should be able to walk and cycle in their community without fear or threat: it’s a basic right, and GO 20 is about defending that. The 2012 Games helped us all realise the importance of being able to live active lifestyles. Critical to this is making our streets and communities safe places we can use and enjoy. Anyone who drives can help bring this about: pledge to GO 20 in communities, even where the limit’s still 30: you’ll be helping to protect people around you, and you’ll hardly notice the difference to your journey. We’re also calling on the government and local authorities to recognise the need for 20mph, and the huge demand for safe walking and cycling, and GO 20.
”The Minister with responsibility for Transport, Carl Sargeant, said: “Any death or serious injury on our roads should be avoidable. I commend the good work undertaken by Brake, particularly in Road Safety Week, when we can all benefit from thinking more carefully about the decisions we make when using the road network. We want to work with our partners, including Brake, to reduce road casualties. My vision is for a continued reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads, with the ultimate goal of no fatalities in the future. We are currently consulting on a draft Road Safety Delivery Plan which sets out how, with the help of our partners, we can target action on safety in the right areas, in the right way, to reduce deaths and serious injuries. This Plan reflects our continued commitment to making road safety apriority in Wales.
"Jim Moore, Partnership Manager, GoSafe said: “Road collisions are sudden, violent events that rip apart families by ending lives too soon, causing life-changing injuries and leading to terrible suffering. Excessive speed is one of the biggest killers of people in the UK yet these collisions are preventable. At all times, but particularly during Road Safety Week, we’re appealing to drivers of all ages to slow down; and asking the wider community to encourage others to slow down and adhere to speed limits.
’’Dame Mary Perkins, founder of Specsavers, says: “We are proud to be backing Road Safety Week and joining Brake in calling for action to protect people on foot and bicycle and make our roads safer for everyone. At Specsavers we think protecting children, families and people of all ages when they walk and cycle is absolutely vital. Allowing more people to walk or cycle safely is good for health, the economy and the environment. Everyone can play a part in making this happen, but drivers in particular can take some simple steps, like committing to slowing down to 20mph where people live, and making sure they have crystal clear 20-20 vision too. If we all get behind this campaign, we can make a huge difference in preventing casualties and making our communities safer places.
”Sally Dunscombe, operations director at Brain Injury Group says: “We are delighted to support Road Safety Week and to play our part in making roads safer for people to walk and cycle. We know from our work that motor vehicle crashes account for half of all traumatic brain injuries, causing terrible suffering and turns people’s lives upside down. Slowing down to 20mph makes an enormous difference in preventing road casualties as it gives you a better chance of stopping in time in an emergency, such as if a child runs out. As well as preventing devastating casualties, if drivers slow down to 20mph it makes our communities more enjoyable places, where people – particularly children – can get out and about without being endangered. We all have a role to play in making this happen, and Brain Injury Group is committed to playing its part by getting behind this important campaign.”
Anyone can pledge their support for GO 20 and safer walking and cycling at go20.org.
More survey results506 children age 7-11 gave their views through hands-up surveys in schools in Wales. As well as the results above:
74% said they would like to walk and cycle more than they do at present
82% would like more traffic-free cycle paths in their area, and 70% would like more footpaths, pavements and crossings, which they could use to get to school, the park, shops or to see friends
40% said they are not allowed to walk unaccompanied and 48% said they are not allowed to cycle unaccompanied.
Compare results to other regions on this restricted-access web page.
Pedestrian and cyclist casualties
Official statistics show that every week in Wales, five adults and two children (age 0-17) are mowed down and killed or seriously hurt when on foot or bike.
In 2011 in Wales:
24 people were killed on foot and 237 were seriously injured. Of these victims, 33% (87) were children: one child pedestrian was killed and 86 suffered serious injuries.
11 cyclists were killed and 107 suffered serious injuries. Of these victims, 20% (24) were children: one child cyclist was killed and 23 suffered serious injuries.
In 2011 pedestrian deaths and serious injuries went up significantly across the UK, for the first time in 17 years. Pedestrian deaths increased by 12%, while serious injuries increased by 5%. While cyclist deaths decreased by 2% in 2011, serious injuries increased by 16%. 
Kiera Phillips, 19, from Bridgend was on a pedestrian crossing in her local town centre when a car drove into her, breaking her neck and lower back, and leaving her with serious, long-term injuries. Kiera is supporting the GO 20 campaign launch in Wales. Kiera says: “When you’re in college you should be concentrating on your studies, not having to deal with the horrendous aftermath of being run over. I went through so much pain and disruption to my life. Having to wear the brace was really uncomfortable and frustrating; I couldn’t even brush my hair. I never want anyone else to go through what I have gone through, which is why I’m supporting Road Safety Week and the GO 20 campaign, to make it safe for everyone to walk in their towns and villages right across Wales and the whole of the UK.”
Academic case study
Dr Catherine Purcell, The Dyscovery Centre, University of Wales, Newport, has been studying the ability of children to judge the speed of approaching traffic. She previously found that in certain situations, children find it hard to judge traffic speed once the speed of approach goes above 20mph, and her latest research has shown that children with specific learning difficulties (SpLDs) find this particularly hard. The implication is that driving in excess of 20mph in built up areas not only reduces drivers’ chance of being able to stop in time in an emergency, but also that children, and particularly those with SpLDs, are more likely to step in front of these faster vehicles. Professor Amanda Kirby, medical director of The Dyscovery Centre, stressed “At least two or three children in every class have specific learning difficulties and it is these children who may be particularly vulnerable at the roadside. I would urge drivers to think what matters more to you: gaining a minute on your journey or taking a life?”
Road safety charity Brake is calling for 20mph speed limits near schools, homes and shops to cut the hundreds of cyclists and pedestrians killed or seriously hurt on Welsh roads every year.
The group says a UK-wide survey of 8,000 children shows 70% of youngsters would be able to walk and cycle more if roads in their neighbourhoods were safer.
As well as urging drivers to slow down near schools, shops and homes through their GO 20 corr campaign Brake is calling on the UK and Welsh Governments and local authorities to recognise the need for 20mph limits.
Brake’s findings show 43% of the children aged seven to 11 said they have been hit or nearly hit while walking or cycling, while a further 54% worried about being hurt by traffic.
Every week five adults and two children are killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads when walking or cycling.
Brake spokesman Richard Coteau said: “Everyone in Wales should be able to walk and cycle in their community without fear or threat: it’s a basic right, and GO 20 is about defending that.
“The 2012 (Olympic) Games helped us all realise the importance of being able to live active lifestyles. Critical to this is making our streets and communities safe places we can use and enjoy.”
As part of Road Safety WeekBrake is working with Welsh Road Casualty Reduction group GoSafe to raise awareness among drivers about the need for slower speeds in built up areas.
Throughout the week GoSafe will use mobile speed cameras to target crash hotspots across Wales.
Earlier this year the Welsh Government put forward proposals requiring local authorities to set up a network of walking and cycling routes through the Active Travel Bill.
Brake welcomed the move, but said alongside the routes, further work is needed to make communities safer for walking and cycling.
It wants the Welsh Government to work towards 20mph being the norm in all built up areas.
Studies show that at 20mph drivers have much more time to react and fewer casualties occur among pedestrians and cyclists.
Also town and city-wide 20mph limits have resulted in more people walking and cycling and lower emissions from vehicles.
GoSafe manager Jim Moore said road tragedies are “sudden, violent events that rip apart families by ending lives too soon, causing life-changing injuries and leading to terrible suffering”.
He added: “Excessive speed is one of the biggest killers of people in the UK yet these collisions are preventable.
“At all times, but particularly during Road Safety Week, we’re appealing to drivers of all ages to slow down and asking the wider community to encourage others to slow down and adhere to speed limits.’’
Student Kiera Phillips, 19, was on a pedestrian crossing in Bridgend town centre when a car drove into her, breaking her neck and lower back, and leaving her with serious, long-term injuries.
She said: “I went through so much pain and disruption to my life. Having to wear the brace was really uncomfortable and frustrating.
“I couldn’t even brush my hair. I never want anyone else to go through what I have gone through.”
Dr Catherine Purcell, of the Dyscovery Centre, University of Wales, Newport, has found children find it difficult to judge speed once it rises over 20mph.
Also her latest research has shown that children with learning difficulties like dyspraxia, dyscalculia and autism find it particularly difficult.
Professor Amanda Kirby, medical director of the Dyscovery Centre, said: “At least two or three children in every class have specific learning difficulties and it is these children who may be particularly vulnerable at the roadside.
“I would urge drivers to think what matters more to you: gaining a minute on your journey or taking a life?”
Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant said the Welsh Government is consulting on a new road safety plan aimed at cutting casualties.
This includes measures like continued support for GoSafe in targeting collision hot spots and backing UK Government plans for fixed fines for careless driving.
Mr Sargeant said: “This plan reflects our continued commitment to making road safety a priority in Wales.”
Nearly 1,000 motorists were caught using their mobile phones while driving during a two-week crackdown.
A total of 972 drivers across Wales were caught, including 454 in the Dyfed-Powys Police area.
South Wales Police fined 242 drivers, North Wales Police 148 and Gwent Police caught 128 drivers.
Susan Storch, chairperson of Road Safety Wales, said it was "saddening" to see so many drivers using their phones while driving. "We all need to take account of how we drive on our roads and driving a vehicle requires us to multi-task so anything above and beyond that needs to wait until we are safely parked up or until our journey has finished," she added.
"While it's saddening to see that so many motorists got caught using a mobile phone whilst driving it has also demonstrated the resolve of all the Road Safety Wales partners in tackling this issue and we will continue to work together to drive home the message that you need to switch off before you drive off."
The 2012 All-Wales Anti-Mobile Phone While Driving campaign was held last month.
Inspector Lee Ford of Gwent Police said: "This campaign is just one part of our ongoing effort to target and reduce the number of drivers who risk becoming involved in a serious or fatal collision due to using a mobile phone while driving."
There should be a "fundamental re-appraisal" of government public health priorities, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA). A report by the charity says policies should focus on premature and preventable deaths. On that basis, action to curb accidents should be the number one priority, it says.
Public health experts have welcomed the findings.
Official figures show accidents account for just 2% of deaths in England and Wales - far behind cancer, and heart and respiratory disease.
But RoSPA says this conceals the true impact of unintentional injuries. Its report draws on data from the Office for National Statistics to argue for a new approach to public health.
The charity calculated the years of life lost as a result of premature death, based on the average number of years which those who died could have been expected to live. This moved accidents up the priority list, because many victims die young. RoSPA then filtered out deaths which could not have been prevented.
It found that up to the age of 60, accidents were the leading cause of preventable years of life lost, accounting for 23% of the total.
The charity's chief executive, Tom Mullarkey, says this is one of the most important findings in its 95-year history.
He says there is a "moral obligation" to prevent people dying before their time.
"We all know about diseases and the resources that are pumped into preventing the deaths they cause.
"But if only a fraction of that resource was used to prevent accidents we would not be faced, as we are today, with an accident epidemic that's wiping out people in their prime."
The charity says schemes to prevent accidents achieve quick results and can generate huge savings for the NHS It wants extra support and information for people at key moments in their lives - including teenagers, parents and carers of young children, and people over 65.
And RoSPA says that in England alone £1bn each year should be set aside to achieve this. The charity estimates that currently less than £1m is spent annually on these schemes.
In a statement, the Department of Health insisted that accident prevention was a key part of its approach to public health.
An operation which saw officers checking goods vehicles and speaking to drivers about road safety during the winter was held yesterday (Wednesday, 8th November).
Between 9am and 3pm, officers along with partners from the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) targeted commercial vehicles and checked them for compliance with legislation on the A55 at Ewloe under the remit of Operation Mermaid.
24 hour prohibitions were given for various offences, including drivers’ hours offences. Fixed penalty notices were also given for number plate offences, defective tyres and for having no valid MOT certificate. Cautions were also given for excess speed and for having no water in windscreen washers.
Sergeant Tony Gatley from the North Wales Police Roads Policing Unit said: “We carry out operations such as this throughout the year in conjunction with our partners to ensure that commercial vehicle users are using the roads safely for the benefit of all of us.
“Throughout the day we focused on road safety offences, taking into account the change in hours of darkness and deteriorating weather and driving conditions, so we focussed on checking lights, tyres and windscreen washers and wipers.”
“We will continue to carry out these operations and conduct pre-winter checks in line with our objective of ensuring that vehicles are safe on the roads of North Wales.”
Is your vehicle winter ready?
Regularly servicing, and checking your vehicle is in good running order before setting out will reduce your chances of breaking down on the road. It's worth making these checks regularly - and particularly before a long winter journey:
- Is the battery fully charged? Replace it if it's not completely reliable.
- Are your lights clean and all working. Carry spare bulbs.
- Change your windscreen wiper blades if they are worn
- Check your fluid levels, screen wash, engine oil, anti-freeze in radiator
Use a higher concentration of screen wash to prevent freezing
- Check all windows are clean
- Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated and replace them before the tread has reached the legal minimum. Check your tyre pressures (refer to the owners handbook) & tread depth (min 1.6mm)
- Consider booking your car into a reputable garage for a winter service for extra peace of mind.
Further advice regarding driving in winter conditions is available on the North Wales Police website www.north-wales.police.uk.