Illegal E-Scooter Use: How Can Retailers Play Their Part?

As we approach Christmas, some of us may be considering purchasing an e-scooter as a gift. However, a number of people are still unaware that it is illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on public roads, pavements or cycle paths. In fact, the only place to legally ride an e-scooter in Wales is on private land with the permission of the land owner – everywhere else it is against the law.

Road Safety Wales is urging retailers to ensure that potential customers are fully aware that if an e-scooter is purchased and subsequently used illegally, the rider risks being issued with a £300 fine, 6 penalty points on their driving licence and their new e-scooter could also be seized.

Retail outlets across the country are at the forefront of providing expert advice to the public and selling products that are safe to use. A commitment to making customers aware of the current regulations around e-scooters will enhance the retailer’s reputation and greatly assist in minimising the road safety risk.

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Llanharan Railway Footbridge – Upcoming Site Investigations

Site investigations will take place at the Llanharan Railway footbridge next week, requiring a temporary change to pedestrian arrangements – as the Council continues to work towards delivering a replacement structure.

The footbridge remains subject to an ongoing emergency closure after a recent inspection found its condition to be deteriorating. The footbridge closure has resulted in a lane being brought out of use on the road bridge immediately adjacent to it (carrying the A473 Bridgend Road) – enabling a temporary footway to be established within the closed lane of the carriageway.

The next steps toward replacing the bridge include site investigations from Monday, November 29, which will be completed over six days of work until December 4. A CCTV survey will then follow on Monday, December 6.

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Any Use of Hand-held Mobile Phone While Driving to Become Illegal

Police will soon be able to more easily prosecute drivers using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel after the government strengthens existing laws to further improve road safety.

It is already illegal to text or make a phone call, other than in an emergency, using a hand-held device while driving. Next year, laws will go further to ban drivers from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games.

This will mean anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and 6 points on their licence.

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135 Off-Road Vehicles Seized Over the Last Year in Gwent

Operation Harley – Gwent Police’s response to targeting off-road vehicles that damage land, cause disturbances in communities and put other road users and pedestrians at risk – has been in place across the county since 2020.

Since then, the force's rural crime team, neighbourhood officers, special constables and more have worked with partner agencies during regular operations to address the problem.

Using specialist vehicles and equipment like drones, operations have seen motorbikes, quad bikes and mopeds seized for a variety of offences, including being used without insurance, registration or a licence, or for being driven off-road.

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Making Journeys Safer for Everyone

Throughout this week, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, alongside colleagues from South Wales Police, Gwent Police and Local Authorities, will be out positively engaging with members of the community through their joint ‘Operation Options‘ initiative.

Operation Options allows the partner organisations to engage with drivers and passengers who break the law by failing to wear a seatbelt. The offending road users will be offered the option of accepting a fine or listening to an educational presentation delivered by the fire and rescue service on road safety and the dangers of poor decision making. The safety presentation aims to highlight the importance of wearing a seatbelt, even on short, familiar journeys, and how it can be the difference between life and death. 

On Monday this week, 50 drivers were stopped and received an educational input. One vehicle was also seized for no licence, M.O.T or insurance and 3 tickets were issued for mobile phone use.

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A Bright Future For Cycling in Merthyr Tydfil

Thanks to funding from the Welsh Government, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has launched a new scheme through the purchase of balance and learn to ride bikes.

During the first week of operation the initiative has been extremely well received by participating schools and great achievements have been made. Some pupils became confident enough in their new skills to ride without stabilisers for the very first time.

Well done to all involved!

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Road Safety Wales Poster Competition

When we’re walking, cycling or scooting to school, or when we’re out playing with our friends in the community, we want to be able to get there safely without being hurt by a driver who is drunk or has taken drugs.

We also want our family to stay safe if they’re driving, so we need to let people know that driving when drunk or after taking drugs is dangerous and could really hurt someone.

Road Safety Wales is inviting young people aged up to 18 from across Wales to design a poster that highlights how drink or drug driving can affect innocent road users. The winning entries will be shared on Road Safety Wales Partner social media channels.

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Nextbike Scheme Under Threat

The long-term future of Cardiff’s bike-share scheme could be under threat if theft, vandalism and threats against staff continue, warns operator Nextbike.

Since launching in 2018, Nextbike has attracted 136,000 customers with more than 1.2million trips undertaken. However, despite its popularity, the operators have now suspended the scheme in Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan.

UK managing director, Krysia Solheim, said, “The amount of vandalism and theft that we have seen is simply staggering and not something we’ve experienced to the same extent anywhere else in the UK.

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Children Stop Drivers For Speeding Outside Schools As Part Of Llanelli North 20mph Campaign

Speeding drivers have been stopped by children in Llanelli for going over the 20mph limit outside their schools and asked to explain themselves.

Pupils from Ysgol Penygaer, Ysgol Dewi Sant and Ysgol Y Felin have been taking action to slow down motorists.

A total of 33 drivers were stopped by the schoolchildren (including five for not wearing a seatbelt), supported by Carmarthenshire County Council’s road safety unit and officers from Dyfed-Powys Police, GoSafe, and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

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Never Drive With An Unrestrained Pet In Your Vehicle

Safe driving demands your full attention and an unobstructed view of the road; anything less increases the risk of a collision and potential injury.

We all know that using a mobile phone at the wheel and other in-vehicle distractions are significant risk factors, but have you thought about the importance of carrying your pet safely in your vehicle?

It’s an issue often overlooked, but even the most well behaved animal can become frightened by something unusual and react in a way which compromises the safety of the driver, passengers and other road users.

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