Fire and road safety annual evidence report now available

April 10th, 2018 by

Our new Risk Based Evidence Profile 2018 is now available. It highlights our two highest risk priorities for prevention activities which are: accidental dwelling fires and road traffic collisions.

The document includes the latest research and analysis about fires and road safety, such as, new evidence from the Home Office shows that while the number of fires has fallen nationally the number of people aged 65 and over killed in a fire has risen by 22% between 2014/15 and 2016/17.

To read the full report or find out more fire and road safety facts about Cornwall please visit www.cornwall.gov.uk/rbep  A key messages paper is also available on the website which summarises these findings.

Did you know?

Facts about road safety

  • On average there are 24 collisions on roads in Cornwall each week involving an injury.
  • Evidence shows that most of the factors contributing to collisions in Cornwall are related to driver error.
  • The five high risk driving behaviours in Cornwall are:
  1. Failing to look properly
  2. Failed to judge other person’s speed or path
  3. Speeding
  4. Careless/ reckless/in a hurry
  5. Loss of control
  • Motorcycles make up less than 1% of traffic, but are involved in more than 15% of injury collisions.
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St Austell Green Watch Cycling Awareness event

March 30th, 2018 by

Pedal cyclists have been identified as a priority road user group both nationally and in Cornwall due to an increase in numbers of people cycling on the roads and the fact that they are vulnerable to injury: like motorcyclists and pedestrians, if they involved in a collision the chances of being injured is much higher than those in enclosed vehicles.

On Saturday the 24th February, Green Watch at St Austell Community Fire Station held a cycling awareness event at Halfords in St Austell to engage with drivers and cyclists to raise awareness of cyclist safety, focusing on the correct passing distances for vehicles overtaking cyclists.  Cyclists should be positioned 0.75metres from the kerb in order for them to avoid pot holes and drain covers, mud, puddles and being injured if a car door opened in front of them. For vehicles passing the cyclists they should allow at least 1.5m of space just in case the cyclists swerve out into the road to avoid a hazard or is blown by the wind unexpectedly.

Drivers were encouraged to look out for cyclists when driving on the road and give them plenty of space when overtaking,  cyclists were informed to ride defensively and be more visible on the road.  Visibility was a key topic where the Watch tested everyone’s understanding of the potentially short distances of seeing cyclists at night with no lights. Driving at 30mph at night a driver should expect to see a cyclist with dark clothing on when they were just 2 metres away which is a split second reaction time. With a cyclist in a white jacket this extends to only 30metres and a few seconds. But with a Hi-Viz jacket on this jumps to 100metres, making a dramatic improvement on being visible on the road.

All drivers spoken to agreed that the event had been informative and had certainly made them think about both looking out for cyclists more at night giving them at least 1.5 metres when passing them. Cyclists also agreed to consider their visibility more and ride more positively helping them improve their safety reducing the chances of having an incident.

All the motorist participants agreed that the short questionnaire had been informative and had certainly made them think about both looking out for cyclists more at night and would give them at least 1.5 metres when passing them. Cyclists also agreed that they needed to consider their visibility more and would ride more positively helping them improve their stability reducing the chances of having an incident.

Green Watch considered the initiative a great success and felt that all of the participants benefited from the information given by them. They would like to thank Halfords and the media for their support and the Prevention and Road Safety team for their valued assistance

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Learner drivers on motorways from 4 June 2018

March 6th, 2018 by

Learner drivers can take motorway driving lessons with an approved driving instructor from 4 June 2018

From Monday 4 June 2018, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales.

This will help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.

At the moment, you can only have motorway lessons after you’ve passed your driving test. Some newly-qualified drivers take lessons through the voluntary Pass Plus scheme.

How the change will work

Learner drivers will need to be:

  • accompanied by an approved driving instructor
  • driving a car fitted with dual controls

Any motorways lessons will be voluntary. It will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough for them.

Until the law changes, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.

The change only applies to learner drivers of cars. Learner motorcyclists won’t be allowed on motorways.

Trainee driving instructors won’t be allowed to take learner drivers on the motorway.

Motorway driving isn’t being introduced to the driving test as part of this change.

Making sure road users are ready for the change

The change is being well-publicised so that:

  • driving instructors and learner drivers are prepared
  • other road users know what to expect

The Highway Code rules on motorways will be updated.

Driving near learner drivers on the motorway

As with any vehicle on the motorway, keep a safe distance from a learner driver in front of you. Increase the gap on wet or icy roads, or in fog.

You should always be patient with learner drivers. They may not be so skilful at anticipating and responding to events.

Driving instructor vehicles and training

Driving instructors can decide if they want to use a driving school rooftop box during motorway lessons, based on its instructions.

The car will need to display L plates on the front and rear if the rooftop box is removed.

Guidance for driving instructors

 

Learning materials and the syllabus for learning to drive a car are being updated to include motorway lessons.

The Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency won’t give driving instructors extra training on providing motorway lessons.

The driving instructor’s National Associations Strategic Partnership has produced best practice guidance to help instructors.

Preparing drivers for a lifetime of safe driving

The changes are being made to allow learner drivers to:

  • get broader driving experience before taking their driving test
  • get training on how to join and leave the motorway, overtake and use lanes correctly
  • practise driving at higher speeds
  • understand motorway specific traffic signs
  • understand what to do if a vehicle breaks down on a motorway
  • improve their confidence to drive on the motorway unsupervised after passing their driving test
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New THINK! campaign marks first anniversary of harsher mobile phone penalties

March 6th, 2018 by

More than 26,000 motorists – including 500 novice drivers who had their licences revoked – have been caught using a mobile phone since tougher penalties came into force.

 

On 1 March 2017, the penalties for the offence doubled from £100 and three penalty points to £200 and six points.

To mark the first anniversary of the introduction of the new penalties, THINK! is highlighting the chances of being caught in a series of adverts which will run on radio, social media, on demand video and in shopping centres, as part of its ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving.

Road Safety GB is calling on drivers to ‘work out for themselves’ that it is ‘totally obvious you cannot do well two things at once’, and therefore using a mobile phone can lead to ‘life-changing or life-ending crash situations’

Road Safety Minister Jesse Norman said:

“The penalties for holding and using a mobile phone while driving have proven to be a strong deterrent, and more and more people are aware of just how dangerous this is.”

“But some motorists are still not only putting their own lives at risk, but the lives of others.”

“Everyone has a role to play to encourage drivers to put their phone away and not use it”while at the wheel.”

 

A further 1,997 motorists were handed fines as part of a national crackdown by traffic officers between 22 and 28 January 2018, which was choreographed by the National Police Chiefs’ Council. Of those caught, 74% were male.

Mobile Phone poster

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