Cornwall Council recently launched their Casualty Reduction Strategy

November 1st, 2019 by

Cornwall Council recently launched their Casualty Reduction Strategy, which was previously published in 2013.  Our priority remains to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured (KSIs) on our roads and action is required now to reverse the negative trend of rising KSIs, particularly with those seriously injured.

Our vision is to eradicate deaths and serious injuries from our roads, supporting an accessible, healthier and safer Cornwall.  We have adopted the ‘Safe System’ approach, which advocates a multi-disciplinary and multi-sectoral approach to address the road safety needs of all users, using the five pillar framework approach of Safer Speeds, Safer Road Users, Safer Vehicles, Safer Roads and Mobility and Post Crash Response.  Underpinning this is Cornwall Council’s collaborative principles to:

  • work together as one team
  • connect with our partners
  • connect with our communities and;
  • tackle KSI’s with evidence led data

 

Road safety is a matter of national importance, affecting both those who drive and those who don’t drive.  September 26th was a day of reflection and a pledge by Project EDWARD to encourage a European Day Without a Road Death.  This annual event promotes initiatives to encourage all road users to reflect on their behaviour and attitude, as they recognise driver behaviour is one of the key barriers to progress.  During the week commencing 18th November 2019, the charity Brake are running a Road Safety week which we will see activity focussed on safe and healthy journeys, encouraging everyone to step up and play their part in the celebration of safe system solutions and the creation of a safe and healthy future.

As part of the Road Safety Week, Brake is encouraging everyone to ‘Make the Brake Pledge’.  The Pledge calls for people to do everything they can to protect themselves and the people around them.  For more information on how to pledge see the following link:

http://www.brake.org.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&layout=edit&id=129

Casualty Reduction Strategy is available here: https://www.cornwall.gov.uk/media/40378000/final-casualty-reduction-strategy-2019-web.pdf

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Council employees informed of how to be a safer driver.

June 2nd, 2019 by

On Monday 20th May at NCH an employee engagement event was held focusing on being a safer driver.

Staff were invited to come to speak to Cornwall Fire & Rescue and Cornwall Council staff regarding their safety on the road with the emphasis on being a safer driver ensuring you are fit to drive, you adopt safer driving behaviour as a driver and ensure your vehicle is road safe.

Messages included, in car distractions such mobile phones, vehicle checks, alcohol and being fit to drive. Information and advice was provided to increase drivers’ awareness, encouraging them to adopt or maintain safe driving behaviour, and make a positive change.

Guy Pomeroy from Falmouth Fire Station, supported by Green Watch from Truro, delivered mobile phone safety information to Council employees. Staff who engaged were given a signal blocker asked to complete a form to evaluate the use of the signal blocker.  The Health, Safety & Wellbeing team attended and offered bloody pressure tests, eye sight tests and checks and tailored health advice as we are aware of the increase of RTC’s being reported as medical episodes at the wheel.  Staff from the Prevention and Road Safety Team attended to deliver road safety messages to attendees.

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Partnership cyclist safety event in Falmouth

June 1st, 2019 by

On Tuesday the 9th April 2019, Blue Watch at Falmouth Community Fire Station in partnership with Devon & Cornwall Police delivered a cycle safety awareness event at The Moor in Falmouth which coincided with the Farmers Market and the Easter holidays to engage with drivers and cyclists to raise awareness of cyclist safety, focusing on the correct passing distances for vehicles overtaking cyclists.

Operation Close Pass was originally launched by West Midlands Police in 2016, and was designed to proactively identify and educate drivers who pass too closely to cyclists. In partnership with Devon & Cornwall Police the Watch engaged with 70 people.

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Students receive important road safety messages

February 8th, 2019 by

Cornwall College students based at the Saltash campus recieved a reactive road safety workshop. Cornwall Fire, Rescue and Community Safety Service Prevention and Road Safety team attended the college to deliver messages around the dangers of peer pressure; the difficulties of multi-tasking – distractions in their vehicles such as mobile phones and music streaming; appropriate small changes they could make to their driving to increase their safety and reduce the likelihood of being involved in a collision.

The workshops were requested by a member of staff at the College due to some incidents which had occurred where students were involved in near misses and some collisions in a bid to make students more aware of the appropriate driving behaviours which are required to reduce the risk of them being involved in a collision.

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Winter driving messages delivered during recent cold snap!

February 8th, 2019 by

Winter driving messages delivered during recent cold snap!

Whole time watches across Cornwall have been delivering vital winter driving messages to drivers regarding the importance of carrying out winter safety checks and making appropriate changes to their driving in wintery, snowy or icy conditions. Watches who supported this campaign include Blue Watch from Tolvaddon, Orange Watch from Truro and Green and Orange Watch from Bodmin.

Watches were asked to attend supermarkets or businesses local to them to deliver this campaign; alternatively they had the option to attend any other local events/areas where there is a good footfall of drivers to communicate with.

Key messages delivered to drivers included:

Frozen doors:

  • A squirt of WD40 will prevent your door locks from freezing up.

Tyres:

  • Check tyres are inflated correctly. Aim for at least 2mm of tread in winter to handle the additional mud and rain.

Screenwash/oil:

  • When was the last time you checked your fluid levels? Top up and use an additive in your screenwash. Low or no oil is the quickest way to a vehicle breakdown.

Windscreens:

  • Don’t use your wipers to clear ice! They are designed for nothing tougher than water!
  • But do make sure you clear all windows before taking off.

Driving advice:

  • Slow down and increase the distance between you and other vehicles. Stopping distances double in wet conditions and in icy conditions can increase up to ten times.
  • Put your lights on. You want other drivers to see you, use your headlights not side lights to ensure other drivers can see you.
  • Avoid driving if at all possible in icy or snowy conditions. Can you work from home? Delay your journey?

Initial evaluations results who that these events were very effective in raising drivers awareness og the importance of preparing their vehicle for winter and increased the likelihood that they would do so.

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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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