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Fire Service Aims to Raise Awareness of Road Safety with Fairfield Event
29/04/16
EXTRICATIONSouth Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) along with Gwent Police and the Welsh Ambulance Service are hosting a road safety event for the local community today (April 29) at Fairfield Car Park in Abergavenny.

The event (which runs from 6.30pm to 9pm) aims to raise awareness of the dangers drivers face when driving with excessive speed, while distracted or practising poor driving skills. Although the event is open to everyone, SWFRS hopes to encourage attendance from young drivers in light of the recent road traffic incidents in the area that have involved young drivers.

SWFRS Station Commander for Abergavenny, Steve Cooper said, “As a Service we take road safety very seriously and events like this help us to share our messages with the local community to ensure that we are reducing risk on our roads.
“Working with our blue lights colleagues means there is consistency in how we tackle safe driving, as well as demonstrating how we must work together should a road traffic incident occur.”

Throughout the event the Abergavenny SWFRS crew, local police officers and paramedics will be talking to members of the public about the issues surrounding road safety and SWFRS will also be carrying out a car extrication demonstration, which will simulate a two-car road traffic collision (RTC) and how as a service, crews remove casualties from vehicles involved in RTCs, as well as how they work with blue light partners to secure the incident.


Gwent Police are Cracking Down on Drug Drivers…
28/04/16

Gwent Police have used 333 DrugWipes with 190 positive detections at the roadside.

Drug WipeDrugWipes can give an indication of drugs from a saliva sample within as little as 3 minutes. A positive test is indicated by the appearance of red lines on the device, similar to a pregnancy test. If the test gives a positive reading officers will take the motorist to a police station for a blood test, which will be used in any prosecution.


The Home Office estimates as many as 200 people a year are killed by drivers impaired by drugs.

This device is a big step towards bringing more drug driving criminals to justice, helping to save lives.

59 drivers have been disqualified for periods between 12-48 months...with a total disqualification period of just over 94 years.

Several have been caught 2-3 times with 1 person stopped on 2 consecutive days.  26 are still awaiting court dates and 35 are waiting for results from the lab.

The most common age group is 17-25 year old males; with the most popular drug being Cannabis.

Inspector Matthew Havard said: 'These results are giving us a more accurate picture of the extent of drug driving. Those who get behind the wheel while under the influence of drugs not only put their own lives and passengers at risk, but also those of innocent pedestrians and other motorists. Don't drink and drive. Don't take drugs and drive. Driving is a privilege and not a right. We will stop you. Think about what that would mean for you.'

If you are convicted of drug driving you'll get:

· A minimum 1 year ban.
· An unlimited fine.
· Up to 6 months in prison.
· A criminal record.
· Your driving licence will also show you've been convicted of drug driving... this will last for 11 years.
· If convicted of death by dangerous driving whilst under the influence of drugs you could get a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

Additionally...

· Your car insurance will increase significantly.
· If you drive for work, your employer will see your conviction on your licence.
· You may have trouble getting into countries like the USA.


Over 1,400 Stopped Across Wales for Not Wearing a Seatbelt
20/4/16

More than 1,400 people across Wales have been caught for not wearing their seatbelt during a two-week campaign. Between 7th and 21st March all four Welsh police forces, led by North Wales Police, carried out their Seatbelt Campaign to raise awareness amongst drivers and passengers of the dangers of not wearing seatbelts in the event of a collision.

seatbeltThe results were as follows:

North Wales – 146
Dyfed Powys Police – 958
South Wales Police – 347
Gwent Police - 46

Sergeant Alun Davies from North Wales Police’s Roads Policing Unit said: “Wearing a seatbelt when driving or as a passenger can save lives, but it is disappointing that 1,497 people still chose not to buckle up and put themselves and others at risk.
“Not wearing a seatbelt is one of the ‘Fatal 5’ – we have a robust strategy around enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences which are failing to wear a seat belt, drink and drug driving, dangerous and careless driving including unnecessary risk taking, speeding and using a mobile phone while driving. 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.”

During the 2015 campaign 1,257 people across Wales were stopped by police for not wearing their seatbelt. There were 140 in North Wales, 360 in the South Wales Police area, 41 in Gwent and 724 in the Dyfed Powys Police area.
Sergeant Davies added: “Please ensure that everyone who gets into your vehicle is belted up safely. Our aim is to save lives and prevent families from having to deal with the aftermath of a collision in which someone is not wearing a seatbelt.
“Seatbelts are vital to the safety of you and your passengers and we will continue to take a pro-active approach all year round to educate motorists and enforce seatbelt laws.”
“Please always wear your seatbelt – it’s not worth the risk.”

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: "Putting on your seatbelt is such a simple act to carry out before your journey, especially when you're twice as likely to die in a crash if you don't. Road Safety Wales will continue to work with partners to educate the public that failing to wear a seatbelt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar trips and those at low speeds."
For further information on how to keep you and your family safe, please visit think.direct.gov.uk


Yellow Triangle SchemeDrivers Urged to be Part of 'Yellow Triangle' Road Safety Scheme in Powys
18/4/16

Drivers in the county are being encouraged by Powys County Council to carry a card that contains potentially life-saving information in the event of a collision. The council’s Road Safety Unit want drivers to be part of its latest initiative called the ‘Yellow Triangle’ scheme. The scheme has two elements, a ‘Your Details’ card and a yellow triangle sticker.

The ‘Your Details’ card, to be completed by the driver, will give information about their next of kin, medical conditions, allergies and medications which emergency services can use in the event of an emergency.

The yellow triangle sticker will accompany the card, which must be displayed in the bottom left-hand corner inside the windscreen and out of the driver’s field of view.

The triangle will indicate that the driver’s details are readily available through the ‘Your Details’ card, which will be kept in the glove compartment – this will enable the emergency services to access the details of the driver that they and the hospital staff need.

Cllr John Brunt, Cabinet Member for Road Safety, said: “Our Road Safety Unit is dedicated to reducing casualties across all categories of road users.

“This latest initiative will provide emergency services with vital information if a driver is involved in a collision.  I urge all Powys drivers to take advantage of this worthwhile scheme.”

Geoff Wilks, the council’s Road Safety Project Officer, said: “As most mobile phones nowadays are lockable and only accessible by a password, the mobile phone I.C.E (in case of emergency) system can no longer be relied upon to give the emergency services access to details.

“This scheme will go that one step further by not only providing next of kin details but details of the card holder’s personal information.”

To request a ‘Yellow Triangle’ scheme pack, telephone 01597 826979 or email road.safety@powys.gov.uk

For more information on all road safety schemes, visit www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


RoSPA's New Look Reflects Shift in Focus
4/4/16

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) reveals its new look, as the family safety charity shifts its focus in a continued drive to save lives and reduce life-changing injuries.

RoSPAAfter more than 20 years, RoSPA is saying goodbye to the “red square” logo that has become synonymous with accident prevention at home, on the road, at work, in the water and at leisure facilities, and, through the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards, is internationally-recognised as the mark of quality for workplace health and safety.

Its new logo - which features overlapping speech marks - represents the importance of conversation in accident prevention, drawing on people’s and organisation’s own experiences and the value of these experiences in helping others prevent accidents.

And a new strapline - “Accidents don’t have to happen” - tackles head on the commonly-held misperception that accidents are “just one of those things” and simply cannot be avoided.

The refined focus comes as RoSPA continues its almost 100-year evolution to meet the changing challenges presented by accidents in the UK and around the world.

The charity will continue to work across its traditional sectors and with its valued partners and members, with the new emphasis on sharing experiences being at the heart of its relationships.

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA chief executive, said: “Accidents don’t have to happen, and RoSPA has proved that with the fantastic leaps it has made over the past 100 years, particularly on the roads and in the workplace.

“But accidents remain the biggest threat to people for most of their lives, and particularly children, with around 450,000 under-fives ending up in A&E every year following an accident in the home.

“We aim to build a nationwide movement committed to reducing life-changing accidents through sharing stories and experiences, through open conversation, working with individuals, families, communities and businesses.”

As of today, RoSPA’s website and other materials will display the new logo, while the website will feature new elements such as Your Stories, where those who have been affected by accidents will be able to share their experiences to help others.

Further changes will be announced soon, including the launch of LifeLine – a service for those seeking information on how to protect themselves and their families from life-changing accidents.

To explore RoSPA’s new look and focus, see www.rospa.com.


mOTORCYCLEMotorcyclists targeted in Easter road safety operation
28/3/16

A Welsh Government funded operation which aims to reduce the number of motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on Welsh roads over the Easter Bank Holiday weekend is taking place today, Monday 28 March 2016

Operation Crafanc y Ddraig (Dragon’s Claw) will see roads policing officers from Wales’ four police forces join forces with GoSafe, Wales’ Safety Camera Partnership, to tackle anti-social road use, particularly anti-social riding, and promote casualty reduction on Bank Holiday Monday. 

As part of the operation a mixture of marked and unmarked police and GoSafe vehicles will be placed along key sites across Wales using a variety of tactics including engagement, education and enforcement to help reduce road casualties and tackle dangerous and anti-social driving and riding.

It is being funded by the Welsh Government as part its Trunk Road Safety Review, and this operation focuses on the safety of motorcyclists, one of the high risk groups identified in the Road Safety Framework for Wales.

The Review put forward recommendations for improving safety and substantially reducing the number of casualties on Welsh roads and identified 280 trunk road sections where further measures would be introduced. These measures fell into three categories with each location earmarked for either speed limit changes and/or engineering measures, safety improvements as part of other existing programmes of work, or enforcements and education programmes to be delivered in consultation with the police – with Operation Crafanc y Ddraig falling into the latter category.

Economy, Science and Transport Minister, Edwina Hart said:
“Road traffic collisions happen every day with potentially tragic consequences, but almost all are entirely avoidable.

“Although Wales’ roads are amongst the safest in the world and we can be rightly proud of that there is still room for significant improvement but everyone has a responsibility for improving safety and playing their part.

“We want to improve safety and reduce the number of road traffic collision, particularly those which result in serious and fatal injuries, and this operation aims to do just that through a mixture of education and enforcement.”

Superintendent Rob Kirman, who has responsibility for the Operational Support Services which includes the Roads Policing Unit said:

“Nobody likes to have their skills challenged, but some riders do overrate their abilities on a bike with the mindset ‘nothing will ever happen to me.’ We have seen this on numerous occasions, particularly on bends and when overtaking.

“Reducing casualties remains one of our top priorities and Operation Craig y Ddraig is one of the 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. 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. Please heed the warning.”


Dead? Or Dead Slow?: New Statistics Reveal Threat on Britain’s Roads for Horse Riders
24/3/16

Over 60% of incidents involving horses on the roads happen between 10am and 3pm, with accidents most commonly occurring in June, new statistics from The British Horse Society (BHS) reveal**.

Dead Slow BHS Campaign

The statistics are disclosed as the charity announces the launch of a campaign urging drivers to slow down to 15mph when they meet a horse and rider on the road.

In the five years since the launch of its horse accidents website, over 2,000* reports of road incidents involving horses have been reported to the charity. Of these, 36 caused rider deaths, and 181 resulted in a horse dying from their injuries or being put to sleep.

75% of accidents happened because the vehicle passed the horse without allowing enough space, while over a quarter of respondents said that they also had to deal with driver road rage during the incident.

The majority of these incidents happened on a minor road and in a rural area. Nearly half of the horses involved were used to riding on the roads more than once a week.

Since the launch of the BHS horse accidents website in November 2010:

  • 90% of respondents were female
  • 1,799 of respondents were involved in an accident in England, 146 in Wales, 115 in Scotland, and 10 in Northern Ireland.
  • The counties with the highest number of accident reports are Essex, with 155 reported road accidents; Kent, with 89 reported road accidents; and Lancashire, with 81 reported road accidents.

The launch of the campaign, Dead Slow, follows a number of high profile petitions calling for greater protection for horse and rider on the roads following the injury of horse carriage master Mark Evans and the death of his horse Wil, who was hit by a car in Wales last month as he pulled a funeral cortege.

Lee Hackett, BHS Director of Policy, said: “We are asking drivers to slow down to 15mph when they see a horse on the road. A lot of people aren’t sure how to safely pass a horse when driving, and so we have produced a video showing exactly how it should be done.

It's worth remembering that these statistics are just the accidents reported to us, there will be countless others. Almost everyone who rides horses can recount a story about a time they had a near miss on the roads.

We are campaigning for legislative change, but that can take a long time. That is why we are asking for this instant change in behaviour from drivers.

The British Horse Society has produced a video demonstrating how to safely pass a horse on the road. The charity will also be asking equestrians to ensure that they thank any drivers who pass them responsibly.

Kevin Clinton, Head of Road Safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, said: “Horses are large, powerful animals and they can easily panic and bolt if startled. This is dangerous for the horse, the rider and other road users. All drivers should be aware that they may come across horse riders at any time, especially in rural areas. If you see one, slow right down as you approach and pass it slowly and smoothly, without revving your engine or sounding your horn. If there’s not room to pass it safely, wait until there is.”

Horse accidents can be reported to the BHS via the website: www.horseaccidents.org.uk

All statistics date from November 2010 to 1 March 2016.
* 2,070 incidents reported in five years
** 1,158 accidents happened between 10am and 3pm (of the 1,796 where time was disclosed)
** 211 accidents happened in June


Police Urge Learner Drivers to Ensure Instructors are Properly Qualified
24/3/16

A joint operation between North Wales Police and the Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) to check that Driving Instructors were qualified and registered with the DVSA was carried out in the Bangor area yesterday (Wednesday 23rd March).

Driving School CarDuring a series of roadside checks, vehicles displaying L-plates or driving school logos were stopped and instructor accreditations were checked.

One man was arrested on suspicion of fraud and taking payments as an Instructor without the appropriate qualifications and authority from the DVSA. He has since been cautioned.

Gareth Edwards, an Investigator with the DVSA said: “We are pleased to be working alongside North Wales Police. DVSA urges all learners to ensure their instructor is qualified to teach by checking they display a valid DVSA badge in their windscreen. Learners can also use the free ‘Find a driving instructor’ service on GOV.UK to see details of their nearest instructors who are approved and registered with the DVSA.

“All approved driving instructors undergo regular assessments of their ability to teach and are also CRB checked.

“Illegal driving instruction is rare but when it happens can potentially be very serious. We investigate all reported cases and work with the Police to bring offenders to justice.”

More than 41,500 approved and trainee driving instructors were working in England, Scotland and Wales in 2014-15, and all DVSA-registered instructors giving lessons to learners have to display an in-date badge on their windscreen.

A green badge shows that the instructor is fully qualified and undergoes regular DSA checks.

A pink badge indicates a trainee who can teach for six months while acquiring teaching experience. The badges should carry the instructor's photograph, a unique reference number and an expiry date.

Learner drivers should check their instructor's qualifications before getting into the car.

Sergeant Raymond Williams from the Roads Policing Unit said: “The police are also worried that illegal driving instructors may not have been through the obligatory enhanced criminal record checks which all authorised Instructors are subject to.

“As a force we regularly advice people to check that taxis and private hire vehicles they travel in are appropriately registered. Passengers then have the confidence that the person driving that vehicle has been subjected to a process and a series of checks.

"It's exactly the same with learner drivers. They're getting into a vehicle with a stranger they may know nothing about.”

To report someone who you think is an illegal driving instructor, email or phone DVSA via their fraud and integrity team on 0191 201 8120 or email: fraudandintegrity@dsa.gsi.gov.uk


£29m for Transport Schemes to Boost the Economy, Road Safety and Active Travel
23/3/16

Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, has announced nearly £29m funding for transport schemes across Wales to improve safety, create economic growth and promote active travel.

Welsh Government LogoThe announcement was made during a visit by the Minister to the construction site of the final phase of the new Morfa Distributor Road in Swansea. The £5.6m scheme will receive a £1.15m grant from the Local Transport Fund in 2016/17. The new road will improve access to jobs and services, open the area up to further economic development, and reduce congestion and air quality problems on the A4067 Neath Road. New walking and cycling links will also be built alongside the road. 

Mrs Hart said:
“I am very pleased to announce the Welsh Government will be funding the completion of this important new road. By improving access to jobs and services, creating economic growth, reducing congestion and supporting active travel this is an excellent example of the type of scheme we are funding with £17.6m worth of Local Transport Fund grants in the next financial year. The money will be used to fund 38 different road, public transport and active travel projects across Wales.

“In addition I am today announcing nearly £11m to fund more than 70 schemes to improve road safety and create safe walking and cycling routes in communities all over Wales.”

Rob Stewart, Leader of Swansea Council, said:
“The Morfa Distributor Road scheme forms a major part in our plans to regenerate the River Tawe corridor.

“The completion of the scheme a year ahead of schedule will assist us in unlocking further development in the area and make it more accessible for the public. It will also assist in diverting some transport away from Neath Road in Hafod.

“The grant funding we have been awarded for other local schemes means we can also provide safer roads and walking routes for many of our residents in Swansea.”

Other major investments include:

  • £1.498m for the A48-A473 link road to improve access to the Waterton Industrial Estate, Bridgend
  • £1.12m for the Port Talbot integrated transport hub next to Parkway Railway Station
  • £1.75m towards the construction of Stage 1 and Stage 2 and scheme development for Stage 3  of the Llangefni Link Road.

The grants have been awarded through four different funds, from which local authorities can bid for money to support their projects.

A total of 38 schemes across 22 local authorities and the development of active travel maps will be funded by £17.6m from the Local Transport Fund. A total of nearly £5.02m has been allocated to 30 schemes across 20 local authorities through the Safe Routes in Communities fund for walking and cycling routes.

Nearly £3.94million will be distributed in grants from the Road Safety Capital fund to 43 schemes across 17 local authorities.

All 22 local authorities in Wales receive a share of £1,936,741 from the Road Safety Revenue fund for road safety training programmes such as Kerbcraft, PassPlus Cymru, National Standard Cycle Training and motorcyclist training.

The Minister also announced funding of £210,000 for the establishment of an Independent Traffic Commissioner for Wales. The Welsh Government is currently in discussions with the UK Government to establish the post and this funding would allow that to go ahead if an agreement is reached.

The funding is made up of £150,000 to put in place a new full-time Commissioner supported by three full-time, bilingual staff accommodated in Wales and a further £60,000 one-off costs for the recruitment process and fit-out the accommodation.

Mrs Hart said:

“The Welsh Government is committed to establishing an Independent Traffic Commissioner for Wales and I am pleased we can now confirm the funding is available for this post. We will continue to work with the UK Government over the devolution of the post with a view to begin recruitment before the end of the next financial year.”

Wales is currently covered by the Traffic Commissioner for Wales and the west Midlands in the Department of Transport. The commissioner’s responsibilities include the licensing of the operators of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and of buses and coaches known as Public Service Vehicles (PSVs); registration of local bus services and granting vocational licenses and taking action against drivers of HGVs and PSVs.


Spring is in the Air – First Ride of the Year?
21/03/16

With the beginning of Spring and the move to British Summer Time on Easter Sunday, the increasingly lighter days mark the start of the new motorcycling season.

Motorcycling Wales holds a major attraction for riders due to the uniquely challenging roads and breathtaking scenery. Whilst the vast majority of motorcyclists show an excellent standard of riding, a small minority choose to use the roads as a racetrack, putting themselves and other road users in danger and risking life changing injuries or even death. Police forces across Wales will target these individuals in the coming months, giving the clear message that poor and anti-social riding behaviour will not be tolerated.

Welsh roads are amongst the safest in the world, however, partners in Road Safety Wales continue to strive for improvements, and reducing the number of motorcyclist casualties remains a priority. Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said “Motorcycling is a skill for life and we are urging riders to enhance their skills and attend one of the suite of courses currently available across the UK. In Wales many recognised schemes are supported  with Welsh Government funding.  Even the most experienced rider can benefit from an assessment of their riding, which will hopefully improve their knowledge and hazard awareness even further and make them a better, safer rider”.

This could also be the first time in a few months that many motorcycles have been out of the garage. Before every ride, preparation is key to your safety. Take a close look at your kit and your bike to ensure everything is in full working order, paying particular attention to the condition of your tyres, brakes and lighting – it could save your life. Just as important is ensuring that you are well prepared; never ride angry, tired or impaired by drink or drugs.

Drivers have a responsibility to look out for motorcyclists, especially when pulling out of junctions, changing lanes or opening their doors – a motorcyclist may be in the space you intend to move into and may not be as visible as larger vehicles. Always check your blind spot and look twice for bikes.

Wales has a reputation for being a fabulous place to ride, with thousands of people taking to the roads each year. Safe and responsible drivers and riders are very welcome - but more than anything we want everyone to get home safely.

For more information on courses available in your area please contact your local Road Safety Officer – their details can be found at www.roadsafetywales.org.uk/contacts



Road Safety Awards 2016
16/3/16

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 attached form, (accompanied by any relevant supporting material) no later than Friday 15th April 2016. The Award winners will be invited to receive their Award at the Road Safety Wales Conference on Thursday 12 May 2016 at the Metropole Hotel, Llandrindod Wells. Award winners will receive £100 and a souvenir gift.

Download the Nomination Form Here

Please return this form by Friday 15th April 2016 to:

Road Safety Wales, RoSPA, 2 Cwrt-y-Parc, Llanishen, Cardiff, CF14 5GH
E-mail: ahorton@rospa.com


Improve your Motorcycle Skills at a BikeSafe Workshop
16/3/16

Gwent Police is running a series of BikeSafe workshops over the coming months and you are invited!

Gwent Police BikeSafeThe workshops aim to increase rider safety and to reduce the number of casualties on our roads.

Gwent has some excellent motorcycle routes and together with lower traffic levels than many parts of the UK, these attract many riders to the area, particularly at weekends and when the weather is good.  Gwent Police are encouraging motorcyclists to improve their biking skills by taking part in BikeSafe workshops which offer an insight into what can be achieved with further advanced training.

The workshops are run by police forces around the UK and are a mix of theory and practical sessions.  They include on-road assessment rides, information videos, motorcycle-related first aid, maintenance and security issues.

They are designed to enhance the skills of all riders who have already passed their tests and are suitable for all abilities, from the most seasoned rider to those returning to biking after a period of absence.

PC Lee Stachow explains;

"BikeSafe encourages riders to become safer and more competent; thereby avoiding some of the most common causes of accidents on our roads. We have received positive feedback from those who've previously attended saying that the course is enjoyable and succeeds in making them better riders with further training.

"The police officers who run the workshops are advanced riders and are all keen motorcyclists both in work and socially. They fully understand the enjoyment people experience when out on the open road.  I look forward to welcoming participants to our 2016 BikeSafe workshops." 

The one-day workshops are run by police motorcyclists and costs £35.  The Bridging the Gap workshops run for two days; the additional day is a 'Taster' day run by the Gwent Institute of Advanced Motorcyclists and costs £60.

Dates of the workshops are as follows, they will all be held at Road Safety Centre, Edlogan Way, Cwmbran.  For more information and to book onto a course please visit: www.bikesafe.co.uk

BikeSafe One Day Workshop 

April 24th
June 25th
July 31st
Sep 24th

BikeSafe 'Bridging the Gap' Workshop (2 days)

April 2nd-3rd
May 14-15th
June 11-12th
July 23rd-24th
September 10th - 11th 


Belt Up - And Save A Life
7/3/16

Police across Wales have vowed to crack down on motorists and passengers not wearing seatbelts as part of an All Wales Seatbelt Campaign which begins today (Monday 7th March).

Road Safety Wales seatbeltOfficers are warning that ‘belting up can save a life’ and they will be monitoring the roads for those ignoring the law. The first week of the campaign will also coincide with a similar Europe-wide campaign by TISPOL, the European Traffic Police Network.

Temporary Inspector Alun Davies from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “Motorists and their passengers who fail to wear their seatbelts whilst driving will be targeted during the two-week campaign.

“Failing to wear a seatbelt is still apparent on the roads of Wales, and it is disappointing to see that people are still choosing to risk their lives and the lives of others. It is also one of our ‘Fatal 5’ offences, of which we have a robust strategy around enforcing. Police are committed to assisting in reducing casualties on the road through the use of targeted enforcement 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.”

During the 2015 campaign 1,257 people across Wales were stopped by police for not wearing their seatbelt. There were 140 in North Wales, 360 in the South Wales Police area, 41 in Gwent and 724 in the Dyfed Powys Police area.

Both drivers and passengers can be fined £100 for not wearing a seatbelt and can be prosecuted. Any child under the age of 14 who is not wearing a seatbelt is the responsibility of the driver and the driver can be fined.

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: "Wearing a seatbelt and using the correct child restraints is a fundamental part of road safety. Anyone flouting the law is taking an enormous and potentially fatal risk. Partners in Road Safety Wales continue to educate and encourage the public to adhere to the law and we fully support our Police partners in this vitally important all Wales enforcement campaign”.

Inspector Davies added: “It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that everyone being carried in the vehicle is correctly restrained so please ensure that everyone who gets into your vehicle is belted up safely.

“There is evidence that people are less likely to use seatbelts on short or familiar journeys - this puts them at serious risk of injury in a crash.

“Our aim is to save lives and prevent families from having to deal with the aftermath of a collision in which someone is not wearing a seatbelt.”


Welsh Government Publishes Active Travel Action Plan
1/3/16

The Active Travel Action Plan complements the Active Travel (Wales) Act 2013 and sets out the vision for active travel and how it relates to the Welsh Government's wider aims.

It describes how they will:

  • work with others to achieve the changes required
  • embed active travel across different portfolios
  • monitor progress against these actions
  • monitor the rates of active travel across Wales.

The Active Travel Action Plan is supported by the Active Travel Board, which is made up of key Welsh Government departments and external partners.

PDF Document (MFS) An Active Travel action plan for Wales (File size: 690KB)


£450,000 For Innovative Projects To Reduce Motorcyclist Casualties
29/2/16

Welsh Government logoTwo projects which aim to improve road safety and reduce the number of motorcyclist casualties will share up to £450,000 of Welsh Government research funding to develop their products, the Economy and Transport Minister, Edwina Hart has announced.

In July of last year the Minister announced the four successful projects under the first stage of the Welsh Government’s Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI), which required companies to identify pioneering approaches to reduce motorcyclist casualties in Wales – a priority road safety target for the Welsh Government.

The funding they received helped them to run feasibility studies as part of the first phase of the challenge. The four projects were then invited to bid for funding for phase 2 of the initiative, which will help develop the products to point where they can be marketed.

The successful projects are:

  • An advanced helmet liner from Armourgel Ltd, which will incorporate Armourgel material into motorcycle helmets with the aim of protecting motorcyclists from rotational acceleration brain injuries;
  •  A junction alert system from Fusion Processing Ltd which will use a combination of radar and cameras to identify when a motorcyclist is approaching.

Announcing the successful projects, Mrs Hart said:
“Welsh roads are amongst the safest in the world, however we continue to strive for improvements and reducing the number of motorcyclist casualties is one of our priorities.

“These projects are looking at innovative ways to protect motorcyclists and reduce accidents. Both successful products returned encouraging results at feasibility stage and I am pleased we are able to support them to develop their products further.”

The projects were selected from forty-seven applications after the Minister issued a challenge to companies, other public bodies and the voluntary sector last year to submit creative ideas to help improve road safety for motorcyclists.



Drive for Life
29/2/16

Experienced motorists aged 65+ can brush up their driving skills on a free one day refresher course.

drive for lifeThe Drive for Life course, run by Pembrokeshire County Council takes place once a month at Haverfordwest Fire Station and aims to provide experienced drivers who are driving regularly with an overall update on all aspects of safe driving.

The day is split into two parts, the first is a theory based classroom session followed by a practical session with an approved driving instructor.
The theory sessions covers topics such as:

  • The Highway Code
  • Motorway driving
  • High Risk area's (Junctions and roundabouts)
  • Health and mobility issues
  • Seasonal driving
  • Road Signs
  • Defensive driving/hazard awareness
  • DVLA and Driving Licence information

The practical session involves Individuals sharing the instructors' vehicle with another candidate and covering aspects of driving they wish to refresh, such as parallel parking or roundabouts and general safer driving techniques.

Attendees are then invited to evaluate the course via a questionnaire six to 12 months later. Those that do are entered into a prize draw.

Miss Dorothy Hill from Milford Haven was the latest winner and she believes going on the course has done wonders for her driving.

"The refresher course was very enjoyable and worthwhile, it's certainly given a boost to my confidence and my observations have increased. I'm more comfortable around roundabouts as a result."

Cabinet spokesman for Transportation and Major Events, Councillor Rob Lewis believes all experienced drivers can benefit from the refresher.

"The beauty of the Drive for Life Course is that people are not assessed on how they drive, it's there to boost their confidence and offer advice on whatever aspect of driving they like. I'd recommend it to all drivers over the age of 65."

For more information regarding the course or to book a place please contact the Pembrokeshire County Council Road Safety Team on 01437 775144


Double Parking Causes Access Chaos For Emergency Services
17/2/16

Narrow streets and residents double parking has impact on emergency services' ability to access incidents

South Wales Fire and RescueIn the 2011 census, it stated there were 12 cars per 10 households in South Wales and this increase since 2001 has had an impact on the accessibility of some of the narrower South Wales streets for emergency services vehicles, especially the fire appliances of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS).

To raise awareness of the issue in areas such as Blaenavon, where there have been previous issues with appliances struggling to access streets and incidents, SWFRS alongside Gwent Police and Blaenavon Town Council, will be sharing information on how residents can park safely, as well as allow enough room for an emergency vehicle to pass.

Did you know that a fire appliance is 2.8m wide and 7.5m long? That is the equivalent of a HGV lorry trying to get passed. Station Commander for Blaenavon and Cwmbran, Tony Jackson said, "We work closely with partners and members of the public in our local communities to ensure that we all stay safe on our roads and this includes parking. However, with the number of cars on local streets, there have been access for our crews when attending incidents.

"If local residents could think about the room they leave when parking their vehicle, which includes parking on a bend or corner, it just means that this reduces the risk of damage to their vehicle due to emergency services having to squeeze through or that we are delayed in attending an emergency which puts lives at risk."



Usk Pupils Receive Crucial Road Safety Training

16/02/16

Year Three pupils in Usk Primary School who completed the national Kerbcraft pedestrian training programme have been presented with certificates by the Chairman of Monmouthshire County Council, Councillor Brian Strong.

KerbcraftAccompanied by Monmouthshire County Council’s Kerbcraft training staff and parent volunteers, the children have been taught to recognise appropriate places to cross roads and acquire skills to become safer pedestrians.

Usk Primary is just one of many schools that participate in the Kerbcraft pedestrian training scheme managed by the council. Offered to all schools in the county, the Welsh government-funded scheme is administered by three staff assisted by over sixty volunteers. In the previous 12 months, over 900 children in Monmouthshire have received Kerbcraft training.

Cabinet member with responsibility for road safety, Councillor Bryan Jones said: “The Kerbcraft pedestrian training scheme is invaluable as it instils the importance of road safety at an early age and ultimately saves lives.”

For further information on the Kerbcraft pedestrian training programme contact:
Pedestrian Training Co-ordinator for Monmouthshire, Mrs Jayne Haycock on. 07920 210727.



Young Driver’s Wheelie Nice £250 Surprise

16/02/16

A young driver from the Gwendraeth Valley has not only improved his driving skills but has been lucky enough to win a £250 cash prize.

Pass Plus Cymru Joshua Rees, aged 17, from Penygroes, recently completed a Pass Plus Cymru course.

The scheme helps young people aged 17 to 25 who have recently passed their test to improve skills and gain extra experience.

Usually costing around £160, it is significantly discounted to £20, with the balance made up by the council’s road safety unit, thanks to funding from Welsh Government.

Not only did Josh build his confidence in the driving seat, but he was also the winner of the Pass Plus Cymru quarterly prize draw. The £250 cheque from Road Safety Wales was presented to Josh by the council’s Executive Board Member for Transport Cllr Hazel Evans. Josh said he would be putting the money towards a car.

Speaking about the course, he said: “I found it very beneficial, especially the experience of driving on the motorway and at night. I found the information about stopping distances really useful too.”

Cllr Evans said: “This is an excellent scheme that helps young people gain valuable extra experience and positive motoring skills that would otherwise take a long time to acquire. Well done Josh for taking part and for winning the prize draw.”

For more information on Pass Plus Cymru call 02920 250601 or you can book your course online at www.dragondriver.com

Free Child Car Seat Check Clinics Now Available in Powys

16/02/16

Residents in Powys who use a child car seat can have them checked out by Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit for free to ensure that they are fitted correctly.

Child Car SeatCar seat clinics will be taking place around the county, at the following dates and locations, from 9am-4pm:

• Tuesday 8 March – Morrisons Supermarket Car Park, Newtown
• Thursday 10 March – Morrisons Supermarket Car Park, Welshpool
• Wednesday 16 March – Tesco Supermarket Car Park, Ystradgynlais
• Friday 18 March – Aldi Supermarket Car Park, Llandrindod Wells

No appointment is necessary and each check should only take a few minutes.

Seven out of ten car seats for children tested in 2015 in England and Wales do not meet minimum fitting standards. Good Egg Safety, which has tested 20,500 child safety seats in England, Wales and Scotland since 2002, found that 71% of seats tested in England and Wales were unsafe.

The figures come at the same time as Department for Transport statistics revealing that the number of child deaths or serious injury on Britain’s roads has risen for the first time in two decades. This means that two thirds of the children and babies in Britain are now at risk as a result of the seat being improperly fitted, incorrect for the size and weight of the child, or wrong for the make and model of vehicle.

During 2014-2015 in Powys, the council’s Road Safety Unit checked 290 child car seats and found 189 had faults, which were rectified by trained road safety officers. The vast majority of faults found, included wrong seatbelt routing, twisted belts or loose seats, which may contribute to serious injuries in the event of a vehicle crash.

CllrJohn Brunt, Cabinet Memberfor Road Safety, said: "I encourage anyone who uses a child car seat to make use of this important service. These checks will not cost you anything and could ultimately save your child’s life.

"Please come to see our Road Safety Unit for a car seat check, child seat laws and fitting advice. Anything we can do to increase your child’s safety could make a big difference in the event of a collision."

Sarah Morris, the council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said: "Every year around 100,000 children in the UK are involved in collisions and the fitting of their car seat can have a serious impact on whether or not they are injured.

"We check the car seat to see if it is suitable for your child and if it is compatible with your vehicle. If the seat or the harness needs to be adjusted, our officers are trained to show parents or carers how to fit the seat correctly."

If you are not able to visit us during the Car Seat Clinics, you can book an appointment to see us throughout the year by phoning 07909 895346 (Montgomeryshire) or 01597 826637 (Breconshire & Radnorshire).

For further information, email the Road Safety Unit at road.safety@powys.gov.uk. You can even ask for advice via the Road Safety Unit’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


RoSPA Launches Website To Keep Older Drivers Safe On The Roads
10/02/2016

Older drivers A website aimed at helping older people adapt to changes in their driving to stay safe on the road, has been launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

www.olderdrivers.org.uk has been set up by the safety charity, with funding from the Department for Transport, to provide advice and information for older drivers in a bid to help them to drive safely for longer.

The website gives tips on how people can update their driving skills and knowledge to maintain their freedom and independence on the road, as well as advice for families or friends who are concerned about a loved one’s driving. It will help drivers to:

  • recognise whether and how their driving is changing
  • find out what they can do to cope with these changes, such as change when and where they drive, adapt their car or take driver assessment or training
  • find local driving assessment or refresher training
  • understand the law about health conditions and driving and how to renew their driving licence
  • plan for the need to change when and where they drive, and if it becomes necessary, to retire from driving.

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “The older we are, the more experience we have as drivers. This is one of the reasons why older drivers tend to be safer and more considerate drivers. However, our health and fitness often begins to decline as we grow older. Our eyesight, physical condition and reaction times may not be as good as they once were, and we may develop age-related conditions, or be taking medications that can affect our driving.

“Many older drivers recognise that their driving ability is changing and alter when and where they drive to compensate – but not all drivers do this. There comes a time when each of us needs to reduce our driving, or even stop altogether. Of course, this is different for each person; there isn't an age at which we automatically become unsafe to drive.

“The aim of the website is to help older people to continue to drive for as long as they are safe to do so, and to provide advice on making the decision to retire from driving if they are no longer able to drive safely.”


Mature Motoring Workshops in March
10/02/16

Driving refresher workshops are now available free of charge for senior drivers in Powys, the county council has announced.

Powys County CouncilMature Motoring workshops are two-hour informal courses developed and delivered by Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit, thanks to Welsh Government funding. The workshops are aimed at drivers aged 65 years and older.

The workshops focus on issues such as driving licence requirements, the effects of medication, personal safety while driving, winter driving, the dangers of drink driving and not wearing seatbelts.

The workshops take place on the following dates:

• Park Offices, Newtown – Friday 4 March, 10am-12pm
• Neuadd Maldwyn, Welshpool – Wednesday 9 March, 1.30-3.30pm
• St John’s Family Centre, Brecon – Monday 14 March, 10am-12pm
• St John’s Ambulance Station, Rhayader – Monday 21 March, 10am-12pm

Residents, aged 65 and over, are also offered the chance to take part in a free one hour practical drive with an approved driving instructor. The ‘Drive On’ scheme is a confidential and practical assessment that helps those taking part to develop their skills and identify any areas of weakness, or lack of confidence that may have developed over the years.

Cllr John Brunt, Cabinet Member responsible for Road Safety, said: “We hope that these free courses will help preserve and conserve valuable driving skills and make drivers more aware of what influences our driving, ultimately leading to a reduction in collisions and casualties in this vulnerable driving group.”

The workshop and practical drive are both completely free to Powys residents.

For more information or to book onto a workshop in Breconshire and Radnorshire please phone 01597 826979 or to book onto a workshop in Montgomeryshire please phone 01686 611586.

Alternatively, you can email road.safety@powys.gov.uk or contact us through our Facebook page www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys



Road Safety Initiatives For Motorcyclists in Powys

28/01/16

http://pstatic.powys.gov.uk/typo3temp/pics/7adaf5adc7.jpgMotorcyclists in Powys have the opportunity to become safer riders thanks to a series of road safety initiatives that are now available.

Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit has a number of initiatives to help motorcyclists ride safely, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

The first initiative is called ‘Ride On’ – a one-day motorcycle course designed to give motorcyclists an introduction to advanced motorcycling. It consists of an informal theory session followed by an assessment ride out, which is captured on the tutors’ bike mounted camera.

The course, which is open to people who live and work in the county, take place on Saturday 5 March in Llandrindod Wells and Saturday 19 March in Newtown.

The unit, in partnership with Dyfed Powys Police, is also providing motorcyclists the opportunity to attend a BikeSafe course for free. The courses will be held in Llandrindod Wells on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March.

Another course available to motorcyclists is ‘Biker Down’. Provided and delivered by the unit in partnership with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, the three hour course covers such topics as collision scene management, emergency first aid and helmet removal and the science of being seen.

The courses will take place in Llandrindod Wells on Thursday 3 March and in Newtown on Thursday 17 March.

Additionally, the Road Safety Unit is able to take the ‘Biker Down’ course to existing motorcycle clubs.

Finally, the unit is also making the ‘Crash Card’ scheme available to any motorcyclist who uses the county’s roads. The card contains the personal details of the motorcyclist and sits in the lining of their helmet and can be used by the emergency services should they ever be involved in a collision.

Cllr John Brunt, Cabinet Member for Road Safety, said: “With 3,400 miles of road, Powys has the largest road network in Wales and motorcyclists come far and wide to enjoy our rural roads.

“Sadly though, four motorcyclists lost their lives in 2015 as a result of a road traffic collision in the county and in excess of 27 motorcyclists received serious injuries.

“As one of the most vulnerable road users in Powys, our Road Safety Unit wants to reduce the number of motorcyclists involved in collisions. We hope these initiatives will help motorcyclists ride safer on our roads and minimise the risk of being involved in a collision.”

For information on any of these schemes or indeed to book a place, please contact the Road Safety Unit on 01597 826979 or email road.safety@powys.gov.uk

Alternatively, you can visit the Unit’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys



597 Arrested During All Wales Winter Anti Drink/Drug Driving Campaign
27/01/16

The campaign launched on 1st December and concluded on New Year’s Day. During this time police officers across Wales breath tested 22,811 motorists.

Gwent Police Anti Drink Drug Driving Campaign 2015 - Road Safety WalesGwent Police, the lead force in this campaign, carried out 1130 breath tests with 47 positive, refused or failed. North Wales Police tested 8894 drivers, with 82 being positive, refused or failed. South Wales Police tested 4409 motorists and 205 were positive, refused or failed. Dyfed Powys Police carried out 8378 breath tests with 164 being positive, refused or failed.

Overall 99 motorists were arrested for drug offences. This breaks down to 21 in Gwent, 35 in North Wales, 26 in South Wales and 17 in Dyfed Powys.

ACC Julian Williams of Gwent Police said; “It is disappointing that despite these high profile campaigns and the awareness raising officers and our partner agencies do across the country, people are still continuing to put their own lives and the lives of others in danger by getting behind the wheel while being unfit to drive through drink or drugs.

“The consequences of drink or drug driving can be far-reaching; not only affecting the driver themselves but also their family, innocent road users and whole communities.

“We are committed to making our roads safer and these campaigns play a very significant role in education and enforcement. Although this month-long national focus has come to an end, officers across Wales continue to tackle the issue 24/7 and will take the appropriate action against anyone who chooses to break the law and put lives at risk.”

Chair of Road Safety Wales Susan Storch added; “Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs is unacceptable and anyone caught faces a minimum 1 year driving ban, an unlimited fine and even a prison sentence. Every year, families have to deal with the devastating effects of losing a loved one because of a small minority who selfishly choose to drink or take drugs and then drive – something which is entirely avoidable.

We’d like to thank partners and members of the public who continue to support us by spreading the Anti Drink Drug Driving message and in particular the emergency services who continue to work tirelessly keeping us safe on the roads in Wales.”


Campaign Outside Carmarthenshire School Clocks Speeders
25/1/16

Carms RPUSome 88 motorists were found to be exceeding the 20mph speed limit outside a Carmarthenshire school during a recent week-long road safety campaign. The joint Road Safety Partnership campaign was held outside Llechyfedach School, Upper Tumble from 11-15 January.

The campaign was run by Carmarthenshire Roads Policing Unit, GoSafe Safety Camera Partnership and Cross Hands Neighbourhood Policing Team, who spent the week outside the school at key times. Officers provided a visible presence outside the school and carried out preventative measures along with enforcement and education to motorists.

Carmarthenshire Roads Policing Sergeant Ian Price said: “This was a successful operation focussing on casualty reduction where road safety issues were dealt with positively providing the community and parents with confidence that school children of the area can walk to and from school safer in the knowledge that positive action has been taken to educate motorists. Similar campaigns are planned within Carmarthenshire over the next few weeks.”

The activity was carried out following community concerns at results of a recent survey from Carmarthenshire County Council, which showed motorists were ignoring the 20mph speed restriction. Some 85 per cent of motorists were found to be driving in excess of 30mph. These speeds were recorded during peak times when children were starting and finishing school.

On the Wednesday, police were joined by GoSafe Safety Camera Partnership, Carmarthenshire County Council’s Road Safety Team and Mid & West Wales Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Team as well as children from Llechyfedach School to carry out a Speech Indication Display operation to raise awareness of 20mph zones outside schools.

Campaign Results: 

  • 46 motorists were reported for speeding
  • Eight motorists were given a recorded warning for speeding
  • 34 motorists were given the option to engage with the school children during the Speed Indication Display Operation. This was the alternative to being reported for the offence.
  • Four motorists were found not to be wearing a seat belt.
  • Five motorists were advised around placing mobile data devices in windscreens of vehicle that were affecting visibility.
  • Eight motorists were dealt with positively for not clearing their windscreens from ice.

Segways and Hoverboards: The Law
22/1/16

Personal transporters, such as the Segway Personal Transporter are powered by electricity and transport a passenger standing on a platform propelled on two or more wheels. They are capable of speeds up to 12 mph.

Under current legislation, the Department for Transport considers Segway Personal Transporters as motor vehicles, subject to road traffic laws. Hoverboards are in essence a Segway without the central column and handle. As they are considered motor vehicles, those riding them will be subject to Road Traffic Law.

So that you can stay safe and legal, please take a look at the factsheet below created by the Dyfed Powys Neighbourhood Development Hub. School Community Police Officer Teams will be distributing the factsheet to all schools and educational establishments in Wales.

Adobe PDF document Segways and Hoverboards: The Law

Adobe PDF documentSegway a Byrddau Hofran: Y Gyfraith


RoSPA Advice For Driving In Snow Or Ice
20/1/16

driving in ice and snowIf you find yourself driving in snow or on icy or snow covered roads, adapt your driving to the conditions:

  • Reduce your speed. The chances of skidding are much greater and your stopping distance will increase massively.
  • Only travel at a speed at which you can stop within the distance you can see to be clear. Speed limits are the maximum in ideal conditions; in difficult conditions, they can often be too fast.
  • Avoid harsh braking and acceleration, or sharp steering.
  • Always reduce your speed smoothly and in plenty of time on slippery surfaces.
  • Slow down in plenty of time before bends and corners.
  • Braking on an icy or snow covered bend is extremely dangerous. The centrifugal force will continue to pull you outwards and the wheels will not grip very well. This could cause your vehicle to spin.
  • To brake on ice and snow without locking your wheels, get into a low gear earlier than normal, allow your speed to fall and use your brakes gently.
  • Increase the gap between you and the vehicle in front. You may need up to TEN TIMES the normal distance for braking.
  • Keep your vehicle well-ventilated. The car heater turned up fully can quickly make you drowsy.
  • In snow, stop frequently to clean the windows, wheel arches, lights and number plates.
  • Visibility will probably be reduced, so use dipped headlights.
  • During wintry weather, road surfaces are often wet and/or covered in frost and ice or snow. But this does not occur uniformly. A road will often have isolated patches of frost or ice after most of the road has thawed – this commonly occurs under bridges, in shaded areas and on exposed bridges.
  • Be aware of ice even on gritted roads, although the road has been treated the road is unlikely to be wholly free of ice.

New Northern Ireland Law To Improve Standards For Young Drivers Welcomed
19/01/2016

Young DriverThe Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has hailed a new law passed in Northern Ireland that will help young drivers to be safer on the country’s roads.

The family safety charity has welcomed the Road Traffic (Amendment) Bill, which will come into force in 2018 and includes tougher drink-drive limits, a minimum six-month learning period, night-time restrictions on young drivers carrying passengers, and will enable learners to drive on the motorway.

It has long been recognised that alcohol impairs a driver’s ability and the bill will provide for two new lower drink-driving limits – 50mg/100ml for all drivers (as is the case now in Scotland) and 20mg/100ml for novice and professional drivers.

RoSPA has been calling for the introduction of measures across the UK to gradually introduce young people to the challenges of driving on today’s roads and help them to deal with the dangers.

Drivers aged between 17 and 25 account for about one in five road deaths (25 per cent) in Great Britain, while accounting for just  8 per cent per cent of licence holders – a statistic that needs addressing if the roads are to be made safer.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety for RoSPA, said: “Young drivers are more likely to be involved in road accidents than experienced drivers, and yet they drive fewer miles.

“We commend the Government in Northern Ireland for taking this important step in trying to save lives on the road, and we would like to see similar measures introduced across the UK. There is scope to reduce, significantly, the number of casualties caused by new and inexperienced drivers.”

Last year RoSPA, backed by an alliance of other influencers, charities and organisations, wrote to ministers to request a Green Paper on young drivers, which would include potentially life-saving options such as graduated driver licensing (a phased driving experience for young drivers), and telematics (or black box technology).

The charity believes the production of a robust consultation document would be a significant development in the drive to cut the number of crashes involving young drivers.


Preparing for Winter Driving - Driving in Heavy Rain
6/1/16

dYFED pOWYS pOLICE Inspector Gary Jones of Dyfed Powys Police shares his Winter Driving tips - We have all experienced heavy rainfall over the last few weeks, which is expected to continue for the rest of this week. Please see following advice:

Driving in Heavy Rain can be hazardous. 

Before setting off:

  • Consider whether your journey is essential. If not, can it be delayed until after the rain has subsided?
  • Plan your journey in advance, taking care to avoid areas which are prone to flooding, and factoring in extra time to allow for slower speeds and potential congestion
  • Let relatives and friends know your intended route and expected time of arrival and where possible, travel with others
  • Check that your windscreen wiper blades are fully functional. If both front and back blades are not up to scratch, get them replaced
  • Make sure you fill up. Using your lights and heaters and being caught in traffic use more fuel than driving in normal conditions
  • Carry a mobile phone in case you encounter any difficulties during your journey

On the road:

  • Use dipped headlights so that other drivers can see you more easily
  • Don’t use rear fog lights. They can mask your brake lights and dazzle drivers behind you
  • Reduce your speed and leave more space between you and the vehicle in front to account for greater stopping distances – you will need TWICE your normal braking distance
  • Look out for large or fast-moving vehicles creating spray which reduces visibility
  • Listen out for local news bulletins to keep up-to-date with road closures, flooding and forecasts
  • If you break down in torrential rain keep the bonnet closed while waiting for help to arrive, to avoid the electrical system getting soaked
  • Driving too fast through standing water could lead to tyres losing contact with the road.  If your steering suddenly feels light you could be aquaplaning. To regain grip, ease off the accelerator, do not brake and allow your speed to reduce until you gain full control of the steering again
  • Driving fast through deep water can cause serious and expensive damage
  • Be considerate to other road users and try not to spray pedestrians and cyclists as you drive through water

Be Bright at Night; Be Seen, Be Safe
22/12/15

Child Wearing Hi Viz itemsMembers of Road Safety Wales are reminding pedestrians, runners and cyclists that being easily seen by drivers is especially important at this time of year.

Although the UK has one of the best road safety records in the world,* sadly 249 pedestrians and 138 cyclists were killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads in 2014**.  Everyone needs to play their part in keeping themselves and others safe.

With the fashion for black and dark clothes, it can be difficult to buy a coat that is light in colour, but simple things such as carrying a white carrier bag could make all the difference to your visibility.  If you prefer your safety equipment a little more high tech then it is possible to buy flashing light armbands, bag accessories and children’s shoes. 

Mobile phones and other electronic devices can be a dangerous distraction for all road users, however, a mobile phone has a built in safety device that you may not have considered.  Carrying your phone so that the lit screen can be seen by oncoming drivers, is an easy way of helping motorists spot you in the dark, particularly in rural or poorly lit areas. 

Of course, wearing or carrying fluorescent materials during the day and reflective materials at night are an option too, and many retailers now sell these items quite cheaply.

With the advent of new technology comes bicycle lights that are cheap to buy, and brighter than ever, and many cycling accessories come with inbuilt reflective strips that react to car headlights.  The Highway Code is clear that if you are riding a bicycle at night you must have a white front and red rear light lit.  Your bike must also have a red rear reflector, and amber pedal reflectors.  White front reflectors and spoke reflectors will also help you to be seen.

Drivers too need to play their part by reading the road ahead and anticipating potential hazards.  Drive at a speed that allows you to stop in the distance you can see to be clear, and give cyclists and, where there is no footpath, pedestrians plenty of space when overtaking.

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales, said “All road users have a right to use the road, but they also have the responsibility of sharing the road space safely.  Making sure you can be seen by other road users makes sense, and is essential at this time of year, when light levels are poor and weather conditions can change visibility in seconds.”


All Wales Young Adult Campaign
22/12/15

PoliceThe four Welsh Forces in collaboration with Road Safety Wales partners have carried out an enforcement and engagement campaign aimed at young adult drivers and passengers.

The aim of the campaign is to highlight the driving risks to young adults under the Fatal 5 banner, such as driving whilst impaired and using mobile phones behind the wheel. Passengers were also asked to look at their own behaviour within a vehicle environment – from peer pressure and distraction to thinking about whether they should get into a car with a driver who is impaired.

During the campaign, over 300 young adults came to the attention of the police with 193 drivers found to have committed offences (including speeding, anti-social driving/riding and use of mobile phones) with 68 given verbal warnings.

A total of 40 passengers aged 16 to 24 were dealt with by the police. Some were found to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracting the driver or not wearing their seatbelt.

The majority of drivers and passengers dealt with were male and over 80 per cent of the young adults were aged from 21 to 24.

Speaking on behalf of the Welsh forces, Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, and All Wales lead on Roads Policing Carl Langley, said: “Our focus in Wales is to reduce casualties on our roads and in particular those in high risk groups such as young adults, whether they are driving or travelling as a passenger with a young adult.

“Our campaign employed a balanced mix of education and engagement along with enforcement where necessary. We supported the Deadly Mates and Fatal 4law initiatives and reinforced those messages during the campaign period.”

Chair of Road Safety Wales, Susan Storch, said: “Young people are at a higher risk of being involved in a collision in their first year of driving. One of the main reasons is a lack of driving experience. Another is their attitude and perception of risk. In particular young male drivers are more likely to take risks on the road and hence are more likely to commit driving offences.

“All our partners in Wales are working together on young adult education initiatives such as the heavily subsidised Pass Plus Cymru. This scheme aims to enhance a young driver’s skill level by building on their knowledge and hazard awareness to reduce the risk of them being involved in a collision.”

If you have information relating to someone you think is driving unsafely or illegally please contact Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.

Notes:

Young drivers are more likely to be involved in:

  • high speed crashes
  • crashes caused by losing control of the vehicle
  • crashes in the dark
  • crashes when overtaking and negotiating bends.

New Measures To Help Learner Drivers And Punish Dangerous Drivers
21/12/15

The Department for Transport today (21 December 2015) unveiled a raft of measures to improve the safety of Britain’s roads. The proposals will ensure learner drivers are properly prepared before their test, including the chance to gain motorway experience with an approved driving instructor. This follows plans announced last month to introduce a deposit which is returned to the learner driver if they pass, encouraging them to take their test when they are ready.

Other measures to take priority in the government’s plan for road safety include funding to train the next generation of cyclists and extra money for police forces to crack down on drug drivers.

The plan outlines how the Government is delivering on its commitment to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads during this Parliament.

The main proposals announced today are:

  • learner drivers will for the first time be offered the opportunity to drive on motorways
  • the proposals would see learners allowed to take a motorway driving lesson with an approved driving instructor in a dual controlled car - this is designed to make drivers safer once they have passed their test
  • police forces across the country will be able to remove more dangerous drivers from UK roads, thanks to new Government funding
  • £750,000 grant for police forces in England and Wales will fund more officers with drug recognition and impairment testing skills to enable more effective and targeted enforcement
  • a grant of £50 million over the next 4 years will support Bikeability cycle training in schools
  • this funding will help to increase children’s road awareness, encouraging children to be healthy and active
    since its inception, more than 1.5 million school children have received training through the Bikeability scheme - we expect to train 275,000 children during 2015/16
  • the government will consult on changes to improve cycle safety to ensure sideguards are not removed from HGVs but remain permanently fitted
  • the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for learner motorcyclists will be strengthened and there will be a consultation on a range of further proposals to support safer motorcycling
  • a £2 million in-depth research programme will be launched to identify the best possible driver education, training and behaviour-change interventions for learner and novice drivers
  • motorists who endanger lives by using hand held mobile phones while driving will face an increase from the current 3 penalty points to 4, while the fixed penalty notice will rise from £100 to £150
  • for larger vehicles such as HGVs where the consequences of an accident can be much more severe, the penalty will increase from the current 3 points to 6 and the fixed penalty notice will rise from £100 to £150

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said:
Britain has some of the safest roads in the world but we are always looking to improve that record. Today we are delivering common sense proposals that balance tougher penalties for dangerous drivers with practical steps to help youngsters and other more vulnerable groups stay safe on our roads.


Driving for Work: Drink and Drugs
8/12/15

To coincide with the Anti Drink/Drug Driving Campaign that launched on 1st December, RoSPA Wales have produced their second ‘Driving for Work’ factsheet which this time focuses on drink and drug driving.

Driving for Work: Drink and DrugsAs the festive season approaches, and with the inevitable increase of office parties as well as family celebrations, there is a need to remind people of the dangers of drinking or taking drugs and then driving – including the morning after.

In 2014 there were 3015 convictions in Welsh Courts for drink/drug driving. With a minimum 12 month driving ban, an unlimited fine, and a criminal record this could have a significant effect on employees as well the companies they work for. Driving while unfit through drugs, whether illegal, prescribed or over-the-counter medicines, is an offence that carries the same penalties as drink driving.  The Police can, and do, conduct roadside tests to help them assess whether a driver may be impaired.

On the factsheet, a list of some of the prescription drugs that could cause issues to someone who drives as part of their job have also been included. It’s illegal in England and Wales for someone to drive with legal drugs in their body if it impairs their driving.  The advice is to check with a doctor if you have been prescribed any medication that may affect your ability to drive.

Copies of the ‘Driving for Work: Drink and Drugs’ factsheet are available from rpimm@rospa.com, along with ‘Driving for Work: Mobile Phones’.


Gwent Police Drink/Drug Driving Warning As They Launch Wales-Wide Campaign
25/11/15

The month-long winter campaign, launched in Cwmbran today, will start on December 1 and will see an increase in the number of roadside breath tests.

ACC Julian WilliamsLast year in Wales a total of 30,718 people were tested as part of the campaign with 488 returning either positive results or refusing to take the breath test.

Gwent Police are leading this year’s campaign with all four Welsh police forces taking part.

Assistant Chief Constable for Gwent Police, Julian Williams, said “anyone who tests positive for drink or drug driving will be arrested.

ACC Williams said: “1.5 per cent of people tested positively when breath tested last year.  “It doesn’t seem a huge figure but it can inflict massive damage, not only on their own lives but on the communities they live in.

“We have a significant amount of officers who will be targeting people who drink and drug drive.

“If there’s 1,000 people a day being breath tested in Wales, I wouldn’t want to be drinking and driving because it’s likely they will get caught.”

ACC Williams added: “Christmas and New Year are a time for enjoyment and social events, and whilst I would encourage everyone to have a good time, it is important to reiterate our key message; if you drink, don’t drive and if you drive, don’t drink – it’s that simple!

“The smallest amount of alcohol can affect your ability to drive safely, so the only safe option is to not drink at all.

“It is also important to remember that if you have a drink in the evening you can still be over the limit the following morning, we will be conducting roadside breath tests 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

At the campaign launch, young people from around Wales were presented with prizes for their competition entries aimed at raising awareness of drink driving.

Road Safety Wales Chairwoman Susan Storch said: “Drivers need to be aware that regardless of the time of day they are caught, whether they are going to work or taking children to school, they will face the same penalties as someone who has chosen to drink heavily in a pub and driven at night. Our message is clear, never drive under the influence of drink or drugs, even the morning after.”


Number of Drivers in Court Over Motoring Offences Increases
23/11/15

The number of drivers prosecuted for motoring offences by magistrates grew by 8% last year, figures have shown.

Police CarAlmost 54,500 cases were dealt with in 2014, up from about 50,500 in 2013, according to Welsh government numbers.

However, the latest annual figures of fixed penalty notices issued in Wales - 77,000 - dropped by 17%.

The annual report showed men accounted for 68% of the motorists involved in court proceedings in 2014, about the same as 2013.

There were 5,800 positive breath tests across Wales in 2013, a 26.5% drop on the 7,900 recorded the year before, despite there being only 7.5% fewer overall tests.

Last month, figures showed a steep fall in the number of motorists caught using their phone while behind the wheel.


Have you got a CRASH Card?
20/11/15

Motorcylists are being urged to carry cards which contain potentially life-saving information in the event of an incident.

Crash cardAt 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 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.

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.”


South West Wales RoADAR - Gold!
18/11/15
roadar logo

With their own, and the safety of other road-users in mind, 12 motorcyclists from South West Wales ROADAR have recently achieved Gold standard passes for the RoSPA Advanced Motorcycle test – the highest civilian qualification of its kind obtainable in Europe. This is an exceptional contribution to the region's road-safety record and one that all road-users benefit from.

Unfortunately, the Welsh nation is no stranger to desperately sad news stories of deaths and injuries sustained by motorcyclists whilst enjoying our outstanding countryside. Wales continues to be a ‘destination’ region for motorcycling, contributing enormously to our tourist economy - but the statistics surrounding this recreational activity are sometimes devastating.

Through their voluntary efforts, South West Wales RoADAR group is seeking to address this situation by putting on the roads motorcyclists with exceptionally high safety-awareness and advanced handling skills. Riders from all walks of life – from aid worker to an accountant, are taking up the challenge of the test. Once a pass is gained, all riders are then re-tested every three years to ensure standards are being maintained.
The test evaluates the highest possible level of handling and safety skills that a civilian rider can achieve – all under the scrutiny of serving or ex class 1 police riders. It is truly exceptional to have such a high number of Gold awards, all achieved through the hard work of South West Wales RoADAR group.

The Chairman of South West Wales RoADAR, Adrian Sage Davies, comments “This is a significant contribution to road safety in our region – not just for those who have passed their Advanced RoSPA test, but to other road-users too. By training motorcyclists in the advanced techniques required to ride so skilfully and safely, we are delighted to be making an exceptional difference to the safety of our roads in Wales and further afield.”
The group, which also represents car drivers, who have an equal achievement record, is encouraging new members to come along and take up free training for this demanding, yet achievable qualification.

For further information, please contact:
South West Wales RoADAR Publicity Officer
Liz Childerley Email: liz.childerley@gmail.com
www.southwestwalesroadar.org.uk


Child Car Seat Recall: Check Your Car Seat Today
16/11/15

Argos has issued a product recall for three Fisher Price child car seats, due to safety concerns. The car seats have safety restraints that don't fully meet test requirements and could compromise a child's safety, in the event of an accident.

Parents should stop using these three child car seats and return them to Argos for either a replacement or refund. 

Three Fisher Price child car seats recalled

The safety notice affects three child car seats sold from July 24 2015:

  • Fisher Price Group 0-1 car seat - Argos catalogue number 414/9314
  • Fisher Price Group 1 car seat - Argos catalogue number 413/4082
  • Fisher Price Group 123 car seat - Argos catalogue number 390/9720

What to do if you own one of the Fisher Price car seats

If you own one of these car seats, or know someone who does, the advice from Argos is to stop using it immediately. You can return the car seat to an Argos store for a replacement or full refund.  Argos has also set up a free helpline which you can call with any queries - 0345 600 5388.

More information on Child Car Seats

Which? have a series of child car seat reviews as well as Best Buys and Don't Buys.

You could also visit http://www.childcarseats.org.uk/ which will help you to:

  • Understand the different types of child car seats
  • Choose the most suitable child car seats for your children
  • Ensure your child seats are fitted correctly in your car
  • Comply with the law on how children should be carried in cars
  • Understand how to carry other people's children safely

Eighth Community Speed Watch Scheme in Gwent
2/11/15

The eighth community speedwatch scheme to educate speeding drivers has been set up in Gwent.

30mph signThe scheme, which trains volunteers to monitor passing vehicles which are driving above the speed limit, was first launched in Llanfair Kilgeddin, near Abergavenny in June of last year, and started in Little Mill/Monkswood on Friday.

There are already schemes running in Llandogo, Tintern, Usk, Abergavenny, Peterstone and Itton. Other parts of Gwent including St Arvans, Rudry, Llangym and Magor are due to set up their schemes shortly.

The community-led initiative aims to educate drivers about the dangers of speeding while addressing concerns of local residents about cars speeding through their neighbourhoods.

It operates on roads with speed limits of 40mph or below. The team of residents who have signed up have been trained to monitor passing vehicles that are driving above the speed limit.

They work alongside Gwent Police officers or community support officers.

If a vehicle is seen breaking the speed limit, the registration number will be taken down and verified by the volunteers. The details are then entered onto a database from which a letter is automatically produced informing the registered owner that their vehicle has been noted to have exceeded the speed limit, the dangers of doing so, and the consequences if they’re found speeding again.

While no prosecutions or penalties are received as a direct result of speed watch, if the same registration number is logged three times, more formal action may be taken.

Volunteers are provided with high visibility jackets, roadside signs and receive specialist training to use the equipment and record details of offending vehicles. To find out more email: emily.godsell@gwent.pnn.police.uk



Public: We Want Road Safety Attitudes To Improve

29/10/15

The people of Dyfed-Powys want road users to improve their attitudes towards safety. They have told Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon that the outlook of individuals on issues such as speed, drink, mobile phones and seatbelts needs to get better.

He will use their views as he rolls out a new £335,000 road safety programme. In the first six months of this year more than 600 people were killed or injured on Dyfed-Powys’s roads.

Mr Salmon said: “To save lives and reduce the number of injuries, we need to educate all types of road user; the public say attitudes towards safety must get better.

“Too many people die or are seriously hurt on our roads; I want to change that.”

The public views came in a survey which Mr Salmon ran this summer. More than 800 people answered a total of around 10,000 questions on subjects including road safety. Results suggest a preference for activity around the region to improve attitudes (68%). Fewer people (32%) wanted a focus on road skills training.

The public’s most preferred methods to receive news of road safety activity included the local media (31%), social media (27%) and email newsletters (21%).

Mr Salmon said: “I and Dyfed-Powys Police continue to work hard to preserve life but the public also have a great role to play in keeping all of us safe. “I ask drivers, bikers and cyclists to consider the importance of road safety. The people best able to affect the safety of road users – weather and road surface included – are road users themselves. One death is one too many – I urge caution and care by all.”

Mr Salmon is considering bids from groups eager to put his £335,000 Road to Safety fund to good use. He said: “I’ve had some great ideas on keeping road users safe across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. I must now choose the best. My Road to Safety scheme will improve the lives of our communities by reducing the number of road casualties.”

The successful bidder and an outline of their Road to Safety initiative is due to be announced before the New Year.


Tackling Anti-Social Driving in Ruthin
26/10/15

North Wales Police officers in Ruthin have joined forces with their colleagues in Roads Policing to undertake an operation tackling anti-social driving in the town.

Police CarPutting the brakes on bad and anti-social driving as well as ensuring that vehicles stopped are fit for the road are the aims of the operation. It got underway a few weeks ago as a direct result of concerns that had been raised by local residents.

“The operation will continue as  long as the issue persists,” confirmed local Sergeant Dave Nickels. “Dangerous and careless driving will not be tolerated and those found braking the law face not only prosecution but also could have their vehicles seized.”

To date several vehicles have been seized due to the manner of driving and a number of owners received advice regarding the construction and use offences following an examination of their cars.

Sgt Nickels added: “All drivers, including young drivers are urged to drive safely, sensibly and to show consideration for all road users and pedestrians.

“We urge anyone who witnesses anti-social driving to please get in touch with their local officers or by calling us on 101.”

Anyone who witnesses anti-social driving, or anybody who has concerns should contact North Wales Police on 101. Alternatively contact can also be made via the live web chat service:
/contact/chat-support.aspx



571 Caught Using Their Mobile Phone Whilst Driving
27/10/15Driver using a mobile phone

571 motorists were caught using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel during the 2015 All-Wales Anti-Mobile Phone While Driving Campaign.

The enforcement campaign, which ran between September 24 and October 7, involved road safety partners and urged all road users to ‘keep their eyes on the road’ and not be distracted by answering their mobile phone, reading a text or going online.

Studies show that drivers using a hands-free or handheld mobile phone are slower at recognising and reacting to hazards.

Led by Dyfed Powys Police, officers from all four Welsh police forces and GoSafe carried out proactive patrols to target motorists who endangered other road users through this behaviour and educated drivers on the penalties they faced if caught.
During the campaign, officers detected a total of 571 mobile phone driving offences throughout Wales and issued 177 warnings.
Dyfed-Powys Police caught and dealt with 388 offenders, in the Gwent area a total of 67 were caught, North Wales Police caught 59, and in South Wales Police 57 law breakers were dealt with.

Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police and NPCC All Wales lead on Roads Policing, Carl Langley said: “Although fewer motorists were caught in this year’s campaign, it remains a serious concern that so many drivers choose to risk becoming involved in a serious or fatal collision due to using a mobile phone whilst driving. Our warning is clear, even the most experienced or competent of drivers can be easily distracted and a slight lapse in concentration can have devastating consequences.
“Taking such a risk is totally unacceptable, and this is why officers from all four Welsh forces will continue to carry out proactive patrols to target motorists who endanger themselves and other road users. No call, text, app, or email is that important – they must all wait until you’ve stopped driving.”
Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales added: "Driving while using a mobile phone is not only illegal but dangerous. It doesn’t just put your own life at risk but also the lives of your passengers and other road users who may not have a say in your actions behind the wheel.

"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 no call or text is that important."

During the campaign officers also detected 200 other offences whilst carrying out checks – they includedoffences known to contribute to fatal and serious collisions, such as drink and drug driving, speed, not wearing a seat belt, carelessness, no insurance, drugs and construction and use offences.

Notes:
During the 2014 campaign officers detected a total of 914 mobile phone driving offences throughout Wales.
Dyfed-Powys Police issued 447 fixed penalty notices, Gwent Police issued 72 notices, North Wales Police issued 53 TOR’s (Traffic Offence Reports) while in the South Wales area 342 offenders were apprehended.

You can get a fixed penalty notice if you’re caught, resulting in a £100 fine and 3 points on your licence. Be aware that if you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500.

Advice:
· Don't make or answer calls when you're driving
All phone calls distract drivers' attention from the road. 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

· It's illegal to use a hand-held mobile when driving on the road even if you've stopped at traffic lights or are stuck in a traffic jam or are in a car park
All these situations are covered by the legal definition of 'driving on the road'.

· Park safely before using your mobile phone
Do not park on the hard shoulder of the motorway.

· Don't call other people when they're driving
If you call someone and they tell you they are driving, ask them to call you back when they have parked up safely.

Further information regarding the Go Safe partnership is available via their website www.gosafe.org


Be Bright Be Seen This Autumn
16/10/15

Be Bright, Be Seen stickers With the clocks going back later this month and daylight hours growing shorter North Wales Police would like to remind road users to take extra care and remain vigilant when out and about at night.

The arrival of autumn often means foggy weather, strong winds and stormy conditions. These, with the darker mornings and evenings, increase the risk of collisions taking place. Children, pedestrians and cyclists become even more vulnerable as they are less visible to motorists.

Inspector Martin Best from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “With the clocks going back at the end of the month and with it getting darker earlier on, it is more important than ever to make sure you can be seen when you’re out and about near roads. Motorists should drive considerately and reduce their speed to meet the traffic and weather conditions. Lights need to be in good working order and used when visibility is poor during the daytime. However be careful that headlights don’t dazzle other road users.

“By ensuring vehicles are in good working order, slowing down if it's wet or foggy, and considering other motorists, pedestrians and cyclists drivers can make a real difference in helping to reduce road casualties.

“Cyclists also need to take responsibility and ensure they are visible by wearing fluorescent and reflective clothing. Parents are also asked to ensure their children can be seen, again by wearing fluorescent and reflective clothing whilst walking to and home from school. It only takes a lapse in concentration to become involved in a collision, so taking a few extra precautions could make all the difference.”

Here are some top tips for road users:

Drivers 

  • Make sure all lights are clean, working and adjusted properly
  • Ensure the windscreen is clean inside and out
  • Use headlights whenever visibility is reduced – for example, at early mornings and at dusk, when it's raining or in any gloomy conditions. It'll help others to see you
  • Don't dazzle others with your main beam
  • Reduce your speed. You should be able to stop within the distance you can see
  • Check the condition of wipers and washers
  • Have your brakes and tyres looked at – on wet roads it’s even more vital that brakes are working efficiently and tyre treads are legal
  • If your vehicle breaks down, pull off the road as far as possible and switch on the hazard warning lights
  • Consider fitting winter tyres during cold weather
  • Take extra care to look out for cyclists as they turn at junctions

Cyclists

  • Bicycles should be equipped with good lights. It is an offence to cycle at night without a white front light, a red back light and a red reflector at the back
  • You should put the lights where they can be easily seen, not hidden behind saddles or framework
  • It is a good idea to carry spare batteries and bulbs with you in case they run out when cycling along
  • If you see other vehicles using their lights, use yours.
  • Take extra care to be seen – bright or fluorescent clothing shows up best in the daytime and reflective clothing is best at night.
  • Watch out for car drivers. Remember, there are fewer cyclists on the roads in winter, so drivers may be less aware
  • Traffic isn't the only hazard at night. Watch out for uneven surfaces and potholes, animals, pedestrians in dark clothing and other cyclists without lights. Look for them carefully and give them a wide berth when you see them
  • Make sure your reflectors are clean at all times
  • You can also make your bike more visible by adding spoke reflectors

Pedestrians

  • Make sure you can be easily seen at all times, but especially at night, on dark days and in bad weather
  • Bright or fluorescent clothes show up best by day, especially in dull or misty weather
  • By night, reflective material is best and shows up in car headlights – fluorescent clothing doesn't work after dark
  • Reflective tape can be put on clothing, school bags and equipment
  • Cross the road at the safest place possible for example, zebra, pelican, puffin and patrolled crossings
  • Use the Green Cross Code: Stop, Look, Listen, Live
  • If you are out at night, choose routes that are well-lit by streetlights and cross at well-lit places

Useful advice for parents can be found on the Tales of the Road website


Drivers Who Obstruct Yellow Boxes in Cardiff Will Be Fined
14/10/15

From Monday 12 October, drivers who stop on a yellow box junction and obstruct traffic in Cardiff are to be fined, as part of the city’s Moving Traffic Offences Scheme. The City of Cardiff Council has being issuing warning notices to drivers over the past week who have offended but fines will now be sent out for all captured offences.

The Council is the first local authority in the UK, outside London to enforce yellow box junctions using innovative technology, which allows offences to be issued retrospectively via CCTV. This new technology increases efficiency, as staff do not have to watch live footage to enforce the scheme. This is the next phase of the Moving Traffic Offences Scheme. The Council is already fining drivers for illegal use of bus lanes.

The enforcement of yellow box junctions will take place in a number of phases, with cameras currently in place in Customhouse Street, Bute Terrace and Bute Street Junction. Other junctions are being monitored and more cameras will be placed in other areas of the city centre. The Moving Traffic Offences Scheme has been designed and put in place to change drivers’ behaviour and to crucially keep Cardiff moving in the city.

Cllr Ramesh Patel, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “Our priority is to increase the use of public transport and to keep Cardiff moving by stopping obstructions to other traffic. We are not being secretive about where and when the enforcement will take place. This isn’t our intention, we want to change drivers’ behaviour.

“I am sure many people share my view on just how frustrating it is when a driver stops on a yellow box junction, creating an obstruction to other road users. There is simply no need for this and we ask all drivers, if you don’t think you can drive to the other side of the yellow box -please don’t. Think of other road users and wait until you are able to do so. At the end of the day all we are asking is that you are considerate of your fellow motorists, we will all benefit in the end if our roads are clearer and traffic flows smoothly.”


Driving for Work: Mobile Phones
1/10/15

Research shows that using a hand-held or hands-free mobile phone while driving is a significant distraction, and substantially increases the risk of the driver being involved in a collision. High mileage and company car drivers are more likely than most to use a mobile phone while driving.

Driving for Work: Mobile PhonesAs a result of this, RoSPA Wales have produced their first in a series of ‘Driving for Work’ factsheets to help employers manage the risk for staff who use the roads as part of their job.  This first edition focuses on the dangers and consequences of driving while using a mobile phone.

You are four times more likely to crash, injuring or killing yourself and/or other people, if you use a mobile phone while driving, whatever you’re doing with it.

Many company vehicles now have Bluetooth or hands-free kits installed, but using a hands-free phone while driving does not significantly reduce the risks because the issues are caused mainly by the mental distraction and divided attention of having a phone conversation at the same time as driving.

On the factsheet, it outlines how a driver can be affected, along with the possible consequences and penalties if they get prosecuted.

Copies of the ‘Driving for Work: Mobile Phones’ factsheet are available from rpimm@rospa.com and future issues will be distributed when they become available.


Police Launch Campaign Targeting Motorists Who Use Phones Whilst Driving
24/9/15

Mobile Phone when drivingThe four police forces in Wales, led by Dyfed-Powys Police and in partnership with Road Safety Wales, are launching a major crackdown on motorists who use mobile phones whilst driving. The All Wales enforcement campaign will run from Thursday September 24 to Wednesday October 7, and is urging all road users to ‘keep their eyes on the road’ and not be distracted by answering their mobile phone, reading a text or going online.

Police patrols will increase across Wales for the duration of the enforcement campaign, to draw drivers attention to not only the risks posed by being distracted by mobile phones while in control of a vehicle, but the serious penalties which they will face if they are caught.

Nationally, the numbers of motorists using mobile phones to make calls, texts or social media updates whilst driving has risen and distracted driving is expected to be the biggest single cause of death and injuries on roads as a result in 2015. In Wales more than 900 motorists were caught using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel during the 2014 campaign.

Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police and NPCC All Wales lead on Roads Policing, Carl Langley said: “Even the most experienced or competent of drivers can be easily distracted and a slight lapse in concentration can have serious consequences. 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 whilst driving.

“With the increased use of smart phones we are also seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty. Far too many tragedies on our roads are avoidable – our message is simple, keep your eyes on the road. You can pick up any missed calls or texts when it is safe and convenient to do so, but not whilst you are driving. A lapse in concentration when driving can be devastating to road users and pedestrians, and this is why officers from all four Welsh forces will be carrying out proactive patrols to target motorists who endanger road users in this way.”

Chair of Road Safety Wales Susan Storch said: “Driving a vehicle requires us to multi-task so anything above and beyond needs to wait until we are safely parked up or until our journey has finished."

"Campaigns such as this demonstrate 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 of not using your mobile phone behind the wheel. No call or text is that important."

Notes:
During the 2014 campaign officers detected a total of 914 mobile phone driving offences throughout Wales.
Dyfed-Powys Police issued 447 fixed penalty notices, Gwent Police issued 72 notices, North Wales Police issued 53 TOR’s (Traffic Offence Reports) while in the South Wales area 342 offenders were apprehended.

You can get a fixed penalty notice if you’re caught, resulting in a £100 fine and 3 points on your licence. Be aware that if you get just 6 points in the first two years after passing your test, you will lose your licence.
Your case could also go to court and you could be disqualified from driving or riding and get a maximum fine of £1,000. Drivers of buses or goods vehicles could get a maximum fine of £2,500.

Advice:

  • Don't make or answer calls when you're driving
    All phone calls distract drivers' attention from the road. 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.
  • It's illegal to use a hand-held mobile when driving on the road even if you've stopped at traffic lights or are stuck in a traffic jam or are in a car park
    All these situations are covered by the legal definition of 'driving on the road'.
  • Park safely before using your mobile phone
    Do not park on the hard shoulder of the motorway.
  • Don't call other people when they're driving
    If you call someone and they tell you they are driving, ask them to call you back when they have parked up safely.

Multimedia Anti Drink/Drug Driving Competition 2015
22/9/15

Competition poster

To promote the anti drink/drug and driving message, youth organisations, schools and colleges are invited to devise, perform and record a live action multimedia presentation that will warn people of the dangers and/or consequences of driving under the influence of drink and/or drugs. With the introduction of a new law relating to drug driving, Road Safety Wales would welcome entries with an anti drug driving theme.

For more information visit https://www.gov.uk/drug-driving-law


Competition guidelines:

1. There should be a maximum of 6 performers.
2. Team members must be aged between 11 and 25.
3. The presentation should be under 3 minutes in length and can use a range of media including any of the following:
• Musical performance
• Drama/Sketch
• Poetry/Oration
• Animation
• Documentary
• Comedy
• Dance

4. The presentation must be filmed and submitted on video or DVD with contact details provided.
5. In addition entries should be accompanied by a single A4 sheet of paper which describes how the team intends to use their entry to raise awareness in their locality of drink/drug driving issues.
6. The presentation will be judged under the following criteria (not in priority):
a. Originality
b. Message
c. Performance
d. Impact
The winning entry for each local authority will then be submitted to the Regional Competition. Winners of the Regional Competition will receive £500 for the school/college/organisation they represent. Nationally, the four Regional winning entries will be invited to receive their prize at the All Wales Anti Drink/Drug Drive Campaign launch on 25 November 2015 (all expenses will be covered).

Judging for the national competition will take place on Monday 2 November 2015.

For more information telephone 02920 250 600 or email ahorton@rospa.com


Drivers Urged to Stop for SCPs
21/09/15

Pembrokeshire County Council is to run a campaign urging drivers to stop for school crossing patrols (SCPs) following increasing concerns that some motorists are not doing so.

Since November 2014, when a SCP in Fishguard was struck by a car, council Stop means Stop officers have been monitoring near misses and have logged numerous incidents of vehicles failing to stop for the patrols, with a number of these incidents reported to the police.

Now the council’s road safety team is running a Stop Means Stop campaign for the month of October.

Councillor Rob Lewis, cabinet member for transportation, said: “We have SCPs for a reason. They are there to ensure the safety of our children when they go to and from school. I cannot understand how some drivers are prepared to flout the law and ignore them.

“They face not just fines and a points on their license but possibly the injury of someone, or even worse, on their conscience.”

Under the Road Traffic Act 1988, drivers are legally obliged to obey the school crossing patrol sign.

The law states that as soon as a patrol raises their sign, even if they have not stepped into the road, drivers must be prepared to stop and wait until the SCP and any accompanying children and/or adults have cleared the road.

Anyone found guilty of not stopping faces prosecution and could receive a fine of up to £1,000 and three penalty points on their license.


Child Car Seat Checks Results Revealed
15/9/15

48 child car seats needed an adjustment after being checked by Powys County Council, it has been revealed.

Car Seat Fitting65 checks were carried out by officers from the council’s Road Safety Unit during a week of Car Seat Clinics around the county at the beginning of September.  The checks were carried out in Newtown, Brecon, Welshpool and Llandrindod Wells.

Road Safety Officers checked the fit and suitability of the child car seats and found that only 9 of the seats did not need any adjustment.  In addition to the 48 seats that needed a minor or major adjustment, officers recommended that 8 seats were not used as they did not meet current regulations or safety checks. 

A common fault included the headrest interfering with the child car seat, where there should be no contact.  When fitting a rearward facing baby seat, check the position of the carry handle – there should be a picture on the side of the seat.  The handle will normally, but not always, need to be in the upright position or towards the baby’s feet. 

There should also be a gap between the baby seat and the seat in front and finally, the harness straps should be tight enough that you can just slip two fingers flat between your child’s body and their collar bones, ensuring there are no twists in the straps.

Powys Road Safety Officers are trained to give advice on the fit and suitability of a child car seat and are available to conduct checks throughout the year.  During the whole of 2014/15, Road Safety Officers checked a total of 289 seats and provided advice to 387 individuals.  Only 75 of the 289 seats ‘passed’, which equates to 26%, however, the officers were able to rectify the problems of the remaining 214 seats.

Sarah Morris, the council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said: “Please do not be afraid of asking for our advice.  We are trained and available to offer advice and show you the correct way to fit your child car seat.

“With so many makes and models of seats available, it can be confusing for parents and carers to know if the seat is correct for the child, the car and also to ensure that it is fitted correctly. We are also urging parents to ensure that everyone responsible for their child knows how to fit their car seat.  We have seen a number of relatives who have said that mum or dad have put the car seat in and that is how it has stayed.”

Cllr John Brunt, Cabinet Member for Road Safety, said “Child car seats need to be fitted correctly in order to protect your child in the event of a collision.  I would recommend that parents contact the Road Safety Unit if they have any concerns about their child’s safety or for a free check, which will only take a few minutes of their time.”

For advice or to arrange an appointment to check your seat, please contact the Road Safety Unit on 01686 611586 for Montgomeryshire or 01597 826637 for Breconshire & Radnorshire, or email road.safety@powys.gov.uk

You can even ask for advice via the Road Safety Unit’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


Part-time 20mph Speed Limits for Welsh Schools
10/9/15Welsh Government Logo

Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, has announced a £4.5m three-year programme to improve safety at more than 40 schools on trunk roads throughout Wales, mostly through the use of part-time 20mph speed limits.

Following a Welsh Government review of safety on walking and cycling routes to schools on Wales’ trunk road network, 56 schools were identified as having potential for road safety improvements. Earlier this year part-time advisory 20mph speed limits were introduced at eight schools, and they are now in the process of being made permanent.

The Minister announced 41 more schools would receive part time 20mph limits, three will get engineering measures to improve safety and four had no measures identified but will now be part of discussions with the local authority about what else can be done to improve safety. The work will be completed over the next three years.

Part time limits work through the use of electronic signs that indicate the 20mph speed limits during school pick-up and drop-off times. Outside of those times the usual speed limits will apply.

Mrs Hart said:

“Evidence shows that 20mph speed limits can improve driver behaviour and reduce speeds around schools. However due to the nature of the trunk road network and some of the long distance journeys undertaken we need to balance the need of the drivers and that is where part-time 20mph speed limits can play a part.

As well as improving safety and saving lives I hope this will enable more children and young people to walk or cycle to school. Where appropriate we have also identified engineering works to encourage active travel to schools. I am committed to improving safety on our trunk road network and for the communities that live nearby.”

The eight schools who already have part time 20mph limits in place are:

Ceredigion
• Ysgol Gynradd Penllwyn
• Ysgol Gynradd Talybont
• Ysgol Gynradd Llanarth

Gwynedd
• Ysgol Y Glanllwyd
• Ysgol Gynradd Bontnewydd
• Ysgol OM Edwards Lanuwchllyn

Powys
• Newbridge on Wye CIW School
• Llanelwedd CIW School

The 41 schools to have part-time 20mph speed limits introduced are:

Carmarthenshire
• Ysgol Gynradd Ty-croes
• Ysgol Rhys Pritchard
• Ysgol Teilo Sant
• Llandeilo C.P. School
• Ysgol Gynradd Parcyrhun
• Llandybie Primary School

Ceredigion
• Ysgol Llanfarian
• Y.G. Rhydypennau
• Penparc C.P. School
• St Padarns R.C.P. School
• Y.G. Llangynfelyn
• Ysgol Gynradd Aberaeron
• Ysgol Gynradd Llannon
• Ysgol Syr John Rhys
• Ysgol Gyfun Penweddig

Conwy
• Ysgol Gynradd Betws y Coed

Denbighshire
• Ysgol Bro Elwern
• Ysgol Brynhyfryd
• Ruthin School - Privately Funded

Gwynedd
• Ysgol Bro Cynfal
• Ysgol Manod
• Ysgol Ieuan Gwynedd

Pembrokeshire
• Holy Name Catholic Primary School
• Ysgol Gynradd Eglwyswrw
• Ysgol Bro Gwaun
• Milford Haven Comprehensive School

Powys
• Banw C.P. School
• Crickhowell C.P. School
• Ysgol Bro Ddyfi
• Ysgol Gynradd Carno
• Llanfair Caereinion C.P. School
• Machynlleth C.P. School
• Buttington / Trewern C.P. School
• Ysgol Glantwymyn
• Irfon Valley C.P. School
• Gungrog C.I.W. Infant School
• Llandrindod Wells C.I.W. School Trefonnen
• Archdeacon Griffiths C.I.W. Primary
• Caereinion High School
• Builth Wells High School
• Crossgates C.P. School

Schools to receive engineering measures to improve safety:

Monmouthshire
• Haberdashers' Agincourt School - Improved crossing point and enhanced verge
• Llanfihangel Crucorney C.P. School - Pedestrian refuge to be provided through Community Safety programme

Pembrokeshire
• Fishguard Primary School - Provision dropped kerbs and waiting restrictions. The school will be covered by full time 20mph speed limit in Fishguard


Motorcyclists in Wales are being encouraged to carry free CRASH Cards which contain potentially life-saving information in the event of an incident.

Launched by Road Safety Wales, the CRASH Cards are being made available from motorcycle dealers and road safety teams throughout Wales. The cards contain space to record information which could be vital to paramedics – including medical history and details of any medication currently being taken. There is also space to list the name and contact number of a next of kin.

CRASH Card - Road Safety WalesThe cards were created by the Ambulance Motorcycle Club (AMC), and are already used in a number of areas in England, Northern Ireland and parts of Wales.

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.

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

Place the green dot on the right hand corner or your visor/helmet to alert emergency responders to your CRASH Card, which can be put in the lining of your helmet.

Contact your local Road Safety Officer to obtain your free CRASH Card, their details can be found here: Road Safety Wales: Contacts


Hanako Moves Up A Gear
25/8/15

A young motorist from Pembrokeshire has steered into a cash prize after taking extra driving tuition.

Pass Plus Cymru Prize Draw 2015Hanako Lander from Clunderwen has won £250 as the latest winner of the Pass Plus Cymru quarterly draw.

The 19 year-old’s name was drawn from a list of hundreds of young Welsh motorists who have recently completed the course aimed at making them better drivers. The post-driving test training programme provides young drivers with further tuition to help them improve their road skills.

Hanako, who works as a chef, said the course had been invaluable. “I learnt much more about road safety than I would have just to pass the driving test,” she said. “I definitely feel a lot safer on the road now and I would recommend it to other young drivers.”

Hanako was presented with her prize cheque at County Hall this week by Councillor Keith Lewis, Deputy Leader and Pembrokeshire County Council’s Road Safety Officer, Kirstie Donoghue.

Councillor Lewis praised Pass Plus Cymru as an important initiative. “Unfortunately young people are over represented in incident statistics across the country,” he said. “By educating newly-qualified drivers to improve their road skills and become more responsible, we hope to reduce the number of incidents they are involved in and save lives.”

Go to www.dragondriver.com to book your course for only £20, or call 0845 050 4255


Dyfed-Powys Police Call for Drivers and Riders to Heed Rules of the Road
24/8/15

Whilst the number of casualties on the roads in Dyfed Powys has fallen over the last few years police officers are reminding drivers and riders to take care when they are on the road and to drive safely and not put themselves or other road users in danger.

Police CarBetween 1st January and 20th August 2015 there have been 22 fatal road traffic collisions which have resulted in 26 fatalities. Unfortunately these figures are very similar for the same period in 2014 when there were 23 fatal road traffic collisions which resulted in 27 fatalities.

The number of fatal casualties can be broken down for each county: Carmarthenshire five, Ceredigion five, Pembrokeshire six and Powys ten.

Supt Huw Meredith, Head of Specialist Operations said, “Every fatal collision is a tragic incident and has a massive impact on the families of the deceased and ruins the lives of those involved. 

“It is likely that these fatal collisions could be prevented if all road users consider the Fatal 5 messages i.e. the 5 actions that are most likely to cause a fatal road traffic collision:
• Whist driving “under the influence” of drink or drugs you could kill or seriously injure yourself or others
• Kill your speed and slow down. You’re twice as likely to kill someone you hit at 35mph than you are at 30mph
• A vehicle can become a lethal weapon when driven carelessly
• Belt up, you’re twice as likely to die if you don’t
• Switch off your mobile phone before you drive off and do not use it when driving.

“Dyfed-Powys Police uses a combination of education and enforcement to try and get road users to understand the impact of their actions. Throughout the year there are numerous road traffic campaigns which will focus on the causation factors of road traffic collisions. These are in addition to routine patrols and adhoc operations that take place.

“In March we took part in the All Wales seatbelt campaign where officers stopped and reported drivers and passengers who were not wearing a seatbelt. Over the two week campaign a total of 724 persons were reported for failing to wear a seatbelt. When you are driving or a passenger in a vehicle on a road, you must wear a seatbelt. If officers see that you are not wearing it they will stop you.

“In April, Dyfed-Powys Police worked in partnership with GoSafe and other police forces throughout the UK and spent a week focussing on targeting people who speed on our roads. A total of 881 drivers were reported for exceeding the speed limit during the week. Our message is clear - people need to drive within the speed limit of the roads. One of the main concerns of people living in our rural communities is the speed of road users driving or riding through their villages.

“Each summer Dyfed-Powys Police take part in the All Wales anti drink and drug campaign. In June this year we stopped 4951 drivers and asked them to take a breathalyser test. In total 127 (2.6%) of the tests administered were either positive or the drivers failed or refused to provide a test. Whilst this number is relatively low, it is still 127 people too many who are getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. There were also 8 persons arrested for driving a vehicle whilst under the influence of controlled drugs or prescribed medication.

“Enforcement is just one part of the work that we do to change the behaviour of road users. We also have a series of campaigns to educate the general public and in particular the groups at highest risk of being involved in a fatal collision namely young people and motorcyclists.

“During the last week of February we visited a number of schools, colleges and universities in our force area to speak to young drivers about their driving skills and the impact driving without care and attention can have on them, those in the vehicle with them and their families should they be involved in a collision. Our officers spoke with nearly 200 people and took enforcement action against 77 drivers and passengers for a variety of offences that included speeding and not having insurance.

“Each year at the Royal Welsh Show we work with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority, Powys County Council, domestic abuse officers and school nurses in the Young Persons Village. This year we spoke to around 2,000 young people about the impact of drink and drug driving how it changes their perception and ability behind the wheel. We also shared with them how we enforce safe road use and detect when people are over the limit.

“Due to the nature of our roads and our rural location we attract a high number of motorcyclists. From March to November our roads policing teams run Operation Darwen most weekends. This includes officers visiting places where riders meet and stop for breaks to speak to them about their bikes, routine maintenance and safe use of the roads. We also encourage riders to take part in BikeSafe events.

“The aim of Operation Darwen is to save people’s lives and to reduce the number of casualties on our roads so there is also an enforcement part to the operation.  This year so far, officers have stopped and spoken with 440 riders. 123 offences have been detected, with one motorcyclist riding at 120mph on the A40 from Llandovery to Brecon. We have also issued 73 warnings to riders.

“We don’t just target motorcyclists, we want all drivers and riders to be safe. In addition to the motorcyclists we stopped 151 other vehicles, detected 122 offences and issued 32 warnings.

“Every road user can contribute to making our roads safer by driving or riding their vehicles responsibly, complying with the various road traffic legislation such as speed limits which are there in order to prevent road traffic collisions.

“If individuals choose not to obey the law then Dyfed-Powys Police will take enforcement action in order to influence driver and rider behaviour.

“Our message is clear – we want people to stay safe and not be involved in collisions on our roads.  Please - be safe and be careful on the road.”


Mid and West Wales Fire & Rescue Service Issue Warning to Road Users Following Series of Serious Road Collisions Across Mid and West Wales.
10/8/15

Firefighters from Crickhowell and Brecon were called to a serious road traffic collision involving a car and a campervan on the A40 near Bwlch in Brecon on Sunday (9th August) which closed the road for several hours.  Firefighters needed hydraulic cutting equipment to release one of the passengers who was treated by ambulance crews at the scene.

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Road Safety WarningOn Saturday (8th August), fire crews from Brecon and Talgarth were called to another road traffic collision on the A470 near Felinfach, Brecon.  This incident involving two private motor vehicles, one of which was towing a caravan, also closed the road for a substantial period of time.  Firefighters again needed to use hydraulic cutting equipment to release a seriously injured passenger, who after receiving first aid from firefighters was airlifted to hospital by air ambulance.

Neil Evans, Mid and West Wales Fire & Rescue Service Road Safety Manager said: “We are seeing too many deaths and injuries on our roads this summer.  We need you as road users to assist us in reducing these deaths and injuries.  Don’t become a statistic yourself.” 

“With the summer holidays upon us, people are not only going about their daily business but also travelling to and from festivals, sporting events and leisure trips. The mix of different vehicles and road users has increased.”

“We now have heavy goods vehicles, cars, vintage cars, caravans, camper vans, scooters, motorcyclists, cyclists, tractors and farm machinery.  All these vehicles react differently on our roads. They speed up and slow down at different rates.  They use less and more of the road in various situations.”

“As this is a typical British summer, we have had rain showers following hot spells which causes the roads to become greasy. Please take care and allow a greater stopping distance between you and the vehicle in front, and always reduce your speed in these conditions.”

“Drive safely and think about what maybe around the corner or ahead.  Think once, think twice, think bike.” 

“Make sure your vehicle is in good working order, including the headlights, brake lights, indicators, screen wash, wipers.  Make sure you have good visibility, and keep your windscreen and visor clean at all times.”

“Our message to all road users is drive to arrive. Drive for others. Better to arrive late than not at all.” 

(Photo: Brecon Fire Crew in RTC Training Exercise)


Rural Roads Plea From Commissioner
3/8/15

PCC Dyfed PowysWales’ roads users have been issued a summer harvest plea by a Police and Crime Commissioner: “Stay safe at this busy time for farmers!” Christopher Salmon, who grew up on a Mid Wales farm, is asking all motorists – including those involved in transporting silage on rural roads – to take extra care as the silage season enters its final weeks.

He asks the public to be patient as they encounter increased agricultural traffic, and asks farmers to be thoughtful of others. Mr Salmon, Police and Crime Commissioner for the predominantly rural Dyfed-Powys, said: “A number of people have raised concerns about agricultural vehicles with me recently.

“I want to ensure that farmers get their silage in and that the public can be safe.

“It’s a frantic time of year for many of those in agriculture; they’ve got to get silage in. I know what it’s like – I’ve been there myself. The weather doesn’t always help – and late nights, heavy loads and massive tractors put pressure on small roads.

“My message to farmers and contractors is: ‘Keep the public on your side!’ My message to the public is: ‘Be patient.’

“Farmers and contractors do their best to consider their neighbours. But, as agricultural equipment gets bigger and the pressures increase, it’s important to take extra care at this busy time – to keep the public behind local farms. That way, I hope farmers can make the most of the weather and have a successful, accident-free, harvest.

“Local people support our farmers, particularly when the pressure’s on. I encourage the public to continue supporting our local farms; they’re the lifeblood of our economy.”


BikeSafe Cymru
3/8/15

As the motorcycling season continues, it may be time for Welsh bikers to consider brushing up their biking skills by attending a BikeSafe Cymru workshop. BikeSafe Cymru is a police led motorcycle project that is run by the four police forces in Wales.

BikeSafe logoIt's main aim is to reduce the number of bikers being hurt on the roads by improving skills, knowledge and hazard awareness which will hopefully make their riding safer and more enjoyable. This is done through the delivery of a theory presentation which is then followed by a rideout with a qualified observer.

The workshop will help the biker discover their strengths and weaknesses and also where to go next to develop and get more from their biking.

BikeSafe is about starting on the right path to development as it “Bridges the Gap”. Riders should continue to upskill throughout their riding years and not just stop once they have passed their bike test.

Many Local Authorities in Wales are offering a subsidy to bikers who attend a BikeSafe workshop. To find out more about BikeSafe and book a workshop, click onto the BikeSafe website.


Over 12,000 Breath Tests Carried Out Across Wales During Summer Anti-Drink/Drug Drive Campaign
31/7/15

Over 350 breath tests were positive throughout Wales during the recent month-long Anti Drink and Drug Drive Summer Campaign. The campaign, which was led by North Wales Police, saw officers carrying out over 12,000 breath tests and 52 arrests were made under the new Section 5a drug drive offence which came into being on March 4th 2015, giving officers the ability to test for cannabis and cocaine use.

  • North Wales Police administered 5,235 breath tests with 85 being positive. The force also carried out 20 DrugWipe tests, using the new kit, half of those tested failed.
  • Gwent Police carried out 297 breath tests with 17 testing positive, refusing or failing to provide. 19 people were arrested following a Section 5a drug test.
  • Dyfed Powys Police administered 4,951 tests of which 127 were positive, refused or failed to provide. 3 people were arrested following a Section 5a drug test.
  • In the South Wales Police area 2,437 tests were conducted with 124 testing positive, refusing or failing to provide. 20 people were arrested following a Section 5a drug swipe test.

Embedded image permalinkThe highest reading in North Wales was 125mg with the legal limit being 35mg. As a result a 36 year-old woman from Holywell was arrested and subsequently charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, driving whilst disqualified and driving without insurance. She appeared before Prestatyn Magistrates and was given a 12 week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, ordered to go on a rehabilitation programme and pay costs. Only five days before, she had been banned from driving due to drink driving.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing said: “North Wales Police are carrying out intelligence-led operations targeting people who frequently drive under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs throughout the year. It has been three years since we launched Operation Sodium – a 24/7 365 day a year anti-drink/drug driving campaign that was launched in response to the growing number of young people who were being fatally injured on the roads, and in particular the rural roads of North Wales. As a consequence of these intelligence-led operations we are seeing a significant fall in collisions involving drink and/or drugs.

“We are seeing more arrests as a result of our intelligence-led operations, however, there is still a perception out there that drivers, particularly in rural areas, believe they have less chance of getting caught drunk or under the influence of drugs behind the wheel. People should be aware that we have detailed tactical plans to support Operation Sodium that include targeting specific areas following analysis of intelligence and information given to us by concerned members of the community.

He added: “I would also like to personally thank each individual who contacted us during the campaign to give us the information we needed. The sole reason we carry out these campaigns is to help keep people safe on the roads, and by letting us know of anybody driving under the influence of drink or drugs they are possibly saving a life.

“We have 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 seatbelt and using a mobile phone whilst driving. 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.
“It is important to stress that the work does not stop here – any amount of alcohol or drugs affects your ability to drive, and campaigns such as this help to raise awareness. We will continue to target those breaking the law as part of daily policing. Operation Sodium is in full swing and the police are in a community near you targeting drink/drug driving now.
“Driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs has significant impact on people; the devastation caused to families following a fatal collision can be immesurable.”

Chair of Road Safety Wales and Force Road Safety Officer for Dyfed Powys Police Susan Storch said: "It is disappointing that over 400 drivers throughout Wales chose to risk their own lives, and the lives of others during the campaign. We were clear in our messages throughout the campaign that drink or drug driving is not acceptable, and will not be tolerated. The police services also made effective use of the new legislation under Section 5a and made some significant arrests during the campaign period.

“Those that chose to break the law and endanger themselves and other road users arrogantly were in the minority, and we thank the public that showed support for the campaign and were happy to co-operate.

"Drink and drug driving ruins lives all year round and we will continue to work closely with the Police in reinforcing these messages throughout the year. We are asking the public in Wales to help us take these people off our roads, and report anyone you suspect of drink or drug driving to the Police using 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111"


Launch of the Welsh Fire and Rescue Services Road Safety Strategy 2015-2020
27/7/15

F&R Service RS StrategyIn response to the Welsh Government's 'Road Safety Framework for Wales', Monday 20th July saw the launch of the Welsh Fire and Rescue Service's 'Road Safety Strategy' providing a framework for the three Welsh FRS to communicate and implement their road safety commitments on a national and local level.

Chief Fire Officer for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service (MAWWFRS), Chris Davies said: "Road safety has improved considerably in recent years.  In 2014 there were 8,208 reported casualties as a result of road traffic collisions in Wales, this is a 30% reduction on the number of casualties seen on our roads 10 years ago. While the number of incidents has declined, statistics show a 12% increase in the number of people seriously injured on our roads in the last year, with poor driving and observation the leading cause of collisions. Clearly, while much has been achieved through collaborative working with our road safety partners, more needs to be done. 

A disproportionate number of vulnerable road users including young people (16 to 24 year olds) and motorcyclists are killed or seriously injured compared to other groups. Despite making up 11% of driving licence holders, young people represent 23% of casualties in road traffic collisions in Wales.

Motorcyclists accounted for 37% of those killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions, while accounting for just 1% of the road traffic in Wales.  Motorcyclists are not necessarily at fault for collisions, their vulnerability means that they are far more likely to be killed or seriously injured.  Whilst a diverse range of motorcyclists are involved in collisions, a disproportionate number of casualties are men, riding on rural roads in the drier months.

Wales has, and is projected to continue to have, the most aged population in the UK.  Around 1 in 20 drivers involved in road traffic collisions in Wales are aged 70 or older.  Older drivers have often held their licence for many years and the vast majority will not have undertaken any further training since passing their test, despite significant changes in driving conditions and, potentially, their own ability.

A co-ordinated effort in the education of road users, targeting specifically those identified most vulnerable groups, with a range of activities, interventions and publicity that result in behavioural change forms the core of today's road safety strategy.

This strategy sets out how the Fire and Rescue Services in Wales will support the Welsh Government's vision for a continued reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured on Welsh Roads, with the ultimate aspiration of no fatalities." 

Station Manager Simon Brown, Road Safety Manager for South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) said:  "The All Wales Road Safety Strategy (2015 - 2020) encourages the Fire and Rescue Services' of Wales and their partners to work together to identify local risks within their areas and develop a targeted approach to reducing deaths and injuries on Welsh roads.

As such, SWFRS is extremely pleased to be continuing to work collaboratively on this strategy and associated activities with our partners that aim to make our communities and roads safer and save lives."

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager for North Wales Fire & Rescue Service (NWFRS), said: "All three fire and rescue services in Wales have a common objective which is at the heart of everything we do - to work together for a safer Wales."

"We are delighted to be part of the All Wales Road Safety Strategy that will continue to ensure that we all work together as best as we can within the fire and rescue services across Wales and with our partner agencies to make the roads in Wales as safe as possible.

"As part of this strategy we are looking at a variety of approaches that organisations can take to improve road safety including training, education, publicity, sharing information and evaluation. By combining all these we hope that we will be able to improve road safety across Wales."

Read the strategy here


Projects Named in Road Safety Innovation Challenge
15/7/15

Welsh Government logo Four projects which aim to improve road safety and reduce the number of motorcycle casualties on Welsh roads are to benefit from Welsh Government research funding Transport and Science Minister, Edwina Hart, announced today [14 July].

The projects were selected from forty-seven bids after the Minister issued a challenge to companies, other public bodies and the voluntary sector earlier this year to submit creative ideas to help improve road safety for motorcyclists.

The Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI) Innovation Challenge required companies to identify pioneering approaches to reduce motorcycle casualties in Wales – a priority target for the Welsh Government. 

Funding will now be given to the four selected companies to run feasibility studies as part of the first stage of the challenge.

Announcing the successful projects, Mrs Hart said:

"We can all take pride in the fact that Welsh roads are amongst the safest in the world. However, we must avoid complacency and recognise that there is significant scope for further improvements.
"The Welsh Government is committed to reducing casualties through a combination of measures including education, engineering and enforcement.
"This challenge is about harnessing potential to find tangible solutions which address key issues. I look forward to seeing how the successful projects develop."

The selected projects are:

  • an advanced helmet liner from Armourgel Ltd, which will incorporate  Armourgel material into motorcycle helmets with the aim of protecting motorcyclists from rotational acceleration brain injuries
  • a flexible use energy absorption and dissipation material from Tecosim Technical Simulations Ltd that can be cut to size and fitted to street furniture
  • a junction alert system from Fusion Processing Ltd which will use a combination of radar and cameras to identify when a motorcyclist is approaching.
  • a side view light for motorcycles from Style Eyes Ltd that appears to flicker in peripheral vision, making it more noticeable to drivers at junctions.

Each project will receive up to £15,000 until December 2015 to develop their proposal. Following this, the two most promising will share funding of up to £450,000 to develop their product to a point where it can be marketed.


Road Safety Event in Abergavenny Helps to Bring Communities Together
7/7/15

Community Support Officer Amanda Yung from Abergavenny Team has been working to tackle an ongoing issue with anti-social driving, along with educating young drivers about safe driving following 19 fatal road traffic collisions in Gwent since January 2014.

CSO Yung organised an event in Abergavenny in June along with partner agencies including the Road Safety Team from Monmouthshire County Council and Road Safety event Abergavenny South Wales Fire and Rescue.
The event was held at a local car park where high reports of anti-social driving had been received. The aim of the event was to encourage residents to go along and meet the young people and give their views on how the driving and behaviour was affecting them.

Also, the drivers had their chance to have their say and talk to the planning team of the council who were proposing a change to the layout of the car park. These plans detail a trial phase where full access to the car park will be restricted during certain times in order to try and reduce the number of incidents of anti-social behaviour involving vehicles. Consultation with local members and organisations has taken place to make sure that no disruption is caused to legitimate users of the car park.

South Wales Fire and Rescue arranged for a crash car to be there so drivers could see the true impact of how a vehicle can be damaged during a traffic collision.
Amanda talked to drivers and showed them a visual demonstration called ‘Not In their Shoes’. This showed a pair of shoes laid out in a timeline, showing a pair of shoes for every victim of a traffic collision in the last year. Each pair of shoes showed where the collision happened.

The event was very successful with over 40 vehicles, drivers and passengers coming along, as well as many residents.

Motorcyclists also went along and the team talked to them about the Green Dot Scheme which encourage motorcyclists to complete a CRASH card detailing their medical history, the details of any medication currently being taken and telephone numbers of the next of kin. They put this card securely in their helmets, it comes with a green sticker to attach to the outside of the helmet to indicate to arriving emergency services that a CRASH card is contained inside.

CSO Yung said: “I’ve got to know the drivers in Abergavenny and the local residents so it was important to me to help prevent anti-social issues and also mainly the fatalities on our roads. The people involved in anti-social driving are a small minority of the actual people using the car park and they are not always aware of how their behaviour impacts on neighbouring residents. This work is ongoing and we will continue to work to make sure our residents are safe and free from anti-social behaviour issues.”

Carolyn Derosaire, Road Safety Officer from Monmouthshire County Council added: "This was a wonderful opportunity to engage with a group which is often demonized, the majority of whom are not intent on causing a nuisance, but indulging their enthusiasm for their cars.  The pairs of empty shoes, representing those killed on the roads of Monmouthshire since 2014, made a very powerful and visual statement that we are not dealing with statistics, but real people and real losses."


Driving Workshops for Senior Drivers Available
22/6/15

Driving refresher workshops are now available free of charge for senior drivers in mid and south Powys, the county council has announced.

Mature Motoring workshops are two-hour informal courses developed and delivered by Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit, thanks to Welsh Government funding. The workshops are aimed at drivers aged 65 years and older.

Focussing on issues such as licence requirements, the effects of medication, personal safety while driving, winter driving, the dangers of drink-driving and not wearing seatbelts, the workshops run from 10am-12pm on the following dates:

- Community Centre, Crossgates – Thursday 9 July
- St John’s Family Centre, Brecon – Monday 27 July.

Workshop attendees will also be offered the chance to take part in a free one hour practical drive with an approved driving instructor at a later date. The ‘Drive On’ scheme is a confidential and practical assessment that helps those taking part to develop their skills and identify any areas of weakness, or lack of confidence that may have developed over the years.

Cllr John Brunt, Cabinet Member responsible for Road Safety, said: “We hope that these free courses will help preserve and conserve valuable driving skills and make drivers more aware of what influences our driving, ultimately leading to a reduction in collisions and casualties in this vulnerable driving group.

The workshop and practical drive are both completely free to Powys residents.

For more information or to book onto the workshop, please contact road.safety@powys.gov.uk or phone 01597 826979 or contact us through our Facebook page www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


Commissioner Seeks Great Ideas to Keep Road Users Safe
22/6/15
DPP PCC

Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon has launched a scheme to save lives across Dyfed-Powys. He wants to hear from organisations with great ideas on keeping road users safe across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys. The best proposals will get a share of £300,000 to develop and run their schemes.

Mr Salmon said: “Too many people die or are seriously hurt on our roads; I want to change that. My Roads to Safety scheme will see innovative and exciting new road safety projects improve the lives of our communities and their road users.”

The fund will improve the safety of road users in Dyfed-Powys and reduce the number of road casualties across our communities. The Commissioner will make grants to public sector, police force, private sector, voluntary or community organisations and encourages organisations to work together.

A separate smaller budget of £35,000 is earmarked to look at specific research between academic institutions and partners, with a focus around emerging trends affecting road safety.

Mr Salmon aims to support projects that show a demonstration of innovation in building the research evidence base and applying it through knowledge exchange across all levels of road safety.

Applicants can apply for funding from today until September 8, application forms and application guidelines are available below. If you have any further queries contact Jess Williams on 01267 226440.

More information


Road Safety WalesRoad Casualties Wales, 2014
4/6/15

The latest police recorded road accident and casualty figures for Wales for 2014 show that, 103 people were killed on Welsh roads last year, a decreased of 7% compared to 2013. However, Partners in Road Safety Wales remain concerned that the slight overall improvement in the casualty figures has been overshadowed by the increase in the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads. (10% higher than the average for 2004-08)*

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said, “Wales welcomes motorcyclists who are naturally drawn to the stunning scenery, winding roads, and motorcycle friendly businesses.  However, Partners are concerned about the number who do not make it safely home, whether they are on a day out or riding to and from work.”

The Road Safety Framework for Wales published in 2013 identifies motorcyclists as a high risk group, and road safety professionals remain focussed on meeting the challenging target of a 25% reduction in number of killed and seriously injured motorcyclists by 2020.**  Clearly much remains to be done. 

In addition to funding road improvements, education and training that will benefit motorcycle safety; Welsh Government’s commitment to reducing motorcycle casualties has led to the funding of an open competition to develop an effective intervention or technological feature that provides demonstrable improvements in the safety of motorcyclists, either by reducing the likelihood of a collision occurring, or by lessening the impact of a collision.  It is hoped that an innovative approach will have a positive impact on the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured.

Of course, road safety is the responsibility of us all, and sharing the road in a responsible and courteous manner will benefit all road users.  Motorcyclists are not necessarily at fault for the collisions that they are involved in, but their vulnerability means that they are far more likely to be seriously injured.  Therefore, motorcyclists are being asked to always consider whether they are riding appropriately, within the law and for the conditions they find themselves in.

The loss of a motorcyclist has a massive impact on family, friends and colleagues and Susan Storch went on to encourage people to take advantage of the varied opportunities available to help improve knowledge and skills. “Even the most experienced can pick up bad habits, which is why Partners throughout Wales offer a range of initiatives, held over the course of the year, to assess, train and educate motorcyclists.  From free first aid courses to subsidised places on national schemes, much of this activity is made possible through funding from the Welsh Government, and is available to a whole range of motorcyclists from scooter riders to commuters and leisure riders.  Families can play their part by bringing these opportunities to the attention of their loved ones.”

For opportunities in your area contact the local authority road safety team or contact Road Safety Wales for further details.  communication@roadsafetywales.org.uk

* http://gov.wales/statistics-and-research/police-recorded-road-casualties/?lang=en

** http://gov.wales/docs/det/publications/130719delplanen.pdf


Keep Drink and Drugs Off The Road This Summer
1/6/15

Breath _testing _smlWith summer just around the corner and the prospect of parties around the barbecue in the long evenings, police across Wales are warning motorists that officers will be on heightened alert to spot anyone driving under the influence of drink or drugs.

Led by North Wales Police, the month-long All Wales Summer Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign throughout June, will see all four Welsh police forces increase the pressure and focus on those drivers who drink and drive or drive under the influence of drugs.

Sergeant Alun Davies from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “We all enjoy the prospect of longer evenings and the possibilities they present for socialising in homes, gardens, local pubs, festivals and other events.

“But there is a price to be paid for thinking that, if you drink or take drugs and get behind the wheel, you will still be safe. More people may be tempted to have a few drinks and may drive without thinking of the consequences.Think before you go out, watch what you drink and plan how you will get home.

“This summer will be the first campaign with the new drug testing kits to help detect cannabis and cocaine as well as standard kits for alcohol testing, so we are better equipped than ever to detect and penalise those who take this very dangerous risk. Using intelligence received from the public we’ll be ready for action to keep the road network safe, whether it be at night or the morning after.

New legislation came into force in March 2015 which sets legal limits for how much of a substance – both illegal drugs and prescription medications motorists can have in their system whilst driving. A new device now allows officers to test at the roadside using a swab from inside the driver’s mouth, to see if a motorist has taken cannabis or cocaine.

Officers made their first arrest the day after the new legislation came into being – a 19-year-old man from Anglesey was arrested following a damage-only road traffic collision in Holyhead. He was subsequently charged and appeared before the town’s Magistrates where he was disqualified from driving for 18 months and received fines totalling £305. Between March 4th and May 28th North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit have carried out 61 drug swipe tests using the new kits with 18 of those testing positive.

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 seatbelt and using a mobile phone whilst driving.

Sergeant Davies added: “We are committed to assisting in reducing the risk of becoming a casualty on the road through the use of targeted operations around high risk groups of people and locations while enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences.”

“If you drink and drive or drive under the influence of drugs 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 driving impaired 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.”

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales, added: “Through education, training and publicity initiatives throughout Wales, partners in Road Safety Wales strive to remind road users of the risks and consequences of the ‘Fatal 5’. Unfortunately, despite education and warnings, too many drivers are prepared to risk driving whilst impaired by drink or drugs.

“Road Safety Wales is committed to reducing the number of road casualties caused by irresponsible behaviour and will continue to support our Police colleagues during this campaign and throughout the year. Drivers who choose to flout the law should realise that there is a strong chance that they will be detected and prosecuted and that the penalties will be severe.”

Also supporting this year’s campaign is the Welsh Ambulance Service. Rhyl Paramedic Dermot O’Leary, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s road safety champion said: “Road traffic collisions are sudden tragic events which can send shockwaves through families, friends and communities. Unfortunately too many drivers are still prepared to risk driving under the influence of drink or drugs. Making the public aware of the risks associated with drink and drug driving will hopefully lead to fewer incidents in which we literally have to pick up the pieces.”

Stuart Millington, Senior Fire Safety Manager, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Firefighters attend many road traffic collisions every year and witness some of the horrific consequences of simple mistakes made every day by people behind the wheel. We are pleased to be supporting the launch of this Drink and Drug Drive campaign to try and educate the public about the dangers associated with drinking and then driving.”

Anyone with information regarding individuals who are believed to drive whilst over the legal limit or under the influence of drugs, can contact North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Notes:

  • The new drug driving legislation came into being on March 4th 2015
  • During the summer 2014 All Wales campaign a total of 15, 485 breath tests were carried out with 358 being positive. North Wales Police administered 6,531 breath tests with 94 being positive which equates to 1.5%
  • Gwent Police carried out 1,351 breath tests with 32 testing positive, refusing or failing to provide. Dyfed Powys Police administered 5,535 tests of which 88 tests were positive, refused or failed to provide. In the South Wales Police area 2,248 tests were conducted with 144 testing positive, refusing or failing to provide.
  • Some of the highest readings recorded during the 2014 campaign in North Wales were 130mg, 118mg and 109mg. The legal limit is 35mg.

Powys residents are encouraged to get ‘On Your Bike’
26/5/15

Residents in Powys who would like to cycle more but are lacking in confidence now have the opportunity to take part in a free training session, thanks to Powys County Council.

The ‘On Your Bike’ initiative was launched last year by the Council’s Road Safety Unit, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

Aimed at all adults regardless of their cycling ability, the initiative sees participants have a one hour assessment with a qualified National Standards Cycling Instructor. The initiative is completely free for Powys residents.

Whether you would like to cycle more with your children, take a more sustainable approach to your journey to work or just increase your confidence cycling in traffic, the assessment can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

Cllr John Brunt, Cabinet Member for Road Safety, said: “Cycling has so many great benefits but it can be a daunting experience for those who haven’t cycled for a long time.

“Our new scheme will boost your confidence and provide key skills to help you become safer cyclists when on the roads.”

Sarah Morris, the council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said: “Our Instructors will offer you help and guidance in a warm and friendly manner, whatever your ability.

“In addition to the one hour individual session, you could also book a group session for you and your friends, where we will bring the scheme to you. We even have the opportunity to hire bicycles, so why not discover if cycling could be your new hobby.”

For more information or to register for the scheme, please contact the road safety unit on 01597 826637 or email road.safety@powys.gov.uk

Alternatively, you can visit the Unit’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


Driven to Distraction
19/5/15
Driven to Distraction“Switch off before you drive off” – that is the message being given by North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit as they launch a two-week distraction campaign.

Officers from the specialist unit are teaming up with colleagues from across the force to launch a campaign targeting people who use their mobile phones whilst driving.

As well as imposing penalties on drivers who are caught, dedicated officers will also use the campaign as an opportunity to educate motorists of the dangers of distraction driving.

A motorist is distracted when they pay attention to a second activity whilst driving, which means they are more likely to fail to spot hazards. ‘Second activities’ can include talking on a mobile phone, texting, changing a CD or playing with your MP3 player, using sat nav equipment or even just using one or both hands to eat or drink.

Over the next two weeks roads policing crews across North Wales will be paying particular attention to any motorists they see not paying full attention to what is in front of them.

Police are keen to stress texting isn’t just about messages but can also involve responding to emails, social networking, inputting navigational data or using other applications.

Sergeant Alun Davies from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “Drivers who divide their attention because they’re on the phone or otherwise distracted are significantly increasing their risk of causing a crash.”

“Driving is a highly unpredictable and risky activity, it requires full concentration at all times. Distractions can include eating and drinking, smoking, music players and radios, sat navs and in-vehicle technology.”

“Along with drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving carelessly, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, whether it be texting, using an app, or making a phone call is classed as one of the "Fatal 5"; the 5 most common causes of fatal road traffic collisions.

“With the increased use of smart phones we are also seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty.”

During previous operations some of the reasons that drivers who were caught tried to use included: “I was updating my status on Facebook”, “I was checking the time” and “I was looking at my lap not the phone.”

Sergeant Davies added: “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. Even the most experienced or competent of drivers can be easily distracted. A slight lapse in concentration can have serious consequences and this campaign will raise awareness about the issue and will hopefully lead to more drivers doing the right thing and obeying a law which is designed to keep them and other road users safe.”

Throughout the campaign police will be using social media to highlight the campaign messages using the hash tag #fatal5 and #eyesontheroad


Drink DrivingRoSPA Responds to Police Federation Call for Lower Drink-Drive Limit
19/5/15

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), the country’s leading family safety charity, has responded to the Police Federation’s call for a lower drink-drive limit.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “One of RoSPA’s long-standing campaigns is for the drink-drive limit to be lowered from 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood to 50mg across the whole of the UK, so we are pleased to see the Police Federation taking up this cause.

“Despite decades of drink-drive education and enforcement, over 75,000 people are still caught drink driving every year in England and Wales[1], and between 4 and 5 people die in drink-drive accidents every week.

“In 2012, provisional figures show that 230 people were killed, and 1,200 were seriously injured in drink-drive crashes. Often it is an innocent person who suffers, not the driver who is over the drink-drive limit.

“In 2012, 80 pedestrians were killed or seriously injured by drink drivers, as were 360 car passengers. 50 children were killed or seriously injured by drink drivers that year.[2]

“England and Wales should follow Scotland’s example and lower its drink-drive limit. We are sure this would help to save lives and prevent injuries on our roads.

“People need to realise that any amount of alcohol impairs a driver’s ability to judge speed and distance while behind the wheel. Alcohol also slows reaction times and can make drivers over-confident and more likely to take risks. Lowering the drink-drive limit will ultimately make our roads safer.”

[1] Table RAS 51016, “Road Casualties Great Britain 2013, DfT

[2] Table RAS 51005, “Road Casualties Great Britain 2013, DfT


Roads And Routes For Walkers And Cyclists In £27m Boost
15/5/15

Welsh Government logo Road bottlenecks and safer routes for walkers and cyclists in Wales will be tackled by nearly £27m funding.

It includes nearly £2m for a Llangefni Link Road on Anglesey and major road schemes costing around £1.3m each in Carmarthen, Ceredigion, and Swansea.

Transport Minister Edwina Hart said the cash would support economic growth, improve safety, and promote walking and cycling.

The money is being given in grants to every local authority in Wales.

Safe routes

Nearly £16m comes from the Welsh government's Local Transport Fund to back 35 major public transport, road and active travel projects in 18 different council areas.

Almost £4m in Road Safety Capital grants is being spent on ways to cut road accidents in 14 local authorities.

Just over £5m is being made available under the Safe Routes in Communities programme to improve walking and cycling routes to schools and other community facilities in all 21 local authority areas.

Nearly £2m will be spent on road safety education and training programmes for high-risk and vulnerable groups, such as children, young people, older drivers and motorcyclists.


Bravery Award for Rhoose School Crossing Patrol Karin
7/5/15

Karin Williams on her return to Rhoose Primary School

A school crossing patrol who stepped in front of an out-of-control car to protect schoolchildren has received an award for her bravery.

Karin Williams from Rhoose, Vale of Glamorgan, was injured along with five children and three adults outside Rhws Primary School in July 2013. On Wednesday, she was presented with a Royal Humane Society bronze medal for her actions.

The driver of the car was found guilty of careless driving in May 2014.


Questions Invited for Global Road Safety Week Online Forums
28/4/15

Parents, teachers and other interested parties are being invited to submit questions for a series of online forums covering child road safety issues, which will be held on the Road Safety GB website during Global Road Safety Week (4-10 May 2015)

The four forums – covering children as pedestrians, as cyclists, travelling in cars, and how to set up and run a Junior Road Safety Officer scheme - will be held daily on Tuesday 7 – Friday 10 May inclusive, between 12.00-13.00. They are free of charge and open to anyone who wishes to participate.

Questions can be submitted in advance or during the forum itself, for a panel of expert facilitators to answer in ‘real time’ during the forum. Road safety professionals and other stakeholders are being encouraged to alert schools and other groups in their local areas, in order to give teachers, parents and others the opportunity to participate in the forums.

The full online forum programme is as follows:

Tues 5 May                Children and cycling
Weds 6 May            Setting up and running a Junior Road Safety Officer scheme
Thurs 7 May               In-car safety for children
Fri 8 May                     Children as pedestrians

The forums are part of a comprehensive suite of initiatives here in the UK in support of GRSW 2015. Other initiatives include:

• A series of child road safety resources - including activity sheets, maps and country profilers – which are available free to download.

• A series of simple ‘how to’ guides to help educators and others teach basic road safety to children. The guides cover children as pedestrians, cyclists, travelling in cars and on public transport, and setting up a Junior Road Safety Officer scheme.

• A database of road safety professionals with expertise with regard to child road safety, who are willing to provide advice and support to people in other parts of the world.

The road safety stakeholders involved in the UK collaboration in support of Global Road Safety Week are: Road Safety GB (lead organisation), ACPO, AIRSO, Brake, CFOA, CIHT, DoENI, DfT, Highways Agency, PACTS, RoadSafe, Road Safety Analysis, Road Safety Support, Road Safety Wales, RoSPA and Transport Scotland.

For more information about Global Road Safety Week 2015 visit:
http://www.who.int/roadsafety/week/2015/en/

For more information about #SaveKidsLives visit:
http://www.savekidslives2015.org/

For more information contact Nick Rawlings, Road Safety GB, on 01379 650112 or nrawlings@stennik.com


All Wales Seatbelt Campaign Results
13/4/15

BWelsh police have caught more than 1,250 vehicle occupants not wearing their seat belts in just two weeks - including eight children. The South Wales, Dyfed Powys, North Wales and Gwent forces teamed up for March's campaign, which was aimed at raising awareness amongs drivers and passengers of the dangers of not wearing seatbelts in the event of a collision.

Some 360 adults were found not to be wearing a seatbelt on the roads of South Wales, while in Dyfed-Powys 716 adults and eight children were caught. The total number of people caught across Wales was 1,257.

South Wales Police Chief Inspector Martyn Stone: "Our focus is on educating drivers about the risks to themselves and others of not wearing a seatbelt and the potential harm that can be caused by passengers in the back of the car who are not strapped in.

"During this campaign eight children were found not to being wearing seatbelts, and this is eight too many. Wearing a seatbelt is the law and only takes seconds. This simple action can save lives."

During last month's campaign North Wales Police stopped 140 adults for not wearing a seatbelt, while Gwent stopped 41 adults.

It has been compulsory to wear seatbelts in the front seats of cars since 1983 and in the rear since 1991.

Both drivers and passengers can be fined £100 for not wearing a seatbelt, and can be prosecuted. Any child under the age of 14 who is not buckled in is the responsibility of the driver, and the driver can be fined.

The 2014 campaign saw 1,524 people caught by Welsh police - 264 in South Wales, 1069 in Dyfed-Powys, 141 in North Wales and 80 in Gwent.


Child Car Seat Checks Results Revealed
8/4/15

63 child car seats needed an adjustment after being checked by Powys County Council, it has been revealed.

Child Car Seat Checks90 checks were carried out by officers from the council’s Road Safety Unit during a week of Car Seat Clinics around the county at the end of March.  The checks were carried out in Newtown, Brecon, Machynlleth, Ystradgynlais and Llandrindod Wells.

Road Safety Officers checked the fit and suitability of the child car seats and found that only 26 of the seats did not need any adjustment.  23 of the seats needed a major adjustment while 40 seats needed a minor adjustment and 1 seat was not suitable for the vehicle it was being used in. 

A common fault included the headrest interfering with the child car seat, where there should be no contact.  When fitting a rearward facing baby seat, check the position of the carry handle – there should be a picture on the side of the seat.  The handle will normally, but not always, need to be in the upright position or towards the baby’s feet. 

There should also be a gap between the baby seat and the seat in front and finally, the harness straps should be tight enough that you can just slip two fingers flat between your child’s body and their collar bones, ensuring there are no twists in the straps.

Powys Road Safety Officers are trained to give advice on the fit and suitability of a child car seat and are available to conduct checks throughout the year.  During the whole of 2014/15, Road Safety Officers have checked a total of 289 seats and provided advice to 387 individuals.  Only 75 of the 289 seats ‘passed’, which equates to 26%, however, the officers were able to rectify the problems of the remaining 214 seats.

Sarah Morris, the council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said: “Please do not be afraid of asking for our advice.  We are trained and available to offer advice and show you the correct way to fit your child car seat.

“With so many makes and models of seats available, it can be confusing for parents and carers to know if the seat is correct for the child, the car and also to ensure that it is fitted correctly. We are also urging parents to ensure that everyone responsible for their child knows how to fit their car seat.  We have seen a number of relatives who have said that mum or dad have put the car seat in and that is how it has stayed.”

Nigel Brinn, Head of Highways, Transport & Recycling, said “Child car seats need to be fitted correctly in order to protect your child in the event of a collision.  I would recommend that parents contact the Road Safety Unit if they have any concerns about their child’s safety or for a free check, which will only take a few minutes of their time.”

For advice or to arrange an appointment to check your seat, please contact the Road Safety Unit on 07909 895346 for Montgomeryshire, 01597 826637 for Radnorshire or 01874 612355 for Breconshire, or email road.safety@powys.gov.uk

You can even ask for advice via the Road Safety Unit’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


Operation Darwen Begins This Weekend
1/4/15

An operation aimed at reducing motorcycle-related deaths and serious injuries on the roads of North Wales begins this weekend (Good Friday, April 3).

Police MotorcycleOperation Darwen is a force-wide campaign which runs from Easter through until early autumn which is aimed at motorcycle safety and reducing casualties on our roads.

Historically high numbers of motorcyclists descend onto 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.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said there was an increase in fatalities and serious injuries on the roads in the area: “One of the most worrying emerging trends, which has also been seen nationally is motorcyclists who have been impaired by alcohol and/or drugs which is a concern for us.”

“There has been very little percentage change year on year in the number of KSI motorcycle casualties with 2014 being the highest it has ever been since 1994 in North Wales. 2014 saw a 52.11% increase (71 to 108) in the number of KSI motorcycle casualties compared to the previous year of 2013.”

“Between 2002 and 2014, 77.6% of motorcyclists involved in fatal collisions were considered ‘blameworthy’ – and amongst one of the most noted defects found were tyres which were either under inflated or illegal. This clearly would be detrimental to the handling of the bike.”

“Operation Darwen 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, some riders 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 - 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 landscpe, 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 the free 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. Please heed the warning.”

As part of the operation, officers will also be checking tyres on motorcycles as worn or under inflated tyres have been one of the most common themes.

Throughout the campaign BikeSafe representatives will also be out and about speaking to riders and promoting the initiative which offer *free workshops in North Wales. A number of BikeSafe engagement days have been organised for the summer months including visits to the Ponderosa, Betws-y-Coed, Corwen and Llangollen.

Social media users can also follow the campaign via the #OpDarwen and #RideSafely hashtags.
To book a space on the free BikeSafe workshops please visit their website http://www.bikesafe.co.uk/

*subject to booking fee


Don't be a Fool Today, Get to Know the Fatal 5
1/4/15

Fatal 5 posterA Road Safety Wales information leaflet and poster have been developed to make road users aware of the five main causes of road traffic collisions and injuries in Wales.

The bilingual leaflet covers:

Drinking and Driving - Don’t risk being one of the 100,000 drink or drug drivers caught each year, or you could face a minimum 12 month ban, a large fine, a criminal record or even imprisonment. Stay alive don’t drink and drive.

Kill Your Speed - You are twice as likely to kill someone you hit at 35mph than you are at 30mph. Just a 1mph cut in average speed can result in a 5% reduction in the collision rate.

Don’t Get Careless - A vehicle can become a lethal weapon when driven carelessly. Getting a fixed penalty will result in a £100 fine and three points on your licence. Causing death by dangerous driving can mean a prison sentence of up to 14 years.  

Belt Up – You are twice as likely to die if you don’t belt up. Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision, even on short, familiar journeys and at low speed. As a driver you are responsible for ensuring that passengers under the age of 14 are wearing a seatbelt (or using the correct child restraint for their height and age.) On the spot fines are £100, but if prosecuted, the maximum is £500.

Switch it Off - You are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone whilst driving, whatever you’re doing with it. The consequences for using your phone behind the wheel are a £100 fine and 3 points on your licence. And if you cause a death, you could face up to 14 years imprisonment. Don’t call other people if you know they are driving.

Copies of the Fatal 5 leaflets are available from your local road safety officer, or email: rpimm@rospa.com or telephone 02920 250600.

Click here to download the poster


Intergenerational Community Road Safety Campaign
20/3/15

CarOlder residents in the areas of Ystrad & Pentre have voiced their concerns regarding speeding traffic and drivers failing to stop at the Pedestrian crossings on the main road (A4058) through Ystrad & Pentre.

Partner organisations, local schools & businesses have decided to work together to formulate an Intergenerational Community Road Safety Campaign in the area to raise awareness and educate drivers and pedestrians of all ages. The campaign invites the local community to various free activities, information events and demonstrations throughout the week. Dates and venues can be found in the Promotional Flyer


Grid Reference Stickers and Location Markers
17/03/15

Ride Safely SignOne hundred and ninety ‘Ride Safely’ information posters are currently being placed on roads around the County, Powys County Council has announced.

Not only do the posters act as a reminder to motorcyclists but they also highlight the presence of motorcyclists to all other road users.  Additionally, since 2011, all of the posters also have a grid reference sticker and location marker on the back.  It is hoped that if a motorcyclist is involved in a collision or breaks down, they can use the sticker to provide their exact location on unfamiliar roads.

The sticker comprises a 12-figure grid reference, which can be given to the emergency services control rooms, together with a description of the road number and route.  These stickers were used to aid the emergency services with 5 collisions in the last financial year.

With 3,400 miles of road, Powys has the largest road network in Wales and motorcyclists come from far and wide to enjoy our rural roads.
Grid Reference Sticker

Sarah Morris, the Council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said: “In 2014, 6 motorcyclists lost their lives as a result of a road traffic collision in the County and in excess of 25 motorcyclists received serious injuries.  As one of the most vulnerable road users in Powys, the Council’s Road Safety Unit wants to greatly reduce the number of motorcyclist casualties.”

Cllr John Brunt, Cabinet Member for Road Safety, said: “We hope that our road safety education, training and publicity will encourage motorcyclists to continue using our roads but in a safe and informed manner.”

“We hope that the grid reference stickers will continue to be successful by assisting the emergency services to arrive at the exact location of the collision within the golden hour.  This could make the difference between a serious and fatal collision.”

For more information on this scheme and other initiatives available to motorcyclists, please contact the Road Safety Unit on 01597 826979 or email road.safety@powys.gov.uk.  Alternatively, you can visit the Unit’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


Child Car Seat Check Clinics Available for FREEChild Car Seat
17/03/15

Residents in Powys who use a child car seat can have them checked out by Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit for free to ensure that they are fitted correctly.

Seven out of ten car seats for children tested in 2014 in England and Wales do not meet minimum fitting standards.  Good Egg Safety,which has tested 20,500 child safety seats in England, Wales and Scotlandsince 2002, found that 71% of seats tested in England and Wales were unsafein 2014. 

The figures come at the same time as Department for Transportstatistics revealing that the number of childdeathsor serious injury on Britain’s roads has risen for the first time in two decades. This meansthat two thirds of the children and babies in Britain are now at risk as aresult of the seat being improperly fitted, incorrect for the size andweight of the child, or wrong for the make and model of vehicle.

During 2013-2014 in Powys, the council’s Road Safety Unit checked 196 child car seats and found 121 had faults, which were rectified by trained road safety officers. The vast majority of faults found, included wrong seatbelt routing, twisted belts or loose seats, which may contribute to serious injuries in the event of a vehicle crash.

County Councillor Wynne Jones, Cabinet Member responsible for Road Safety, said “I encourage anyone who uses a child car seat to make use of this important service. These checks will not cost you anything and could ultimately save your child’s life.

“Please come to see our Road Safety Unit for a car seat check, child seat laws and fitting advice. Anything we can do to increase your child’s safety could make a big difference in the event of a collision.

Sarah Morris, the council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said: “Every year around 100,000 children in the UK are involved in collisions and the fitting of their car seat can have a serious impact on whether or not they are injured.

“We check the car seat to see if it is suitable for your child and if it is compatible with your vehicle. If the seat or the harness needs to be adjusted, our officers are trained to show parents or carers how to fit the seat correctly.”

Car seat clinics will be taking place around the County, at the following dates and locations, from 9am – 4pm:

Monday 23 March – Poundstretcher Car Park, Newtown
Tuesday 24 March – Tourist Information Centre Car Park, Brecon
Wednesday 25 March – Co-op Supermarket Car Park, Machynlleth
Thursday 26 March – Tesco Supermarket Car Park, Ystradgynlais
Friday 27 March – Aldi Supermarket Car Park, Llandrindod Wells

No appointment is necessary and each check should only take a few minutes.  If you are not able to visit us during the Car Seat Clinics, you can book an appointment to see us throughout the year by phoning 01874 612355 (Brecknockshire), 07909 895346 (Montgomeryshire) or 01597 826637 (Radnorshire).

For further information, email the Road Safety Unit at road.safety@powys.gov.uk. You can even ask for advice via the Road Safety Unit’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


Road Safety Event Held for South Powys Pupils
4/3/15

Emergency Srvices

Sixth form pupils from across south Powys have taken part in a road safety education event that was held in Brecon.

The event was held at Brecon’s high school and leisure centre and was organised by Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit, working in partnership with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Dyfed Powys Police and the Welsh Ambulance Service.

Collision SceneAimed at sixth form pupils aged 16-18 years, the event staged a collision scene where pupils were given the chance to see first-hand what the emergency services do when there is a fatal collision, including scene management and the extrication of ‘drivers’ of vehicles.

The pupils moved indoors where they had the opportunity to see what happens in relation to court

proceedings when someone has been killed in a collision.

Gold-winning Paralympian Josie Pearson, MBE also attended the event and spent 15 minutes talking to the pupils about how a fatal collision she was involved in when she was 17 years old has affected her life.
Pupils at Brecon High School

Helen Richards and Bob Chard, whose teenage daughter Rachel was sadly killed in a collision were also present for the event and shared their experience with the pupils.

Students were then given the opportunity to question the council’s road safety officers, officers from the police, fire and ambulance services, Josie, Helen and Bob about what they had seen during the event and about anything relating to driving or road safety in general.

Volunteers from the Brecon and Radnor Branch of The Samaritans were also present on the day to offer help and support to anybody who had been affected by what they had seen.

Crash SceneCommenting on the event, Cllr Wynne Jones, Cabinet Member responsible for Road Safety, said: “I am sure you are all aware that young driver safety is a high priority for us. This was a first class and informative road safety event aimed very much at our young people and our aim is to keep them safe when they are on our roads.

“We are all working closely to reduce casualties on our roads, especially that of young drivers and their passengers. As drivers, passengers and general road users we are urging you to take care on the roads.”

Nichola Davies, the council’s Area Road Safety Officer, said: “We hope that all the young people who attended the event have an increased knowledge of road safety and indeed the responsibility they have to themselves and their peers to keep themselves safe.”


First Drug Driving Arrest in North Wales Under New Law
6/3/15

Police North Wales Police has made their first arrest under new drug driving legislation that came into force this week. At 8pm last night (Thursday March 5) police were called to a damage only road traffic collision on Newry Beach in Holyhead. Officers attended and tested the 19-year-old driver using the new drug-testing equipment.

He was then arrested on suspicion of drug driving and taken to police custody for further tests. He has since been released on police bail pending further enquiries. The new legislation came into force on Monday March 4 and now sets legal limits for how much of a substance – both illegal drugs and prescription medications motorists can have in their system whilst driving.

A new device, which has also been approved, now allows officers to test at the roadside using a swab from inside the driver’s mouth, to see if a motorist has taken cannabis or cocaine.

Sergeant Jason Diamond from the Roads Policing Unit said: “Whilst this is the first arrest under the new law it won’t be our last. Our message remains the same – don’t get behind the wheel under the influence of drink or drugs, it’s not worth the risk.”

Anybody who may have information relating to drug drivers should contact North Wales Police on 101 or alternatively Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.


Changes to the Drug Driving Law
2/3/15

Drug Drive Law From today (2 March 2015) the drug driving law has changed to make it easier for the police to catch and convict drug drivers. It is now an offence to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in your blood - just as it is with drink driving. Sixteen legal and illegal drugs are covered by the law, including cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and ketamine.

The limits for all illegal drugs are extremely low – taking even a very small amount of an illegal drug could put you over the limit.

The new offence will work alongside the existing offence of driving whilst impaired through drink or drugs.

The consequences

The penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink driving. If convicted, drivers will receive:

  • A minimum 12-month driving ban
  • A criminal record
  • A fine of up to £5000 or up to 6 months in prison or both

The consequences of a drug drive conviction are far reaching and can include:

  • Job loss
  • Loss of independence
  • The shame of having a criminal record
  • Increase in car insurance costs
  • Trouble getting in to countries like the USA

Latest drug driving announcements
Guidance for health care professionals


Cycling Focus for RoSPA's 2015 Family Safety Week
27/2/15

RoSPA Family Safety Week
RoSPA’s second national Family Safety Week (2-7 March 2015) will focus on the theme of ‘Safer Cycling’. Martin Roberts, from Homes under the Hammer, and the double Olympic gold medallist James Cracknell OBE, will launch the Week at an event at Queensbridge School in Birmingham.

A different aspect of cycling safety will be covered on each day during the Week. On Tuesday the focus will be on the importance of choosing the right-sized bike for a child. Wednesday will look at cycling to school, Thursday will cover cycling to work and on Friday the spotlight will be on leisure cycling. The week will conclude on Saturday when the focus will be on sharing the road.

RoSPA will also use the event to launch the 2015 Family Safety Week National Cycling Survey, which will set out to shed light on the issues that are of most concern to cyclists, and those that may even stop people from cycling. Resources, other information and the survey will be published on the event’s new website which will goes live today


Powys Road Safety Unit logoSenior drivers encouraged to ‘Drive On’
4/2/15

Senior drivers in Powys still have the opportunity to build their driving confidence further by taking part in a free assessment.

‘Drive On’ is a free assessment drive being offered by the council’s Road Safety Unit for people aged 55 and over or for those who need some support with building confidence in their driving, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

As part of the ‘Drive On’ assessment, participants can choose a Driving Instructor from a list supplied to them and telephone them to make a booking.  They will meet the Instructor and drive for one hour – either in their car or the Instructors.  During this confidential assessment, any safety issues will be discussed so that they can be improved upon.

Driving experience is extremely important and research shows some older drivers do avoid situations where they know they feel anxious – these may include night time driving, busy towns, fast roads and bad weather.  But avoiding these all the time is not always possible, especially on rural roads.

The ‘Drive On’ assessment is one of the ways that senior drivers can improve their driving skills.  It is not about taking your licence off you.  The Instructor will encourage you to drive safely and in doing so, keeping you driving and mobile for longer.

The assessment drive can be tailored to meet the exact needs of the participant to increase their confidence.  As part of the assessment, each participant will receive a free Highway Code for them to keep and read at their leisure.

For further information, contact the Road Safety Unit on 07909 895 346 (Montgomeryshire), 01597 826637 (Radnorshire) and 01874 612355 (Brecknockshire).


Pupils Use Artwork to Slow Down Drivers
4/2/15
Penllwyn Primary School Posters

On Monday 26th January pupils from Penllwyn Primary School were awarded certificates by Cllr David Carter, Mayor of Caerphilly for their efforts in creating artwork to slow drivers down.

The pupils were invited to Ty Penallta to showcase their posters to the Mayor, who thoroughly enjoyed the visit: “It is wonderful to see the brilliant artwork of pupils from Penllwyn Primary School. I hope that these posters will make drivers think of their speed when using the roads surrounding this school, as well as others”.

This follows the problem identified by Penllwyn Primary of speeding traffic, so in order to combat this problem they requested a 20MPH zone around their school.  

The school children then took part in a project to design the posters with the local authority’s Road Safety Project Officer. This involved all of the children discussing the dangers caused to pedestrians and cyclists when motorists drive at higher speeds. The artwork placed on the signs will help draw attention to the new speed limit and make motorists aware that they are near a school.

The scheme at Penllwyn Primary was funded through a Safe Routes in Communities grant from the Welsh Government.

Cllr Tom Williams Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering said: “I was delighted by the hard work that pupils from Penllwyn Primary School have put into their posters. I hope that their artwork will remind drivers of the correct speed limit when driving around schools”.


A Number of Initiatives for Motorcyclists in Powys Motorcycle wheel
4/2/15

With 3,400 miles of road, Powys has the largest road network in Wales and motorcyclists come from far and wide to enjoy our rural roads.

In 2014, 6 motorcyclists lost their lives as a result of a road traffic collision in the County and in excess of 25 motorcyclists received serious injuries.  As one of the most vulnerable road users in Powys, the Council’s Road Safety Unit wants to reduce the number of motorcyclists involved in collisions.

The Unit has introduced a number of initiatives to help motorcyclists ride safely, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

People who live and work in Powys have the opportunity to attend the ‘Ride On’ one day motorcycle course, which is designed to give motorcyclists an introduction to advanced motorcycling and consists of an informal theory session, followed by an assessment ride out, which is captured on the tutors’ bike mounted cameras.

Courses are taking place at the following dates and locations:

Saturday 7 March – Llandrindod Wells

Saturday 28 March – Newtown

Additionally, the Road Safety Unit is sponsoring places on Dyfed-Powys Police ‘Bikesafe’ courses, to enable any motorcyclist who uses our roads to attend the course for free.

Courses are available at the following dates and locations:

Saturday 21 March - Newtown

Sunday 22 March – Llandrindod Wells

The Road Safety Unit, in partnership with Mid & West Wales Fire & Rescue Service, also provides and delivers the ‘Biker Down!’ course for any motorcyclist who uses our roads.  The 3 hour course covers such topics as collision scene management, emergency first aid and helmet removal and the science of being seen.

Courses will be available at Fire Stations in Newtown, Llandrindod Wells and Brecon.  Additionally, the Road Safety Unit is able to take the course to existing motorcycle clubs.

Finally, the unit is also making the ‘Crash Card’ scheme available to any motorcyclist who uses the county’s roads.  The card contains the personal details of the motorcyclist and sits in the lining of their helmet and can be used by the emergency services should they ever be involved in a collision.

For information on any of these schemes or indeed to book a place, please contact the Road Safety Unit on 01597 826979 or email road.safety@powys.gov.uk.  Alternatively, you can visit the Unit’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


All Wales Winter Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign Results
20/1/15
Breath testOver 480 drivers in Wales were caught over the drink drive limit during the All Wales Winter Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign. Throughout the month-long campaign 30,718 drivers throughout Wales were breath tested between 1st December 2014 and 1st January 2015.

Dyfed-Powys Police carried out 8,204 breath tests with 140 being positive. In Gwent a total of 2,203 breath tests were carried out, with 42 being positive. In North Wales Police officers tested 15,627 drivers, with 76 being positive, and South Wales Police administered 4684 tests with 230 positive results.

The campaign was launched with support from drink drive victim Dr Mark Boulcott, who lost his wife and was left disabled by a drink driver. Speaking on behalf of the Welsh forces, Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, and ACPO All Wales lead on Roads Policing Carl Langley said: "It is disappointing that 488 drivers throughout Wales chose to risk their own lives, and the lives of others during the campaign. We were clear in our messages throughout the campaign that drink or drug driving is not acceptable, and will not be tolerated. But those that chose to break the law and endanger themselves and other road users arrogantly were in the minority, and we thank the public that showed support for the campaign and were happy to co-operate.
"Drink driving ruins lives all year round, and our efforts to combat it continue throughout the year. We are asking the public in Wales to help us take these people off our roads, and report anyone you suspect of drink or drug driving.”

Chair of Road Safety Wales Susan Storch said, “Drink and/or taking drugs and driving is dangerous. Drivers should be under no illusion that if they get behind the wheel while under the influence they not only risk losing their licence, getting a fine and even a prison sentence but they are putting the lives of others at risk by doing so.
“We commend the efforts of our partners in the Police Service during the Winter Campaign as part of our continued efforts to drive home the message of ‘Drink or Drive’ not both.”

If you have information relating to someone you think is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please contact Dyfed-Powys Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.
Notes:
During the 2013 Winter Campaign:
35,255 drivers were breath tested throughout Wales.
Dyfed-Powys Police carried out 11,281 breath tests with 161 being positive. In North Wales a total of 18,159 breath tests were carried out, with 107 being positive. In Gwent officers tested 2,470 drivers, with 39 being positive, and South Wales Police administered 3,345 tests with 158 positive results.


New M4 Speed Enforcement Cameras go Live in Port Talbot
19/1/15

Port Talbot M4 trafficNew average 50mph speed enforcement cameras on the M4 through Port Talbot have gone live.

The four cameras were installed in October on a two-mile stretch and during a trial period hundreds of motorists a day were found to be ignoring the speed limit. Enforcement action will come into force from today.

It will be the first permanent installation to go into operation on a Welsh section of the motorway.

Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership GoSafe said the testing period gave motorists a chance to become familiar with the limit and adjust their speeds and driving behaviour.



Innovation in Reducing Motorcyclist Casualties in Wales
14/1/15

Welsh Government logoThe ‘Innovation in Reducing Motorcyclist Casualties in Wales’ project is a new national competition launched by the Welsh Government to drive forward Wales’ innovation agenda.

This competition is funded by the Welsh Government and Innovate UK, and jointly run with RoSPA Wales. The competition will identify innovative projects that can help the Welsh Government to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads in particular accidents occurring at junctions.

Organisations are invited to compete for a share of a total of £510,000 in funding for the prototype development and demonstration of innovative technologies.The project provides an exciting opportunity to play a part in helping the Welsh Government to reduce the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads.

In 2013 motorcyclists made up only 0.2% of the road traffic in Wales (by distance travelled), but accounted for 31% of those killed or seriously injured. 17 motorcyclists died on Welsh roads in 2013 and 229 were seriously injured. Many of those injuries will be life changing. Allowing for year on year fluctuations, this figure has changed little in the last 10 years.

Wales is not alone in trying to tackle this issue but the attractiveness of the Welsh countryside to motorcyclists does mean that in addition to our own motorcyclists, we also attract a large number of visiting motorcyclists. We want to continue to welcome them to Wales, whilst ensuring they go home safely.

The reasons why motorcyclists are involved in collisions vary, but whilst motorcyclists are not necessarily at fault, they are physically more vulnerable than car users. That means if they are involved in a collision they are more likely to be killed or seriously injured than other road users. We know that motorcyclists are particularly vulnerable at junctions. Between 2009 to 2013, 49 per cent of motorcyclist KSI’s occurred at junctions, with 48 per cent of these being at T-Junctions.

The challenge will be to develop an effective intervention or technological feature that provides demonstrable improvements in the safety of motorcyclists, either by reducing the likelihood of a collision occurring, or by lessening the impact of a collision.

To find out more visit Sell2Wales here


Free RideSafe Course Offers Training to Monmouthshire Bikers
17/12/14

Motorcycle TrainingMonmouthshire County Council is offering young motorcyclists FREE training sessions to enhance Flyer Motorcycle trainingand refresh their riding skills. The RideSafe course offers training in positioning, speed and observation and is intended for young people who have passed their compulsory basic training test.

Courses will be held at County Hall, Usk on Saturday, January 10th, Heads of the Valleys Training at Gilwern on Saturday, February 14th and Caldicot Leisure Centre on Saturday, March 14th. Instruction will be carried out by local training organisation Biketrain.

Monmouthshire’s cabinet member with responsibility for road safety, Cllr Bryan Jones said: “Motorcyclists are 55 times more likely than car drivers to be killed or seriously hurt in a collision so the RideSafe course is a vital step for young motorcyclists who wish to travel safely and responsibly”.

Contact Monmouthshire’s Road Safety Officer, Carolyn Derosaire to enrol or for further information:

email: carolynderosaire@monmouthshire.gov.uk or telephone 07818 036939.


Anti-Drink Drive campaign sends home serious message
16/12/14

A group of Bedwas High School pupils have been commended for their outstanding work towards this year’s Gwent Police Anti Drink Drive Campaign. caerphilly

The annual campaign was launched on Thursday 27 November, pupils across Wales were encouraged to enter poster designs to represent the anti dink driving message.  Molly Morgan of Bedwas High School successfully won the Gwent round of the competition and attended a special presentation event at Ty Penallta with other highly commended pupils from Bedwas High.

The presentation of prizes was made by Cllr. Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation & Engineering and Cllr. David Carter, Mayor of Caerphilly county borough.

Cllr. Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation & Engineering said: “I’m pleased to see so much fantastic work from pupils at Bedwas High School.  Their support of such an important campaign is great to see and I’d like to congratulate them on this brilliant achievement.  The annual Anti Drink Driving campaign plays an essential role in ensuring our safety whilst travelling and I’m certain that schools across Caerphilly county borough will continue to help spread the message of the dangers and consequences of drink driving.”


RoSPA Hopes New Lower Drink-Drive Limit Will Light the Way for Clock Change
15/12/14
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) welcomes Scotland’s new lower drink-drive limit but hopes the move will lead to another law change as it pushes for lighter evenings.  

From Friday (December 5), the new legal limit will be 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, a reduction from the current limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, after plans by the Scottish Government were approved.  

The change, being implemented because Westminster has devolved powers to Scotland to set its own drink-drive limit, is strongly supported by RoSPA, which has campaigned for decades for a lower legal limit to be introduced across the UK.  

Sandy Allan, RoSPA’s road safety manager for Scotland, said: “The Scottish Government’s decision to lower the drink-drive limit in Scotland is a positive step towards saving lives and reducing injuries on Scotland’s roads, which we strongly support.  

“Consuming any amount of alcohol will affect your ability to drive and put you and others at risk of dying on our roads.  Research indicates if you have a blood alcohol level of between 0.05 and 0.08, the equivalent of the old and new limits, you are six times more likely to die in a crash. This change should clearly make it safer for all.  The only safe limit is zero.”  

But as part of its wider road safety strategy, RoSPA has recently asked William Hague, who is reviewing the constitution following the Scottish referendum, to introduce a similar devolution of powers in the constituent parts of the UK so they can make their own decisions on another important road safety issue - lighter evenings.  

Research has shown that a shift to Single/Double Summer Time could save lives and reduce injuries on roads across the UK, and yet perceived resistance to the change in Scotland has so far prevented it coming about.  

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA’s chief executive, said: “We hope that the Scottish Government’s decision to lower the drink-drive limit will pave the way for change in the law for lighter evenings as well.  

“Research commissioned by the Department for Transport shows that about 80 deaths and at least 200 serious injuries would be prevented on the roads each year if the UK switched to Single/Double Summer Time, which could put the clocks one hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in winter and two hours ahead of GMT in summer.  

“Extra evening daylight would protect vulnerable road users like children, the elderly, cyclists and motorcyclists by making them more visible to motorists during the peak time in the late afternoon and early evening.  And contrary to wide-held opinion in Scotland, research by the Policy Studies Institute has shown that it is Scotland which would benefit disproportionately from this change.      

“Few people will understand how Scotland can be given freedom to implement its laudable road safety policy in one area and yet by a perverse devolutionary hookum, neither Scotland nor any other country in the UK can choose to implement a road safety law which would have a similar life-saving, injury-reducing effect, through daylight saving.  If such a freedom were granted, the ideal outcome would be for Scotland to make the first move.  But in any case, this artificial barrier to progress should not be used to prevent those who live further south from benefitting from the many advantages which daylight saving would bring.”  

In October, RoSPA wrote to William Hague, inviting him to include time-zone devolution in the constitutional changes he is overseeing.

For more information on RoSPA’s lighter evenings campaign, visit www.rospa.com/roadsafety/features/lighter-evenings.aspx


GoSafe Receives Prestigious Road Safety Award
10/12/14

GoSafe, the Partnership responsible for co-ordinating static and mobile camera enforcement in Wales has received a Prestigious Award from His Royal Highness Prince Michael of Kent in recognition of the effectiveness of its Young Driver “Deadly Mates” campaign.
Prince Michael of Kent and GoSafe

The Prince Michael International Road Safety Awards are presented to individuals, companies or organisations in acknowledgement of their outstanding contribution to improving road safety. GoSafe accepted the award at the annual awards luncheon ceremony at The Savoy along with over 300 guests including DCC Carl Langley, ACPO Lead for Wales.

Deadly Mates is a striking and hard-hitting campaign seeking to tackle the high number of serious and fatal road collisions associated with young people that are happening in Wales, especially when being driven by another young person who may be a friend or peer. The campaign has been running since 2006 and portrays the devastating facts that young drivers may have to deal with if driving too fast or not paying attention at the wheel.

In 2012 12% of the population in Wales represent young drivers aged between the ages 16-24, but in 2013 had a 22% share of Killed and Seriously Injured (KSI) road casualties in Wales. This group has a higher risk of becoming a road traffic casualty than younger and older age groups*.

Chris Hume, Partnership Manager for GoSafe said “It is an incredible honour to be recognised by Prince Michael of Kent and to receive such a prestigious award. Our strategy is to keep delivering a high standard of educational campaigns supporting the Welsh Government Road Safety for Wales Framework to help make the roads safer in Wales.”

In congratulating the winners, HRH Prince Michael of Kent said, “I congratulate you, your scheme has shown how a well-researched and carefully evaluated innovation can mGoSafe Awardake a real and measurable difference.”

DCC Carl Langley, Dyfed Powys Police and ACPO Lead for Wales said “The risks to young and inexperienced drivers are well understood, and I amdelighted that GoSafe have received this award for tackling an area of road safety which results in too many tragedies every year. Many congratulations to the team for their deserved success.”

Adrian Walsh, director of RoadSafe, the organisers of the awards scheme said, “Deadly Mates is a supreme example of how to run a partnership campaign – one simple coordinated hard hitting message used by all agencies”


Road Safety Week Activity in Caerphilly
5/12/14

A thousand children across Caerphilly county borough took part in Road Safety WeekTy Isaf JRSOs
(17 - 23  November) to support the national road safety campaign which focuses on promoting ways to stay safe as a pedestrian and as a car user.

Several initiatives took place throughout the week to promote awareness throughout Caerphilly, starting with Ty Isaf Infants School, whose Junior Road Safety Officers recorded any “Naughty Parkers” outside of the school and any vehicles where passengers were not wearing seatbelts. They then held a special assembly where they stressed the importance of wearing your seatbelt to keep you safe and ultimately save your life. The Junior Road Safety Officers at Ty Isaf Infants School will continue to monitor “Naughty Parkers” and others who do not abide by their road safety rules.

Blackwood Primary and Deri Primary also did their bit with assemblies to encourage pupils to walk safely to and from school by wearing bright and reflective clothing.  Ysgol Gynradd Caerffili also wanted to promote the importance of wearing bright and reflective clothing during the winter months by holding a workshop.

Pupils in Pantside decided to investigate drivers with the use of a speed gun. They were disappointed to see that many cars were going too fast and exceeding the 20 miles per hour speed limit in place outside of the school. They intend to write to parents to inform them that their investigations into those driving past the school will continue.

Councillor Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Engineering said that: “It is important that children have a view of road safety to help keep themselves and others safe. I am very pleased to see children with such an active approach towards road safety at an early age”.


Coleg Cambria, Multimedia Winners for the North Wales Region
5/12/14

In the Annual Road Safety Wales Multimedia Competition, four winning videos premiered at the launch of the All Wales Anti Drink and Drug Driving campaign on Thursday 27 November. These excellent and creative films will now be used by police and their partners in Road Safety Wales to highlight the consequences of drink driving.

Students from Coleg Cambria, Wrexham created the winning entry from the North Wales Police region. Their film, You Booze, You Cruise, You Lose begins with the line....”Just look what a gang of drunk teenagers can do to a car in a matter of seconds.”

What follows is thought provoking, impactive and gets straight to the point. Their winning entry can be viewed here

The winning team were presented with a prize of £500 for the College at a ceremony this week. Many congratulations to the talented contributors:
Ben Jones, Tom Griffiths, Alex Jones, Karen Bird, Simon Crumpton, Joe Croft and Imogen Thomas.

 

Coleg Cambria


Brand New Mission: Fatal 4law Film Empowers Young Passengers to Speak Up
5/12/14Fatal 4law

Young Powys motorists are being urged to go online to learn about being safe on the road both as drivers and passengers.

Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit has created the Mission: Fatal 4law campaign, which centres around a page on the popular social network site Facebook.  The page – www.facebook.com.MissionFatal4law – provides information, help and advice on how individuals can influence the behaviour of other car occupants, especially the driver, and ultimately help to avoid a collision.

The Unit is urging people to watch a brand new film that forms part of the online campaign and which highlights some of the dangers of travelling with an irresponsible driver.  The short, powerful film, produced by Rataplan Films, is being shown on the Road Safety Unit’s social media pages and has been produced thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

Road traffic collisions are the biggest killer of 16 – 24 year olds and this new film has been produced in an attempt to reduce collisions in this vulnerable age group.  

Cllr John Powell, Cabinet Member for Road Safety, said “Powys has had an increase in the number of young passengers who are killed or seriously injured in recent years.  The increase in the number of young passengers injured on our roads is a worrying statistic.

We want to show our young people here in Powys that even if they don’t drive, they still have a voice when it comes to their own safety.”

Sarah Morris, Powys County Council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said “When you get into a car as a passenger, you are handing over responsibility for your life to someone else.  This brand new film will educate our vulnerable road users about how to keep themselves safe.

We hope to reduce the number of collisions involving young passengers and, in turn, our young drivers through the Mission: Fatal 4law campaign.”

If you would like to see the film, visit www.youtube.com/RoadSafetyPowys or follow the campaign by visiting www.facebook.com/MissionFatal4law

For advice and information on available courses, please visit www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


Get to Know The Fatal 5
2/12/14
Partners in Road Safety Wales have developed a new information leaflet to make road users aware of the five main causes of road traffic collisions and injuries in Wales.
fatal five


The bilingual leaflet which covers the consequences of :-

Drinking and Driving - Don’t risk being one of the 100,000 drink or drug drivers caught each year, or you could face a minimum 12 month ban, a large fine, a criminal record or even imprisonment. Stay alive don’t drink and drive.

Kill Your Speed - You are twice as likely to kill someone you hit at 35mph than you are at 30mph. Just a 1mph cut in average speed can result in a 5% reduction in the collision rate.

Don’t Get Careless - A vehicle can become a lethal weapon when driven carelessly. Getting a fixed penalty will result in a £100 fine and three points on your licence, with more severe consequences for death by careless or dangerous driving.

Belt Up – You are twice as likely to die if you don’t belt up. Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision, even on short, familiar journeys and at low speed. As a driver you are responsible for ensuring that passengers under the age of 14 are wearing a seatbelt (or using the correct child restraint for their height and age.) On the spot fines are £100, but if prosecuted, the maximum is £500.

Switch it Off - You are four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone whilst driving, whatever you’re doing with it. The consequences for using your phone behind the wheel are a £100 fine and 3 points on your licence. And if you cause a death, you could face up to 14 years imprisonment. Don’t call other people if you know they are driving.

Copies of the Fatal 5 leaflets are available from your local road safety officer, or alternately email:- anoble@rospa.com or telephone 02920 250600.


All Wales Winter Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign 2014
1/12/14

DyfDCC Carl Langley and Dr Mark Boulcott at the launch of the campaigned-Powys Police is leading the All Wales Winter Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign which will run from Monday December 1 2014 to January 1 2015.

Drink-drive victim, Dr Mark Boulcott will be supporting the campaign, after he lost his wife and he was left disabled by a drink driver, when the annual campaign is launched by Dyfed-Powys Police on behalf of the four Welsh forces. 

Dr Boulcott and his wife Karen, were riding a motorcycle when the fatal collision happened in 2006. Karen died at the scene, and Dr Boulcott had a long, hard road to recovery, but has been left disabled after sustaining life changing injuries. 

The driver of the car that hit them was three times over the legal alcohol limit for driving and also had class A drugs in his system .

During the 2013 winter campaign over 460 drivers in Wales were caught over the drink drive limit after 35,255 tests were carried out.

Over the next four weeks, thousands of motorists face being stopped as teams from the four forces -Dyfed Powys, North Wales, South Wales and Gwent - conduct road checks at various locations and times across the country.

Deputy Chief Constable of Dyfed-Powys Police, and ACPO All Wales lead on Roads Policing, Carl Langley said: “I would like to thank Dr Boulcott for supporting us with this year’s campaign, as reliving such a horrific and traumatic event publicly is incredibly difficult and brave.
“The campaign will once again focus on warning drivers that drinking and driving, or drug driving, is totally unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
“If you drink and drive you significantly increase the risk of killing or seriously injuring an innocent person, yourself or both. We are asking people to think of the consequences, it’s just not worth the risk.
“Obviously, this isn’t just a Christmas problem, and we target drink drivers all year round. We need the public’s support to help us take these reckless, selfish people off our roads.”

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 Dyfed-Powys Police, or your local police force on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.


Creative Young People Deliver The Drink-Drive Message
27/11/14
Poster 2014

The seventh 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 at the campaign launch at Dyfed Powys Police HQ, Carmarthen, yesterday.

The winning entry for the Dyfed Powys Police region is by Gwilym Short and Morgan Jones from Llanidloes High School. The work has been completed as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.Using their terrific acting skills, comedy timing and impressive talent as filmmakers, editors and entertainers Gwilym and Morgan have created Pie-Eyed Pilgrimage. Through the use of comedy, the piece successfully imparts a serious message

Coleg Cambria, Wrexham created the winning entry from the North Wales Police region Their film, You Booze, You Cruise, You Lose begins with the line....”Just look what a gang of drunk teenagers can do to a car in a matter of seconds.” What follows is thought provoking, impactive and gets straight to the point.

Tom Parsons from Coleg Gwent at Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone has created the winning entry for the Gwent Police Force region. Tom has utilised his terrific animation skills to emphasise the importance of thinking about the potential consequences before acting.This is shown when the character thinks and visualises what could happen if he gets into the car and drives home following a visit to the pub. Tom wants viewers to realise that drink driving is a choice, and that choices bring consequences.A considerable amount of work has gone into the planning of this piece, followed by over 40 hours of animation work.

The winning entry for the South Wales Police region comes from Spark Blaenymaes Youth Project from Swansea, a group which has supported the campaign and been involved in the competition for many years. Their film Truth or Dare is a drama based around the serious, life changing implications of drinking and driving.Lesa Cullen and Cerys Rosser devised and star in the piece, along with Spark Blaenymaes staff.The film is a high quality and serves as a reminder that drinking and driving is a lethal combination.

Younger pupils were invited to enter the Anti Drink Drive Poster Competition, Road Safety Wales is very grateful to all those young artists who contributed with their exceptional entries.

The winning artists from each region will receive their £100 prize in presentations across Wales during the next week. The artists of the overall winning poster, Estephanie Cabulao and Jannica Necesito of Ygsol Blessed Edward Jones Catholic High School in Rhyl, attended the campaign launch to collect their prizes. The 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 the participants in this year’s competitions, who took the time and effort to consider this vitally important message.

“Alcohol, in any amount, will have a detrimental effect on driving ability. Every year across Wales and the UK, unnecessary deaths and casualties are caused by impaired driving.

I hope these films and poster will serve as a timely reminder that drink driving is illegal, unacceptable and foolish.”

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 on the Road Safety Wales YouTube channel here
The winning poster can be downloaded here. Follow @roadsafetywales on Twitter and Facebook for future campaign information.


Over 900 caught using their mobile phone whilst driving
18/11/14

More than 900 motorists were caught using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel during the 2014 All-Wales Anti-Mobile Phone While Driving Campaign last month. The two-week enforcement campaign, which ran between 9th and 17th October, involved road safety partners and urged all road users to ‘keep their eyes on the road’ and not be distracted by answering their mobile phone, reading a text or going online.

Officers from all four Welsh police forces carried out proactive patrols to target motorists who endangered other road users through this behaviour and educated drivers on the penalties they faced if caught.

Go Safe safety camera vans, that can also enforce mobile phone offences, were used during the campaign and in North Wales the Roads Policing Unit used a HGV cab to try and catch offenders.

During the campaign, officers detected a total of 914 mobile phone driving offences throughout Wales.

North Wales Police issued 53 TORs (Traffic Offence Reports) while in the Gwent area a total of 72 fixed penalty notices were issued to law-breakers.

In the Dyfed Powys force area 447 notices were given, while in South Wales 342 offenders were caught and apprehended.

Since March this year drivers caught in North Wales have been issued with TORs. These have now replaced all endorsable fixed penalty notices which means the driver will be contacted with details of how their case will be dealt with – be it an offer of an educational course, a conditional offer of a fixed penalty and/or driving licence penalty points or an appearance at a Magistrates Court.

Those caught using a mobile phone behind the wheel in North Wales may be offered an educational course – similar to the Speed Awareness course. The driver improvement course, which addresses all manners of careless driving, is classroom-based and is offered at various locations across North Wales. Following an eligibility check the driver must pay for the course. The course can only be offered once every three years.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said; “It is disappointing that so many drivers chose to ignore our warnings. Even the most experienced or competent of drivers can be easily distracted and a slight lapse in concentration can have serious consequences.

“Along with drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving carelessly, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, whether it be texting, using an app, or making a phone call is classed as one of the "Fatal 5"; the 5 most common causes of fatal road traffic collisions.

“With the increased use of smart phones we are seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty.”

“This campaign is just one part of our continuing 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. This is not a seasonal effort – officers will continue to clamp down on drivers who risk their lives and the lives of others.”

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales added: "Driving while using a mobile phone is not only illegal but dangerous. It doesn’t just put your own life at risk but also the lives of your passengers and other road users who may not have a say in your actions behind the wheel.

"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."

During the two-week campaign officers also detected other offences whilst carrying out checks - including 113 offences of speeding, 64 offences of failing to wear a seatbelt, five offences of no insurance, four disqualified drivers and 31 arrests were made for drink/drug driving offences.

Notes:

During the 2013 campaign officers detected a total of 1,095 mobile phone driving offences. North Wales Police issued 95 fixed penalty notices, Gwent issued 47 notices, Dyfed Powys Police issued 862 notices and South Wales Police issued 91.

Since March 2014 North Wales Police have been using TORs (Traffic Offence Reports) to issue to drivers at the side of the road.  TORs have replaced all endorsable fixed penalty notices which now means the driver will be contacted with details of how their case will be dealt with – be it an offer of an educational course, a conditional offer of a fixed penalty and/or driving licence penalty points or an appearance at a Magistrates Court.

Advice:

  • Don't make or answer calls when you're driving
    All phone calls distract drivers' attention from the road. 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
  • It's illegal to use a hand-held mobile when driving on the road even if you've stopped at traffic lights or are stuck in a traffic jam or are in a car park
    All these situations are covered by the legal definition of 'driving on the road'.
  • Park safely before using your mobile phone
    Do not park on the hard shoulder of the motorway.
  • Don't call other people when they're driving
    If you call someone and they tell you they are driving, ask them to call you back when they have parked up safely

Pupils Warn Motorists With Green Cones
14/11/14

Cwmffrwdoer Primary School in Pontypool is the latest Torfaen school to introduce a green cone scheme to combat the problem of motorists parking inconsiderately.

Green traffic cones are placed on both sides of the road outside the school, so parents and pupils have a clear view in both directions and the children can cross safely.

Torfaen's executive member for neighbourhoods, councillor John Cunningham, said: "When too many vehicles try to park outside a school at the same time it can block a child’s view of the road. The green cone is a simple solution to what can be a dangerous problem.

“It has worked for other schools in the borough and I am sure it will lead to a reduction in parking problems around Cwmffrwdoer Primary School as a result.”

Members of the school’s eco committee launched the scheme and are encouraging parents to think about walking or cycling with their children to school if possible.

Head teacher Sarah Truelove said: "Unfortunately there are some motorists who park irresponsibly in front of the school. We hope that this scheme will encourage motorists to think a little more and help make the area safer for our children.”


More than 90% feel ashamed to drink and drive
7/11/14

Fifty yearstrapped ago today, the first drink drive campaign was launched and films have been warning us about the dangers ever since. More than 90 per cent of drivers say they would be ashamed to be caught over the drink-drive limit.

But it's still a massive problem on the roads of Great Britain, with the most recent figures showing 230 people died from drink driving in a year.

  • It's 50 years since the launch of the first drink drive campaign
  • 92% of people feel ashamed to drink and drive
  • In 1979 nearly two thirds of young men were drink driving on a weekly basis.
  • In 2012, 230 people were killed in drink driving accidents
  • Over 88% of people say that they would think badly of someone who drinks and drives
  • 61% would rather reveal their internet search history to their employer than admit to a drink drive conviction

Calls for new Scottish drink-drive limit to be introduced in England and Wales
3/11/14

68% of motorists surveyed by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) would like the proposed Scottish drink-drive limit to be introduced across England and Wales.

Under the new proposal, the Scottish government will lower the legal drink-drive limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood before Christmas to reduce the number of drink-related accidents and deaths on Scotland’s roads.

More than 80% of IAM’s 2,632 survey respondents confirmed that they drink alcohol, and around half (47%) agree that lowering the limit from 80mg to 50mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood will reduce the number of accidents taking place across UK roads.

Neil Greig, IAM’s director of policy and research, said: “England and Wales are now totally out of step with drink-drive limits across the rest of Europe. 

"Existing research has shown that between 63 and 116 lives can be saved every year by a lower limit.  Different limits are also a recipe for confusion and the IAM would urge the Westminster government to review its approach as a matter of urgency.”

The poll further revealed that around half (53%)  would prefer more thorough police checks to target drink-drivers, while only 5% would support an increase in alcohol prices to tackle the problem.


Police Launch Campaign Targeting Motorists Who Use Phones Whilst Driving
2/10/14

Mobile Phone Campaign

North Wales Police, along with colleagues from the other Welsh Police Forces and Road Safety Wales are launching a major crackdown on motorists who use mobile phones whilst driving.

The two-week all-Wales enforcement campaign is urging all road users to ‘keep their eyes on the road’ and not be distracted by answering their mobile phone, reading a text or going online.

Police patrols will increase across Wales for the duration of the enforcement campaign, which runs from 6th until 19th October, to promote the safety message and raise awareness of the dangers and penalties amongst motorists.

GoSafe safety camera vans will also be used for the duration of the campaign as they also enforce mobile phone offences.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing of North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit 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 whilst driving.

“Along with drink driving, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt and driving carelessly, using a mobile phone behind the wheel, whether it be texting, using an app, or making a phone call is classed as one of the "Fatal 5"; the 5 most common causes of fatal road traffic collisions.

“With the increased use of smart phones we are also seeing drivers being distracted whilst accessing their apps, reading their emails or accessing the internet. Drivers need to be aware that these actions carry the same danger and the same penalty.”

Since March this year North Wales Police have been using TORs (Traffic Offence Reports) to issue to drivers at the side of the road.  TORs have replaced all endorsable fixed penalty notices which now means the driver will be contacted with details of how their case will be dealt with – be it an offer of an educational course, a conditional offer of a fixed penalty and/or driving licence penalty points or an appearance at a Magistrates Court.

During the 2013 campaign over a 1,000 motorists were caught using their mobile phones whilst behind the wheel. Between 1st January and 31st July this year North Wales Police have issued 1,069 tickets for mobile phone offences.

Chief Inspector Wareing said: "It’s extremely disappointing that a number of people choose to ignore our warnings. Even the most experienced or competent of drivers can be easily distracted. A slight lapse in concentration can have serious consequences and this campaign will raise awareness about the issue and will hopefully lead to more drivers doing the right thing and obeying a law which is designed to keep them and other road users safe.”

Chair of Road Safety Wales Susan Storch said: “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.

"Campaigns such as this demonstrate 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."

Executive Medical Director Matt Makin from the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board said: “We fully back this campaign as it can only takes a split second of distraction from using a mobile phone  behind the wheel to cause a tragic incident that sadly would call on our emergency medical care skill in this department.

“All of our Emergency Departments  have to pick up the pieces following  road traffic collisions and unfortunately we do  the shockwaves spread through family, friends and neighbours.

“We would  appeal to all  drivers to think twice regarding texting and calling on a mobile while driving.”

Throughout the campaign police and their partners will be using social media to highlight the campaign messages using the hash tag #fatal5 and #eyesontheroad

Notes:

During the 2013 campaign officers detected a total of 1,095 mobile phone driving offences.

North Wales Police issued 95 fixed penalty notices while in the Gwent area a total of 47 notices were issued to law-breakers.

In the Dyfed Powys force area 862 notices were given, while in South Wales 91 offenders were caught and apprehended.

Advice:

  • Don't make or answer calls when you're driving
    All phone calls distract drivers' attention from the road. 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
  • It's illegal to use a hand-held mobile when driving on the road even if you've stopped at traffic lights or are stuck in a traffic jam or are in a car park
    All these situations are covered by the legal definition of 'driving on the road'.
  • Park safely before using your mobile phone
    Do not park on the hard shoulder of the motorway.
  • Don't call other people when they're driving
    If you call someone and they tell you they are driving, ask them to call you back when they have parked up safely

Further information regarding the Go Safe partnership is available via their website www.gosafe.org


Yellow Triangle Scheme in Powys Powys logo
31/9/14

Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit has launched a brand new initiative, which will give car drivers the opportunity to display a means of quickly ascertaining the driver’s details in the event of a collision.

The scheme will take the form of a yellow triangle and ‘Your Details’ card. The card, which will be completed by the driver, will give information about their next of kin, medical conditions, allergies and medications.  Please note, we do not ask for your address to be displayed, for security reasons.

The accompanying yellow triangle must be displayed in the bottom left hand corner inside the windscreen out of the driver’s field of view.

This yellow triangle will indicate that the driver’s details are readily available in the form of the card, which will be kept in the glove compartment. This will enable the emergency services to access driver’s details that are required by them and hospital staff.

Geoff Wilks, Road Safety Project Officer, said “As most mobile phones nowadays are lockable, and only accessible by a password, the mobile phoneI.C.E. (in case of emergency) system can no longer be relied upon to give the emergency services access to details. The yellow triangle scheme will go that one step further by not only providing next of kin details, but details of the card holder’s personal information”.

County Councillor John Powell, Cabinet member for Highways said “The Road Safety Unit is dedicated to reducing casualties across all categories of road users. I urge all Powys residents to take advantage of this worthwhile scheme”

To request a yellow triangle pack, please phone 01597 826979 or email your name and address to road.safety@powys.gov.uk.  For information on all road safety schemes, please visit www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


Fall In GB Road Death and Injuries
10/10/14
Figures reveal that the number of people killed and injured on the road of Great Britain has fallen to the lowest number since records began.

The Department for Transport’s (DfT) road casualty figures for Great Britain in 2013, show that road deaths fell by 2 per cent compared to 2012, to 1,713, while the number of people seriously injured dropped by 6 per cent to 21,657.

The report highlights that there was also a fall in the number of pedestrians and cyclists killed. A total of 109 cyclists died in 2013, a decrease of 8 per cent, and pedestrian fatalities fell by 5 per cent to 398. However, there was a slight increase of 1 per cent in motorcyclist deaths, which rose to 331 in 2013.

Read the full details here


Road Safety Under the Spotlight
22/9/14

A new national campaign urging drivers to adhere to 20mph zones outside schools is being supported by Pembrokeshire County Council's road safety team. The ‘20mph Rule Outside Schools' campaign from GoSafe is focusing on educating motorists about the importance of adhering to the relevant limit. Speed enforcement vans will be sent to four locations in Pembrokeshire over the next three weeks as part of the campaign.

Ziggy Meads

Pictured is Sally Jones from the Council's Road Safety Team with children Daisy, Mia, Oliver and Korey, from the Meads CP School with road safety mascot Ziggy the Zebra.



Chris Hume, Partnership Manager at GoSafe, said; "The launch of ‘20mph Rule Outside Schools' will help road users to stop, think and kill their speed.Our aim is for everyone in Wales to understand the effects that those exceeding the 20mph limit can have on families and friends.

"Failure to keep within the limit puts children at risk, and leaves drivers liable to prosecution."

Councillor Rob Lewis, Cabinet Member for Transportation and Major Events, said it was essential that drivers observe the 20mph speed limits outside schools.
"There are 25 zones outside schools in Pembrokeshire where the speed limit is 20mph," he said.

"If you speed in these zones you are putting children's lives in danger."

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) while there is a 20% chance of fatal injury when someone is hit by a car travelling at 30mph, this reduces to just 2.5% if the car is travelling at 20mph.

The County Council's road safety team is also supporting a new national seatbelt safety campaign.The team visited local schools this week promoting seatbelt safety with mascot Ziggy the Zebra.

"The law states that all children travelling in the front or back of any car, van or goods vehicle MUST use the correct car seat for their size," said Cllr Rob Lewis.

"They must use a car seat until they are either 135 cm in height or 12 years old (which ever they reach first). After this they must use an adult seat belt. There are very few exceptions."

It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that children under the age of 14 years are restrained correctly in accordance with the law

The use of seatbelts is the single most effective method of reducing injury in motor vehicle collisions. Experts have estimated that increased seatbelt wearing as the result of national legislation and police enforcement has reduced fatalities by more than 20%.
"Research has shown that the use of child restraints can make a big contribution to reducing the severity of road accident injuries, said Cllr Lewis.

"A child under the age of four is 10 times more likely to be killed in a car crash if unrestrained. That's why wearing a seatbelt is not a matter of choice but something everyone must do."

Ziggy Ysgol Glan Cleddau


Ziggy at Ysgol Glan Cleddau

Pictured promoting the seatbelt safety campaign at Ysgol Glan Cleddau are pupils Sara and Dylan with Kirstie Donoghue, Road Safety Officer, and road safety mascot Ziggy the Zebra.

The Good Egg Guide to child in-car safety is available on request. Please email road.safety@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or 01437 775144 for a copy.


Update on Road Safety
Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport
18/9/14

The Road Safety Framework for Wales was published in July 2013. It sets out the Welsh Government’s approach to road safety until 2020. A year on, it is timely to update Members on progress in implementing key actions in the Framework.

The Framework set a challenging target for a 40% reduction in the total number of people killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads by 2020. Two high risk groups were identified and specific targets set for a 25% reduction in the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured and a 40% reduction in the number of young people killed or seriously injured. All three targets were set against a 2004-08 baseline.

The road safety statistics for 2013 showed an overall decrease in the total number of road traffic collisions resulting in casualties. However, whilst slight injuries continue to decrease, the number of people being killed or seriously injured increased last year. Single year figures fluctuate and are not reliable indicators, but if this continued, it would mean that, the consequences of collisions are becoming more severe.

In 2013, the number of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, killed or seriously injured exceeded those amongst car occupants. That means that in addition to the two high risk groups already identified, we also need to ensure we are protecting all vulnerable road users. I will consider the data and if appropriate identify further specific actions in relation to these groups.

So far this year, seventy people have been killed on the roads in Wales. And while this is very similar to the number at the same point last year, and the year before, any fatality on the road is a tragedy that we must seek to avoid.

I am clear that efforts must be stepped up to prevent or lesson the seriousness of road traffic collisions where possible. Welsh Government and our partners in local authorities and the emergency services are working together to achieve this. This includes undertaking a rigorous analysis of the data on collisions to highlight areas for action.

I have asked my officials to look at how we can strengthen our efforts on road safety and ensure that it is at the centre of our approach to transport. The Road Safety Framework for Wales made it clear that continued casualty reduction would require close working with our partners to achieve.

I regularly meet with both Local Authority Leaders and the Welsh Chief Constables and l recognise the importance of continued co-ordinated action to further improve safety on Welsh roads. I will continue to seek that expert input.

With the Police, I fund safety camera enforcement in Wales and increasingly the technology for speed enforcement will also be used to enforce seat belt use and identify illegal mobile phone use.

I have also refocused the All Wales Strategic Road Safety Group to ensure all Local Authorities are represented, along with our partners in the Emergency Services and third sector. Those meetings will focus on the data coming forward on collisions and seek the assistance of partners to identify the best course of action to take. Specific sub groups with a focus on young people and motorcyclists have also been established.

Local Authority leaders have provided me with updates on the road safety programmes they operate, which is giving a better picture of what is happening across Wales, so that we can start to identify good practice or gaps. Local authority leaders also provided details of work remaining to improve safety and access around schools and this information will help inform future work programmes.

I take the safety of our motorway and trunk road network very serious and I continue to deliver road safety engineering improvements on the trunk road network at locations where there is a high risk of serious collisions occurring.

I am very pleased to be working with the Office of the Children’s Commissioner Wales to identify the road safety issues of concern to children and young people who attend schools located on the trunk road and to be developing a programme of work to address these issues, which I will announce before Christmas.

I have provided Local Authorities with Road Safety Grant funding for both capital and revenue schemes in 2014/15. In setting the objectives for the grant I have been clear that resources must be targeted on actions that will reduce casualties. Capital funding was allocated on a competitive basis and only to schemes where there was a history of killed or seriously injured casualties. I am grateful to the Police and to RoSPA for supporting my Department in assessing the applications submitted which ensured that I had robust advice on which to make the grant awards.

I continue to require evaluation of the effectiveness of road safety schemes to ensure that funding is firmly focused on those initiatives that deliver casualty reduction. Reflecting this approach in the allocation of revenue funding, I specified four primary interventions against which funding would be considered. These interventions support the two high risk categories and children as vulnerable road users. These were:

  • Motorcycle training
  • Pass Plus Cymru
  • Kerbcraft
  • National Standard Cycle Training

There is some variation in the way in which these programmes are delivered across Wales and, while some local tailoring may be appropriate in recognition of the nature of the road network and traffic in different parts of Wales, any such differences need clear justification in terms of impact on casualties. In order to ensure that we are not seeing variation for its own sake and to ensure that we can identify the programmes that have the most impact on casualty reduction, I have asked my officials to carry out a number of evaluations. We will be looking at Pass Plus Cymru, motorcycle training and training for older drivers in this financial year and the outcome of these assessments will inform which programmes are funded in future.

I was delighted to visit Porthcawl Primary School today to see the improvements that will be made through Safe Routes in Communities investment. This project and one at Tremains Primary School are additional projects that I have been able to add to the list of projects to be delivered under the Safe Routes in Communities grant scheme this year.

Road safety will continue to be a clear focus and I will update Members on progress.


20mph Rule Outside Schools
12/9/14

A new campaign "20mph Rule Outside Schools" is being launched during September 2014 focussing on making roads safer in communities. GoSafe - The Wales Road Casualty Reduction Partnership will be enforcing in 20mph areas and educating drivers about the importance of adhering to the relevant limit. The campaign is principally aimed at reducing risk to young persons and supporting local communities with September being a key time for children at the start of the academic year.


Go Safe Dyfed Powys

20mph areas, both zones and limits, have been around for a considerable time, it is important that drivers understand that those 20mph areas are there to improve safety, and that failure to keep within the limit puts children at risk, and leaves drivers liable to prosecution.

GoSafe will be focusing enforcement around 20mph areas outside schools in September. Better enforcement within these areas will increase compliance to the speed limit and contribute to the safety of the roads in Wales.

Slower speeds in communities have also been shown to support people to become more active, through increased cycling and walking. According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) while there is a 20% chance of fatal injury when someone is hit by a car travelling at 30mph, this reduces to just 2.5% if the car is travelling at 20mph.

Chris Hume, Partnership Manager, GoSafe said; "The launch of "20mph Rule Outside Schools" will help road users to stop, think and kill their speed, encouraging all local people who use the roads to have greater respect not only for one another but also their surrounding community. We will continue to work together with our partners on community engagement activities to make the streets outside schools safer. Our aim is for everyone in Wales to understand the effects that those exceeding the 20mph limit can have on families and friends".

"The motoring public should be aware that we will also continue to enforce both the limit and other traffic offences such as mobile phone and seatbelt use which will link in with the TISPOL and Think campaigns scheduled for September".

"Tim Burton, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Dyfed Powys, said; "The lives of too many young people are put at risk due to bad driving. Every motorist should take this 20mph message on board; it will help avoid personal tragedy and family heartbreak on our roads".

Deputy Chief Constable Carl Langley, ACPO lead for Road Safety across Wales has supported this campaign on behalf of the four Welsh police forces. “Our children are potentially vulnerable around schools for a combination of reasons such as inconsiderate parking, focussing on friends rather than the road, and of course, drivers who exceed speed limits which are there to increase the safety of all road-users"

"Speed limits are just that – limits – and around schools, 30mph can be too quick. The stopping distance on a dry road and in good conditions at 30mph is 23 metres or 6 car lengths. At 20mph, this is reduced by half to just 12 metres or 3 car lengths. This demonstrates the importance of the 20mph limits around schools and supports our intention to enforce these 20mph limits throughout this campaign"

Go safe North Wales

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said; "Children are potentially amongst the most vulnerable road users because of their age and lack of experience in certain situations. Reducing speeds outside schools will encourage children to walk and cycle to school, reduce congestion and improve the residential environment. Working with our partners in GoSafe we want to remind drivers and riders that lower speeds provide a safer road environment".

GoSafe adheres to Welsh Government and ACPO guidelines, but would ask all drivers to be aware - there are no enforcement free times and no enforcement free locations. All enforcement sites are dealt with on a case by case basis.

Go Safe South Wales


One Family Had a Wheely Good Time at Big Cheese
19/8/14

A Porth family have wheeled away from this year’s Big Cheese as the proud owners of a brand new bike.

Caerphilly’s Big Cheese festival was once again a strong success, with the Road Safety Marquee attracting over 1000 visitors.

Tracy Archibald with Caerphilly Road Safety TeamPeople of all ages had the chance to talk with Caerphilly County Borough Council officers about Road Safety issues and entered a free prize draw to win a brand new bike.

Tracy Archibald, from Porth, was visiting Caerphilly for the Big Cheese and entered a competition at the Road Safety Team’s stand. She exclaimed, “We now have three bikes and we can go out as a family on the nearby cycle path!”

Cllr Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering, was on hand to present the bike to Tracy and commented, “It is fantastic that we were able to get important messages about safety on the highways across to all the people who visited the Big Cheese. Congratulations to Tracy for winning the bike. I hope the family enjoy lots of bike rides together!


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