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A494 Road Safety Initiative
16/4//14

The Easter Bank Holiday weekend traditionally sees a large gathering of motorcycling enthusiasts taking to the roads of North Wales. The ‘A494 Road Safety’ public engagement day being held at the Ponderosa Café at the Horseshoe Pass Complex, Llangollen, a popular meeting place for motorcyclists, on Bank holiday Monday 21st April 2014, is intended to provide a unique and informative way of reaching out to motorcycle users to inform them of the potential risks they face when travelling the route.

North Wales public engagementA joint task force of organisations from across a494-bikesafe-safety-1North Wales (the North Wales Fire & Rescue Service, Welsh Ambulance Service, Trunk Roads Agency, Gwynedd Council, Snowdonia National Park, BikeSafe, GoSafe and North Wales Police) have collaborated to address this road safety issue that affects in particular, the section of the A494 between Corwen (A5 junction) and Bala.

A key aim of the partnership is to raise awareness of the dangers facing motorists, in particular motorcyclists, when driving this notoriously beautiful but challenging route.

Representatives from the partner organisations will be participating in the initiative on the day, which, along with guest appearances and volunteers will make the day’s events both interactive and enjoyable for those visiting the area.

A number of key messages will be on display including newly installed signposting as well as a specially designed leaflet highlighting precautions that motorcyclists can take to ensure their safety on roads in the region.

Colin Jones, Gwynedd Council’s Road Safety Manager said “As Chair of the Partnership and Focus Group, I would like to thank all Partners for their contribution and for their commitment during the past 12 months to reduce motorcycle related casualties on the A494. We recognise that road traffic collisions involving motorcyclists can often have tragic consequences many of which are entirely avoidable.

“I believe the Partnership has taken significant steps in the field of education, engineering and enforcement to try and reduce unnecessary deaths and injuries along this route.

“As a road safety professional and motorcyclist, I believe that Partnership working is key to the success and longevity of this project and driving down casualty statistics involving motorcyclists who use the A494.”

Adding to those comments, Superintendent Rob Kirman, who is in charge of North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said “We identified the need to raise awareness of motorcycle safety many years ago to help reduce road traffic casualties amongst motorcyclists. It is not about alienating the motorcycling community – it is about education and enforcement for those that commit offences.

“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 landscape, but they should be aware that 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.”

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.

Superintendent Kirman added “North Wales Police are pleased to have worked in partnership with the various organisations that have supported this latest initiative to make North Wales a safer environment to visit and enjoy.

“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.”

Further details regarding the free Bikesafe workshops are available via the Bikesafe website

A safety advice video to accompany the initiative can be viewed here


Ridersafe
14/4/14

"Ridersafe is a Road Safety initiativefor young people in the16 – 24 year age range, a target audience identified within the Road Safety Framework for Wales. It is a course of theoretical and practical training designed specifically for new moped and low powered 2 wheel riders and is divided into three modules.

Module 1 - Aspiring new riders require a CBT (Compulsory Basic Training) certificate to ride a motorcycle as a provisional licence holder. Ridersafe is offeredto first-time riders in Counties across South West Wales in partnership with Driving Standards Agency approved training providers (ATB). It incorporates an introduction to the Highway Code and riding safely on the road, prior to their attending Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) and a subsequent health check of new skills after a period of consolidation.

Course content includes exercises of group discussion where studentsare provided with informationand discuss attitudes to the prospect ofriding powered two wheel machines.They will learn how subsequent behaviour can affect themselves and other road users and their families in the event of a collision. A copy of the Highway Code is provided by the Road Safety Team at this stage, encouraging study and a development of prior knowledge before attending the CBT course.

Module 2 - Candidates will attend the Driving Standards Agency Compulsory Basic Training course (CBT) and complete five training modules with an Approved Training Body (ATB). Riders who reach the required standardwill be issued with a DL196 certificate which validates their provisional moped/motorcycle licence and permit them to ride, subject to age and licence restrictions, a moped or motorcycle up to 125cc with L plates, unaccompanied.

This certificate is valid for two years and will require renewal if no licence is acquired by virtue of theory and practical test pass in this category.

Module 3 - Designed to involve the rider after a period of consolidation of their riding skills (2wks –1 mth). Riders will participatein a further course of on road training as a follow on to CBT. The training will provide them with valuable further experience and a specific and realistic action plan for their personal development.

The following Driving Standards Agency Approved Training Bodies for motorcyclists (DSA ATB) have signed up to the initiativein each of the Counties and have agreed to deliver the Ridersafe package:

Motorcycle Training Wales, Llandarcy - Neath Port Talbot

SMART Motorcycle Training, Swansea - City and County of Swansea

Kickstart Motorcycle training, Carmarthen - Carmarthenshire

Podium Motorcycle Training, Haverfordwest - Pembrokeshire

The cost forall three modules is charged at total of £20 for each new rider on enrolment.

The training is open to new young riders who live or work within the participating Council areas.

All aspects of the course will be delivered by accredited and registered Driving Standards Agency motorcycle instructors. The delivery of the theory element includes Instructors who hold Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector certificates (PTLLS) in addition to the DSA accreditation"

To book a Ridersafe place call 01639 686828 or email roadsafety@npt.gov.uk for more information.


Raising Awareness at Ysgol Santes Helen, Caernarfon
9/4/14
Pupils from Ysgol Santes Helen, Caernarfon have been working with the Gwynedd Môn Road Safety Partnership to raise awareness of inconsiderate parking outside their school.

Drivers have been parking on yellow zigzag lines outside their school and causing problems for pupils at Ysgol Santes Helen pupils as they try to cross the road safely towards the school.

A poster designing competition to encourage drivers to ‘keep the yellow zigzag lines clear’ was recently held at the school, and the winning design has been used as a banner and signs and placed outside the school.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council’s Environment Cabinet Member said:

“The Council’s road safety officers have been working closely with schools across the county to raise awareness amongst pupils about road safety issues.

“The project at Ysgol Santes Helen is a great example of the school, pupils and the Council working together to come up with a practical answer to the problems caused by drivers parking on the yellow zigzag lines outside the school. I hope the new banner and signs will encourage drivers to think twice before parking on the zigzag lines and causing difficulties for the pupils as they cross the road to school.

“I’d also like to thank Councillor Ioan Thomas as the local member for his positive contribution to this important scheme, and staff at the school.”


RoSPA Child Car Seat Website Re-launched to Help Parents Select and Fit Car Seats Correctly

9/04/14

child car seatThe Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has unveiled a revamped Child Car Seats website to advise parents and carers on the safest way for children to travel in cars. The website - www.childcarseats.org.uk - is visited by around 4,500 people every day. It has become a trusted source of safety information for anyone needing advice about child car restraints in the UK.

Properly fitted child car seats are very effective in protecting children if there is a car crash, but it is essential that the child car seat is suitable for the child’s weight and size. Rearward-facing baby seats reduce the risk of death and injury in a crash by 90 per cent compared with being unrestrained and forward-facing child seats and booster seats reduce the risk of death and injury by more than 70 per cent.

In Great Britain in 2012, 19 children under the age of 12 were killed while travelling in cars, almost 200 were seriously injured and more than 4,700 slightly injured.

The revamped website provides up-to-date information on the types of child car seats available, including seats that are fitted with the car’s seatbelts, Isofix seats, which have fitting points built into the car, and i-Size seats, which meet a new child car seat regulation.

The website also provides advice on which seat to choose for your child and car and how to use them, the law and things drivers ought to know if they carry other people’s children in the car. It is mobile-friendly and easy to navigate, especially for busy parents, who will now be able to access the website via their mobile phone (but not while driving, of course), which could come in handy when out shopping for a child car seat.

Child car seats are designed and tested for children in different weight ranges and that’s what parents should be checking when they are selecting an “appropriate” seat.

However, the seats need to be fitted properly, and research shows that many parents are still struggling to use the right car seat for their child and fit it correctly. Common mistakes include moving the child into a larger car seat too soon, and not securely fitting the car seat in the vehicle. Poor fitting can mean that the seat will not protect a child in a crash.

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “The child car seats website is essential reading for parents, carers or grandparents whether they are choosing a baby’s first child car seat or are looking to move toddlers or older children from one seat to another.

“The importance of properly fitting a child seat cannot be over stated; make sure it is compatible with the car it will be used in and remember to seek expert help on fitting, perhaps from a retailer who has staff trained in fitting child car seats. We encourage parents to check that the seat is fitted correctly before every journey, especially if they are regularly taking it in and out of the car.

“Do avoid purchasing second-hand car seats as they might not comply with the latest standards, the fitting instructions may be missing and you cannot be sure of their history, such as whether they have already been in an accident.”

The re-design of www.childcarseats.org.uk was funded by the Department for Transport.


£5 Million to Improve Walking and Cycling Routes Across Wales
1/4/14

Transport Minister, Edwina Hart, has announced £5m funding to create safe walking and cycling routes for schools and communities across Wales.

Transport Minister Edwina Hart and Cllr Phil White from Bridgend Council with pupils from Maesteg ComprehensiveAt a visit to Maesteg Comprehensive School, which has benefited from £350,000 Welsh Government funding for walking and cycling routes, Mrs Hart said 30 new projects would be fully or partly funded in the 2014/15 financial year.

Local authorities will receive money through the Safe Routes in Communities programme for crossings, traffic calming measures, cycle paths, footpaths, secure cycle facilities and lighting.

The Minister said:

“I am very pleased to announce funding for these 30 new projects which will ensure more people will be able to walk or cycle safely to schools and other parts of the their communities. As well as improving safety the Safe Routes in Communities programme encourages physical activity and reduces reliance on the car. It is encouraging to see the positive impact the Safe Routes to School funding has had for pupils and the wider community here in Maesteg.”

Anne Carhart the Headteacher of Maesteg Comprehensive School said:

“The Safe Routes in Communities funding has provided safe and scenic routes to school and a healthier option for pupils and the wider community to use. The routes are fantastic Safe Routes in Communities and many pupils and staff are now walking or cycling to school.

“In addition the safe routes have allowed us to further develop the PE curriculum by introducing cycling as an activity and, in partnership with other clubs such as 5/60 the opportunities to do extra-curricular activities have increased. On behalf of the pupils, staff and governors of the school I would like to give a big thank you to the Welsh Government for providing the resources to keep our pupils safe and healthy.‘’

Maesteg Comprehensive received funding in 2010/11 towards a new walking and cycling route to Nantyffyllon/Cwrt y Mwnws, a new footpath and crossing to Crown Road and improvement of the footpath to South Parade. In 2011/12 they got money towards a new walking and cycling road between Cwmdu Road and the school.


Children’s Art Celebrates Their Lollipop Lady
1/4/14

Pupils at Aberbargoed Primary School have created artwork to show the important role their Lollipop Lady plays in getting them to school safety.

Lollipop Lady Julie Withers pictured with Aberbargoed Primary pupils Jay Vokes, Rhianna Fennell-Edwards, Georgia Parr and Alfie Hughes showing their winning designsThe children designed eye-catching posters to put up outside their school and in nearby shop windows illustrating the benefits of having their Lollipop Lady, Julie Withey, safely assist them on their way to and from school each day. The designs incorporated slogans such as ‘Julie is very kind and helps us cross the road’ and ‘Our Lollipop Lady stops the traffic to make it safe for us to get to school’.

The unenviable task of picking a winning design from the array of excellent posters fell to Lollipop Lady Julie. After much deliberation, Alfie Hughes was awarded first prize, while runners-up were Georgia Parr, Jay Vokes and Rhianna Fennell-Edwards.

Lollipop Lady in the limelight Julie, who has worked on the school crossing patrol for nearly five years, said: “I thought the competition entries were outstanding, we’ve had a really good response.

“The kids are excellent, and they’re always really pleasant and polite when they talk to me on their wayLollipop Lady Julie Withers pictured with Aberbargoed Primary pupils Alfie Hughes, Rhianna Fennell-Edwards, Georgia Parr and Jay Vokes into school. It’s nice that the children recognise the importance of Lollipop Ladies and the role we play in getting them to school safely.”

Cllr Tom Williams, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering, said: “It’s great to see children with an understanding of road safety and who obviously have a strong relationship with their Lollipop Lady, Julie.

“Congratulations to the pupils of Aberbargoed Primary School for their excellent effort in designing posters to highlight the importance of our Lollipop Ladies.”



Home Nations Urged to “See the Light” as the UK Prepares to Put its Clocks Forward
28/3/14

As millions prepare for British Summer Time, RoSPA is urging every member of the UK to “see the light” ahead of Scotland's independence referendum.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has lobbied for lighter evenings for decades in a bid to cut the number of people killed or seriously hurt on our roads.

Summer TimeThe charity’s chief executive Tom Mullarkey is using this Sunday's (March 30) switch to British Summer Time (GMT+1) to appeal for an extra hour of evening daylight throughout the year - regardless of the outcome of Scotland’s independence referendum in the autumn.

Research commissioned by the Department for Transport shows that about 80 deaths and at least 200 serious injuries would be prevented on our roads each year if the UK switched to Single/Double Summer Time (SDST: GMT+1 in winter / GMT+2 in summer).

Tom Mullarkey said: “If Scotland votes 'Yes' in September, then it’s only right that it should choose its own time zone. RoSPA would then urge the Scottish people to change to SDST, because all the evidence shows that Scotland would be the island's biggest beneficiary.

“If Scotland votes 'No', we would encourage all of the Home Nations to develop a unified approach to what’s in the best interests of everybody.

“This is a campaign that has been affected by regional divisions in the past. But it needn't be, because it's a move that would benefit everyone – Scotland more so.”

A report by Dr Mayer Hillman, of the Policy Studies Institute at the University of Westminster, found that an extra hour of evening daylight would benefit Scotland more than any other part of the UK because of the limited number of daylight hours it enjoys in the winter - with parts of the country receiving as little light as some places in the Arctic Circle.

SDST would mean that adults in nine-to-five employment in Scotland would enjoy almost 300 extra hours of daylight per year. For children in Scotland, there would be an annual increase of about 200 daylight hours.

Other benefits of lighter evenings - across the UK - would include:

• Cutting CO2 emissions by 447,000 tonnes a year by reducing the need for electric lighting in the evenings
• Providing a £3.5bn boost to British leisure and tourism, creating up to 80,000 new jobs in the sector
• Addressing levels of obesity by allowing for more outdoor sport in the evenings
• Relieving the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and similar conditions
• Reducing crime and the fear of crime (especially among the elderly)

RoSPA is encouraging the public to make sure that the UK’s decision-makers are persuaded of the drive’s popularity by clicking on its big, red “Support Our Campaign” button.

More than 45,000 members of the public signed up to the Lighter Later campaign during the passage of Rebecca Harris’s Bill in 2012. Nearly 22,000 individually written emails were sent to MPs urging them to vote in favour. One hundred and forty six of the 160 MPs present at the final stage voted to progress the debate. Yet the Bill still failed, thanks to the efforts of just 10 MPs.


Conwy JRSO's Support Police Seatbelt CampaignYsgol Cystennin
27/3/14
As part of their In car safety project the Junior Road Saftety Officers
in Conwy decided to do measuring check from Years 1-4 to see if they
were under 135cm and still needed to be on booster seats.

They ran their event alongside the seatbelt campaign from the police, measuring children and with my assistance they gave out advice and information to take home.

 


School Bus-Stop Drop Off Point
26/3/14

Concerns over road safety have led pupils at Raglan Primary School to place four warning signs on their bus bay requesting private drivers stay away and park elsewhere.

children at Raglan Primary SchoolBecause of worries over the likelihood of a mishap due to cars obstructing the school bus drop off point, the school’s seven junior road safety officers contacted our highways staff about vehicles parked without authority forcing buses to relocate to a nearby busy road. In addition, the youngsters maintain some cars enter the bus bay – also the route to the adjacent surgery – at speed and are concerned about potential risks incurred crossing to reach school.

Road safety officer Carolyn Derosaire met the junior road safety officers with schoolteacher Angela Smith and working in conjunction with the surgery they agreed to design and install the warnings which were sponsored by local company Standard Signs. Headteacher Jeremy Piper commented: “We’re hoping that our brightly coloured signs declaring ‘SCHOOL BUSES ONLY!’ will be effective and they could be adopted by other schools in the county suffering similar issues.”

Cabinet member for road safety Councillor Bryan Jones added: “I’m pleased that the young people have taken the initiative to place the signs in the bus bay outside their school and I hope that drivers will take notice. Children, school staff and parents alike are worried that an accident could happen and these warnings give a clear message that motorists must drive and park appropriately. The children should be commended for their help in promoting road safety outside our schools.”


TV Star Urges Public to “Get Involved” During the UK’s First-Ever Family Safety Week
21/3/14

The UK's first-ever Family Safety Week is being launched by RoSPA in a bid to help millions of people protect their loved ones from accidents - the top cause of preventable death.Rospa logo

The week will be kick-started by Martin Roberts, the star of BBC1's Homes Under the Hammer, at Allens Croft Children's Centre, in Birmingham, on Monday, March 24.

Founded by the UK’s top safety charity, the week will run until March 28. Advice and information will be available on the Family Safety Week website and each day will have a different theme:

Monday: Focus on 0-5s - looking around your home from a child’s point of view
Tuesday: Older children - developing water safety skills by learning to swim
Wednesday: Teens and young adults - helping learner drivers
Thursday: Adults - becoming safer drivers at work
Friday: Older people - preventing falls.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is urging people and organisations to get involved by doing one or more of the following things:

• Taking part in the online National Accident Survey. This will give a much-needed snapshot of how accidents affect families and the help they need to prevent them
• Pledging to do something for their family’s safety
• Sharing safety advice with friends, family and colleagues via social media, and downloading a Twibbon to show support on Twitter
• Hosting a safety session that focuses on one (or more) of the week’s themes.

People can find out more at the Family Safety Week website.

Martin Roberts, one of the UK’s most respected property, travel and lifestyle journalists, said: “As soon as I heard about Family Safety Week I wanted to be a part of it. Being the father of two young children and knowing friends and colleagues who've lost loved ones in accidents, I know how crucial it is to get the balance right.

“That's why I'd urge others to get involved! This isn't about overzealous rules and regulations – it is about looking after the ones you love. It's a great idea that I’m sure families will embrace.”

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA's chief executive, said: “Many people tell us that their family’s safety is their number one priority. They value good advice about accident prevention that’s not over-the-top and enables their family to live life to the full.

“Finding out about some of the common causes of accidents and the simple steps you can take to prevent them could be one of the most important things you do for your loved ones. Family Safety Week will help you to do this.”

Accidents are the UK's biggest killer of children and the leading cause of death up to the age of 39. They are the top cause of early, preventable death for most of our lives. They are also responsible for millions of injuries every year, placing an unbearable strain on families, the NHS, and employers.

RoSPA has been at the heart of accident prevention for almost 100 years. It exists to save lives and reduce injuries in the home, on the roads, during leisure, at work and in schools and colleges.

This year’s Family Safety Week is sponsored by Royal Mail.


Ride Safely Sign'Ride Safely' in Powys
17/3/14

One hundred and fifty ‘Ride Safely’ information posters are currently being placed on roads around the County, Powys County Council has announced, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

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 of 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.

Cllr John Powell, Cabinet Member for Road Safety, said: “We need to continue to decrease the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.  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.”

Sarah Morris, the Council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said: “Even though the number of fatal Grid Reference Stickercollisions has decreased overall in recent years, motorcyclists remain one of the most vulnerable road users.

“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 0845 602 7035 or email road.safety@powys.gov.uk.  Alternatively, you can visit the Unit’s Facebook page – www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


Abergavenny Pupils Get Safety Lessons Charlotte Johnston and Megan Spears Demonstrating First Aid

13/3/14

PUPILS from across Gwent were given safety messages as part of campaigns to tackle bullying, drug misuse and the effects of alcohol.

Students from King Henry VIII School in Abergavenny travelled to the Territorial Army barracks in Ty Coch Way, Cwmbran, to learn about safety.

They were given a range of talks from organisations including BulliesOut, who took the children through the bedroom of a 10-year-old girl and the children had to look for evidence that the girl was being bullied.

The school community police officers from Gwent Police showed the film ‘Picture This’ to discuss bullying and the proper use of mobile phones while the South Wales Fire and Rescue Service showed a film about the risks of leaving hair straighteners on a bed when they are hot.

Drugaid spoke of the short and long term effects of alcohol use, while the British Red Cross demonstrated how to help someone at risk.

Western Power warned of the dangers of electricity, the Food Standards Agency talked about food poisoning and Road Safety Wales spoke of the dangers of not wearing seatbelts.


Josie Pearson MBE and CI Paul EvansPolice Team up with Paralympic Gold Medallist to Launch All Wales Seatbelt Campaign
10/3/14

Gwent Police has teamed up with Paralympic gold medallist Josie Pearson MBE to launch this year’s All Wales Seatbelt Campaign.

Josie sustained life changing injuries which left her paralysed as a result of a road traffic collision that occurred in Goytre, near Abergavenny in 2003. She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt.

The two-week seatbelt campaign is being run by all four Welsh police forces from 10th – 23rd March.

The aim of the campaign is not only to enforce the law of wearing a seatbelt in the front and rear of a vehicle, but also to educate, and prevent people putting their lives at risk in the first place by choosing not to belt up.

The offence of not wearing a seatbelt is one of the “fatal 5”; the five offences that cause the most deaths on our roads. The others being careless driving, speeding, drink driving, and driving while on a mobile phone. Drivers or passengers who fail to wear seatbelts could face an on the spot fine of £100 and a maximum fine of £500 if prosecuted.

Gwent’s Roads Policing Chief Inspector, Paul Evans said; “Although this campaign is partly about enforcement, education and prevention are equally, if not more important.

“Putting on a seatbelt should be second nature when getting into a vehicle, whether you are a driver or passenger. By not taking this simple step which takes seconds, you not only put your own life at risk, but also the lives of the other people in your vehicle.

“Officers will be conducting roadside and intelligence-led operations to target those who break the law, and as part of the educational side of the campaign our Collision Investigation Unit will be visiting schools across Gwent to deliver a road safety presentation.”

Although now an elite and extremely successful athlete, Josie Pearson still regrets the day when she got into a car and chose not to wear a seatbelt, she said:

“Putting on a seatbelt should just be a habit, second nature, something you do as soon as you get into a car, before you turn on the ignition.

“Yes, I have been successful and gone on to achieve great things since I had my accident, but I spent 17 years as an able bodied person and I wish I could go back to that day and not get in that car.

“Peer pressure is hugely influential, and people may think it’s cool to be like their friends and not wear a seatbelt, but it’s definitely not! Be a leader, be the sensible one, set a good example and put your belt on, it could save your life.”


Car Control
4/3/14

Ever wondered what happens when your car goes into a skid? Young novice and inexperienced drivers from the Meirionnydd area have been attending a free course offered by The Gwynedd Mon Road Safety Partnership in conjunction with Car Control instructor and owner Malcolm Hamilton atPictured are Gari Wyn Rucigaliano, Jonathon a Jack Newbould who successfully completed training recently. the Llanbedr Airfield Estates.

They have been provided with skills to help keep them safe when driving on the roads especially in preparation for the unpredictable weather such as winter snow and ice.

The Car Control as it is known is the only device that allows drivers to experience how braking, traction control and stability systems work in adverse conditions every day of the year and it is a great way to prepare for the worst on the road and have some fun at the same time.

The young drivers have attempted to be in control of the vehicle whilst experiencing a variety of scenarios where there is loss of grip on the road and this is the best way to learn how to control a skid as it is all done in a safe controlled environment.

Instructor Malcolm Hamilton can impart the following exercises as required
:
• SAFETY BRIEF
• EMERGENCY STOP PROCEDURE
• LOSS OF CONTROL CAUSES
• UNDER STEER, FRONT WHEEL SKID, LOSS OF CONTROL
• OVER STEER, REAR WHEEL SKID, LOSS OF CONTROL
• ACCELERATION, BRAKING, STEERING, DECLUTCH
• NON ABS BRAKING
• ABS BRAKING
• TRACTION CONTROL SYSTEMS
• DRIVING IN ADVERSE CONDITIONS
• AQUAPLANING
• DEBRIEF

Pictured are Gari Wyn Rucigaliano, Jonathon a Jack Newbould who successfully completed training recently.



Operation Options
3/3/14

SeatbeltSouth Wales Fire and Rescue Service, along with Gwent Police and Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council Road Safety Team have been out in force educating local residents on the importance of wearing seatbelts.

On Friday 27th February 2014, Officers undertook an operation in Tredegar, its aim, to inform drivers of the dangers and consequences of not wearing a seatbelt. 

Choosing not to wear a seatbelt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar journeys and at low speeds. It is illegal not to wear a seatbelt when travelling in a car or goods vehicle and it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure all passengers under the age of 14 are wearing a seatbelt or child restraint.

During the operation, a number of vehicles were stopped by the Police as the drivers were not wearing a seatbelt.  Offenders were given the option of either taking a £100 fine or attending a 30 minute presentation on the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt, delivered by Dave Latham, Regional Road Safety Co-ordinator at South Wales Fire and Rescue Service.

Without a seatbelt, in a collision drivers and passengers can be thrown forward with a force of between 30 to 60 times their own bodyweight and are 1300 times more likely to receive C-Spine injuries.  While the back seat is the safest place to ride in a car, unrestrained back passengers risk serious injury and pose a potentially fatal threat to other passengers during a crash.

Cllr David White, Executive Member for Environment and Regeneration said: “Many reasons are given for not wearing a seatbelt such as being in a hurry or only going on a short trip.  However, none of these excuses suffice. Not wearing a seatbelt can have devastating consequences.  Operation Options highlights the importance of drivers and passengers being properly restrained on every journey.”

For more information about the proper use of seat belts and child car seats please contact the Blaenau Gwent Road Safety Team on 01495 355361.


Free Courses for Mature Drivers
26/2/14

poster advertising coursesIt's never too late to increase our knowledge and driving is no exception. To this end the Vale of Glamorgan Council Road Safety Section is offering half-day refresher courses to residents in the Vale.

The course consists of a half-day theory session plus one hour of practical on-road driving, which is optional. The presentation is given by a highly trained ex-police driver; there is also a talk by a local optician.

It is suitable for people who may wish to update/improve their driving skills, and people who may not have driven for some time and need to regain confidence.

The aim of the course is to encourage good road safety awareness, to reinforce knowledge of road hazards and attitudes to driving and to give confidence in areas of uncertainty.

Courses run throughout the year at various venues in the Vale of Glamorgan. For further information and to register your interest please contact the road safety team on 01446 704768



Biker Down! CymruBiker Down! Cymru
26/2/14

Dates for FREE Biker Down! Cymru events have been released by South Wales Fire & Rescue and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Services.

Monday 17th March at Aberdare Fire Station
Tuesday 25th March at Merthyr Fire Station.
Both courses start at 1830 and finish at 2130.

Thursday 27th March at Brecon Fire Station commencing at 1830 to 2130.

To book a place e-mail info@bikerdowncymru.org.uk or telephone 02920 250600. Spaces are limited so don't delay.


Educating Young Drivers About Road Safety
6/2/14

Road safety events have were recently held at local colleges in Gwynedd and Anglesey to raise awareness of the All Wales Enforcement Campaign run by North Wales Police targeting youngdriving simulator drivers.

During the week long campaign, the Gwynedd Môn Road Safety Partnership arranged presentations and interactive information sessions at Coleg Meirion Dwyfor, Pwllheli and Coleg Menai, Llangefni.

During these sessions, the students were given the opportunity to take part in Mid and West Wales Fire Service latest road safety innovation - an interactive van which contains a driving stimulator which addresses the enforcing issues:

distraction – peer pressure, mobile devices, in-car entertainment, external distraction, etc
effect of alcohol and drugs on both drivers and passengers
dangerous and careless driving behavior, and antisocial behaviour
speeding
wearing a seatbelt.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member responsible for road safety said:

“With so many collisions on the road affecting young drivers, it’s very important that they receive the best possible advice about road safety.

“Interactive presentations like these enable young people to experience problems they may face whilst driving, and advises them how to avoid such problems and situations.

“Hopefully sessions like these will encourage them to be more responsible whilst driving, not only for their own safety, but for their passengers and other road users also.”

Road Safety Officers were also on hand to discuss other road safety issues the students wished to discuss.


Free Driving Workshop for Over 60's
5/2/14

Promoted by the North Wales Road Safety Group to update driving skills, the FREE Driving Workshop will develop driving confidence and good driving practice on today's roads. Following the workshop, drivers will be able to sign up for an additional free driving assessment.

Poster of workshopsThe aim of the scheme is to help mature drivers stay safer for longer, by minimising risk to themselves and other road users.

Workshops are to be held at the following locations/dates:

Greenfield Business Centre, Greenfield CH8 7GR - Thursday 27th February 10am to 2.00pm

Faenol Fawr Hotel, Bodelwyddan, LL18 5UN - Wednesday 5th March 10 am to 2 pm

Conwy Business Centre, Llandudno Junction LL31 -9XX Wednesday 19th March 10am to 2.00pm

Gwersyllt Community Resource Centre, Gwyersyllt - LL11 4ED Thursday 20th March 10am to 2.00pm

 

 


New Road Safety Course for Young Teenagers
4/2/14

Young Powys teenagers have an opportunity during the half term holiday to learn safe driving practices thanks to a new and free road safety course.

Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit is holding its new ‘Teen Drive’ courses throughout the ounty during the half term week in February. The courses are completely free for all 14-17 year olds who live or study in Powys, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

The ‘Teen Drive’ course will include with workshops with the police and fire service, first aid trainers and approved driving instructors. The workshops will enable candidates to:

• Drive a dual-controlled car in a safe environment (off-road)
• Learn valuable, life-saving skills
• Gain road safety advice
• Learn about drink/drug driving, collisions, speeding, mobile phone and seatbelt use.

Kate Davies, the council’s Early-Years Road Safety Officer, said: “As one of our most vulnerable road users, it is important that we provide our young drivers with the skills to make them safer on our roads.

“This new course will instil safe driving practices to those who attend and provide valuable skills and education before they formally start learning to drive.”

Courses will run from 9am-12.30pm or 1.30-4.30pm at the following locations:

• Tuesday 25 February: Neath Port Talbot College’s Newtown Campus, Newtown
• Wednesday 26 February: Livestock Market, Brecon
• Thursday 27 February: Market Car Park, Rhayader.


Places are limited so you need to book your place on the course in advance. If you would like more information or to book, contact road.safety@powys.gov.uk or ring 01597 826501

You can also visit the Road Safety Unit’s Facebook page for information on all available courses www.facebook.com/roadsafetypowys


Pontypool School Parking Problems Tackled
3/2/14

George Street Primary, Pontypool, is the latest Torfaen school to operate a green cone scheme to combat the problem of motorists parking inconsiderately.

Green traffic cones are placed on both sides of the road so parents and pupils have a clear view inhildren from George Street Primary School under the guidance of Head Teacher Julie Wood launched the school's green cone scheme to stop parents parking illegally. Pictured front is Jessica Parfitt aged 9 from year 5 placing a cone on the road. both directions and the children can cross safely. The executive member for neighbourhood services, Councillor John Cunningham, said: “The green cone scheme offers a simple solution to what can be a dangerous problem. “I am sure it will see a reduction in parking problems and congestion around the school during peak times. The main concern has to be the safe transportation of children to and from school. When too many vehicles try to park outside a school at the same time, it can pose a danger to the pupils.”

Head teacher Julie Wood added: “We are very hopeful that the scheme will support the school in our constant endeavour to ensure all pupils leave and enter our school site safely. We feel that this is a very important initiative and hope that it will prove to be very successful.”


Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Drive Campaign Results
21/1/14

Over 460 drivers in Wales were caught over the drink drive limit during the All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign.

All Wales Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Driving CampaignThroughout the month-long campaign 35,255 drivers throughout Wales were breath tested between 1st December 2013 and 1st January 2014.

North Wales Police carried out 18,159 breath tests with 107 being positive. In Dyfed Powys a total of 11,281 breath tests were carried out, with 161 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.

Some of the highest readings recorded during the campaign in North Wales were 133, 129 and 124 – the legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. All three individuals have been charged and have appeared/are due to appear before the courts.

The campaign was launched with support from the family of Kieran Lea Arnold, who was tragically killed following a road traffic collision by a drink driver who was twice the legal limit last June.

The 21-year-old plumber sustained fatal injuries during the two-vehicle collision which happened on the A541 Pontblyddyn to Caergwrle road.

As a result of the collision 48-year-old Robert Bryn Williams was sentenced to five years four months imprisonment and was banned from driving for three years.

Speaking on behalf of the Welsh forces, Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Pritchard said: “Although warnings were issued throughout the campaign 465 drivers throughout Wales chose to ignore those warnings by risking their own lives and the lives of others by breaking the law. This is very disappointing.

“It is also astonishing to see that some were almost four times the legal limit. It is clear that these individuals showed a complete disregard for the safety of other road users as well as their own.

“Driving with excess alcohol or under the influence of drugs is not just a criminal offence but also completely unacceptable.

He added: “However, drink driving is not just about Christmas. It ruins lives all year round. Perpetual drink drivers will choose to drink and drive any day of the year so we need support from the public 365 days a year to help us take these people off the roads of Wales.”

If you have information relating to someone you think is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please contact North Wales Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.

Notes:

ŽDuring the 2012 Christmas Campaign 35,493 drivers were breath tested throughout Wales.

North Wales Police carried out 18,780 breath tests - with 107 being positive. In Dyfed Powys a total of 11,075 breath tests were carried out, with 200 being positive. In Gwent officers tested 1,935 drivers, with 39 being positive, and South Wales Police administered 3,703 tests with 156 positive results.

ŽDuring the 2011 campaign police throughout Wales tested a total of 27,744 motorists, with 545 individuals returning either positive results or failing/refusing to take a breath test. North Wales Police tested 9,042 drivers with 95 of those being positive.

Further information regarding the penalties for drink or drug driving is available in the ‘Advice & Support’ section

North Wales’ highest readings:

ŽA 27-year-old man from the Gwersyllt area who had a breath test reading of 133 appeared before Wrexham Magistrates Court on December 20th. He was subsequently jailed for six weeks and banned from driving for four years.

ŽA 55-year-old man from the Rhyl area who had a breath test reading of 129 appeared before Prestatyn Magistrates on December 23rd. He was subsequently ordered to carry out 120 hours unpaid work, disqualified from driving for 32 months and ordered to pay costs.

ŽA 44-year-old man from the London area, who had a breath test reading of 124 was charged and bailed to appear before Holyhead Magistrates on January 16th. He has since been further released on bail to appear before Holyhead Magistrates on March 28th.

ŽA 41-year-old woman from the Leicestershire area who had a breath test reading of 111 has been charged and bailed to appear before Caernarfon Magistrates on 22nd January.


FREE 'Ride On' Courses in Powys
20/1/14

Motorcyclists in Powys are being encouraged to refresh their riding skills by taking part in a free ‘Ride On’ course facilitated by the council’s Road Safety Unit.

‘Ride On’ is a one day course designed to give riders an insight into advanced riding techniquesRide On course, which consists of a short informal theory session, followed by an assessment ride out.

Utilising the tutor’s bike mounted cameras, riders will be able to view and analyse their own biking techniques and gain advice on how to get more from their riding. The afternoon session of this course will enable participants to have a 2 hour ride out.

Two courses have been booked at the Drama Centre, Llandrindod Wells on Saturday 15th March and Sunday 30th March. The courses are completely free for those who live or work in Powys and lunch and refreshments are provided, thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

For further information or to book a place, please contact the Road Safety Unit on 01597 826637 or email road.safety@powys.gov.uk. Please note that spaces are limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

You can also visit the Road Safety Unit’s Facebook page for information on all available courses, www.facebook.com/RoadSafetyPowys


Child Car Seat Checks Available for FREE
20/1/14

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

child car seat checksDuring 2012-13, the council’s Road Safety Unit checked 271 child car seats and found 181 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.

Sarah Morris, the council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, 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 us 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.

“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.”

Day nurseries, playgroups or parent and toddler groups can also contact the unit if they want a road safety officer to attend and carry out this important service.

To book a car seat check call 01874 612355 (Brecknockshire), 07909 895346 (Montgomeryshire) or 01597 826637 (Radnorshire).

For further information, telephone the Road Safety Unit on 0845 6027030 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


Wearing a Seat Belt is not an Option!
14/1/14

Road Safety Officers from Caerphilly County Borough Council, Gwent Police and South Wales Fire and Rescue have been out in force educating Caerphilly residents on the importance of wearing a seatbelt.

On Monday 13th January 2014, Officers undertook an operation in Abercarn aimed at parents who Police checking car occupants for seat beltsdrive their children to school without using their seatbelts.

Choosing not to wear a seatbelt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar journeys and at low speeds. It is illegal not to wear a seatbelt when travelling in a car or goods vehicle and it is the responsibility of the driver to ensure all passengers under the age of 14 are wearing a seatbelt or child restraint.

The operation known as “Mini-Options” took place on High Street between 8:30am and 9:15am. During this time 11 vehicles were identified and stopped by Gwent Police as the Driver’s were not wearing a seat belt. Offenders were given the “Option” to take a £100 fine or attend a 15 minute presentation on the consequences of not wearing a seatbelt delivered at Abercarn Fire Station by Dave Latham, Road Safety Watch Manager.

Cllr Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation & Engineering said, “Not wearing a seatbelt when travelling can have devastating consequences. It is vital that drivers and passengers wear a seatbelt at all times as they can save lives. Operations such as this highlight the importance of wearing a seat belt not just to the driver of the vehicle but also to their passengers and families.”


Caldicot's Zone Youth Centre receive Certificate
14/1/14

Receiving Certificate The Leader of Monmouthshire County Council, Peter Fox, and the Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner, Ian Johnson, met with members of Caldicot's Zone Youth Centre - the recent winners of the Monmouthshire heat of the multi-media section of the All Wales Anti Drink Drive Competition - on Monday 13th January.

This was an opportunity for the youngsters to discuss and provide a viewing of their entry, a poignant and personal response following the aftermath of a drink drive incident.

The entry can be viewed using the following link:

See video

 


Vale of Glamorgan Council Road Safety Awards 2013
6/1/14

The annual presentation awards ceremony was recently held at the Docks Office in Barry to recognise the continuing high standards achieved by Vale of Glamorgan Council School Crossing Patrols (SCPs) and the volunteers involved with the child pedestrian training scheme Kerbcraft in Vale Primary Schools.

Everyone, whether acting in a paid or voluntary role, was commended for their professionalism andSCP of the year enthusiasm in helping to provide children and adults with safe crossing points throughout the Vale despite the seemingly ever increasing amount of traffic.

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services, said: "The success of any scheme relies upon the dedication and commitment of the individuals involved, be it on a voluntary basis or in a paid role. To remain enthusiastic and continue to smile whilst standing in the pouring rain takes a very dedicated individual’.

He paid tribute to over 200 Kerbcraft volunteers who have freely given up their time since 2002 to step-up to the challenge of helping prepare young road users to be safe pedestrians. Those first 5 and 6 year-old pupils who were trained 11 years ago may soon be leaving school and applying for their driving licenses!’

Since Kerbcraft started in Wales, child pedestrian training has involved nearly 5000 children in the Vale of Glamorgan alone. Several awards were presented to volunteers from School Crossing Patrols and Kerbcraft, whose efforts were particularly appreciated over the past twelve months.

Rob Thomas, Director of Development Services, said: "The success of any scheme relies upon the dedication and commitment of the individuals involved, be it on a voluntary basis or in a paid role. To remain enthusiastic and continue to smile whilst standing in the pouring rain takes a very dedicated individual’.

He paid tribute to over 200 Kerbcraft volunteers who have freely given up their time since 2002 to step-up to the challenge of helping prepare young road users to be safe pedestrians. Those first 5 and 6 year-old pupils who were trained 11 years ago may soon be leaving school and applying for their driving licenses!’

Since Kerbcraft started in Wales, child pedestrian training has involved nearly 5000 children in the Vale of Glamorgan alone. Several awards were presented to volunteers from School Crossing Patrols and Kerbcraft, whose efforts were particularly appreciated over the past twelve months.

Rob Thomas thanked everyone for attending: “Whether you are a School Crossing Patrol, a Kerbcraft volunteer, a student, parent or teacher, or officer, you can all be very proud that there are thousands of adults and children who are able to enjoy this Christmas thanks to your continuing efforts and hard work for road safety.”

For the SCP Service, which was celebrating its 60th anniversary year in 2013, the Area Winners were:

Llantwit Major & the Rural Vale
Alison Richardson from Eagleswell Primary School who plays many active roles within the school community, both inside and outside, and has supported and encouraged the School Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) to spread the road safety message to both parents and pupils alike.

Barry
Barrie Evans, a Mobile Patrol Officer for the past year who started outside St Helen’s Junior School over three years ago and is currently covering Rhws Primary School. A very popular and reliable officer.

Penarth, Sully and Dinas Powys
Elaine Storey supports pupils to cross the road from a variety of schools in Penarth on Redlands Road. With over 13 years of service to her name, she has always been creative and innovative with ideas to support her role, visiting schools and rewarding positive behaviour for those who cross with her. Sadly she will be leaving her post after Christmas and will be missed by everyone.

Special Award
A Special Award was presented to Karin Williams who, while patrolling outside Rhws Primary School on 20 June, was involved in a ‘freak’ incident when a car flipped over and mounted the kerb where she and a group of children and parents were standing. Protecting the children, Karin took the full force of the impact and sustained very serious injuries. Onlookers said that several children would have died or would have had far worse injuries themselves if it had not been for Karin’s courageous and brave reactions. Nominated and deservedly winning a ‘Pride of Britain’ Award, Karin is making a remarkable recovery and was there to receive her SCP Special Award from Councillor Lis Burnett, Vale of Glamorgan Council Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation.

A stalwart of the SCP Service since 1998 and a real ‘Ambassador’ for all School Crossing Patrols, Jean Hatter can be relied upon to cover all sites and undertake training or provide support. Popular with fellow officers and the public alike, and always showing the utmost dedication and commitment to her work, this year probably proved to be her most challenging. On the afternoon of the accident at Rhws, the crossing point needed to be covered and this lady was sent to do the job. She managed to remain calm, despite everything going on around her, and used her experience to ensure the safety of everyone crossing with her. Over the following weeks her manner and continuing professionalism helped to relieve the anxiety of the children and parents attending Rhws School and restore their confidence, once again, in using this school crossing patrol point. A lady who always carries out her job to the best of her ability and fully deserves the title and famous SCP shield.

A random draw was made of all the volunteers’ names, many of which have been involved with the scheme for a number of years. The winners chosen to represent every person who freely gives up their time to help the children were:

•Joanna Hopkins and Lisa Guy who coincidentally are both dedicated volunteers at Rhws Primary School.

Competition Winners
Competition winners with RSO John RogersPresentations were also made to the winners of the Road Safety Competitions held during 2013. These were:

•School Crossing Patrol Diamond Anniversary Banner Competition: Seren Russell (Winner – Ysgol Pen y Garth), Rosa Davies (Runner-up - Ysgol Bro Morganwg), Lewys Williams (Runner-up - Ysgol Bro Morganwg)

•Drink-Drive Multimedia Competition: The winning DVD was produced by 3 students from Year 8 at Cowbridge Comprehensive School: Helen Jenkins, Freya Evans & Francesca Weir
•Drink-Drive Poster Competition: Freya Large (Winner – Peterston-S-Ely Primary School), Runners-up: Finn Martin-Jones, Daisy Martin-Jones & Livvy Cross (all PSE), Runners-up: Erin Evans & Phoebe-Mai Bagshaw (both Murch Junior School)


Pupils Bring Colour to Anti-Drink Drive Campaign
7/1/14

School pupils in Caerphilly county borough have used their artistic talents to dissuade drivers from getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.

Earlier this year Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Road Safety team and Gwent Police invited children from primary and secondary schools across the county borough to create posters that showed the consequences of drink driving. The best entry in the primary school category went to Pontllanfraith Primary pupil Cerys Burland, while Patrick McLaughlin took the top prize among secondary school entries. Both winners were awarded a £50 high street voucher.

Picture 1
Cllr Tom Williams presents Lewis School Pengam pupil Patrick McLaughlin with his prize

The winners of the competition were announced during Caerphilly County Borough Council’s annual School Crossing Patrol Review and Road Safety Seminar, held on Thursday 12th December.

It gave those in attendance an opportunity to review the year’s successes and work done to improve road safety in the county borough – most notably that the Road Safety team had exceeded previous targets for accident prevention.

The event also acted as an opportunity to thank Road Safety Officers, School Crossing Patrol Officers and volunteers for their hard work throughout the year.

Pupils from Markham Primary School brought the Review and Seminar to life with entertaining renditions of popular Christmas carols. The school has shown a long-term commitment to road safety and sustainable travel, with pupils travelling to and from school via the Walking Bus.

Cllr Tom Williams, Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation & Engineering, said: “The Council’s Road Safety team, a network of volunteers and School Crossing Patrol Officers work together to help ensure that youngsters understand the importance of road safety.

Picture2
Cllr Tom Williams presents prizewinner Cerys Burland with a £50 voucher

“This winning partnership continues to implement a wide variety of initiatives to help our children make safe journeys to and from school, and the acclaim bestowed on them today is duly deserved.”

For more information, please contact the Road Safety Team on 01495 235 402. Further details about School Crossing Patrols can be obtained by contacting Sandra Bennett on 01495 235 109 or by visiting www.caerphilly.gov.uk.

 

 


Abergavenny Cyclists Recognised for their Cycle Safety
17/12/13

Three local Abergavenny cyclists were recently rewarded for their hard work towards improving their cycle proficiency yesterday.

CSO Amanda Yung, Chief Inspector Jo Bull, Dan, Marcus and Stephen and Carolyn Derosaire - congratulations all!Dan Millward, Marcus Hughes and Stephen Knight have been working towards a cycle proficiency qualification and were given certificates by Monmouthshire Chief Inspector Jo Bull to mark their achievement.

It was recognised that the 3 men would benefit from some cycle skills following discussions with their local REACH organisation and Monmouthshire County Council Road Safety Department.

The training was delivered by Community Support Officer Amanda Yung and lesson plans were developed and tailored specifically to the needs of the three men, working on what they wanted to improve about their own road safety awareness.

Lessons covered topics such as road signs and markings, safety clothing including helmets and high visibility clothes to stand out in bad weather or at night and also bike maintenance.

Community Support Officer Amanda Yung explained, ‘No training of this kind had previously been delivered as most cycle proficiency is delivered at school age. I enjoyed being involved in the training and was happy to help develop the cycle skills of these local residents.’

Carolyn Derosaire from Monmouthshire County Council Road Safety Department added, ‘The men have all done a fantastic job, they made sure they prepared before each class and came out in all weathers.’

Tina Dumelow from REACH said, ‘We’re very grateful to Amanda and Carolyn for making this training possible. All three have benefitted hugely and have developed skills they can use on a daily basis. The training has improved their confidence when out and about on their bikes and made them much more aware of health and safety to themselves and the public.’


Poster Competition Area Winners
13/12/13
Road Safety Wales is very grateful to all the young artists who submitted their exceptional entries to the re-introduced Anti Drink Drive Poster Competition.

Seven outstanding regional posters have been selected by the judges (three in the junior category and four in the senior category) and the winning artists will receive their £50 prize in presentations across Wales.

The overall winner, Kieran Jenkins of Cynffig Comprehensive School, Bridgend, travelled to the launch of the All Wales Anti Drink/Drug Driving campaign, to collect his prizes. Kieran’s poster  which can be downloaded here will be used by by road safety partners across Wales to promote the anti drink drive message.

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: “Road Safety Wales is very grateful to all those who have made this year’s poster competition a success. To the artists and to the local authority road safety officers and other partners who promoted the competition throughout Wales.

 “Congratulations all those who participated in the competition, not just the winners, but everyone from across Wales, who took the time and effort to consider this vitally important message.

 “I hope these posters will bring the message home to all who see them, that drinking and driving is gambling with your licence, your life and the lives of other people.”

Here are the Area winners:

Gwent Senior Winner Gwent Junior Winner
Gwent Senior Winner Gwent Junior
Alice Bradshaw, Tredegar Comprehensive Carys Burland, Pontllanfraith Prmary School
   
South Wales Senior Winner South Wales Junior Winner
SW Senior Winner South Wales Junior Winner
Kieran Jenkins, Cynffig Comprehensive Ben Thomas, Ysgol y Login Fach
   
North Wales Senior Winner North Wales Junior Winner
North Wales Senior Winner North Wales Junior Winner
Rob Sites, Heulfan School Charlie Ellis, Penarlag CP School
Dyfed Powys Winner  
Dyfed Powys Winner  
Lucy Brown, Ysgol Dôlafon, Llanwrtyd Wells  

Working Together to Improve Road Safety
10/12/13

With statistics showing that young drivers remain the most likely to be involved in road traffic collisions, the Gwynedd-Mon Road Safety Partnership is currently visiting secondary schools in Gwynedd to raise awareness about the dangers posed to young people on the roads.

Road safety officers from Gwynedd Council were joined by representatives from the emergencyRaising awareness services at a recent event at Ysgol y Moelwyn, Blaenau Ffestiniog. Pupils had the chance to take part in a simulator, use an interactive safety vehicle which highlights the dangers faced by young people on the road and listened to presentations from road safety professionals.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council Cabinet Member for Environment said:

“With so many collisions on the road affecting our young people, I was very pleased to take part in the recent event at Ysgol y Moelwyn and to see that Gwynedd’s young people receive the best possible advice about road safety.

“By working with our partners, we hope to reduce the number of young people involved in road traffic collisions and to ensure their safety on the roads.

“These young people are just a year or two away from being provisional driving licence holders, and we hope that this initiative will encourage them to be responsible when driving - not only for themselves, but for the passengers that they are carrying and other road users.”

In Wales, young drivers (17 to 26 years old) and their passengers are disproportionately at risk of being seriously injured on our roads and they are considered to be the most at risk age group – making up 11% of driving licence holders but 23% of casualties in 2011.

Young drivers are more likely to be involved in a collision during the first six months of passing their test and are inclined to drive inappropriately because of lack of experience. There is evidence to suggest that targeting pre-learner drivers through education and training can help people develop better driving skills.

The road safety roadshow – supported by the Gwynedd-Mon Road Safety Partnership - is currently visiting secondary schools across the Meirionnydd area. The partnership includes Gwynedd Council, the Isle of Anglesey County Council, North Wales Police, North Wales Fire and Rescue Service and the Welsh Ambulance Service.


Police launch their Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign
6/12/13
Photograph of a postcard with the 2013 stats for North Wales Police The family of a man who was killed by a drink driver are joining forces with the police to help launch their annual Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign. Kieran Lea Arnold from Cymau near Wrexham was killed following a road traffic collision on the A541 Pontblyddyn to Caergwrle road in June this year.

The 21-year-old plumber sustained fatal injuries during the two-vehicle collision of which one of the drivers, Robert Bryn Williams was found to be twice over the legal drink drive limit. After pleading guilty the 48-year-old was recently sentenced to five years four months imprisonment and was banned from driving for three years.

Kieran’s Mum, Mrs Donna Lea is helping North Wales Police as they launch the campaign on behalf of the four Welsh police forces.

Speaking during a short film created by the Force, Mrs Lea explained how losing Kieran has become a living nightmare for the family. She said: “Drink driving ruins people’s lives, it is total devastation for our family who now have been given a life sentence of living without our son, brother and grandson. It’s all been taken away by somebody who had the selfish attitude of thinking ‘you know, I’m going to have that extra drink’.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bW8qjx1gwaI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUgnsZ08KoNo6C5go03620Cw

“Kieran was a very popular lad who was well thought of by everybody – especially by his two younger brothers, Aaron and Steffan who adored him. As a youngster he was very sporty and played football for many local teams. As he got older he was passionate about going to the gym and started bodybuilding – even competing in the Mr Wales championships last year.

“He was a gentle giant who was very quietly spoken and loved his job as a plumber.”

Kieran was on his way home from work when the collision happened at around 5pm on Monday 17th June. Mrs Lea said: “The day started off as a normal working day. In the morning the boys went to school, my husband went to work, and I went to work a shift at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital.

“My husband had spoken to Kieran about when he was coming home at tea time, and it was only later on in the evening I was informed, whilst I was in work, of the accident.

“It’s one of the most horrific things you can ever be told and to be brought out of work and to be faced by police officers. It’s one of the hardest things and it’s every parent’s nightmare - a nightmare that you realise you are never going to wake up from and that you’ve got to live with it for the rest of your life.”

“For those who continue to drink and drive I would beg them not to do it. It’s just not worth it.

During the 2012 Christmas campaign over 500 drivers in Wales were caught over the drink drive limit after 35,493 breath tests.

North Wales Police carried out 18,780 breath tests – double the amount carried out during the 2011 Christmas campaign with 107 of those being positive.

The two highest readings recorded by North Wales Police during the 2012 Christmas campaign were 147 and 142, where two individuals were over four times the legal drink drive limit. The legal limit is 35.

Over the next four weeks, thousands of motorists face being stopped as teams from the four forces – North Wales, Dyfed Powys, South Wales and Gwent - conduct road checks at various locations across the country.

Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales Police Gareth Pritchard said: “To lose a child must be one of the hardest things a parent can face and I would like to thank Kieran’s family for assisting us with this year’s campaign.

“This year's All Wales Christmas Anti Drink Drive campaign will once again set about warning drivers that drinking and driving will not be tolerated.

“If you drink and drive you significantly increase the risk of killing an innocent person, or yourself or both. It is really that simple.

He added: “Drink driving is not just about Christmas. It ruins lives all year round. Perpetual drink drivers will choose to drink and drive any day of the year so we need support from the public 365 days a year to help us take these people off the roads of Wales.”

“Please don’t drink and drive. Think about the consequences. You could face losing your licence and your job, face imprisonment and, much worse, have to live with the guilt of taking a life for the rest of yours. Don’t take the risk.”

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: “Unfortunately too many drivers are still prepared to risk driving under the influence of drink or drugs. No-one should be in any doubt that alcohol, in any amount, will have a detrimental effect on driving ability. Road Safety Wales partners are committed to educating people about the consequences of impairment, and fully support the Police during this seasonal campaign, and throughout the year.”

If you have information relating to someone you think is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, please contact North Wales Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. In an emergency always dial 999.


Young People Highlight Drink-Drive Issues
3/12/13

Anti Drink Drive poster The sixth All Wales Multimedia Competition by Road Safety Wales challenged all Welsh schools, colleges and youth groups to devise, perform and record a presentation with an anti drink-drive message using a variety of genre: film, music, PowerPoint, poetry, animation – the choice was theirs.

The winning videos, which premiered at the launch of the All Wales Anti Drink and Drug Driving campaign, will now be used by police to and their partners in Road Safety Wales to highlight the consequences of drink driving.

Four regional winners, who each received a £500 prize, viewed their work on the big screen at the Cineworld, Llandudno Junction event yesterday.

For the Gwent Police Force region - Coleg Gwent at Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone. Its entry, “The Next Day”, is a timely reminder that drivers need to be very aware that even though it’s a new day, they could still be over the drink-drive limit following a night out. Drivers may do the right thing on the night by not driving – but then get behind the wheel the following morning without considering that they are very probably still way over the drink drive limit. The film highlights the consequences of doing just that.

Last year, Coleg Menai, Anglesey, submitted an entry which was highly commended by the judges. This year, the students have been selected as North Wales winners thanks to their submission, “Teddy Bear”. The video emphasises the consequences of drink driving , not just for the driver, but for their passengers and other road users.

Spark Blaenymaes Youth Project, from Swansea, produced the regional winning entry for South Wales. Their film “A Christmas Carol” is a drama based around the serious, life changing implications of drinking and driving on family’s life. Six young people aged 11-13 devised the concept which became “A Christmas Carol”

Dyfed Powys – The winning entry for the Dyfed Powys Police region is an animation by Ben Dazeley of Pembrokeshire College, titled “Barcula”. Ben has utilised his terrific animation skills to effectively deliver the message that drinking and drug driving is an undesirable cocktail which brings a host of very negative consequences.

In addition to this year’s Multimedia competition, Road Safety Wales re-introduced the Anti Drink Drive Poster Competition. We are very grateful to all those young artists who contributed with their exceptional entries.

Eight outstanding regional posters were selected by the judges (four in the junior category and four in the senior category) and the winning artists will receive their £50 prize in presentations across Wales during the next week. The overall winner,  Kieran Jenkins of Cynffig Comprehensive School, Bridgend, attended the campaign launch to collect his prizes. Kieran’s poster will be used by road safety partners across Wales to promote the anti drink drive message.

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales, said: “I would like to congratulate all those who participated in the competitions, not just the winners, but everyone from across Wales, who took the time and effort to consider this vitally important message.

“The festive season should be a time when people enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, too many drivers are still prepared to risk driving under the influence of drink or drugs. No-one should be in any doubt that alcohol, in any amount, will have a detrimental effect on driving ability. Every year across Wales and the UK, impaired driving causes unnecessary deaths and casualties that could easily be prevented.

“I hope these films and poster will bring the message home to all who see them, that drinking and driving is gambling with your licence, your life and the lives of other people.”

The competitions, which were promoted by Road Safety Wales partners, were launched to young people across Wales in September and inspired a host of schools, colleges and organisations to deliver an impactive anti drink drive message using their creative talents.

All four films can be viewed at: www.youtube.com/user/rospatube and Kieran’s poster can be downloaded here


Lollipop Boys and Girls
27/11/13

Primary school children in Swansea have been given the chance to dress up as lollipop boys andSwansea City and County Council logo girls to get the road safety message across.

Swansea Council officers visited local schools during National Road Safety Week, to pass on life-saving skills to children.

To celebrate the week, year one and two pupils at Danygraig Primary School had a special assembly where pupils dressed up as one of the city’s many road-crossing heroes — lollipop men and women.

The council’s road safety team has been given two specially-made patrol uniforms and matching lollipop stop signs which they will use to help promote road safety.

Insurance firm Admiral is the official sponsor for the uniforms.

June Burtonshaw, the council’s cabinet member for place, said: “Road safety is such an important part of a child’s learning.

“The school crossing patrols do an excellent job in the communities and the majority of children can relate to them as someone who helps them during the school day.

“I’m sure the children will enjoy dressing up and getting involved in road safety week.”

Admiral managing director Dave Halliday added: “As a car insurance company there is a natural link to road safety. The school patrol officers do a fantastic job and our staff will be proud to see the company they work for supporting this great initiative.

“The majority of our staff’s children attend local schools so this sponsorship is not only helping our staff but their family members, neighbours and friends. I think you will agree the kids look great in their road safety jackets.”


Welsh Drivers Back Lower Drink Drive Limit
26/11/2013

The results of a survey of drivers in Wales, published today by Alcohol Concern, show that around Welsh roadhalf are in favour of reducing the amount of alcohol that can be consumed before getting behind the wheel.

Of 500 Welsh drivers questioned, 51% agreed that the drink drive limit should be lowered in Wales, and only 12% strongly disagreed.

The survey findings are included in a new Alcohol Concern report On the Road, published on the same day as new Welsh Government statistics showing that 1 in 9 motorists killed in traffic collisions in 2012 was over the legal blood alcohol limit for driving. http://wales.gov.uk/docs/statistics/2013/131126-drinking-driving-2012-en.pdf


The report also highlights inconsistencies in our attitudes to drinking and driving. Whilst 80% of survey respondents agreed that people should not be allowed to drink any alcohol at all before driving, only 48% said that they themselves would never have alcohol before driving.

One possible reason for this mismatch is that stereotypes about what sort of people are likely to be caught over the limit allow us to drink before driving without considering ourselves ‘drunk drivers’.

Alcohol Concern Cymru Director, Andrew Misell said:

“There is a widespread belief, encouraged by the drinks industry, that ‘drunk drivers’ are a fringe group, beyond the pale of normal drinking society. They’re seen as the most extreme example of the so called ‘mindless minority that does not understand how to drink sensibly’.

“Thinking like this prevents us identifying who it is that is actually drink driving, and taking action to reduce it. Alcohol Concern wants us all, as a drinking society, to start an open and honest conversation about how much we drink, when and why, and about how this impacts on our lives.”

The report, in partnership with Road Safety Wales, traces the history of drinking and travelling from the 18th century stagecoach in rural Wales, to recent proposals to allow motorway pubs.

Chair of Road Safety Wales, Susan Storch said:

“Road fatalities and casualties attributable to drink-driving are preventable. Throughout the year, too many families are affected by the consequences of a driver’s deliberate decision to get behind the wheel whilst impaired. Continued education and enforcement campaigns are needed to keep pressing home the Don’t Drink and Drive message.”

In order to push down levels of alcohol-related harm on the roads, and promote an alcohol-free driving environment, Alcohol Concern recommends:

• Lowering the blood alcohol limit for driving in England and Wales from 80mg to 50mg per 100ml of blood, in line with common practice across Europe; and increasing police powers to stop and test drivers for alcohol
• All messages relating to drinking and driving should make clear that avoiding alcohol entirely before driving is always the safest option
• Given the obvious conflict between the drinks industry’s need to promote the use of alcohol, and the need to promote sensible drinking, and abstinence before driving, alcohol producers should have no role in campaigns against drinking and driving
• Given the clear dangers of making alcohol available for consumption by motorists likely to be travelling at high speed, current proposals to allow the sale of alcohol on motorways should be reversed.


Tune In to Road Safety

26/11/13

Operation BrakeDyfed Powys Police and partners have taken part in the UK’s biggest road safety event co-orindated by Brake which this year focuses on road traffic collisions being caused by distracted drivers.

This year’s theme was ‘tune in to road safety’ and the force was keen to help raise awareness among drivers across the force area of the need to be attentive at all times when driving.

“When driving a vehicle, we all need to ensure we tune in and pay attention,” said Inspector Mark Davies. “This year’s Brake theme was all about reminding people of that.

“And it’s also about making pedestrians, runners and cyclists understand that they need to tune in also.

“Driving is the most dangerous thing that most of us do on a daily basis, and sadly driver distraction is a major cause of death and serious injury in the UK each year.

“Road Safety Week is a unique opportunity for us to help reinforce important safety messages and conduct heightened enforcement or one off special events to encourage safer road use.

Operation Brake“So what I would do is encourage people to switch off their ipods, turn down the radio, pack away the mobile phone and really tune in to what’s going on around you.

“Throughout Road Safety Week, officers were out and about with partner agencies ensuring that drivers are following the law and wearing seatbelts, not using their phones while at the wheel and educating pupils on road safety issues in schools."

 

Following initial checks with a police officer, Gwen Evans and Heulwen Davies from Ceredigion Road Safety carried out drivers and eyesight surveys.


Road Safety Messages from RCT
25/11/13

Road Safety messages are being given loud and clear throughout the County Borough thanks to the dedicated work of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council staff.

asdaRoad Safety Week is a UK-wide event organised annually by Brake, the road safety charity in a bid to promote road safety awareness and safer road use. Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Road Safety Team targeted a wide range of road users through the delivery of road safety education, training and publicity activities.hondda Cynon Taf Council’s Road Safety Team works throughout the year with South Wales Police, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, school pupils, and teachers to ensure continued awareness of the issue, but Road Safety Week sees even more focused initiatives taking place.

During the week a whole host of events were organised throughout the County Borough, involving adults and children alike. With information stands at supermarkets, cycling safety at primary schools, courses for mature drivers to polish up their skills and Kerbcraft events, the amount of activities drew interest from hundreds of local people.

The activities included:

• National Standards Level 1 Cycling at Abercynon Community School

• Road Safety Team, Halfords, South Wales Fire Service, Police and Junior Road Safety Officers from Ton Pentre and Penygraig Juniors set up an information stand at Asda Tonypandy. The theme was Child Car Seat Safety Checks which were carried out by Halfords

• More than 30 pupils from Trerobart and Gelli Primary Schools took part in the Walking Bus initiative which helps reduce traffic around schools, promote exercise and improve the environment

• Mature Drivers Course to give those over the age of 50 the chance to refresh their driving skills, learn about eco driving, basic first aid and car maintenance. Participants were provided with an hour-long driving session with an Approved Driving Instructor

• A Driving Simulator was used at B & Q Pontypridd for shoppers to see how they would drive in bad weather conditions and use emergency braking

• Year 2 pupils at Trallwn Infants School took part in the Kerbcraft scheme which is practical road side training. They are now coming to the end of the 12 week training scheme.

• Pass Plus Cymru course was delivered to students at Tonypandy Community College. The Welsh Government subsidised Pass Plus Cymru scheme was introduced to encourage young drivers to takepart in further driver training, as they are recognised as vulnerable road users. Students took part in a 3 hour discussion forum, which will be followed by 6 hours of on-road training with a driving instructor over the next few weeks.

A variety of activities took place at Dolau Primary School including the Kerbcraft schDolgau schooleme. A new Puffin Crossing was officially opened by Cllr Roger Turner. The new crossing will help over 600 pedestrians cross Bridgend Road every day and will make the route safer for pedestrians, particularly pupils attending Dolau Primary School. Dennis Owen the School Crossing Patrol was also in attendance. The Junior Road Safety Officers carried out a Traffic Survey with help from the Road Safety Team using a speed gun.

• Zarla the Road Safety Mascot also put in an appearance in a number of activities, much to the delight of the younger children

Cllr Andrew Morgan, Cabinet Member for Frontline Services, said: “Every day, there is work taking place by the Road Safety Team, in one form or another, to engage with residents of all ages to ensure we are all safe pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

“Our team works hard with their partners throughout the year to deliver a consistently-excellent and important road safety. The culmination of such hard work results in the Road Safety Week which is a specifically intense five-day period where residents are reminded of the hazards of the road.

“Once again this year the Road Safety Team excelled themselves with the variety of activities on offer, either in schools or public places which attracted interest from hundreds of residents.

“The events were varied and captured the interest of all ages, from young school children to experienced motorists alike. I’m sure everyone who involved themselves in an activity came away more confident and with renewed skills about road safety in all its forms.”


GB Rally Finishes in Conwy
20/11/13

Conwy County Borough Councils Road Safety section attended the GB Rally on Sunday 17th November.

GB RallyThe GB Rally final stage was in Llandudno. The Rally cars went around the Orme and then lined up down the main street in Llandudno for people to take pictures and talk to the drivers. They then went over the final ramp to end the Rally. The event was a success and tens of thousands of people from all over the world poured into Llandudno.

Rally car

The Road Safety department was very busy giving out information and talking to the public about Road Safety initiatives. The young Drivers theme was promoted on the day with the new Pass Plus and Deadly Mates graphics on prime display on the back of the Exhibition Trailer all Rally cars past it.

 


Minister Launches Road Safety Week
18/11/13

To launch Road Safety Week, Transport Minister Edwina Hart has announced a consultation on producing new statutory guidance for risk assessing walked routes to school to improve the safety of children.

Mrs Hart said:
“I want to ensure children are able to walk to school safely. Together with our investment in the safe routes in communities programme, traffic calming measures around schools and training programmes such as Kerbcraft this guidance will help create an environment in which children can travel to school safely.

We have listened to the concerns of the Children’s Commissioner and Assembly Members about the previous guidance and this revision addresses those issues. I would encourage children, parents and teachers to have their say on this important issue.”

The consultation focuses on improving the current risk assessment for walking routes to school. It will run until 7 February 2014. Further information is available on the Weslh Government website.

The Welsh Government will be working with the Children’s Commissioner for Wales in seeking the views of children and young people in developing the guidance.  

Keith Towler, Children’s Commissioner for Wales said:

“The Safety on Learner Transport (Wales) Measure 2011 is clearly focussed on promoting the welfare of and safeguarding of children and young people during their journeys to schools and other educational settings. Where a child or young person regards themselves as unsafe on a walked route to school, and suffers anxiety or stress as a result of this, they are less likely to be able to engage in and benefit from their right to education.

That is why Welsh Government’s response to the concerns I have raised is so welcome. I look forward to the development of guidance that will ensure equal regard for the welfare of children and young people travelling to school on foot.”

The consultation has been launched on the first day of Road Safety Week, which aims to raise awareness of a number of issues around making our roads safer for drivers and pedestrians.

Mrs Hart added:

“Road Safety Week is an important opportunity to promote safer road use. The Welsh Government is committed to making our roads safer for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists. We recently published our road safety framework which sets-out how we will try to reduce the number of road traffic collisions, particularly those which result in serious and fatal injuries.

There is also a lot of good work going on at a local level across Wales to improve safety for drivers, passengers, pedestrians and cyclists and make them more aware of potential dangers. We will continue to support and work with our partners across Wales to deliver such schemes.”


Newport Bus Campaign Launched on Tragedy Anniversary
18/11/13

A Newport-based bus safety group is today launching a national campaign to change minibus driving laws – on the 20th anniversary of the worst minibus crash the UK has ever seen.

Pressure group Busk have teamed up with some of the parents of the 12 children who died on November 18, 1993 as they were driven home from London to Hagley High School in Worcestershire by their teacher, who was also killed after falling asleep at the wheel on the M40.

The campaign – called ‘Now is the time...’ – is calling on the UK Government to put an end to a system under which teachers and other volunteers can drive school-owned minibuses, carrying up to 16 passengers, without having to sit a minibus driving test, pass a medical, or carry out safety checks, unlike commercial drivers.

BUSK director Pat Harris said children were being put at risk “on a daily basis”, including wheelchair users and those with special needs. She said this was a result of Permit 19 licences – which are issued to schools by local authorities, and not the DVLA. “No regulating body monitors any of these Permit 19 minibus operations once they are up and running and that is no longer acceptable,” added Ms Harris, who has called for them to be scrapped altogether.

She called a UK refusal more than twenty years ago to become regulated - when all other EU member states agreed it was necessary on grounds of passenger safety - a mistake. “The UK government could have prevented the M40 crash by ending this two-tier system if it has signed the agreement but instead it failed to put children’s safety first,” she said. “Its continued failure to protect passengers is a disgrace.”

Busk has dedicated a part of its website to tributes for the victims of the tragic accident 20 years ago.

The family of Claire Fitzgerald, 13, who lost her life, has spoken out for the first time since the tragedy in support of the campaign push.

They said in a statement: “Surely as a lasting memorial to Claire and her friends, those wonderful, talented children whose lives were ended much too early because they were failed by the system, now is the time to show them and their families the respect they deserve but have not yet been afforded.”

Ms Harris urged parents and minibus drivers to get in touch with BUSK, either anonymously or otherwise, for answers or advice.

To get in touch go to www.busk-uk.co.uk/ or call 01633 274 944.


Pass Plus Cymru Gives Lewis Confidence
12/11/13

A young Llanrhystud motorist is the first Ceredigion winner of the Pass Plus Cymru quarterlyTerry Jones presents cheque to Lewis
draw.

Lewis Jones who studies Media was presented with a cheque for £250 by Ceredigion County Council Road Safety Officer Terry Jones after his evaluation form was entered into the Road Safety Wales prize draw.

Lewis is planning a trip to America next year and the £250 will go towards this, Lewis also said that he will be driving down to Cardiff next weekend and the Pass Plus Cymru practical driving session he received has given him the confidence to do this.


Pupils and parents targeted in seatbelt campaign in Llanwrtyd Wells
3/10/13
Two organisations have been working in partnership to tackle the issue of parents and children not wearing their seatbelts as they arrive at a school in south Powys.

Officers from Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit have been working in partnership with DyfedPowys police and road safety unit seatbelt check Powys Police to highlight to parents and children who arrive at Ysgol Dolafon in Llanwrtyd Wells the importance of seatbelt use.

During the morning of Friday 11 October, officers from both organisations observed the problem and gave advice to parents whose children were using incorrect seats for their weight/age and those parents who didn’t have a seatbelt on at all.

Officers were back at the school the following Thursday (17 October) to see if the issue had improved and were delighted that parents seemed to have listened to what they have been told the previous week. Only one parent was given a fixed penalty notice for not wearing their seatbelt.

Cllr Barry Thomas, the council’s Cabinet Member responsible for Road Safety, said: “This was a very successful collaboration between us and the police. Not wearing a seatbelt when travelling can have devastating consequences. It is vital that vehicle users and passengers wear a seatbelt at all times as they can save lives.”

PSCO Lee Whiitaker of Dyfed Powys Police, said: “We must continue to make drivers and passengers aware of the importance of seatbelt use. No matter how low the speed at which you are travelling or how short the journey, collisions still happen. By not wearing a seatbelt, vehicle users are putting their own lives at risk as well as that of other passengers in the vehicle.”

Nichola Davies, the council’s Area Road Safety Officer, said: “The benefits of seatbelts needs to be promoted and the perceived reasons for not wearing seatbelts reduced, particularly when it comes to educating children. Adults can set an example by wearing their own seatbelts so that children under the necessity for them as they grow older.”

The officers will be returning to the school in the near future and also plan to visit other schools in the area in the coming months.


Students Get Lessons in Road Safety
29/10/13

megadriveSTUDENTS in Ystad Mynach have taken part in a project to address the problem of young drivers being involved in road crashes.

Around 150 Coleg y Cymoedd students took part in the Mega Drive project earlier this month, which is an initiative led by Caerphilly council’s Road Safety Team and supported by partners including South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, DAYS drug and alcohol support, the Red Cross and approved driving instructors. The project is supported by funding from the Welsh Government’s Regional Transport Consortia Grant.

The MegaDrive project is aimed at young people who will be learning to drive over the next few months but do not have any driving experience, and gives students the opportunity to drive around a special course accompanied by an approved driving instructor. In most cases this gives students their first taste of what it is like to be behind the wheel of a car.

Participating students are also given valuable information on driving related topics including hazard awareness, crash causation, effects and consequences of drink and drugs, buying a new or second hand car, and what to do at the scene of a crash.

Cllr Tom Williams, Caerphilly council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering, said: “The MegaDrive scheme was originally set up in Gwent in 1995 to address the very serious problem of young drivers being involved in a disproportionate number of road crashes, largely due to inexperience.

“The MegaDrive project has been successful in engaging with these young drivers and arming them with the knowledge they need to stay safe on the road.”

Sandra Butcher, a teacher at Coleg y Cymoedd, said: “This project is extremely popular with the students, and they’ve all been really enthusiastic about being a part of the programme. The MegaDrive project has been a great way for these young people to learn about road safety.”

For further details about the MegaDrive programme, contact the Road Safety Team on 01495 235402



Cycle Safety Initiative
24/10/13
1.5M CAMPAIGNRecently the Gwynedd-Môn Road Safety Partnership launched a new cycle safety initiative aimed at cyclists and drivers. The key message of the campaign is to encourage cyclists to be more visible on the road and to raise awareness amongst motorists of the importance of a minimum 1.5 metre space when passing.

Keen cyclists from both Counties are promoting this initiative by wearing vivid gillets displaying the 1.5 metre vital road safety message when out and about on the roads of not only North Wales but also further afield.

Pictured above from left to right are Wayne Owen, Alun Williams and Gary Ellis members of Energy Cycles Club who recently visited France to follow the Tour de France . Alun Williams said “ I personally along with fellow cyclists embrace the 1.5 metre initiative, from personal experience we have encountered several near misses due to cars passing at close proximity. On several occasions friends have been injured and hospitalised due to motorists disregarding our right to be on the roads"


Pride of Britain Awards: Heroic School Crossing Patroller Karin Williams Honoured
8/10/13
image depicting School Crossing Lollipop Stick A School Crossing Patroller from the Vale of Glamorgan, who risked her own safety to protect children from an out-of-control car, was last night honoured for her bravery with a Daily Mirror Pride of Britain award. Karin Williams was helping children cross the road just before 9am on June 20 when they were hit by a car outside Rhoose Primary.

She stepped in front of the car using her body as a human shield. The 50-year-old took the brunt of the impact before becoming trapped under the car which had hit a bollard and overturned in front of terrified parents and children.

Some of the children she saved joined her on stage at the ceremony as she received her award. And in another major advance in her progress, Karin, who has been relying on a wheelchair to get around, stood up on stage to take the rapturous applause from the audience.
Ms Williams was recognised in London alongside a host of ordinary people honoured for extraordinary acts. Hosted by Carol Vorderman, the annual glittering ceremony marked its 15th year with a star-studded gala at the Grosvenor House on Park Lane.

Ms Williams was seriously injured and had an eight-hour operation on her kneecaps, legs, elbow and shoulder. Her outstanding actions were prompted by the 61-year-old driver losing control after mounting a speed bump and stepping on the accelerator instead of the brake in what was reported to be a “coughing fit”.

She spent seven weeks in hospital, still has regular physiotherapy and has been using a wheelchair to get around. Three other adults and five children needed hospital treatment but are all recovering.
Ms Williams was nominated for a Daily Mirror Pride of Britain award after impressing local residents and even strangers with her act of bravery.

Onlookers said they were in no doubt children would have died without her courage and quick-thinking and a Facebook page was set up soon afterwards calling for her bravery to be recognised.
Doctors say it could be a year before she is completely mobile again but Ms Williams is determined to go back to the job she loves.

Describing the horrifying incident in which a 61-year-old driver lost control of his car, she said: “I don’t remember pushing the children away.
“I just remember standing on the pavement with the children around me waiting to cross, and the next thing I knew I was on the ground with a paramedic leaning over me telling me not to move.
“I wasn’t in pain. I was in shock.”

After being handed the award, she said: “I’m not brave.
“I did my job. It was pure instinct.”


All Wales Anti-Mobile Phone Driving Campaign 2013
3/10/13
Police in Wales, led by South Wales Police together with Road Safety Wales, launch the All-Wales Anti-MoMobile Phone Oct Campaignbile Phone Driving Campaign which will run through October.

Despite the law change in February 2007 where using a mobile phone while driving can result in three penalty points and a £100 fine, drivers in Wales are still persisting with this dangerous activity and breaking the law.

Nearly 1,000 motorists were caught using their mobile phones while at the wheel during the 2012 campaign.

Police patrols to target mobile phone driving will increase across Welsh roads for the duration of the enforcement campaign, which runs from 15th October to 31st October, to promote the safety message and raise awareness of the dangers and penalties among motorists.

Assistant Chief Constable Richard Lewis of South Wales Police, said:

“The consequences of a lapse in concentration when driving can be devastating to road users and pedestrians.

“As soon as a driver answers a call, looks at their phone to text or read a message, their concentration is affected and as a result, they cannot give their full attention to the road and risk becoming involved in a collision.

“With the increased use of smart phones, drivers must be aware that it is not just making a call or texting that are distractions, but using a phone to access applications, e-mails or the internet. These actions carry the same danger and the same penalty.

“Always remember to switch your phone off before you drive. You can pick up any missed calls or texts when it is safe and convenient to do so. If you need to use the phone when driving, then stop at the first safe opportunity.”

Chair of Road Safety Wales, Susan Storch, added:

“Road Safety Wales partners are supporting our police colleagues throughout this campaign by publicising the dangers of using a mobile device while driving.

“We will continue to raise awareness of this issue and work closely with our colleagues in future campaigns.

“Unfortunately many people still consider it normal to use their mobile phone whilst driving, putting themselves, their passengers and other innocent road users in potentially serious danger.

“We need to send a strong message not to use any mobile phones whilst driving because of the distraction they cause.”


Step Out for International Walk to School Month

3/10/13
October is International Walk to School Month. Each year, primary school pupils from across the UK join forces with children in more than 40 countries worldwide to celebrate the benefits of walking to school. This year over 3,000 children throughout Caerphilly county borough will be taking part in International Walk to School Month.

walking busDuring October, Caerphilly residents are being asked to ditch their cars and use their feet and walk their children to school or encourage their children to join in their school’s walking bus. 

A walking bus provides safety in numbers and not only offers a healthy way for children to travel to school, it is also an excellent way for children to socialise with their friends on the journey.  Hundreds of children throughout the Borough regularly take the walking bus to school.

There are many benefits to children taking the walking bus, not only is it a good source of exercise, keeping our children fit and healthy but also reduces the number of cars on the road, which ultimately benefits the environment and reduces traffic outside our schools.

Cwmaber Infants, Abercarn Primary, Ysgol-y-Lawnt, Hendredenny Park Primary, Libanus Primary, Bryn Awel Primary,Glyn Gaer Primary, Deri Primary, Nant-y-park Primary,  Cwmcarn Primary,  Blackwood Primary, Ysgol Penalltau, Rudry Primary and the Twyn Primaryare all taking part in this years International Walk to School Month activities.  Schools will record the number of pupils walking and will award prizes and certificates to those who made an effort and walked during the month.

Cllr. Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering said “Walking to school regularly is not only a fantastic way to encourage an active lifestyle, it is also a great opportunity to teach children vital road safety skills and ensure they are alert and ready to learn at the start of a new day. 

From an environmental perspective, walking to school also eases road congestion and reduces the associated pollution levels that driving or taking a bus to school would generate.”

For more information about schools that participate in the walking bus scheme please visit www.caerphilly.gov.uk/walkingbus or contact Susan Davies, Road Safety Projects Officer on 01495 235402.


Crash Day's Big Impact on Pupils
24/9/13

A CRASH awareness day at a Neath school had a hard impact upon the pupils, the headmaster has said.

Llangatwg Community School's year 11 pupils were visited by fire and road safety officers earlier this month, as part of an event to warn them of the responsibility of driving safely.

Headteacher, Alan Rowlands, said: "The event went really well.

"We focussed on it with year 11 pupils, and they were spoken to about speeding, drink-driving and drugs, and the consequences of these.

They also learned about the dangers of texting and using a mobile phone while driving, so it was raising awareness of all these issues.

"It probably had quite a hard impact on many of them."


Hard Hitting Road Safety Lesson for Youngsters
24/09/2013

STUDENTS across North Wales have been getting a hard-hitting lesson in road safety.

Road Safety showNorth Wales Fire and Rescue Service has joined forces with The Welsh Ambulance Service and North Wales Police for an education tour of colleges across the region.

The partnership is designed to teach youngsters about the dangers of the 'Fatal Five' - excessive speed, anti-social driving, no seatbelts, drink or drug-driving and using a mobile phone whilst driving.

Emergency service partners are hoping to reach more youngsters than ever in the run-up to Road Safety Week (November 18-24).

The Deadly Impacts Roadshow was launched at Coleg Cambria in Wrexham, where paramedic Dermot O' Leary gave a graphic account of what happens to the human body in a collision.

He said: "I explain what injuries they could suffer in a collision, the damage inflicted on the body and the clinical skills I would use to ultimately try and save their life. These young adults deserve a future and I don't beat around the bush when I tell them what could go wrong while driving."

Rhyl-based Dermot added: "Road collisions are sudden tragic events which can send shockwaves through families, friends and communities. Making young adults aware of the danger on the roads might mean less incidents for us where we literally have to pick up the pieces."

North Wales Fire and Rescue Service used video clips and audience participation to try and educate students.

Community safety team leader, Sharon Bouckley, said: "The Deadly Impacts Roadshow is designed to deliver hard-hitting messages to young drivers by making them aware of their responsibilities on the road, and the potentially fatal consequences of speeding or not paying attention while driving.

"We as a fire and rescue service attend a high number of road traffic collisions involving young people - and we are doing all that we can to educate our youngsters and drive down the number of tragedies on our roads."

North Wales Police warned of the consequences of being responsible for a collision, including penalty points on your licence and even prison.

Inspector Martin Best from North Wales Police' Roads Policing Unit said: "Multi-agency road safety events have proved to be an excellent way of getting people to think about the consequences of their driving, and by working in partnership, we want to get across to young drivers messages such as the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt, driving too fast and using mobile phones.

He added: "The practical demonstrations of realistic events, coupled with presentations from all partners has hopefully brought home some of the realities and we hope that many of the young people have taken this on board."

Emergency service partners will also visit colleges in Deeside and Northop, as well as Glynllifon, Dolgellau, Pwllheli, Llandrillo, Llangefni and Bangor in the run-up to Road Safety Week, which is co-ordinated annually by road safety charity Brake.


South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Biker Down Dates
17/9/13

The Biker Down course is an educational and engagement tool aimed primarily at the motorcycleBiker Down workshops community with the focus on contributing to the reduction in the number of KSI’s (killed and seriously injured) involving motorcyclists in the SWF&RS area and is delivered by Operational Fire Fighters.

The course is comprised of three modules:

Managing an Accident Scene
First Aid
The Science of Being Seen

The course aims to give participants a better understanding of what to do if they come across a road traffic collision and how to manage it safely. It also promotes advanced rider skills courses in conjunction with our other road safety partner agencies.

The course is free and on completion of the course the participants will get a certificate of attendance and a free first aid kit.

Dates of the course are available on the Organisations web site and via the South Wales Fire and Rescue face book page and interested parties will be able to book places on the course via bikerdown@southwales-fire.gov.uk.

Latest Course dates:
23rd September 2013 - 18:30 at Tonypandy Fire Station CF40 2JQ
30th September 2013 - 18:30 at Bridgend Fire Station CF31 4AH
8th October 2013 - 18:30 at Cardiff Central Fire Station CF24 2FH


A Speed Limit of 20mph is Being Introduced Outside Every School in Flintshire.
16/9/13

twenty mile an hour speed limitSome schools in the county already have the appropriate signage in place, and schedules are now being drawn up to implement the speed limit outside all 83 schools in Flintshire.

Councillor Aaron Shotton, Leader of the Council, said:
“The Council has made it a priority to introduce the first phase of our 20mph zones around schools initiative. This commitment to introduce 20 mph signage around all Flintshire schools is a positive step to making our roads safer for schoolchildren.”

Councillor Bernie Attridge, Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Environment, added:
“I feel passionately and strongly about the issue of child safety and have long believed that we should have a 20mph limit outside every school. The limits will be introduced on a phased basis. Reduced speed limits will lower the risk of collisions on the road network and will improve safety for all road users.”


Campaign Targeting Abusive Drivers
23/8/13
A campaign is being launched targeting drivers who are rude and abusive to lollipop men andStop means stop ladies in Carmarthenshire.

'The Stop Means Stop' campaign follows an increasing number of incidents involving motorists failing to stop for lollipop men and women.

Carmarthenshire Council's road safety unit, supported by Carmarthenshire Road Safety Action Group, is launching the drive which will be backed up with radio advertising, school banners, posters and leaflets. It starts in September to coincide with the new school term. There are currently 72 schools crossing patrols officers working at schools across the county. There were 12 reported failure to stop incidents reported to police last year and many more reports of abuse to lollipop men and women logged.

County road safety manager Keith Griffiths said: "School crossing patrol officers play a vital role by ensuring school children are provided with a safe route to and from school.

"They should be able to do this without fear of intimidation and threatening behaviour from some inconsiderate motorists.

"The school crossing patrol team are among the most committed group of people that continue to play a very important role in keeping our community a safe and friendly place.

"The message is quite simple. All road users must stop when a school crossing patrol officer asks them to do so.

"Drivers should allow a little extra journey time if their route takes them through a patrolled area — and be prepared to slow down and stop when requested to do so by a patrol officer."

Today, every school crossing patrol officer is issued with a notebook to record detailed information about any motorist that fails to stop or continues to drive by when it is obvious that the patrol officer has asked them to stop from the side of the road. They are encouraged to make a note of the registration number, make, model and colour of vehicle, time of the incident and gender of the driver. The information is forwarded onto Dyfed-Powys Police so they can take appropriate action.

There are vacancies for lollipop people throughout the county including Felinfoel and Llanelli.

Contact transport officer Rhys John on 01267 228285.



Carmarthenshire Road Safety Team Monthly Theme
22/8/13

‘Don't take the high road,’ driving under the influence of drugs is the latest thought provoking road safety message aimed at Carmarthenshire drivers.

A graphic showing roadway filled with pills and drugs paraphernalia is being repeated on the backs of buses and on A-board trailers that will be touring the county’s municipal car parks throughout September. Colourful cards have also been distributed to colleges to get the messages out to as many drivers and age groups as possible.

roadway filled with pills and drugsThere is a monthly road safety theme that has already covered texting at the wheel; driving under the influence of drugs; winter maintenance and speeding. Think motor cycle, among many others. The monthly cards are the brainchild of Carmarthenshire council’s road safety team supported by Carmarthenshire Community Safety Partnership’s Road Safety Action Group.

County road safety manager Keith Griffiths said the campaign was having a significant and positive impact on drivers especilly the campaigns covering bald tyres, drink driving and speeding. He said: “This month we are reinforcing the message that driving under the influence of drugs is illegal.

“Drugs that impair your driving need not be illegal ones. It can also be an offence to drive after taking certain products that are sold over the counter, like some cough medicines and antihistamines.

“Drugs can affect your mind and body in a variety of ways that mean you are not able to drive safely and the effect can last for hours or even days.

“Drivers should always know about the effects of any medicine they caretaking, check the labels carefully and if in doubt check with their doctor or pharmacist."

Mr Griffiths warned against adopting silly rules about how much you could and couldn’t drink because there was no safe way to calculate that with age, weight, stress and metabolism and food intake affecting driving ability after drinking". "Drivers should remember that if they take drugs and drive it might not be just their licence they lose.”



Safe Cycle Training in Ceredigion for Duke of Edinburgh
13/8/13

A group of six youngsters, based in Cardigan aged 15 - 18 are undertaking the Duke of Edinburghthe six candidates have received their certificates Gold award.

As part of the award they will hopefully complete a 150 mile cycle expedition, camping en route, using tandems and single bicycles. In preparation, the group needed to complete Level three National Standard Cycle Training.

Pictured are the six candidates with their National Standard’s Instructor having received their certificates.


Festival GoersTake Road Safety Seriously
13/8/13

Over 1000 visitors took part in activities highlighting important road safety issues at this year’s Big Cheese.

Parents and children came along to buy helmets, talk about current road safety initiatives and takeJordan receiving his bike from Councillor Tom Williams part in a ‘spot the dangers’ competition, badge making and of course the Road Safety quiz to win a fabulous mountain bike.

The winner from over 300 entries was Jordan Walther-Bates from Abercarn who was thrilled to have won  the competition and have a new bike to use over the summer holidays with Cwmcarn's mountain bike trails right on his doorstep.

Cllr Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transport and Engineering who presented the family with the bike said, “Congratulations, I am sure you will get great use from the bike especially on all of the cycle routes throughout our borough.”

Sandy Walther-Bates, Jordan’s mother said, “Thank you once again for the bike, Jordan is already putting the bike to good use, and is getting ready to go off on another long bike ridetoday!”

To find out more about Road Safety initiatives in Caerphilly County Borough, contact the Road Safety Team on 01495 235402


Trailer Warning from Carmarthenshire Council
31/7/13

Motorists and farmers are being reminded to make sure their vehicles, caravans and trailersare road worthy before they take to the road

logoCarmarthenshire council road safety manager Keith Griffiths said trailers not in use all the year round can fail with disastrous consequences when taken out on to the road after a long lay up.

He urges motorists and farmers to ensure their vehicles and trailers are road worthy before they hit the road. The warning comes as figures from the Highways Agency show that between April and June 2013 alone, there have been 1,408 towing incidents on the UK’s roads, 246 in the south west with 43 in Carmarthenshire.

The Carmarthenshire Road Safety Action Group have encouraged random roadside checks following an increase of incidents with towed vehicles being involved in accidents many of which have been caravans being towed to holiday campsites through or into the county from elsewhere.

The Highways Agency has warned that towing incidents are often caused by overloading the caravan or trailer, a mismatch with the towing vehicle, tyres which have burst because they have not been checked or replaced where needed, and poor towing technique from drivers such as excessive speed.

The Institute of Advanced motorists offers the following tips for successfully towing another vehicle:

• Watch the weight of the towed vehicle – this should not exceed 85 per cent of the car’s kerb weight. Excess weight will cause instability.
• Check the unit you are towing is secure before pulling away, and check again after a short distance. Look for anything loose, disconnected, missing or broken.
• Check that your extra rear lights are all connected and fully functional. Get somebody to help while you test the brakes and indicators. As well as additional lights, you will also need an illuminated number plate at the rear of the unit.
• Check the pressure of all tyres before you set off, bearing in mind those of the towed unit as well as your own vehicle.
• Stopping distances and the space between you and other vehicles should be increased appropriately, allowing for the extra weight you are carrying. You should also allocate more time to overtaking, to position yourself for turns, parking, pulling into traffic streams, changing lanes and joining and leaving motorways.
• Use your mirrors frequently - the fact you have lost the use of your rear view mirror makes extended door mirrors very useful. Extended towing mirrors are not a legal requirement, but drivers are obliged to be able to see traffic behind them, so the use of mirrors is encouraged for caravans and anything but a small trailer. Mirrors will also give you a better feel for overtaking and reversing.
• Be aware that reduced speed limits usually apply when towing vehicles, and remember to extend courtesy to vehicles following you by allowing them to pass.

Mr Griffiths said: “Whether you’re towing a speedboat, a horsebox, a caravan or another car or farm equipment there are certain rules which must be applied. It is important to recognise the challenges which come with having to control not just one vehicle, but two.

“Check the being towed vehicles tyre pressures and tyre condition before setting off. Unlike in the car, you’re unlikely to feel a slow puncture on the caravan, so regular checks are essential. It’s also important to load your caravan correctly and within its limits.”


Road Safety at the Royal Welsh Show
26/7/13

Dyfed Powys Police This years’ action packed programme of events and attractions at the Royal Welsh Show included Road Safety input from many Road Safety Wales partners.

At the Young Peoples Village, the Fire and Rescue Service from South Wales took along the Fire ‘Cruize’ Car to engage with young people camping at the village educating them on the main causes of car crashes.

The Focus ST is fully equipped with:

  • A high performance ‘Focal’ music system
  • Wide screen 40” LCD TV
  • LED Undercar Lighting
  • X-Box Kinnect

Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Services’ new youth engagement vehicle, the state of the art VW Transporter made its show debut, and attracted a crowd at the Young Peoples’ Village Green.  And Chair of Road Safety Wales, and Road Safety Officer for Dyfed Powys Police, Sue Storch, was on hand to demonstrate breathalysers and educate the young revelers on drinking and driving.

On the Showground, contributors included Go Safe and Powys County Council with their informative exhibition stands along with MAG, the Motorcycle Action Group, which campaigns to protect and promote the interests and rights of all riders, from learner to advanced.  

Outside Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service carried out vehicle extrication with entrapment, a demonstration which drew a large interested crowd.

Fire and Rescue ExtricationThe Dyfed Powys Police stand showcased the personnel and equipment used on a daily basis in a modern police force. The roads policing unit were present to show what a traffic cop’s car looks like and what tools they have available to catch drivers who break the law.

School Community Police Officers were there every day, engaging with primary school pupils and their parents about personal safety and on Wednesday Road Safety Advisor Sue Storch delivered a presentation reminding people of the dangers of not following the law when out and about on the roads.

Glorious weather and a show full of attractions and exhibits made this years' Royal Welsh Show as successful as ever.


Drink Driving Image Hot Weather Drink-Drive Warning As Over 400 Fail Breath Tests
25/7/13

Welsh Police are warning motorists to avoid the temptation to drink and drive in the hot weather, after more than 400 people were caught in a summer crackdown. The four Welsh forces stopped 20,000 drivers in the month long campaign which launched on the 1st June.

The police forces said they were also receiving more tip-offs from the public on drink-drivers. But the number of arrests has remained stubbornly similar to previous years, at about 2%.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from North Wales Police said: "We are disappointed that there is still a group of people who are not listening or ignoring the consequences and continuing to drink or take drugs and drive. It is socially unacceptable. There is a small hardcore of individuals who persist in drink-driving”

"With the current warm weather, more people may be tempted to have a few drinks, at barbecues or whilst drinking in beer gardens during the afternoons, and may drive without thinking of the consequences."

In total, 420 people were arrested for failing roadside breath tests, while other arrests pushed the number up to 436.

Insp Lee Ford of Gwent Police's road policing unit said he believed more people are willing to report those they think may have been drinking and driving.

"We have seen a rise in the amount of information that is coming into us. A lot of that has been down to us publicising the single non-emergency number, 101," he said.

"It is socially unacceptable. There is a small hardcore of individuals who persist in drink-driving and there will be a few others who foolishly may have had one or two too many. I think where people have to be aware is that individuals who witness this are prepared to report this to the police."

"As a result of that we have good intelligence where we can target these individuals and place them before courts."

As in previous years, it was the north Wales force that carried out the most roadside tests, stopping 8,281 motorists, with 109 failing.

The legal limit for alcohol consumption and driving in the UK stands at 35 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath.

In South Wales, of the 2,023 people stopped - 105 drivers were over that limit.

The Gwent force stopped almost exactly the same number of drivers, but just 64 were arrested.

The most arrests were in the Dyfed-Powys force area, where 7,544 motorists were tested and 142 failed, or 1.9% of those tested.

Chief Inspector Wareing of North Wales Police added: "We want to get the message across that drinking alcohol and driving or driving under the influence of drugs is unacceptable and that it puts other roads users' lives at risk.

"It can also lead to a lengthy driving ban and possible loss of jobs and livelihoods with some even facing imprisonment."

Summer Drink Driving 2011- 2013

2011 North Wales Police South Wales Police Dyfed Powys Police Gwent Police
Breath Tests 5,715 3,920 4,213 4,497
Arrests

96

192

87

69

% Positive

1.7

4.9

2.1

1.5

2012

Breath Tests

10,517

3,226

2,273

3,261

Arrests

101

130

79

50

% Positive

1.0

4.0

3.5

1.5

2013

Breath Tests

8,281

2,023

7,544

2,058

Arrests

109

105

142

64

% Positive

1.3

5.2

1.9

3.1

SOURCE: North Wales Police


Jessica's A Pass Plus Cymru Winner
25/7/13

Pembrokeshire young driver Jessica Cull took part in the Pass Plus Cymru scheme and filled inJessica Cull receiving her cheque for £250.00 from John Gobbi the questionnaire which was automatically entered into the all Wales quarterly prize draw.

Jessica was thrilled to be chosen as the winner and receive a cheque for £250.00 from Pembrokeshire Road Safety Officer John Gobbi. She is hoping to put the money towards her savings. She said she would recommend Pass Plus Cymru to any young driver who had just passed their test.

She went on to say she learned a great deal about being a safe driver and how to deal with the challenging environments of city and motorway driving.

Find out more about Pass Plus Cymru and book a course here


Mature Driving Courses
23/7/13

Rhonda Cynon Taff County Borough Council are holding two FREE courses on 5th and 6th August to enable drivers over 45 years of age who live in Rhondda Cynon Taff, Merthyr Tydfil and the Vale of Glamorgan to refresh their driving skills.

The two half-day Mature Drivers courses are being held at Ty Glantaf, Treforest Industrial Estate, Pontypridd, where they can learn key skills to reduce general motoring and repair costs and attain fuel economy.

The course includes a practical on road drive with an Approved Driving Instructor. Booking early is highly recommended as places are limited. For further information please contact the Road Safety Unit 01443 494785.


Cycle Safety Initiative
23/7/13

The Gwynedd-Môn Road Safety Partnership recently launched a new cycle safety initiative aimed at cyclists and drivers.  The key message of the campaign is to encourage cyclists to be more visible on the road and to raise awareness amongst motorists of the importance of a minimum 1.5 metre space when passing .

Wayne Owen, Alun Williams and Gary ElllisKeen cyclists from both Counties are promoting this initiative  by wearing vivid gillets displaying the 1.5 metre vital road safety message when out and about on the roads of not only North Wales but also further afield .

Pictured above from left to right are Wayne Owen , Alun Williams and Gary Ellis members of Energy Cycles Club who recently visited France to follow the Tour de France .  Alun Williams said “ I personally along with fellow cyclists embrace the 1.5 metre initiative , from personal experience we have  encountered several near misses due to cars passing at close proximity .  On several occasions  friends have been injured and hospitalized due to motorists disregarding our right to be on the roads “ .


Meet Zarla the Zebra
23/7/13

Zarla the Zebra, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s new Road Safety mascot, has been introduced to the public for the first time.

The character came about after a competition among all primary schools within the County BoroughSS Gabriel and Raphel RC School with Zarla Zebra who operate the Council’s Junior Road Safety Officers Scheme. Students were invited to design and name a Road Safety mascot - and Zarla the Zebra was born!

The award-winning creator of Zarla the Zebra is Jania George, of SS Gabriel & Raphel RC School in Tonypandy. Jania had no idea she had won the competition until Zarla the Zebra was introduced to her at a special school assembly. She also received her prize - a brand-new bicycle and a cycling helmet - from Cllr Andrew Morgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Frontline Services.

Zarla the Zebra made her first public appearance at the Council’s annual Teddy Bear’s Picnic at Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd, and was greeted by thousands of excited youngsters in the glorious sunshine.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is committed to spreading Road Safety messages across the County Borough to school children of all ages. A key element of preventing childhood accidents is ensuring future generations have an excellent understanding of road safety.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Road Safety Unit works throughout the year with South Wales Police, schools, pupils, parents and teachers to ensure continued awareness of the issue.

Cllr Andrew Morgan said: “Every day, there is work taking place by the Council’s Road Safety team, in one form or another, to engage with residents of all ages to ensure we are all safe pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

“Our teams work hard with their partners throughout the year to deliver a consistently-excellent and important road safety. Zarla the Zebra is now the face of our on-going Road Safety campaign.

“Congratulations to Jania George who has come up with such a wonderful character. Zarla the Zebra is instantly recognisable and already she has had a wonderful reception from all of the people she has met.”

Zarla the Zebra aims to be out and about all-year-round spreading the Road Safety message, visiting schools across Rhondda Cynon Taf.


Framework image New Plan to Reduce Casualties on Welsh Roads
19/7/13

Transport Minister Edwina Hart has published the Welsh Government’s Road Safety Framework for Wales, which sets targets for a substantial reduction in road casualties - with an aspiration to reach zero fatalities on Welsh roads in the future. Friday 19 July 2013.

Mrs Hart said:

“Road traffic collisions happen every day with potentially tragic consequences, but almost all are entirely avoidable. We want to reduce the number of road traffic collisions, particularly those which result in serious and fatal injuries.

"Wales’ roads are amongst the safest in the world and we can all be rightly proud of this. However, I do not think that we should settle for what has been achieved to date. I believe that we all have a responsibility to try and stop these unnecessary deaths and injuries.

"This framework identifies two groups that are most at risk – young people ,aged 16-24, and motorcyclists. Young people are at significantly greater risk of being involved in a collision than any other age group. Motorcyclists account for only 1% of road traffic in Wales, but 37% of those killed or seriously injured in motor vehicle collisions.

"I do not believe these statistics are inevitable and that is why I have set specific targets for casualty reduction amongst these two groups.”

The Framework, which sets out the Welsh Government’s priorities for road safety until 2020, also includes:

  • An aspiration of no fatalities on Welsh roads in the future
  • Targets for casualty reduction
  • Actions in respect of vulnerable road user groups, causes of collision and road safety engineering in order to reduce casualties
Mrs Hart added:

“We had a very good response to the consultation on the framework and the final version reflects this and the active involvement of our partners. By continuing to work together I believe we can build upon the progress made so far and ensure that everyone is safe on Welsh roads.”


Leader of the Pack!
15/7/13

Pembrokeshire’s Director of Transportation is leading the way in adopting safe motorcycling skills.

Ian Westley shows his Dragon Driver CertificateIan Westley Director of Transportation Housing and Environment - and keen motorcyclist - has just completed the Dragon Rider Cymru road safety course for motorcyclists.

Dragon Rider Cymru is a version of the Driving Standards Agency Enhanced Rider Scheme, which aims to improve the road safety skills of motor bike riders.

“The course is an invaluable opportunity to improve riding skills and technical knowledge for both the novice and experienced rider,” said Mr Westley . “It should be seen as essential for those who take safe riding seriously.”

Geared towards riders who already have a full licence, the Dragon Rider Cymru course costs £30 and includes a morning motorcycle presentation and a full afternoon ride out with a Driving Standards Agency qualified instructor.

It is designed to meet individual riders’ concerns and requirements and, although there is no test at the end, all riders receive an agreed assessment sheet and certificate, which might help them receive a reduction on their insurance.

The course is held once a month at Haverfordwest Fire Station Command Offices Merlin’s, Hill Haverfordwest for Pembrokeshire riders.

For further information ring 01639 686580, or contact John Gobbi County Road Safety Education Officer 01437 775144.


Council Piloting ‘Switch On Driving’ Scheme
4/7/13

carPowys drivers are being invited to have their skills assessed to make sure they are as sharp as ever by the County Council.

Powys County Council’s Road Safety Unit is piloting a brand new driving assessment scheme for people aged 26 to 54 years of age called ‘Switched On Driving’. This confidential and practical assessment will hopefully help those taking part to develop their driving skills and identify any areas of weakness that may have developed.

It is hoped the programme will improve driving skills and ultimately lead to a reduction in collisions and casualties.  Forty free places are available on the scheme thanks to funding from the Welsh Government.

Cllr Barry Thomas, Cabinet Member responsible for Road Safety, said: “The Road Safety Unit is committed to providing education, training and publicity in an attempt to reduce collisions and casualties.  I urge residents to take the opportunity to take part in this innovative driving scheme.”

Sarah Morris, the Council’s Senior Road Safety Officer, said: “Unfortunately, this age group is now featuring in an increasing number of collisions within the county.

“The Road Safety Unit provides training for all other road user groups, where we have seen great benefits.  I truly hope that this initiative will be supported by residents, and leads to a further reduction in collisions.”

The one-hour assessment will be carried out by Approved Driving Instructors and is completely free.  Please remember that only 40 places are available this year.

If you would like to find out more or to register to take part, please phone 01597 826637 or email road.safety@powys.gov.uk

You can also visit the Unit’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/roadsafetypowys


Road Safety Staff Urge Bikers to Carry a CRASH Card and Save Lives
4/7/13Abergavenny Motorcycle Show

Monmouthshire County Council Road Safety Officer Carolyn Derosaire and her colleague Jayne Haycock recently attended the Abergavenny Motorcycle Show to promote the CRASH Card scheme.  This encourages motorcyclists to carry cards holding potentially life-saving information.  The card has a set of easy to follow steps which could prove invaluable following a collision.

Children took part in activities in the Road Safety exhibition unit and won prizes while advice was available to motorcyclists out in force to support the Blood Bikes Wales charity.  Blood Bikes is a collection of enthusiasts who volunteer their time to transport emergency supplies to hospitals after hours - 7pm to 7am Monday to Friday, bank holidays and weekends.

  • CRASH Cards can be obtained free of charge from Abergavenny’s Oasis Snack Bar, the Steel Horse Café between Raglan and Abergavenny, RM Hockey & Son of Abergavenny and Carolyn Derosaire herself.  They are suitable for all users of powered two wheelers from the young person on a scooter, the worker commuting on a daily basis, or weekend superbike riders.

Motorcycle Taster Day for Ceredigion County Council Employees
2/7/13

A Motorcycle Taster Day was recently held in Aberystwyth, organised by MAG, Aberystwyth Motorcycle Council EmployeesTraining Centre School and Ceredigion County Council Road Safety Section. The aim was to give beginners the opportunity to experience riding in a safe and supervised environment. Beginners received half an hours training with instructors in Canolfan Rheidol Aberystwyth car park where they learnt the basic skills of motorcycling.

It was a fun filled day and many beginners are considering trying for their CBT test now that they’ve had first-hand experience on a motorcycle. Statistics show Motorcycle Taster Daythat while Ceredigion opens its roads for many out of county riders, local riders account the most for the killed and seriously injured statistics.  As well as gaining an insight into motorcycling, it also gave the candidates the opportunity to see the dangers motorcyclists face from car drivers failing to see them.  

 

 


Child Car Seat Checks in Caerphilly
28/6/13

Child car seat checksTrading Standards in Caerphilly are hosting two FREE safety events this Summer offering parents and carers in the area the chance to have their child car seats tested as part of a safety drive to identify unsuitable or poorly fitted equipment.

Experts will be on hand to offer help and advice on choosing and securing the correct equipment for both the child and the vehicle. And a free information pack offering advice to parents, and related activities for children will be given for each test carried out.

The events will take place on:

  • Thursday 18th July – Asda, Pontygwindy Road, Caerphilly – between 9.30am and 4pm
  • Friday 9th August – Tesco, Pontymister Ind Estate, Risca – between 9.30am and 4pm

 


Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Main Results 2012
27/6/13

Today sees the publication of Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Main Result 2012. This publication presents statistics on personal-injury accidents in 2012 on public roads (including footways) in Great Britain, which became known to the police.

Figures are derived from the ‘STATS 19’ forms completed by the police. These collect detailed data on individual personal-injury road accidents, covering the circumstances of the accident and the casualties and vehicles involved. The resulting data are supplied to local authorities and to the Department for Transport.

Figures for deaths refer to persons who sustained injuries which caused death within 30 days of the accident.

Summary statistics are published quarterly. A more comprehensive analysis of 2012 casualty statistics will be published later this year.

Overall results

  • The number of people killed in road accidents reported to the police decreased to 1,754 in 2012 from 1,901 in 2011. This means that there were 147 fewer deaths in 2012 in comparison with the previous year, a fall of 8 per cent. This is the lowest number of people killed in road accidents on record and an apparent return to the downward trend that ran from 2003 to 2010.
  • The number of people seriously injured decreased by 0.4 per cent to 23,039 in 2012 from 23,122 in 2011. The overall number of casualties in road accidents reported to the police in 2012 was 195,723, down 4 per cent from the 2011 total. The total number of people seriously injured has fallen by 15 per cent from the 2005-09 average.
  • A total of 145,571 personal-injury road accidents were reported to the police in 2012, 4 per cent lower than in 2011. This total is the fewest reported accidents in a single year apart from 1926 and 1927, the first two years national records were kept. This is in the context of a 0.4 per cent decrease in traffic between 2011 and 2012.

Find out more here


Llanhilleth Pupils' Poster Warns of Parking Danger
26/06/13

The Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSOs) at St Illtyd’s Primary School, Llanhilleth, recently organised a competition to design a banner warning drivers about the dangers of parking hazardously outside their school.

Funded by Blaenau Gwent Council, the JRSO scheme has been running in Blaenau Gwent since 2004.

The JRSO scheme aims to empower children to highlight road safety issues affecting their school and local community, raise awareness amongst other pupils and promote a change of attitude.

The poster is part of an ongoing campaign about drivers who regularly park in the bus bay, putting the safety of the children at risk.

The JRSOs have tried tackling this problem on several occasions by asking the local police to visit the school at opening and closing times to talk to the parents and by producing a flyer explaining their fears.

It is hoped the colourful and eye-catching new banner will prompt drivers to take more care during the school run.


THINK! Biker
18/6/13
The Department for Transport has produced a series of 6 short films that aim to remind motorcyclists of essential riding skills to help stay safe. The clips cover the following situations:

  • Entering the motorway
  • Anticipating other road users
  • Negotiating roundabouts
  • Positioning on bends
  • Overtaking
  • Separation distances

The videos can all be viewed on the THINK BIKER facebook page, or by following @THINKgovuk

All of the clips are taken from the DSA’s Better Biking training DVD which is available to buy here.


Cwrt Rawling Primary School JRSOs Help Promote Safer Parking
5/6/13

Caerphilly Council’s Road Safety Team has been working with Gwent Police trying to tackle Cwrt Rawling Primary Schoolparking issues outside schools. 

They have recruited Junior Road Safety Officers (JRSO’s) in year 5 and 6 to help promote the road safety message within their schools and community.   The Junior Road Safety Officer Scheme is supported by the Welsh Government’s Regional Transport Consortia Grant. 

Cwrt Rawling Primary School JRSOs put together a banner from competitions held in the school to try and stop parents parking on the zig zag markings outside the school.  They also designed a leaflet that was handed out to the parents. 

CSO John McDonnell advised ‘Parents beware! Parking near schools illegally can result in a £30 or £60 and 3 point fine. Please park safely’. 

The headteacher Mr Cole and JRSO teacher Mrs Speed also added ‘The children have thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the JRSO scheme and feel passionate about the safety of pupils, parents and visitors when entering our school. We hope the launching of the roadside banner will encourage all drivers to think about where they park when dropping their children off for school’. 

If you would like further information on road safety please contact Miss Tracy Plant, Road Safety Officer, on 01495 235427.


On-The-Spot Penalties for Careless Drivers
5/6/13

PoliceCareless drivers who put other road users at risk face on-the-spot penalties under new measures announced today by Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond.

The changes will give the police powers to issue fixed penalty notices for careless driving, giving them greater flexibility in dealing with less serious careless driving offences - such as tailgating or middle lane hogging - and freeing them from resource-intensive court processes. The fixed penalty will also enable the police to offer educational training as an alternative to endorsement. Drivers will still be able to appeal any decision in court.

In addition, existing fixed penalty levels for most motoring offences - including using a mobile phone at the wheel and not wearing a seatbelt - will rise to £100 to bring them into line with the penalties for similar non-motoring fixed penalties.

Stephen Hammond said:

“Careless drivers are a menace and their negligence puts innocent people’s lives at risk. That is why we are making it easier for the police to tackle problem drivers by allowing them to immediately issue a fixed penalty notice rather than needing to take every offender to court.

“We are also increasing penalties for a range of driving offences to a level which reflects their seriousness and which will ensure that they are consistent with other similar penalty offences."

Edmund King, AA President said:

“It is worrying that three quarters of drivers see others using mobile phones behind the wheel on some or most journeys.* This epidemic of hand held mobile phone use while driving has already cost lives and our members have demanded action. An increase in the standard motoring fixed penalty fine will help deter those who commit motoring offences including mobile phone use. AA members broadly support an increase in the level of the fixed penalty. Our members also fully support educational training as an alternative to penalty points.

“We are also pleased to see that at long last new powers and fines will be given to the police to tackle the top three pet hates of drivers – tailgaters, mobile phone abusers and middle lane hogs.”

Chief Constable Suzette Davenport ACPO lead on roads policing said:

“The new penalties are absolutely necessary to deal with drivers who are putting people’s lives at risk and police will not hesitate to enforce them.

“These measures should also act as a reminder to careless drivers that their behaviour will not be tolerated.

“The vast majority of drivers are law abiding, but some are still not getting the message. We said we would get tougher on those who make our roads dangerous and that is exactly what we have done.”

The fixed penalty for careless driving will be £100 with three points on the driver's licence. The most serious examples will continue to go through court, where offenders may face higher penalties.

There are no changes to penalty levels for parking offences.

Fixed penalty levels for most of these motoring offences have not increased since 2000, and are now lower than other penalties of a similar severity. In addition, raising the penalty levels for these offences offers an additional incentive for drivers to take up remedial courses which address poor driving behaviour in the longer term.

The changes - which the Government aim to bring into force in July this year - are being introduced following extensive public consultation with road safety groups and Police forces.


Police Recorded Road Casualties, 2012
3/6/13

UK Statistics Authority website The latest National Statistics produced by the Welsh Government were released on 29 May 2013 according to the arrangements approved by the UK Statistics Authority.

Statistics include data for Wales for the period up to the end of December 2012. The latest release updates the statistics previously released on 22 May 2012.

The key points from the latest release are:

  • during 2012 there were 5,971 road accidents involving personal injury recorded by the police in Wales, 463 (7 per cent) fewer than in 2011

These accidents resulted in 8,565 casualties, 841 (9 per cent) fewer than in 2011. Within this total:

  • 93 people were killed on Welsh roads in 2012, some 28 (23 per cent) fewer than in 2011, it is estimated that this was the second lowest figure for road deaths in Wales (the lowest level was 2010) since the mid 1920s; and it is a little over a fifth of the peak level for the number of people killed on the roads in Wales, which was in 1974 at 424 deaths
  • 941 people were seriously injured in 2012, 185 (16 per cent) less than in 2011
  • 7,531 people were slightly injured, a decrease of 628 (8 per cent) compared with 2011

Document Download

SDR 84/2013 Police recorded road casualties, 2012 (File size: 188KB)

Tables: Police recorded road casualties, 2012 (File size: 163KB)

Tables: Police recorded road casualties, 2012: by local authority (File size: 3.51MB)


Summer Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign to Start
31/05/2013

A picture of drink driving. The National All Wales Summer Anti Drink/Drug Drive campaign 2013, backed by all four Welsh Police Forces, will begin on Saturday 1st June. The month long campaign, launched by Gwent Police, will see Forces increase the pressure and focus on those drivers who drink and drive or drive under the influence of drugs.

There will be increased stop checks to catch those breaking the law and police will use the campaign to reinforce the message and educate drivers.

Superintendent Gary Ashton from North Wales Police said: “If you drink and drive you will potentially not only ruin your life, but the lives of others innocently associated with you and your actions. There is absolutely no excuse for drinking and driving and the consequences can be devastating.

“You not only risk killing or seriously injuring yourself or someone else, but you will end up in court and could face a fine, lose your licence or receive a jail sentence. You will have a criminal record and you could lose your job.

“As summer approaches, more people may be tempted to have a few drinks, at barbecues or whilst drinking in the afternoon, and may drive without thinking of the consequences.

He added: “Think before you go out, watch what you drink and plan how you will get home.”

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

Notes:

  • During the 2012 campaign, 19,277 people were stopped and breath tested by police in Wales and 360 of those tested positive, refused or failed to provide representing 1.9%
  • In June 2012 more than 83,000 people were tested in England and Wales during the campaign and nearly 5,000 failed a breath test.
  • Earlier this year The Institute of Advanced Motorists calculated the personal financial cost of drink-driving and priced it between £20,000 and £50,000. The calculation reflects the fines, legal costs, rise in insurance premiums and possible job losses faced by those who are convicted.

Do you know the legal limit for alcohol when driving?

The legal limit in the UK is 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.  However, any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely.  The effects can include slower reactions, poorer judgement of speed and distance and a reduced field of vision.  Alcohol also tends to make you feel over-confident and more likely to take risks when driving, which increases the danger to all road-users.

The Law

If you are convicted for a drink driving offences you will:

  • Have a criminal record
  • Lose your licence for a minimum of one year
  • You may go to prison for up to six months
  • You may have to pay a fine of up to £5,000
  • Have difficulty hiring a car within ten years of your conviction

If you are convicted of causing death by careless driving while under the influence of drink you face:

  • Up to 14 years in prison
  • An unlimited fine
  • A minimum two-year driving ban

Other consequences:

  • Face exceptionally high insurance costs once you get your licence back
  • You may lose your job

Think! Launch New Online Resouce Centre
29/5/13

The THINK! team has launched a new online resource centre to help teachers plan road safety lessons for school children.

The THINK! Resource Centre brings together a wide range of road safety materials for children and teenagers in one place. It is designed to help teachers, road safety officers and anyone teaching road safety to plan lessons easily and effectively.

Launching the resource, Stephen Hammond road safety minister, said: “Road deaths are at a record low and child casualties have fallen considerably in recent years, but we know there is room for improvement and I am determined to reduce casualties even further.

“THINK! education resources are already highly regarded, but we wanted to make them much easier to use in road safety lessons. This new online resource will be used by teachers across the country to give children the skills and knowledge they need to stay safe on the roads.”

The materials are organised into 25 themed lesson packs and aimed at all ages, from early years to Key Stage 4.

Each Lesson Pack is clearly labelled by Key Stage and includes a lesson plan and a range of teaching resources, such as online games, posters, stories, films and ideas for activities both in and out of the classroom. The packs also include information and activities for parents and carers, to ensure children are taught consistently at school and at home.

The Resource Centre can be used by teachers in Personal, Social, Health and Economics lessons and to provide examples for core curriculum subjects such as maths and science. The Resource Centre is also intended be useful for road safety officers and out of school groups such as Rainbows, Beavers, Brownies and Cub Scouts.

Click here to visit the THINK! Resource Centre website.


Pass Plus Cymru Quarterly Draw Winner
17/5/13

A young Ebbw Vale motorist is the first Blaenau Gwent winner of the Pass Plus Cymru quarterly Conor Jones and Road Safety Officer Maria Barsi-Millsdraw.

Conor Jones, a student at the Blaenau Gwent Learning Zone, was presented with a cheque for £250 by Road Safety Officer Maria Barsi-Mills after his a feedback form was entered into a free prize draw. Conor’s name was drawn from a list of all participants throughout Wales who returned their evaluation form on completion of the Pass Plus Cymru Course.

Young people are over represented in incident statistics and so Pass PlusCymru is aimed at 17 to 25 year olds who live in Wales and have recently passed their driving test.

Young people taking part in the scheme will pick up tips and pointers about:

• Heading off on the motorway
• Driving techniques and hazard awareness
• Getting around at night
• Coping with busy towns and cities
• Driving on rural country roads

Blaenau Gwent Road Safety Officer Maria Barsi-Mills said:

“New drivers can lack the vital skills and experience needed to ensure their safety and the safety of others on the road. Pass PlusCymru aims to influence them to become better and more responsible drivers and the course costs just £20.”


Young Drivers Warned Over Eyesight
16/5/13

Young motorists are being urged to ensure they can see clearly when driving after a police crackdown found many at the wheel with poor eyesight. Random checks in south Wales found young drivers who did not realise they needed glasses.

The crackdown, which led to nine motorists with bad eyesight losing their licence, is to be extended to the M4.

A force road safety manager blamed a lack of eye tests in schools. During a month-long crackdown held earlier this year, police stopped 821 motorists, nine of whom lost their licences because they could not see clearly while driving. Another 29 people received cautions.

South Wales Police Insp Wayne Tucker, South Wales Police's road safety manager, said while most of those discovered to have bad eyesight were elderly, officers also found many younger people needed sight tests. We find these days young people aren't having eyesight tests in schools like they used to and as they get older they're not going to the optician”

"We feel we have made people more aware of their responsibilities in relation to eyesight when driving, especially young people," he said.

"We find these days young people aren't having eyesight tests in schools like they used to and as they get older they're not going to the optician and don't realise the danger they are putting themselves and others in by driving.

"We're not banging people over the head with a big stick about it but asking them to please be responsible. "We have had incidents where we have had to recommend they get an eye test."

Insp Tucker said one man in particular, who was in his early 30s and drove for a living, had such bad eyesight that police prevented him from driving until he got glasses. "He went straight away to an optician and got glasses there and then over the counter," he added.

New Technology

The South Wales Police crackdown against drivers with poor eyesight was launched at the end of February.

Motorists in Talbot Green, Cardiff, Aberdare and Rhondda were stopped and asked to read the registration plate of a vehicle parked 20m (65ft) away.

Police said that new handheld devices meant they could refer motorists to the DVLA immediately and they could lose their licences within hours.

In the past it could take days for a licence to be revoked, meaning potentially dangerous drivers could still get behind the wheel after police had stopped them.

The changes followed a campaign to highlight the issue after 16-year-old Cassie McCord, from Colchester, Essex, was killed by an 87-year-old driver in 2011. He had refused to surrender his licence despite failing an on-the-spot eye sight test three days earlier.

Insp Tucker said the crackdown would now be extended along the M4 corridor.


Motorists Targeted in Road Safety
15/5/13

Motorcyclists are being urged to take greater care on roads in Wales as part of a £6m road safety drive, with mid Wales seen as an accident blackspot.

Nearly 70 bikers were killed or injured in Powys in 2011 along with 53 in Carmarthenshire and 51 in Swansea.

Transport Minister Edwina Hart said mid Wales had a "disproportionate" casualty rate.

The quiet, rural roads of Powys are known to attract visiting motorcyclists from the Midlands and South Wales, especially on summer weekends. There have been a variety of safety campaigns by the police and councils in Wales over the years to try and cut death and injury rates.

"Motorcyclists are amongst the most at-risk groups of road users in Wales," said Mrs Hart. "We have not seen a significant reduction in casualty numbers amongst motorcyclists over the last decade, in contrast to the reductions amongst other groups of road users. This is not something that I consider acceptable."

In Powys, 68 motorcyclists were killed or injured in 2011, with 51 of the incidents involving bikes with over 500cc engines, according to the latest available statistics.

"Mid Wales does have a disproportionate number of motorcyclist road casualties," added Mrs Hart. "Statistical analysis has shown that these tend to be male riders on powerful bikes, during the drier months of the year. "We will continue to work with Dyfed Powys Police and other partners through Operation Darwin which targets these riders to educate them about the importance of safety and, where appropriate, enforce the law."

Other areas of Wales with worrying crash rates include Carmarthenshire, which had 53 motorcycle casualties in 2011. Swansea had 51, Cardiff 43, Denbighshire 38, Flintshire 36 and Gwynedd 35.

'Cause for concern'

Mrs Hart said some of the £6m road safety funding would be used to fund advanced rider training courses, practical safety advice, targeted publicity and engineering schemes. "I will also soon publish our road safety framework," said the Minister.

"The consultation document highlighted the vulnerability of motorcyclists, included a specific target for casualty reduction amongst this group and placed an onus on partners to actively engage with riders."

Montgomeryshire's Conservative AM Russell George hopes Powys council will receive a significant share of the road safety funding. "I welcome the statement from the minister, particularly highlighting the real problem of motorcyclist road casualties that exists in mid Wales," he said. "It's a real cause for concern."

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams, AM for Brecon and Radnorshire, said: "We all have a part to play in making our roads safer. "I will continue to work with Welsh government, Dyfed Powys Police and all road users to try to achieve this."


School Promotes Road Safety With Seatbelt Checks
14/5/13
Children in Caerphilly County Borough braved the wet weather last week and took to the roads outside their school, giving parents and drivers a lesson in road safety.

Pupils from Ynysddu Primary School have signed up to the Junior Road Safety Officer scheme whichpupils from Ynysddu Primary school encourages children to promote road safety issues in school and around their community.

Earlier this year, Gwent Police launched the All Wales Seat Belt campaign, which stressed the dangers of not wearing a seatbelt and warned that “belting up can save a life.” In support of that campaign, pupils from the school gathered outside the school at the end of the day to speak to parents and other drivers about the importance of wearing a seatbelt and took part in a seatbelt count, counting the number of drivers wearing their seatbelts as they drove past.

In just 10 minutes the children counted 14 drivers, 2 passengers and 6 rear seat passengers who were not wearing seatbelts.

Cllr Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering said, “Belting up should be a driver’s number one priority as soon as they enter their vehicle, but unfortunately some drivers still fail to wear their seatbelts. It is encouraging to see some of our youngest residents promoting the importance of a seatbelt and getting the message across to their parents and other drivers in their community that wearing a seat belt can save your life.”

The Junior Road Safety Officers assist Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Road Safety Officers by promoting road safety issues in their school. They run competitions, encourage road safety amongst their peers and their parents and give out prizes for good road safety behaviour.


Child Car Seat Checks
13/5/13

Child Car seat checksMid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and Ceredigion County Council’s Road Safety Team are joining forces to check child car seats as part of their In Car Safety Campaign 2013.

Previous checks in Ceredigion have shown that 8 out of 10 car seats are fitted incorrectly – so please take just a couple of minutes out of your shopping trip to get your child car seat checked for free by qualified personnel.

The teams can be visited at any one of the following locations:

 

20/05/2013 Tesco, Cardigan, 10am - 3pm

21/05/2013 Sainsbury’s, Lampeter, 10am – 3pm

22/05/2012 Morrisons, Aberystwyth, 10am – 3pm

23/05/2013 Matalan, Aberystwyth, 10am – 3pm

Ceredigion Road Safety Officer Terry Jones said: "The overall aim of this initiative is to raise awareness amongst parents of how their child car seats should be fitted and ultimately reduce serious injuries and death on our roads. I would encourage everyone to take the opportunity to stop by at any one of our locations to get their sets checked free of charge by qualified personnel”.

Mrs Catrin Davies from Llandysul, who had her car seat checked during the last round of checks said: “I was horrified that I had been travelling with my 3 year old daughter in the car with an ill fitted car seat. I’m extremely grateful to the staff for fitting the car seat correctly”’.

Did you know that…

  • Children under 3 years MUST use the child restraint appropriate for their weight in any vehicle (including vans and other goods vehicle).
  • Rear facing baby seats MUST NOT be used in a seat protected by a frontal air bag unless the air bag has been deactivated manually or automatically.
  • In vehicles where seat belts are fitted, children under 3 years to 135cms in height (approx. 4ft 5 inch) MUST use the appropriate child restraint.


Three exceptions allow these children to travel in the rear and use an adult belt:

  • in a taxi, if the correct restraint is not available
  • for a short distance in an unexpected necessity, if the correct restraint is not available.
  • where two child seats in the rear prevent the fitness of a third child seat


If you have any queries regarding In car Safety or the new child car seat law please come along to one of the campaigns/initiatives or call the Road Safety Team on 01545 572 409.


Tufty to be Honoured in“Propoganda” Exhibition as he Celebrates his 60th Birthday
8/5/13

Tufty Sixty years since he was created, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ retired road safety squirrel Tufty Fluffytail will feature in an exhibition exploring international state-related propaganda from the 20th and 21st centuries, which opens next week.

Tufty, a red squirrel with signature blue and yellow clothing, was created by the late Elsie Mills MBE in 1953 to help communicate simple safety messages to children. Now, the ever-popular creature, who was joined in his adventures by Minnie Mole and Willy Weasel to name a few of his companions, will feature in the British Library’s exhibition Propaganda: Power and Persuasion, from May 17 to September 17.

The exhibition, which covers state-related propaganda from around the world, will be split into six sections: origins; nation; war; enemy; health; and, propaganda in the 21st century. It will feature Tufty memorabilia from the British Library’s archives, including a bag and greetings card, plus a RoSPA poster from the 1960s featuring statistics about children and road accidents. Tufty is displayed alongside other examples of the ways in which state organisations, and those with close links to the state, attempt to change behaviour and influence attitudes on a range of issues relating to health and risky behaviour.

Tufty had a long and varied career in road safety. In 1961, the Tufty Club was set up as a nationwide network of local groups through which millions of children learned about road safety. At its peak, there were 24,500 registered Tufty Clubs. Tufty’s image was changed to keep up with the times in 1979 and again in 1993. Then in 2007, he made a guest appearance in the cult BBC series Life on Mars.

Tom Mullarkey, chief executive of RoSPA, a safety charity with a history stretching back 97 years, said: “The exhibition is a wonderful opportunity to mark Tufty’s 60th birthday and to acknowledge his contribution to society. Tufty was an iconic aid to road safety education, teaching generations of children right through the 60s and 70s and into the 80s and 90s.

“Although it might seem strange to consider him as propaganda, the British Library’s exhibition is a fitting reminder of Tufty, his powers of persuasion and his enduring legacy as artwork.”

Jude England, head of social sciences at the British Library and curator of Propaganda, said: “Tufty is featuring in our exhibition as a wonderful example of a successful propaganda campaign. At its peak in the early 1970s, around two million children were members of local Tufty Clubs.

“The best public health campaigns use a number of techniques to relate their messages, ranging from shocking to humorous; Tufty’s appeal lay in the friendly images and accessible language used, for example, in the ‘kerb drill’. We expect that the Tufty exhibits will evoke childhood memories for many of the visitors to the exhibition.”

The British Library is based in Euston Road, London. The exhibition opening times will be 10am-6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, 10am-8pm on Tuesdays, 10am-5pm on Saturdays, and 11am-5pm on Sundays. Last admission is an hour before closing. See www.bl.uk/whatson/exhibitions/propaganda for ticket information.

Tufty has his own web page - www.tuftyclub.org.uk - and still receives emails from former Tufty Club members. Although Tufty is now retired, RoSPA remains active in tackling the principal cause of death among children - accidents - through its work on the road, in the home, at leisure and at school. See www.rospa.com for more details.

RoSPA still produces a range of Tufty educational materials for use by children’s groups, teachers and road safety professionals, available at www.rospashop.com.


Happy Birthday School Crossing Patrols
4/5/13

In April the School Crossing Patrol Service celebrated it’s 60th birthday.

To commemorate and to highlight the importance of crossing with a School crossing patrol, Roadffion with RSO Paula Owen Safety Wales invited the primary school children of Wales to take part in a poster competition.

A prize was awarded to one winner in each Regional Transport Consortia donated by Bristol Oilskins Ltd.

The winner in the TAITH region was Ffion Haf Jones a pupil at Ysgol Bethel, Caernarfon, Gwynedd.

yng Sion Jones, Paula Owen Swyddog Diogelwch Ffyrdd, Ffion Haf Jones, Malcolm Fox Bristol Oilskins Ltd


Travel Planning Award for Caerphilly Schools
2/5/13

Three schools from the Caerphilly county borough were rewarded for their excellence in travel planning during an awards ceremony held at Cardiff City Hall recently.

awards 1The first annual Sewta (South East Wales Transport Alliance) Travel Planning Awards took place on Tuesday 23rd April, providing the opportunity to recognise and reward best practice and excellence in travel planning, as demonstrated by organisations in South East Wales.

Ysgol Gynradd Penalltau, Rhiw-Syr-Dafydd Primary School, and Bryn Awel Primary School, each received the Bronze award having successfully achieved the required standard of excellence in travel planning.

Awards2Cllr Tom Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways, Transportation and Engineering said, “The active and effective travel planning of our schools is truly commendable. There has been a significant reduction in car use due to an increasing number walking to and from school, helping to make the Caerphilly county borough a greener place for all residents. I would like to thank the staff for their commitment and effort, without whom these awards would not have been possible.”

awards3

Cllr Rhianon Passmore, Cabinet Member for Education and Lifelong Learning added, “Well done to all three schools for their success in obtaining the Bronze award. All three establishments continue to show total commitment to sustainability and to reducing congestion around their schools.”

Sewta is an alliance of 10 local authorities in South East Wales, which prepares and co-ordinates regional transport policies, plans and programmes on behalf of its constituent councils.

Wales’ Sustainable Futures Commissioner, Peter Davies, was the keynote speaker at the event, which also offered a series of free training workshops, providing valuable advice on travel planning, marketing and sustainable travel.


Children’s Artwork Is Stopping Traffic!
2/5/2013

Cllr Gaynor OliverA Caerphilly Primary School has found inspiration around the school grounds for the artwork to accompany 20mph signs, with the winning design crafted by one of their own pupils.

Ysgol Y Castell recently developed a School Travel Plan, identifying the need for a reduced speed limit outside their school. With the limit agreed and introduced, the school launched a competition to create a sign to accompany the 20mph signs.

Beca

 

Beca Evans Lugg, aged 9, was the lucky winner with her innovative design of geese crossing the road, a rare sight that is only seen in one place in the county borough – opposite Caerphilly Castle where the school is located.

 

Beca, along with three runners up were presented with their artwork and prizes by the Mayor of Caerphilly County Borough Council, Cllr Gaynor Oliver.


Pictured with Cllr Gaynor Oliver are:
William Dewi 8
Holly Pipe 9
Beca Evans Lugg 9
Delun Thomas 9


Rhianydd Helps Promote Road Safety

1/5/13

A budding young artist from Rhondda Cynon Taf has won a prize for her school by winning a poster competition to mark the 60th anniversary of school crossing patrols.

Rhianyyd Jones with Cllr Andrew Morgan, and Malcolm Fox of Bristol OilskinsRhianydd Jones from Llwynypia Primary School created the winning poster for the South East Wales area in the competition organised by Road Safety Wales.

Competition sponsors were Bristol Oilskins and director Malcolm Fox kindly visited the school to present an I-pod shuffle to Rhianydd and £100 for the school. Rhondda Cynon Taf Road Safety Training Officer Geoff Evans also attended the presentation.

Cllr Andrew Morgan, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Frontline Services, including Road Safety, said: “Well done to Rhianydd on winning the competition for the South East Wales area and in turn helping to promote the important work done by school crossing patrol officers.”

School Crossing Patrol vacancies often exist at certain locations throughout the County Borough and these can be very difficult to fill. If you have a few hours to spare, or know someone who does, and would like to help our children stay safe on the roads, please visit the recruitment pages of the Council’s website to view the list of current vacancies.


Road Safety Convention 2013
19/4/13

This week road safety professionals from across Wales met at the annual Road Safety Wales Convention at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells.  Topics included black box technology, data analysis, young road users, an introduction to social media, a cycling case study and motorcycle safety and tourism.

The convention lunch also included the presentation of the Annual Road Safety Awards, which recognise the good road safety practice, innovative projects and personal contributions being undertaken in Wales. 

Recipients this year were:

Tina MartinTina Martin and Jamie Carey nominated by Monmouthshire Road Safety
Tina and Jamie are staff at Nevill Hall Hospital and were alarmed at the number of children admitted with head injuries, which could have been avoided had a cycle helmet been worn.  Following research by Monmouthshire Road Safety, into numbers of children who are wearing helmets, the ‘Kool Kids’ campaign was launched.  Partnership working between Monmouthshire Road Safety, local schools and Gwent Police spread the word and helped to change behaviour, while Tina and Jamie continue to campaign by encouraging children who come into their care to wear helmets.  They also relate their experiences in show and tell sessions.

 

Kingsley McCarthy

Kingsley McCarthy nominated by Swansea Road Safety
Kingsley McCarthy has volunteered with Kerbcraft in five Swansea schools for over ten years. He is reliable, good fun and totally committed to child pedestrian training.   Mike Bowen Deputy Head Teacher of Burlais Primary School described him as giving of his time freely; his passion for keeping the children safe being clear to see.  Gwyrosydd Primary School described Kingsley as a ‘real gentleman’. Since 2003, he has regularly visited the school every Wednesday afternoon to teach the children road safety.  He has wonderful patience with such young and lively children and has time for everyone.  He is a much valued visitor to the school.

Gary Jones

Gary Jones nominated by the Taith Regional Consortia
The Older Driver scheme was developed by Denbighshire County Council in 2004 following an accident analysis involving older drivers.  A partnership between the North Wales Road Safety Group and the Wales Mobility and Driving Assessment Service was established to conduct assessment drives, with Gary at the helm.   The current scheme was launched in October 2011 with over 400 assessments undertaken so far.  Gary continues to provide advice and valuable support leading to a strategic approach towards the provision of a driver development programme focussing upon the needs of the older driver population throughout North Wales.

Andrew Jenkins

Pauline Davies nominated by Newport City Council
In September 2013, Mrs Davies will enter her fortieth year of exemplary service as a School Crossing Patrol in Newport.  As Newport City Council’s longest serving School Crossing Patrol, Mrs Davies has performed her role with great passion, diligence and without complaint.  Mrs Davies’s site is located at a busy signalised junction where red-light running is far from rare and traffic flow is heavy.  Her longevity in the role at such a challenging site means that she has enhanced the safety of generations of children attending St. Patrick’s and St. Andrew’s Primary Schools, and now crosses the grandchildren of those she assisted at the beginning of her career!  Mrs Davies was not able to join us on the day, as she was on duty, and her award was collected by Andrew Jenkins of Newport City Council.  Mrs Davies will receive her award at a school assembly later this month.

Ian WilliamsonIan Williamson nominated by Powys County Council Road Safety Team
Ian is nominated for his support of the Powys and Ceredigion Road Safety Units with their work in motorcycle casualty reduction.  Ian is a member of the Aberystwyth branch of the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG), a group that exists to promote and protect the interests and rights of all riders.  He has assisted Powys Road Safety Unit through his support of existing and new initiatives, has attended engagement events and promotes RSU motorcycling initiatives to the MAG group and beyond.  He has built bridges and connections between the RSU and the motorcycling community, and provided valuable feedback and constructive criticism on initiatives to move projects forward.  Dr Mark Boulcott

 

 

Dr Mark Boulcott nominated by Dyfed Powys Police
Dr Mark Boulcott, was thrown from his motorcycle after being hit by a drunk driver who had also been taking drugs.  His wife Karen died at the scene and Dr Boulcott was left disabled.  Since his accident he has been actively involved in promoting the anti-drink drive message across Wales.  In 2008 he took part in a seven-minute film, commissioned by the Pembrokeshire Road Safety Forum, to be shown to young people throughout the county.   In telling his story he hoped to encourage social responsibility among teenage drivers and passengers.  Dr Boulcott has also lent his support to all-Wales Police anti-drink drive campaigns, giving weight to the message that people who drink and drive not only affect the life of the drink driver, but the lives of others innocently associated with them and their actions.


Free Biker Down Courses in Cardiff

15/4/13

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Road Safety team is offering a Free three-hour Biker Down Course.

They will be held at Cardiff Central Fire Station, Adam Street, Cardiff on 2nd and 14th May, commencing at 18.30pm.

Subjects covered will be: Biker Down logo

  • Accident scene management
  • First Aid for motorcyclists
  • Science of being seen

On completion you will receive a South Wales Fire and Rescue Service Certificate of Attendance and a biker's First Aid kit..

For further information email: bikerdown@southwales-fire..gov.uk, search for 'SWFire and Rescue' on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.southwales-fire.gov.uk


Road Safety Quiz Glory

15/4/13

Pupils from St David's Church in Wales Primary School in Colwinston emerged triumphant from the Road Safety Quiz 2013, walking away with a first prize following a nail biting final against pupils from Penarth's Ysgol Gymraeg Pen Y Garth. This marked the second victory for St David's in the competition - 16 years after their last success in 1997.

The annual event, which was hosted by the Vale Council's Road Safety Team, aims to make pupils more safety conscious and aware of their responsibilities as pedestrians, cyclists and vehicle passengers in an effort to reduce overall child casualties. A combination of individual, team and 'fingers on buzzers' questions made up the 10 rounds that each team faced - all based on their knowledge of the Young Person's Highway Code.

The competition is open to all primary schools in the Vale, with 38 schools taking part in the qualifying rounds using the interactive electronic technology of 'Qwizdom'. This involves teams from all schools answering multiple-choice questions via their remote control keypads, followed by a written final question decider. The teams with the highest scores are then invited to the live final.

2013 saw the first all-boys final for several years. The team of four year six pupils from Pen y Garth and the foursome from St David's were neck and neck for much of the final. The lead changed several times in the last round before St David's pipped Pen y Garth to the post, winning by 40 points to 37.5 - the closest score in recent memory.

An experienced panel of judges from the Vale of Glamorgan Council Road Safety Team presided over the event led by Clare Cameron, Principal Transport and Road Safety Officer, who was assisted by fellow officers Karen Stokes and Jayne Jenkins.

John Rogers, Quizmaster and Vale of Glamorgan Council Road Safety Officer, said:

"A big thank you must go to all the schools who took part in this worthwhile exercise. Win or lose, we hope that all the children enjoyed the experience and managed to take away at least a little more knowledge about road safety, which will hopefully stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives."

Both finalist teams received gift vouchers plus a commemorative plaque each. The winners, St David's, also received £200 for their school and a magnificent glass trophy, with £100 going to the runners-up, Pen y Garth.


Ysgol Gwaun Gynfi Pupils Learn the Importance of Road Safety

13/4/13


Paula Owen with pupils from Ysgol Gwaun GynfiPupils at Ysgol Gwaun Gynfi, Deiniolen recently received a special visit from Gwynedd’s most famous cat, Carys Ofalus.

Carys Ofalus, Gwynedd Council’s road safety character visited the school to thank Mrs Jackie Warrington’s year 1 class for their hard work in spreading the important message of road safety amongst their fellow pupils.

The year 1 pupils held a special school service to raise awareness of road safety amongst their fellow classmates based on the information they had learnt from Mai Jones, Kerbcraft co-ordinator.

Kerbcraft is a popular and effective scheme that promotes road safety to young pupils. The childrenbenefit from the scheme by receiving practical training by going out and about around the school learning how to keep safe by the side of the road and when crossing.

As part of the scheme the pupil’s learnt the Green Cross Code, passing their knowledge to the rest of the school pupils.

Councillor Gareth Roberts, Gwynedd Council’s Environment Cabinet Member said:

“There are more vehicles than ever on our roads and ensuring that everyone is safe on the road is very important to the Council.

“I’m delighted that we were able to establish Kerbcraft at Ysgol Gwaun Gynfi to help the pupils be aware of the dangers they could face on our roads.”


Eye Sight Checks

12/4/13

Almost 700 roadside eyesight checks have been carried out by police as part of an initiative to raise awareness of the dangers of driving with poor vision.

On Tuesday 9th April, officers from North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit carried out the checks at two locations – Llandudno and Menai Bridge, to highlight the importance of good eyesight. A total of 680 vehicles were stopped and four of those drivers received immediate driving licence revocations after being referred to the DVLA.

Acting Sergeant Mark Jones, who led the day operation said: “In North Wales there is a steady increase in the number of drivers, in particular older drivers, being involved in collisions. These collisions usually happen at junctions with one of the common themes being defective eyesight.

“All drivers have a responsibility to make sure they are fit to drive, every time they get behind the wheel and this includes making sure they meet minimum eyesight standards." He added: “Our aim, through these operations is to raise public awareness about the importance of good eyesight when driving.”

As part of the initiative, motorists were asked to stop and read the registration plate of a vehicle parked 20.5 metres away – which is the legal standard set by the DVLA. Officers now use hand-held devices to report offending drivers, and a quick email response from the DVLA means a licence can be revoked on the same day somebody is caught. Police previously had to write or fax a request for licence removal, which would take a number of days.

The changes, which came into effect in February ,follow a campaign to highlight the issue after 16-year-old Cassie McCord, from Colchester, Essex, was killed by an 87-year-old driver in 2011. He had refused to surrender his licence despite failing an on-the-spot eye sight test three days earlier.

A/Sgt Mark Jones added: “Overall the public response was very positive and in support of our operation and we will carry out further operations in the near future.”

Notes:


Operation Sodium Continues

8/4/13

“Our lives have been ruined completely” – these are the words of a mother who lost her son in a fatal road traffic collision on Anglesey back in 2011.

Carl Wynne Hughes, or Carl ‘Felin’ as he was known to his friends, died following the collision which happened during the early hours of March 26th 2011 on the A5 in Star, near Gaerwen.

The 22-year-old had been driving a silver coloured BMW with three other people on board when he lost control of the car and collided with a wall.

Tests showed that he had taken drugs, was over the legal drink drive limit and was not wearing a seatbelt.

“This has had a massive effect on the family and we are all completely devastated. Our lives will never be the same again,” said his Mum, Susan Hughes, who, jointly with Eleri Thomas, Carl’s partner, are helping North Wales Police with the promotion of Operation Sodium, a force-wide campaign aimed at tackling drink and drug driving amongst young people.

“I’ll never forget that night when we were told what had happened. Words can’t describe how we feel about Carl’s death. We support this campaign as we don’t want another family to go through the nightmare we are experiencing.”

Eleri and Carl have a son together, who was just a toddler when Carl died. She said: “Thankfully or son Gethin is still too young to fully understand but when he’s older we will tell him all about Carl and how kind he was with people.”

Operation Sodium launched throughout North Wales last summer. Just over six months on North Wales Police are continuing in their efforts to tackle drink and drug driving amongst young people aged between 17 and 25-years-old.

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing from North Wales Police said: “The campaign involves officers from the Roads Policing Unit as well as Local Policing Services using covert and overt tactics, stepping up checks, stopping vehicles and where appropriate, breathalysing drivers and conducting field impairment tests.

“The campaign was launched in response to the growing number of young people who are being killed on the roads of north Wales, and especially on rural roads.”

Recent statistics have showed that between *August 2012 and February 2013 287 people have been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. During the same period 5,041 negative breath tests were conducted.

“It is quite shocking that so far, almost 300 drivers have been arrested throughout this operation for being over the legal drink drive limit. This is simply unacceptable and strengthens our message that we will not tolerate drink or drug driving on the roads of North Wales.”

Specially designed posters have been distributed across licensed premises throughout north Wales and leaflets are being handed out by the officers who are visiting those premises in rural areas.

North Wales Police has a robust strategy around enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences which are drink and drug driving, dangerous driving including unnecessary risk taking, speeding, failing to wear a seat belt and using a mobile phone whilst driving.

Chief Inspector Wareing added: “We are committed to assisting in reducing casualties on the road through the use of targeted operations around high risk groups of people and locations while enforcing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences.

“The risk of being seriously injured or killed rises dramatically if a decision is taken to commit a ‘Fatal 5’ offence and I want people to be aware of the devastating affect it can have and make a conscious decision not to take any chances.”

“This is about saving lives and we will continue to enforce the campaign.”

“If you have information regarding drink or drug driving or if know of anybody who regularly drives whilst over the legal drink drive limit, or who drive after taking illegal drugs, contact North Wales Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 – it could help save a life.”

Note:

*Operation Sodium patrols are held on weekends between Friday evenings and Monday mornings.

The Operation Sodium statistics between August 10th and February 28th do not include the 2012 Christmas Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign statistics.

During the All Wales Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign a total of 18,780 breath tests were administered in North Wales with 107 of those being positive.


Operation Focus Marks 10 Year Anniversary

8/4/13

An operation which is aimed at reducing motorcycle related deaths and serious injuries on the roads of North Walesis being launched this weekend to coincide with its 10th anniversary.

Operation FocusLaunched in 2003, the annual Operation Focus will run from early April until early autumn and will see police officers out and about stopping and talking to bikers to educate them about the dangers, and to also prosecute those who ride dangerously.

Historically high numbers of motorcyclists descend on North Wales due to the challenging nature of the roads in areas of outstanding natural beauty such as Snowdonia.

Motorcyclists are more at risk of being killed or seriously injured in a road traffic collision than any other road user, representing 1% of road traffic but accounting for 18% of all fatalities.

During 2012 there were a total of 63 serious collisions involving motorcyclists with a notable increase in the number of riders from outside the Force area.

Officers hope to reduce this figure by encouraging riders to take responsibility for their safety and the safety of other road users.

Police will patrol the roads where collisions are most common, which include the A494, A5104, A5, A470 and the A487.

Throughout the operationBikesafe representatives will also be out and about speaking to riders and promoting the Bikesafe initiative, which offer free workshops in North Wales (subject to booking fee).

Chief Inspector Darren Wareing, who is in charge of North Wales Police’ Roads Policing Unit said: “Operation Focus is one of many campaigns and initiatives that we run throughout the year targeting high-risk road users. It is not about alienating the motorcycling community – it is about education and enforcement.

“Whilst the vast majority of motorcyclists ride appropriately, someriders choose to use the roads as a racetrack, committing serious breaches of road safety legislation, such as speeding and riding dangerously thereby putting themselves and other road users at risk of death or life changing injury.”

“We are committed to keeping people safe on the roads of North Wales. This isn’t about catching bikers out, we want them to enjoy the roads but most of all we want them to ride safely and responsibly.

“Responsible riders are welcome to visit the area and take in the stunning scenery and landscape, but even they face risk of death or serious injury by underestimating the risk posed by fatigue brought on by a combination of driving long distances and concentrating on navigating challenging and unfamiliar routes.

“I would also urge bikers to take the opportunity to enhance their skills through training and attend thefree Bikesafe workshops. Bikesafe is an accredited scheme which is run nationally by police forces which aims to reduce motorcycling casualties.

He added: “We will continue to target, with a view to prosecution, all those that ride or drive dangerously, at excess speed, overtake on solid white lines or commit any other road traffic offences.”

The operation is expected to run from Easter through to early October.

Further details regarding the free Bikesafe workshops are available via the Bikesafe website (www.bikesafe.co.uk)

 

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