Keeping You Safe
What does road safety mean to you? Your answer may be different depending on whether you walk, drive or cycle. Whichever way you use our roads, our aim is to ensure that you do so in safety, with little or no risk of you or anybody else being injured or worse killed on the roads of Merseyside.
Whilst ultimately it’s up to you, the road user to make the right decisions, we as a road safety partnership can influence the outcomes in a number of ways.
Keeping you safe through Enforcement
Safety camera vans and static safety cameras are deployed across Merseyside. They aim to influence how drivers use our roads and the speed they choose to drive at. They are deployed to locations where there is an identified risk to safety due to excessive and inappropriate speed.
Police officers from Merseyside Police also conduct enforcement which is intelligence-led, based upon collision data and local complaints. We also have a number of special constables and sergeants in our Safer Roads Team who can respond to complaints and provide a roadside presence to enforce and deter offenders. This way we can target a range of offences, ranging from speeding to mobile phone use, pavement parking to anti-social driving.
We believe in using education to effect a longer-term behaviour change in drivers and rely upon the National Driver Offender Rehabilitation Scheme courses (NDORS) to educate the many thousands of offenders detected every year. However many drivers are still prosecuted by way of fixed penalty or by courts.
Engagement & Education
We visit schools, companies and public events to talk to as many people as possible about road safety. We’ve got lots of resources that can help support every type of road user. So, are you:
- A head-of-year teacher concerned about the safety of your teenage pupils?
- A fleet or personnel manager responsible for the safety of your driving staff?
- A company director suffering from reputational damage caused by your drivers’ actions?
- A local community group worried about road safety in your area?
- Any person interested in road safety and wanting to make a difference?
Having a dedicated social media presence means we can communicate with people right across Merseyside. Not only can we spread the word about collision hotspots and new initiatives, but we can have direct dialogue with the people we’re trying to help.
Sometimes, the solution to keeping you safe isn’t through enforcement, education or engagement. The answer lies with the local authority to ensuring the road environment itself is not the cause or a contributory factor. We endeavour to make sure that it is fit for purpose and safe for everyone to use.
We work with local authority engineers when a road safety problem has been raised to find the best way of addressing the issue. In Merseyside, every new construction project on our network has the safety of all road users at the forefront of its plan. Concerns are listened to and inputs invited from vulnerable road users such as pedestrians and cyclists. After all, road safety is everyone’s responsibility!
Across Merseyside, the Safer Roads Unit is responsible for the operation of a range of safety cameras and the administration of the National Driver Offender Rehabilitation Scheme (NDORS) courses.
In Merseyside there are:
37 fixed speed camera sites
These locations were selected, based on the number of road casualties there and in the local areas
13 fixed red light/‘Speed On Green’ sites
Junctions where there is a high risk or prevalence of collision due contravention of the red traffic signals and excessive and inappropriate speed
90 sites used by our mobile safety camera vans
Selected based upon casualty data and local complaints (where sites are suitable)
Why we need Safety Cameras
- Safety Cameras play a vital part in our strategy to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads
- They contribute to the safety of local communities, particularly vulnerable road users such as the elderly, children and the disabled
- They educate drivers and influence how they use our roads in the future
- Safety Cameras supplement the enforcement by Merseyside Police officers and the work of the Road Safety Partnership and local communities to create safe environments for people to live and work
Safety Cameras are just one of a number of measures we employ for keeping you safe – local authorities employ speed bumps, 20 mph limits and other physical measures to control the speeds of vehicles. The continuing need for these measures is underlined by the number of collisions that occur on our roads every year in which speed is the main or a contributory factor.
In 2018, 51,103 drivers were detected driving at an excessive speed by our cameras. 4000 drivers were detected after failing to conform to a red traffic signal. The vast majority of those drivers underwent a national course (Speed Awareness or What’s Driving Us) where they were educated about the consequences of speeding and poor driving standards as an alternative to penalty points and as fine.
There are national guidelines that determine which drivers are eligible for a course and which ones are dealt with by way of fixed penalty or court. On Merseyside, the operation of our cameras and the administration of the courses is funded by the fees paid by offending drivers. These fees also enable the Road Safety Partnership to deliver innovative schemes, aimed at improving the safety of vulnerable road users across Merseyside.
We are constantly looking for new sites for our mobile safety camera vans to operate, in response to complaints from residents and emerging casualty issues. Not every road is suitable for a van to deploy to and often other measures such as police enforcement or a community-led speed watch scheme may be more appropriate.
Speed & Speed Limits
Do you drive? Are you learning to drive? Are you planning to learn to drive?
If you have answered ‘yes’, then here’s a further question –
What if there were no speed limits in Merseyside, how fast would you drive?
Imagine driving along a road in your area and there were no speed limit signs, how would you know what speed to drive at. Think about it.
What information would you use to determine what a safe speed is?
All to often the answer given is, “I look for the speed limit sign to tell me what speed I should be driving at”, which is, of course, the wrong answer. A speed limit indicates the fastest speed that you may drive in the most perfect, safe conditions where there are no hazards. A hazard is anything that may contain an element of actual or potential danger.
Here are some examples:
- A line of parked vehicles that you are passing
- A number of children who are going to/coming out from school
- A stationary bus at a bus stop
- A car blocking a pavement to pedestrians
- A cyclist riding along the road ahead
- A wet road caused by heavy rain
- A ‘blind’ bend in the road
- A car stopped at a junction ahead of you
- A pedestrian waiting to cross the road
- A green traffic light signal
It’s not an exhaustive list but you get the picture – just about anything may be a hazard. When was the last time that you drove along a road where none of these were present?
As drivers, we often fall into the bad habit of looking for speed limit signs and using them to determine our speed rather than thinking ‘outside of our metal box’ and looking for hazards that will dictate our speed. This is likely to be due to complacency, particularly if you drive the same roads on a regular basis. What do you think about when you drive?
- What am I doing in work/college today?
- Last night’s football result was great!
- Looking forward to watching the next episode of X tonight?
- What’s for dinner?
What should you be thinking about whilst driving?
As a driver, you have to guard against complacency. Remember, it’s your responsibility to concentrate, focus and drive at an appropriate speed for the conditions. This may often mean driving at a speed below the posted speed limit.
One thing that you may be good at seeing is a bright yellow speed camera. There are numerous static and mobile safety cameras deployed across Merseyside. They influence the speed at which people drive (you do check your speed when you see one!) where there is a higher risk of collision or where communities report concerns for their safety due to speeding traffic.
There are national guidelines that determine how drivers are dealt with should they exceed the speed limit. For example:
- In a 20 mph speed limit, you may be offered a speed awareness course if you are driving between 24 and 31 mph.
- In a 30 mph, a course may be offered at between 36 and 42 mph.
- Above these speeds, you face a fixed penalty of £100 and 3 points on your driving licence.
You may still be prosecuted if you are detected driving at a lower speed or one that is below the speed limit if it is an inappropriate speed (not necessarily excessive) for the conditions. This may even be considered to be careless or even dangerous driving in some circumstances.