News and Events
Here you’ll find the latest news on all the work Merseyside Road Safety Partnership and partners are doing to increase road safety across Merseyside. For details of our community road safety initiatives click here.
Cyclists are the only group in Merseyside where the numbers of those killed or seriously injured has increased across the last five years.
2019 saw 87 cyclists in Merseyside killed or seriously injured – 10% more than the year before – and 2020 looks set to see another increase (although the official figures can’t be released until they are validated by the DfT).
Cycling has become more popular for exercise and commuting. Cycle mileage has increased by 16% in Great Britain over the past ten years and in 2019 around 3.5 billion miles were traversed by cyclists. There seems to have been a significant increase in cycling during lockdown as well – but that will likely mean more fatalities and injuries.
We know that there’s an increased volume of cyclists on the road now. A lot of drivers in Merseyside are incredibly considerate and mindful of this, but some are struggling to adapt. That’s why we encourage cyclists to submit footage of closes passes or near misses to Merseyside Police via our website. Often drivers don’t realise just how much space cyclists need to be given on the road (1.5m), or what that amount of space looks like.
Inspector Carl McNulty of Merseyside Roads Policing
From the 10th of May Merseyside Road Safety Partnership is working with Arriva and Stagecoach to help drivers understand what that space looks like. Adverts showing the actual 1.5m width will run on the back of buses all across Merseyside.
We know that more people than ever have taken up cycling over the lockdowns – which is wonderful. We’re still seeing people parking on cycle lanes and paths though, or parking in such a way that cyclists have to go further out into the road, and often that’s when these close passes happen. Drivers need to be able to give cyclists the full 1.5m of space – but they can’t if people have parked obstructively.
The Safer Roads Unit Coordinator, Sarah English
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership have been working alongside Liverpool Combined Authority and BikeRight! to offer anyone who works, studies or lives in Merseyside free cycle training and cycle skills sessions. This is giving adults, students, children and businesses the chance to benefit from specialist guidance and support, more info about these sessions can be found here.
Parallel to this, police and community support officers from Merseyside’s Local Policing teams have recently undergone training and will be using their bikes to patrol around their communities. Some officers will be equipped with high definition cameras and will record their journeys and review and act on any footage that captures careless driving by motorists, including ‘close passes’. This footage can then be used to help drivers understand how their actions can put cyclists at risk.
We’re also promoting these important road safety messages across social media platforms.
We urge all road users to Share The Road. Share The Responsibility.
Driving for Business, the new normal
Managing Road Risk – The journey out of COVID-19
As restrictions change, will there be more vans on the road as people keep up their online shopping patterns? Will there be less traffic because people keep working from home?
The pandemic has shifted the way we all live and work in almost every sphere of industry. From how often we order takeaway to the amount of cash we carry, we, the public, have all developed new habits, and it’s crucial for businesses to move with that change.
More than a quarter of all road traffic incidents may involve somebody who is driving as part of their work at the time.
Department for Transport
Nowhere do we see that more than every day on the roads. The way people travel has changed. Throughout the lockdowns, there have been spikes and lulls in the amount of traffic and congestion depending on school openings and work-from-home restrictions. Some habits, like walking or cycling more, seem to look like they’re going to stick.
What does that mean for businesses going forward?
Wirral Council, supported by How’s My Driving and The Road Safety Trust, are hosting a Driving For Business webinar on Wednesday 28th April to address these kinds of questions and to help businesses plan for their new normal.
It’s free, and you can register at here for a place.
This Spring if you or up to three adults from the same household would like to get FREE 1 to 1 cycle training with a qualified BikeRight! cycle instructor you can book a session RIGHT NOW!
We are delivering these sessions in Merseyside for people wanting to brush up on cycling road safety and gain confidence. There are 3 types of sessions to choose from:
Basic Cycle Skills
Develop your riding in a safe, off-road environment with a qualified instructor. You’ll learn the basics, build your skills and gain the confidence to be able to navigate around your local area.
Urban Cycle Skills
Improve your cycling skills and confidence. You’ll start in an off-road environment to refresh your cycling technique and develop new skills before moving on to practise on quiet roads. Your qualified instructor will support you throughout.
Advanced Cycle Skills
Perfect your cycling techniques with a qualified trainer. Improve your performance when dealing with complex junctions, heavy traffic or cycling at night and receive assurance that you are cycling efficiently and effectively.
- WHERE ARE THE SESSIONS HELD?
We come to you or a place that suits you
- WHAT DO I NEED TO BRING?
Just bring your bike and helmet
- HOW LONG IS THE SESSION?
For full details and to book, click here, register on the BikeRight! website and follow their instructions.
Tuesday 6th, Wednesday 7th & Thursday 8th April – 9am / 11am / 1.30pm
WHERE DO THE CYCLE SESSIONS TAKE PLACE:
Sefton Park, Liverpool L17
WHO ARE THE SESSIONS FOR:
Learn To Ride sessions are for children age 7 and upwards. They are FREE for families who live, work or study in Merseyside.
GROUP SESSION INFO & COVID-19 COMPLIANCE:
- Bikes are available to loan, so everyone can take part.
- All training is in small, friendly groups of 6 children and 2 qualified instructors.
- Our instructors have been trained to operate with compliance to current hygiene and social distancing guidelines.
WHEN DO THE CYCLE SESSIONS TAKE PLACE:
- Tuesday 6th April – 9.00am
- Tuesday 6th April – 11.00am
- Tuesday 6th April – 1.30pm
- Wednesday 7th April – 9.00am
- Wednesday 7th April – 11.00am
- Wednesday 7th April – 1.30pm
- Thursday 8th April – 9.00am
- Thursday 8th April – 11.00am
- Thursday 8th April – 1.30pm
WHO DELIVERS THE TRAINING:
These training sessions are delivered by BikeRight – the national cycle training organisation. Click here for more info or to book a place, you’ll see a table of dates and times. These places fill up fast so book now to avoid disappointment.
Online Road Safety workshops for the over 60’s
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership are offering FREE online workshops for anyone aged 60 and over. The workshops are designed to support senior road users to keep them safe as drivers, riders, pedestrians and public transport users.
As we get older our reflexes can start to slow and we may get aches and pains that we never had before. We may be more susceptible to falling or have less energy to get out and about. The ageing process is different for each individual, with some 70 year olds feeling fitter and more active compared to someone in their 60’s. The three workshop sessions explore how age may affect our vision, our reactions and our physical abilities. To reflect this, the presentations are called ‘Seeing, Doing and Thinking’. We ask people signing up to attend all three sessions, as each is different and the content builds on the previous session.
The workshops focus on raising awareness of road safety issues for the over 60 age group – who are becoming increasingly over represented in casualty statistics as drivers, riders, passengers and pedestrians.
It’s really nice to know you are not the only one experiencing these problems and that it is down to the normal effects of ageing.
HOW THE WORKSHOPS WORK:
- The workshop is split into three online sessions, over a three week period. Different topics are covered in each session so we recommend you attend all three sessions.
- Please allow up to an hour and a half for each session.
- Workshops can be delivered to community groups or individuals who will join a group session.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO TAKE PART:
- An email address.
- Access to a device (Computer/Laptop/Tablet, etc) with internet access.
- One of our Safer for Longer workbooks (which we post out to you before the first session).
- The sessions are delivered using ‘Zoom’. Not sure if you can access ‘Zoom’ or how to use it? No problem, there’s support available to help you.
HOW TO BOOK:
JUNE: The next block of 3 workshop sessions are 3rd, 10th and 18th April and start at 10am.
Our online workshops are very popular and fill up fast so early booking is recommended. If you have any questions or would like to book a workshop, email us at: email@example.com
Once your booking is confirmed we’ll send you a link via email for the first workshop session.
Why not join us by taking The Pledge to show your commitment to road safety, click here to find out about it and join.
The engaging and interactive sessions are delivered by our friendly team. Safer for Longer is one of a number of initiatives and engagement activities delivered across the region by Merseyside Road Safety Partnership for all road users.
Previous online workshops were held on the 15th, 22nd and 29th April 2021.
Road Safety Teams across Merseyside are urging everyone to take extra care as children return to school.
Many of us have become used to less frequent journeys on quieter roads and March is likely to bring increased traffic, pedestrians and cyclists.
With the added complications of social distancing and concerns around Covid-19, it is essential that we also remain mindful of the dangers of the road environment.
Whatever the mode of transport, the school run will be largely unfamiliar as most children have not been in regular schooling since December. It is important for parents and guardians to take the time to talk to their child about staying safe on their journeys.
Young children are unpredictable and need close supervision – hold hands with them whenever possible and demonstrate the behaviour you expect from them. Stop at the kerb every time and make sure that they know to look in every direction – not just left and right – before deciding it’s safe to cross.
Older children may need a reminder to pay attention to their surroundings as they can easily be distracted when they are on their phones or walking with friends. Distractions are a major factor in this age group being injured on the road.
Make sure your child wears a helmet every time they get on their bike, whether it’s on the journey to school or for a quick cycle in the park.
When cycling to school the simplest way to protect children is for them to wear a helmet every time they get on their bike, even if it’s a quick cycle around the block or down to the park. Where possible try to use off-road cycle paths and make sure that you are giving people walking, as well as other cyclists, plenty of space as you approach. Make sure your bike has a bell, reflectors and lights.
If you’re driving – especially during school drop off and pick up times, please remember to look out for vulnerable road users. You’ll also need to allow for increased journey times and and be considerate when parking your vehicle – see our section on pavement parking for more info.
Why not join us in taking The Road Safety Pledge. We all need to do our bit to help reduce road casualties/fatalities in Merseyside and make our roads safer for ALL road users, find out more here.
You can find hints and tips about safe independent travel for senior age children (and some of this info is relevant for children of all ages) in Knowlsey Council’s ‘Moving Up’ booklet (created to help with the transition of moving up to senior school but still helpful at this time), to view it click here.
‘Be the mate who won’t speed’
On 28th January, THINK! launched ‘Be the mate who won’t speed’, a campaign to encourage young drivers not to speed. The campaign highlights some of the common reasons for speeding, such as, being in a hurry, driving on familiar roads and fewer vehicles on the road. This high-risk group are being urged to keep themselves and others safe and reduce pressure on emergency services and the NHS.
“If you need to travel, be the mate who won’t speed. It’s time to rethink our need to speed.”
THINK! would like everyone to get behind this campaign. If you see one of the images or videos in your stream, don’t forget to like and share it so we can get the message out to as many people as possible to help save lives.
The difference between driving at 40mph and driving at 30mph can mean the difference between life or death.
It takes approximately 6 car lengths (23 metres) to stop a vehicle travelling at 30mph. But by driving at 40mph you are increasing that distance by 3 car lengths (that’s an extra 13 metres).
13 metres can mean the difference between being able to stop your vehicle or hitting a pedestrian – causing them serious injury or death.
A road collision isn’t always the drivers fault but the driver is the only person who can determine what speed they are travelling at should the worst happen.
So, what’s the issue with driving above a speed limit?
When you drive, it’s important to watch your speed at all times. Speed limits are the maximum speed you should travel at and often you need to drive a lot slower for the conditions.
Whether you’re near a school, on a quiet residential street or country lane, allowing yourself time to react in an emergency, can mean the difference between life and death.
There are many important factors to consider:
- other road users
- weather conditions
- time of day
- your concentration level
- the road surface
It can be very easy to make excuses for driving above the limit but should the worst happen, do any of these excuses sound reasonable?
Stopping distances explained:
The stopping distance is a combination of thinking time and braking distance and will depend on a number of factors including:
- your attention
- the road surface
- your vehicle
- weather conditions
So for example, if you are travelling at 40mph and have to brake in an emergency you have already travelled at least 3 car lengths (12 metres) before you even apply the brakes.
Below is an illustration of thinking and braking distance based on the speed you are travelling at.
Whether you’re a driver, cyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian, we all need to share the responsibility and do our bit to make our roads safer. Visit our website regularly and follow us on social media for updates on what we are doing and how you can do your bit to help to keep all road users safe.
Why not join us by taking The Pledge – our shared commitment to road safety.
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 too 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.
Drink and Drug Driving Awareness
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership is raising awareness of the issues that surround drink and drug driving during the festive season. It’s been an especially difficult year for everyone and we know that the way we celebrate this Christmas and New Year will be very different from years gone by. However, it’s important to consider the following information about driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Driving after you have drunk alcohol or taken drugs either straightaway or the next day can impair your ability to drive. It may even be illegal, especially when it is impossible to know how they affect your body – as it is different for each person. Your weight, age, sex and metabolism; the kinds and amount of alcohol or drugs you consume; what you’ve eaten recently and your stress levels at the time are all determining factors.
You do not have to be over the legal limit to be unfit to drive. Alcohol affects your judgement of speed, distance and time. It affects concentration and makes you feel relaxed, even lethargic. It may affect your vision, reflexes and reactions. These are all vitally important elements of driving and critical for road safety.
Knowsley Road Safety’s When will you be safe to drive? article in this month’s Knowsley News Online gives vital information about how any amount of alcohol in your body can affect your ability to drive safely, this article is also accompanied by a downloadable leaflet giving further information.
Remember coffee, water, taking a shower, rolling your window down to get some fresh air won’t help reduce the level of alcohol in your system. The only thing that will is TIME.
Stay safe and have a peaceful Christmas.
This year’s Make sure everyone gets home for Christmas campaign ads can be viewed here:
Education & Support for Taxi Trade Van Drivers
The Department for Transport reports that more than a quarter of road traffic incidents nationwide involve somebody who is driving as part of their work. This is especially true for Wirral, where 38 per cent of collisions involved taxi and van drivers.
The Road Safety Trust awarded a grant of £50k in October 2017 to Wirral Council to educate local fleet and taxi drivers to be safer on the roads. This project builds on and develops a successful project aimed at local companies with fleet vehicles, including grey fleet in Wirral.
Wirral Council will focus on taxi and trade van drivers.
The Road Safety team at Wirral Council is dedicated to reducing the numbers of collisions on local roads. With the funding from the Road Safety Trust, Wirral Council was able to offer an engagement, education and enforcement programme for taxi and trade van drivers to help reduce the number of collisions. The Mind your Business project uses a multi-agency partnership approach enabling Wirral Council to utilise the skills and knowledge of industry experts.
For more details, take a look at https://www.roadsafetytrust.org.uk/case-studies