News and Events
Here you’ll find the latest news on all the work that Merseyside Road Safety and our partners are doing to increase road safety across Merseyside.
‘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
The difference between e-Scooters you can hire and ones you can buy yourself
There’s a lot of confusion around Merseyside at the moment about e-scooters. You might have seen the orange ones being used around the city, or appearing by train stations and bike stands.
Because of this, many people are thinking of buying them as Christmas presents, but buyers should be wary.
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership Coordinator, Sarah English, said: “Whilst E-Scooters may seem like a fun and tempting Christmas gift, given the legalities and restrictions, the opportunities for their usage will be scarce. I would encourage those looking to purchase one to consider the guidance carefully.”
This is a stance shared by Merseyside Police.
In a statement on Monday, Merseyside Police said: “In the run-up to Christmas, we are highlighting the illegal use of electric scooters and urging parents and guardians to think seriously before buying them as presents.
It is against the law to ride an e-scooter anywhere other than on private land, with the express permission of the landowner. If found to be riding one in public, individuals can face having their scooters seized, a fine, or even points on their driving license.
In addition to this, e-scooters can pose a danger to other members of the public, and we have seen increased reports of them being ridden antisocially including on pavements, in crowded places, and even in the dark.
As Christmas approaches, we are encouraging anyone considering purchasing a scooter as a gift to please seriously consider the risks.”
The e-scooters that you might see around Merseyside have been licensed by the council as part of a trial, and you’ll be able to hire one if:
- You’re over 18
- Have a valid driving license
- Agree not to ride it on the pavement
- Do not violate their safe usage terms and conditions
Under the scheme, these scooters are available to the public to hire and ride during certain times (after which they stop working), within the confines of an approved area, which runs from Boundary Street to Sefton Street.
These shared e-scooters (owned by the company Voi) are the only ones which are legal to use on public property at the moment. Any others you might see around are currently illegal.
This is confusing for people, as e-scooters are being sold online and in the shops, and the small print which says they can only be used on private property (with permission) is often not very obvious.
Many of those trialling the shared e-scooters have said that they do not feel comfortable riding the scooter on the road, however, this is actually how the scooters are intended to be used, and why a driving license is needed. Riders need to have a solid understanding of the Highway Code.
Whether the government will approve, and therefore legalise, the use of private e-scooters remains to be seen. For now though, the only ones you’re able to ride legally and safely are those for hire.
Be Bright, Be Seen
Now that it’s darker in the mornings and evenings, it’s important to remember to be extra vigilant when you’re out near roads. When it’s darker, visibility is greatly reduced for everyone which makes pedestrians and cyclists even more vulnerable than usual.
It’s important for everyone to ensure that they can be seen at all times, and drivers need to be aware that it is much more difficult to see pedestrians and other vulnerable road users when it’s dark.
Helpful tips and advice
If you’re a pedestrian or cyclist, Knowsley’s Road Safety team has some tips on how you can be bright and be seen and help to make yourself more visible to other road users:
- Wear brightly coloured or fluorescent clothing during daylight hours but remember that this doesn’t show up in the dark!
- When it is dark you need to wear reflective items such as vests, sashes and wristbands. Many high street stores now sell clothing that incorporates reflective strips or bands.
- Accessorise with items such as clip-on reflectors, armbands and stickers on your clothes or bag.
- Remember to have clean and working lights on your bike at night. Lights should be white at the front and red at the back. Having a rear reflector and spoke reflectors is a great idea too.
- Take routes that are well-lit and cross at places that are lit.
If you’re a driver, remember it will be more difficult for you to see pedestrians and cyclists when it’s dark. Unlike this image, not everyone will be dressed in bright colours or reflective clothing. Children and others often wear dark coloured school uniform, winter coats or blazers.
There’s a child in the same position on both photos below. Which one is easier to see?
MRSP Are Working with Roads Policing for Project EDWARD
Merseyside Police and Merseyside Road Safety Partnership are working together as part of this year’s 2020 ‘Project EDWARD’ (Every Day Without a Road Death). Nationally, there will be a programme of activities to highlight the issues that cause road casualties and a National policing initiative, “One Road, One Week” which aims to tackle collision hotspots.
Project EDWARD runs from the 14th – 18th of September, and aims to reduce road casualties right across Europe. Across those five days, the Merseyside Police officers will be attending sites, speaking with drivers and conducting enforcement in Knowsley, Wirral, Sefton, Liverpool and St Helens. Each site has been chosen based on a mixture of community feedback and collision data.
Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy has made working in partnership to improve road safety one of her policing priorities and is giving her full support to the week-long campaign.
Jane said: “Road crashes can shatter lives. They can bring injury and suffering to those involved, as well as to their families and loved ones.
“Ensuring our roads are as safe as possible is a priority for me, for Merseyside Police and the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership. We are working hard, all year round, to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads, making them safer for everyone to use.
“Crashes generally happen on our roads because people make mistakes. It might be poor judgement, a lapse of concentration, complacency, a poor decision or ignorance of road safety and the law. Project Edward is a great opportunity to educate and engage with road users to reduce the risks and to ensure that when these mistakes happen, they do not result in someone dying or suffering life-changing injures.
“Our ultimate goal is that no-one loses their life on our roads and to achieve that we need all road users to pledge to use our roads more safely.”
Acting Inspector Gavin Dick of Merseyside Roads Policing Unit said: “We know that the sites we’ve chosen are ones that local communities have concerns about, and the collision data we’ve analysed reflects that. This isn’t only about speeding drivers – this week is about all the risk factors that can lead to people being killed and seriously injured: mobile phones, not wearing seatbelts, alcohol and drug driving. We want to see everyone using these roads – pedestrians and cyclists included – safely. We recognise that different types of road users face different challenges, and this week is much about engaging with, and educating people, as much as anything else.”
In 2018, 499 people were killed or seriously injured on the roads of Merseyside. Merseyside Road Safety Partnership will be encouraging all road users to go online and sign The Pledge. The Pledge asks drivers to always consider the safety of others when they drive, walk or cycle, to drive at appropriate speeds in Merseyside, and to respect the presence of other vulnerable road users.
Casualty Reduction Officer, Paul Mountford, of Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said: “The Merseyside Road Safety Partnership recognises that road safety is everyone’s responsibility, not just that of the police and other emergency services. We welcome the opportunity that Project EDWARD provides to conduct focussed enforcement and engagement with road users to address those issues that cause collisions and casualties such as speeding and illegal mobile phone use by drivers. If we are to continue to ‘drive down’ our casualty figures in Merseyside, we need the continued support of the public and that is why I would urge everyone to sign up to our road safety pledge. The Pledge is just the first step to learning about how we can all make our roads safer”.
Road Safety Teams across Merseyside are urging everyone to take extra care as the schools return this week.
Many of us have become used to less frequent journeys on quieter roads and September 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 March. 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.
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) here.
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.
Click here to read our Move on Merseyside section for information about travelling across Merseyside safely post lockdown.
Show your support and take The Pledge
As part of our on-going commitment to reducing the number of deaths on our roads, we ask everyone to join us and ‘take the pledge’ to be safer and more responsible road users. Whether you’re a driver, cyclist, motorcyclist or pedestrian, we all must share the responsibility and do our bit to make our roads safer.
By signing up, you will show that you are prepared to put the safety of yourself and others first and that when you undertake a journey, you do so with consideration and respect for everyone.
We’ll support you by sending tips and advice on how your can maximise your efforts and travel safely, all year round. We’ll also keep you updated with the latest initiatives, engineering solutions and enforcement activities as we continue to work towards fewer road deaths each year.
It’s easy to support us and show your commitment. Simply read the following pledge and then fill in your details and click the button to receive a pledge certificate and our seasonal emailer – remember you can unsubscribe at any time.
- Consider the safety of others when I drive, walk or cycle
- Drive at an appropriate speed (often slower than the speed limit) on the roads of Merseyside
- Respect the presence of other, more vulnerable road users
- Maintain a high driving standard to influence how others use the roads
- Carry out regular checks on my vehicle, including tyres to ensure that my vehicle is safe and roadworthy
- Through my actions, I will support the aims of the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership in making our roads safer for me, my family and others and reducing road casualties
New Adult Cycling sessions launched for Merseyside residents – and they’re free!
With many Merseyside residents getting a taste for cycling recently, free adult cycle training is being offered in order to help local people build confidence and improve their skills.
Cycling has become the ‘new normal’ for lots of people. Merseyside Road Safety Partnership are working with BikeRight! and Liverpool City Region Combined Authority to offer these courses as part of a package of measures aimed at improving safety in the region.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “It’s been great to see so many people taking up or reigniting their enthusiasm for cycling during lockdown. I hope it is the start of a change in our road culture which sees more people walking and cycling on a regular basis, while putting an end to the ‘car is king’ ethos which has permeated far too long.
“It is important that people who are choosing to cycle more often know how to do so safely. These free courses are a great opportunity for adults and children to hone their skills and to improve their confidence on two wheels. I would encourage people to take advantage of this free training and sign up today.”
Cycle Training for Everyone
Cycle training is also available for children aged 10+ who missed the training delivered in schools due to Coronavirus. Education initiatives are also planned for drivers including Safe Pass operations which are designed to encourage motorists to give more space when overtaking pedal cyclists.
Cllr Liam Robinson, transport portfolio holder for Liverpool City Region Combined Authority said: “For many years we’ve been one of the leading regions in the country for providing cycle safety training to young people so it’s fantastic to see this being extended to adults too.
“We’re kick-starting an active travel revolution here in the Liverpool City Region, putting millions of pounds into building, not only pop-up bike lanes, but also a 600km network of permanent cycle routes.
“But building confidence in cycling is just as important as building bike lanes and that’s why it’s so important that, working with partners BikeRight! and Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, we can help give cycling lessons to local people of all ages.”
Courses will be accessible across Merseyside with the first sessions in Birkenhead & Liverpool. The courses are all run by qualified trainers, and are an ideal way to boost confidence in adults and children alike. BikeRight! Managing Director David Showell said: “With so many people turning to cycling for travel and health reasons, it’s great that the Combined Authority and MRSP have come together to offer this free training to the region’s residents and workforces.
“The cycle training sessions and the new cycle lanes across the area will be key in facilitating people’s access to employment, education and training across Merseyside as part of the Covid19 recovery plan.”
Courses for adults run on Saturdays for 2 hours and those for children aged 10 and over are from 9.00am until 3.00pm on weekdays.
Places fill up fast, but more dates will be added. Booking is online at https://www.bikeright.co.uk.