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.
On the 15th June 2021, Merseyside Road Safety Partnership attended the crushing of seized e-scooters, scrambler bikes and other electric powered vehicles as part of ‘Operation Brookdale’.
Since Operation Brookdale’s inception the force has seen a year-on-year decrease in reports of anti-social behaviour and nuisance involving off-road motorbikes across Merseyside. In 2016-17 there were 10,511 incidents involving off-road bikes and in the last 12 months this figure stands at 5,150, a 49% reduction. However, many of our communities continue to be affected by off-road bikes and are, increasingly, affected by e-scooters.
In the last 3 months alone, the force has:
- seized a total of 183 vehicles
- made a total of 122 arrests, including for driving, theft and drug offences
- issued 143 fixed penalty notices
The threat illegal e-scooters can pose was apparent on seeing the range of those that had been seized, and were ready to be crushed for recycling. Some had the capacity travel up to 90mph – posing a real risk to the public.
Chief Inspector Paul Holden said:
The success of Operation Brookdale is commendable, but we will not let up in our efforts. Each piece of information provided to us and each bike recovered only strengthens our resolve in tackling these issues for the good of our communities.
Merseyside is a safer place with each bike seized. The number of bikes seized during this year’s operation should mean that our communities are subjected to less incidents in the future and I also hope it makes people who use off-road bikes illegally or anti-socially think very carefully about their behaviour. ”Despite our successes in seizing these bikes, we will not be complacent. We know that many of our communities continue to be blighted by scrambler bikes being ridden dangerously and I want to reassure people that our work targeting scrambler bikes will carry on throughout the year and beyond.
We will continue to be out on patrol and to take action whenever the community tells us there are problems. I would appeal to anyone with information about illegal or nuisance scrambler bikes in their areas to get in touch with us and I can assure them that we will take action.
We’re trying to raise awareness of the illegality of private e-scooters, as well as their potential dangers.
For more information about the legalities involving e-scooters, read our e-scooter article here.
Euro ’20 – Fans urged to support each other by sharing Drink-Driving messages and planning ahead
It’s a time of huge celebration for football fans. Lockdown has made it difficult to find much to get excited about, but lots of us are looking forward to Euro ’20 – it’s something for everyone to enjoy. It’s important that we all pull together to keep ourselves and each other safe while we’re celebrating. Wherever you’re cheering the side on from, if you’re drinking, we need to make sure we work as a team so that everyone gets home safely.
If you or a friend might want to have a drink:
- book a taxi in advance
- decide who is going to be the designated driver in your group
- arrange for someone to pick you up
If you are worried that someone might drink and drive on the night, you can step-up and offer to be their designated driver.
Try reminding them that it isn’t worth the cost:
A driver over the limit ‘in charge’ may be disqualified for 12 months, fined up to £5000 and even face up to 6 month in prison. A court may also order a driver to forfeit their vehicle. They can be deemed ‘in charge’ if they have the keys to the vehicle and are nearby (not necessarily inside the vehicle). They must show that there was no likelihood of their driving the vehicle whilst they were drunk.
Police will be especially vigilant and on the lookout for people driving under the influence of alcohol and issuing road side breathe tests. Even if you are aware of how many units of alcohol you have consumed or you’ve used drinks measures, everyone processes alcohol differently – meaning that if you are stopped by the police and breathalysed you could still be over the limit, so it’s best not to drink if you think that there’s a possibility you might need to drive.
Let’s celebrate the Euros safely and make it a win for everyone.
Child car seat safety – what you need to know
This Child Safety Week (7-13 June), Knowsley’s Road Safety team is reminding residents of the importance of car seat safety. Car seat checking events regularly find that approximately 70% of seats aren’t fitted correctly.
You must make sure that any children in the vehicle you’re driving are:
- In the correct car seat for their height or weight until they reach 135 cm tall or their 12th birthday, whichever is first
- Wearing a seat belt if they’re 12 or 13 years old, or younger and over 135cm tall
While some faults are minor, almost a third of seats checked have major errors in the way they are fitted meaning they are either damaged, fitted to a car in a way that was dangerous or incompatible to the child or car. It is also often found that children aren’t travelling in a seat at all.
You can be fined up to £500 if a child under 14 isn’t in the correct car seat or wearing a seat belt while you’re driving.
Second-hand car seats
Parents and carers are also warned that second-hand car seats could be putting children at risk. A previously damaged seat might not show visible signs leaving it weakened and unable to protect your child properly in the event of a crash. It could also have missing or worn parts that aren’t visible.
For those for whom a second-hand car seat is the only option, the advice is to:
- Not buy anything that looks as if it may have been involved in a collision
- Check that nothing is missing – including the instructions
- Buy from family or friends because you’ll know the history of the seat
- Seek professional advice on suitability and fitting from a trusted retailer
- Remember that safety standards are updated regularly, and older seats may no longer be of the required standard
- And finally, remember all car seats need to meet safety standards R44.04 or iSize (R129). Although car seats labelled R44.03 are still legal to use, they are at least 15 years old. The general life span of a car seat is 5 or 6 years due to wear and tear, something to consider when choosing your child’s car seat
We also encourage when parents are disposing of damaged or old seats, to remove the seat covers and cut off the straps so they can’t be re-used.
Sarah English from the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, said:
This Child Safety Week acts as a timely reminder to parents and care givers to ensure their child’s car seat is safe and secure. The Good Egg Safety Guide has some wonderful advice in the choice and safe fitting of these seats and I would encourage the reading of it to make an informed decision.
Merseyside Police’s mounted section deployed to deal with near miss horse riding/driving issues
On Wednesday 5th May, Merseyside Mounted Police Section was deployed to two areas of concern in Wirral – Frankby Road, Frankby in the morning and Station Road, Thurstaston in the afternoon. These areas have been highlighted by data provided by the British Horse Society (BHS) as a result of online reports made by their members of near misses and incidents involving poor driving.
Sgt Daniel Harris of Merseyside Police’s mounted section explained the operation:
The operation consisted of two mounted officers in plain yellow high visibility clothing on two of our horses. These officers rode in single file along the roads, but they were in possession of their personal radios and were able to direct ‘Roads Policing Unit’ colleagues further up the road to stop nominated vehicles who they felt would benefit from advice due to either passing too fast or too close.
During this operation, 28 vehicles were stopped and drivers advised, all of whom appreciated the advice given. Interestingly, the biggest proportion of drivers were aged over 50, with only one driver under 30 being caused to stop. Whilst on site at Frankby Road, a nearby resident came out of her house and passed on her thanks to the officers at the site for their efforts, stating that she had witnessed first-hand the poor driving past horses and had also received damage to her perimeter wall as a result of poor driving and the inevitable road traffic collision that followed. The mounted section were kindly facilitated for parking by Wirral Council Rangers, who were also very pleased with the presence and fully supportive of the operation, along with a local farm owner.
The team went out again on the 6th of May, this time to Gorsey Lane in St Helens, as it had also been identified as a risk area.
Sgt. Harris said of the operation:
The numbers stopped here were actually surprisingly low and the majority were very considerate, which was nice to see. A total of just 15 drivers required advice, although the area was identified for future speed enforcement activity by the ‘Roads Policing Unit’ team. Again, quite surprisingly, just one driver was under 25 and the vast majority were over 50.
Whilst on site, a local resident came out to thank the officers for the activity and stated that she was massively impressed and reassured by the campaign and fully supported the visible presence in the area. A walker also commented about the presence and stated it was “good to see” and was reassured when the future enforcement for speeding motorists was mentioned. Northfield Riding Stables kindly facilitated our parking needs and were also thankful for the activity.
This was a simple but very effective operation that also deployed the “Ranger” speed detection device to identify motorists in excess of the relevant speed limits and resulted in over 200 offences being disclosed for processing under the relevant educational activity or prosecution.
The operation seems to have had a massive impact on the local communities, their confidence in Merseyside Police, educating the public of the BHS’s campaign and its safety message and ultimately promoted road safety across these areas in support of reducing Killed & Serious Injury collisions.
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.
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:
We will be adding new workshop dates soon, to enquire about the workshops 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:
15th, 22nd and 29th April 2021
3rd, 10th and 18th June 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.