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.
Communities from all over Merseyside are being celebrated for supporting an initiative to improve road safety where they live.
In support of the UK’s biggest road safety week (15-21 November), Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, along with road safety charity ‘Brake’, are shining the spotlight on road safety heroes.
Safer Roads Watch is an initiative from the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership that enables people who are concerned about speeding, anti-social road use and pavement obstruction to work with police and local authorities to address these issues and to raise awareness among drivers of the how they affect communities. People can become a police volunteer and be trained to operate speed watch operations with police, in which speeding drivers are sent a pack containing a letter advising them of their speeding and advice about how they can contribute to road safety in Merseyside.
Volunteer residents’ groups and school groups are supplied with materials to help them promote the scheme including wheelie bin stickers and ‘Pavement Parking’ cards which can be left on cars which obstruct pavements.
Paul Mountford from the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said:
This is a great opportunity for communities to come together with police, local authorities and potentially local businesses to change the way in which their roads are used or misused. Speeding and anti-social driving are a significant problem for police and councils to deal with and cause concern for parents and the most vulnerable in society. Excessive and inappropriate speed are also factors in many collisions that result in serious injury and road death.
There are several community groups established in Merseyside, including Wirral, where there are over 30 residents either ‘signed up’ or in the process of becoming volunteers.
Chief Supt Zoe Thornton, Head of Local Policing in Merseyside said:
Speeding and anti-social driving are some of the most common complaints that our officers receive every week. Through Safer Roads Watch, we are enabling communities to help us to help them, a real partnership approach to a widespread problem. Merseyside Police will not tolerate those drivers who present a danger to other more vulnerable road users such as children and the elderly. We will enforce the speed limits on our residential roads and also welcome Safer Roads Watch which has the potential to influence drivers and change their behaviour without the associated penalties.
The individual volunteers are not the only road safety heroes being celebrated. Support is also being given to volunteer groups from businesses who provide support and promote it among their customers and staff.
Bev Raistrick, Regional Manager for DriveTech said:
DriveTech are delighted to be able to support the local communities of Merseyside by providing equipment to help them start up a new community speed watch scheme. Road safety is at the heart of DriveTech and we feel that supporting our local community to keep our roads and community safe is the right thing to do.
The Safer Roads Watch scheme is looking to recruit more road safety hero volunteers. Contact MRSP@merseyside.police.uk to find out how to sign-up.
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 also keep you updated with the latest initiatives, engineering solutions and enforcement activities as we continue to work towards fewer road deaths each year. You can find these updates on our website and social media pages. We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
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.
- 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
Project EDWARD – September 13th to 17th 2021
Merseyside Road Safety Partnership is pleased to be supporting Project EDWARD (Every Day Without A Road Death) again this year.
We’re encouraging the people of Merseyside to be honest and ask themselves the question ‘am I fit for the road?’. Every day from September 13th to 17th we’ll be focusing on different types of road user, and what they need to do to be playing their part in keeping themselves and others safe.
Monday 13th – Cyclists
People that cycle in Merseyside are among the most vulnerable road users. We’re asking those that cycle to question:
- Can my clothing be seen in low light?
- Do I have working lights on my bike?
- Could I benefit from more training?
- Do I know the safest cycle routes?
We hope that by encouraging every kind of road user to take accountability for their actions we can create a safe environment for all kinds of travel.
Tuesday 14th – Pedestrians
Sadly, pedestrians in Merseyside often have to face difficult challenges when choosing to use the road on foot. We want them to stay as safe as possible. We all have to ask ourselves:
- Can I be seen in low light in what I’m wearing?
- Do I always use crossings when they’re there?
- Do I ever cross behind buses?
- Do I know my highway code so I can tell who’s right of way it is?
Small changes are all part of being fit for the road and can make the crucial bit of difference.
Wednesday 15th – Drivers
People driving vehicles have the potential to cause the most damage on the road – that means they have the most important responsibilities. Every driver needs to ask themselves:
- When is my MOT due?
- Have I checked all the medicines I’m taking to make sure they’re safe to drive on?
- Is there a chance I’ll look at my phone while I’m driving if it’s in reach?
- When did I last have an eye test?
Road deaths are preventable: making sure that as drivers we’re fit for the road is critical.
Thursday 16th – Motorcyclists
Nationally, motorcyclists are at particularly high risk. It’s incredibly important that people who choose to ride motorbikes do everything they can to protect themselves when they’re riding. Ask yourself:
- Do I wear clothing that will protect me in a collision?
- Could any medication I’m taking impact my riding abilities?
- Did I check my bike over this season?
- Should I be wearing glasses when I ride?
If you’re not 100% fit for the road, remember: if there’s any doubt, there’s no doubt. Don’t ride.
Friday 17th – E-scooter users
E-scooters are a new road user group this year. Riders are vulnerable in collisions with vehicles as they are significantly more exposed. It’s critical that e-scooter riders ask themselves:
- How well do I know the highway code?
- Would I be safer wearing a helmet?
- Am I in a fit mental state to be riding? How many units of alcohol have I had?
- Is there an age limit on the scooter I’m hiring?
Hiring an e-scooter can be a great way to get around the city, but we all need to make sure we’re taking every precaution possible to stay safe.
Support us and Project EDWARD this September by challenging yourself and others with these questions and sharing them on social media.
We share the road. We share the responsibility.
Ceremony to remember victims of road crashes
Road crash victims are to be remembered in a special online ceremony filmed in front of the Peace Doves at Liverpool Cathedral.
RoadPeace North West is inviting those who have been bereaved or injured through road crashes, together with those who support them, to an online remembrance event, starting at 2pm on Tuesday 31 August.
The service usually takes place in the Lady Chapel of Liverpool Cathedral but due to the pandemic it will now take place online and will be premiered on RoadPeace’s YouTube Channel.
Canon Philip Anderson, Precentor of Liverpool Cathedral, said:
For many years RoadPeace has met in Liverpool Cathedral to remember and honour those killed on our roads, and to campaign for change. This year the service was recorded in front of the Peace Doves installation, a mass participation artwork created by Peter Walker, gathering thousands of prayers and hopes for peace, written on paper doves, and gathered together like a flock in flight in the cathedral. The display continues until the end of August and all are welcome.
Lord Mayor of Liverpool, Councillor Mary Rasmussen, who took part, said:
Every road traffic collision has a massive impact, not just on those involved but their wider family and friends, as well as the emergency services and the NHS.
This service is hugely important in raising awareness of the consequences of road collisions as well as recognising the valuable work of RoadPeace North West in supporting bereaved families and campaigning for better road safety.
The Chief Constable of Merseyside, Serena Kennedy, who also took part in the service said:
It was truly a privilege to be involved in this service, and I was incredibly moved to meet the families of people who have tragically lost their lives in collisions.
This annual event allows us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the lives lost to road traffic collisions, and show our support for their loved ones. I want to express my gratitude to RoadPeace for organising the event, and for the vitally important work they do all year round.
The day of remembrance also serves as a sobering reminder of the devastating impact collisions on our roads have had across Merseyside, and only strengthens our resolve to continue working with partners and the community to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads and spare other families such pain.
Emily Spurrell, Police and Crime Commissioner for Merseyside also took part in the remembrance and said:
Whilst nothing can take away the pain and suffering from losing a loved one in a road crash, RoadPeace’s annual remembrance service is an important opportunity to come together to show our support for the families who have been tragically affected.
Whilst once again we can’t meet in person, the poignant message of this service is no less important.
Crucially, it reminds us of our shared responsibility to work together to prevent other families from enduring the same loss in the future.
Improving safety is one of my policing priorities and, working with all our partners, I am committed to continuing to reduce the number of people who lose their life or suffer life-changing injuries on our roads. Together we can reduce the number of crashes on our roads and make them safe for everyone.
The remembrance takes place on the 24th anniversary of the death of Diana, Princess of Wales in a road crash and will include photographs and tributes to loved ones who have died.
Britain’s first road death also occurred in August, when Bridget Driscoll was killed at Crystal Palace on August 17th 1896, with the Coroner pronouncing: “This must never happen again”.
Since then, over half a million people have been killed in crashes in Britain and the current annual global death toll is estimated at 1.35 million deaths.
In the UK, provisional results from the Department for Transport show 1,472 people were killed and there were 115,333 casualties in 2020. Such scale of loss has been described by Professor Danny Dorling, a patron of RoadPeace, as this century’s biggest public health crisis with our roads “the open sewers of the 21st century”.
Pauline Fielding, a trustee of RoadPeace and event organiser, believes remembrance plays a vital role in reminding society about the number of victims and highlighting the long term psychological impact on those bereaved and injured in road crashes. She said:
My son Andrew was killed in a road crash, caused by a driver who did not stop and who was never traced.
Since that day, 27 years ago, I have been fighting for justice for him and to reduce dangers on the road where he died, to help prevent others also experiencing the loss of a loved one. The day Andrew died changed my life and that of so many others. I was helped emotionally and practically by RoadPeace and so I urge all those bereaved or injured by road crashes, together with those who support us, to join us in remembering our loved ones and in raising awareness to help prevent further death and injury.
We are thankful to the emergency services, all those who support us and to those who are working hard to reduce the number of people killed or injured on our roads.
If you have been affected by a crash and would like to speak to RoadPeace’s support team, the helpline number is 0845 450 0355. You can find out more about the organisation by visiting www.roadpeace.org.
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.
Give Drink-Driving the boot this Euro ’20
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.