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.
The Partnership’s Vision for Merseyside
The Merseyside Road Safety Partnership’s vision is to make our roads a safer environment for everyone. We believe this is a contributing factor to the successful growth of the Merseyside Region.
With all road traffic collisions, there is a significant emotional cost and considerable effect on all those involved and connected. In addition, there is a great financial cost and burden on the National Health Service (NHS) and other organisations.
Our target is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured to 400 by 2020, and to keep on reducing it into the future. One person killed or seriously injured on our roads is one too many.
In order to reduce the number of casualties on roads in Merseyside, and improve progress on achieving our target, we focus on four specific road user groups:
However, that doesn’t mean we exclude ongoing activity in other areas. For example, reducing child pedestrian casualties is still a priority, and we continuously monitor issues around the region as they happen in order to re-focus our energy if and when patterns change.
St Helens Young People Given Road Safety Material To Help With Secondary School Transition
Primary school leavers in St Helens Borough are now better equipped to start secondary school after receiving free travel material from St Helens Borough Council’s Road Safety Team.
Distributed to a total of 1,600 pupils, the Way2Go magazine includes all the important information needed when taking the big leap from primary school to high school. The magazine covers everything from route planning, to getting to and from school safely.
Parents and carers have also benefited from access to an online guide called ‘Moving Up’ which has been shared with schools.
Melanie Burrows, Road Safety Team Leader for St Helens Borough Council, said:
“National statistics show that pupils in Years 7-9 are, sadly, three times more likely to be killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions than those in Year 4-6, which is why we felt it necessary to provide resources like this to assist our young people as they embark on the next stage of their journey through education.
“Starting high school can often mean young people are given a lot more independence, whether it’s walking, cycling or getting the bus to school on their own – not to mention being allowed out more after school – so it’s absolutely crucial they are reminded of the importance of road safety.”
St Helens Borough Council’s Road Safety Team
Councillor Andy Bowden, St Helens Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Environmental Services, added: “The importance of road safety can never be over-emphasised and it’s vital that we engage with children as early as possible.
“Our Road Safety Team do a fantastic job, working with local schools to get children and young people thinking about road safety, discussing it with their friends, coming up with new ideas to promote it – and resources like this are such an essential tool in helping them as they begin to start experiencing the world on their own more.”
St Helens Borough Council’s Road Safety Team – under normal circumstances – work with dozens of schools across the borough during the academic year on a number of projects. These include the Junior Road Safety Officer initiative, which sees Year 5 and 6 pupils take part in workshops that generate campaigns to further improve road safety education in their community and borough as a whole.
Meanwhile, as part of a more region-wide approach to addressing road safety, the team also form part of the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership working with, among others, Merseyside Police. The team help coordinate enforcement operations and engagement events covering various issues such as child car seats, seat belts, mobile phones and excessive speed. The partnership also act as a resource providing information to cyclists and senior road users.
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.
Getting In The Way of a Safety Camera Van
Over the past few years, safety camera van operators and police have noticed an increase in the amount of people attempting to obstruct safety camera vans. A lot of the time it’s so they can film themselves being obstructive and post it online for easy likes, but it’s not such a good idea…
Apart from restricting the safety camera vans from achieving their purpose, and the operators doing their job (keeping speeds down and the public safe), under Section 46(2) of the Police Reform Act 2002, it’s an offence to wilfully obstruct a designated person in the execution of their duty, carrying a sentence of up to 51 weeks imprisonment.
Obstructing the police
What does that mean in simple terms? Safety camera officers in some circumstances may not be police, but the Chief Constable of Merseyside Police has given the operators the same Section 38 powers. So, if you stop them doing their job properly, it’s as if you did it to a police officer, and can land you nearly a year in prison.
All of the vehicles the Merseyside Safer Roads Unit Enforcement officers operate have 360 degree CCTV and Dashcam facilities. The operators also deploy with body worn cameras. This is for their protection, the protection of members of the public and the availability if required to use footage in a potential prosecution.
Making it harder for someone who’s just trying to do their job isn’t very nice, and there are definitely easier ways to get likes – ones that don’t result in a prison sentence.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today welcomed a national report which urges a stronger focus and greater resources to be allocated to roads policing.
Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has released the results of its national inspection which found that spending on roads policing has dropped by 34% nationally since 2012. After a steady decline in the number of roads deaths since 1979, the figures show that since 2013 the number of people killed nationally has plateaued and is now starting to slowly increase again.
The report, which calls for a greater emphasis to be placed on roads policing across England and Wales, has been welcomed by Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy, who made ‘working with partners to improve road safety’ one of her policing priorities in 2017.
Since then, Merseyside has bucked the national trend – recording a year-on-year 10% annual reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on its roads, while introducing a range of initiatives to help protect vulnerable road users, including motorcyclists, cyclists, elderly road users and young people.
Jane said: “Every death or serious injury on the roads of Merseyside is one death too many. Far more people are killed on our region’s roads than lose their life to serious and organised crime. That means road safety needs to be taken very seriously and it’s why I decided to make it one of my policing priorities three years ago.
“When I made that announcement in 2017, nearly 600 people had been killed or seriously injured on our roads in the previous year. We are on track to get that figure down to less than 400 this year, but my ultimate vision is that no-one dies or suffers life changing injury on our roads.
“While Merseyside was not inspected for this report, I welcome the push from inspectors for a clear and pressing focus on roads policing nationally to reduce the number of deaths, greater resources to be allocated and the need for clearer guidance from the Home Office and Department of Transport.
“Here on Merseyside, our Roads Safety Partnership and the force’s Roads Policing Unit have worked tremendously hard to reduce the number of people who have been killed or suffered life-changing injuries over the last three years, while other police areas have been registering an increase.
“Our roads have been quieter during lockdown but officers have been out patrolling key routes through the region, running proactive enforcement operations and stopping drivers for flouting speeding and other traffic laws. Between March and May this year, 120 people were prosecuted for speeding offences, including cases where drivers were clocked at 103mph in a 50mph zone and 100mph in a 70mph zone. During this time, more than 250 people were arrested in connection with drink or drug driving offences. High profile operations have also been put in place to tackle the anti-social and dangerous use of bikes and have clamped down on taxi drivers who take to our roads under the influence of drinks and drugs or in unsafe vehicles which are putting passengers in jeopardy.
“Merseyside Police have launched an online portal to enable the public to report incidents to them and upload their own video footage. Cyclists can also report near-misses using the Collideoscope website which is helping us to identify ‘hot spots’. A host of initiatives are also up and running with the aim of better safeguarding some of our most vulnerable road users, including ‘safe pass’ operations to protect cyclists and courses to improve the safety and awareness of senior road users and novice drivers.
“The force has also invested in new technology, such as the ‘Ranger Concept Device’ which is used to tackle speeding in hotspot areas which have been previously difficult to enforce. In the first 17 weeks since it was introduced, this top-of-the-range piece of kit assisted officers in capturing 2,621 speeding offences. The funds recouped from these potentially life-saving operations are then reinvested in resources and operations to make our roads even safer – from breathalyser kits to Kid’s Court sessions and Bikesafe workshops.
“It is important to highlight, as this report does, that making our roads safer is not solely a job for the police. While enforcement of the law to improve safety on our road network is crucial, better engineering of our roads and greater education of road users are vital if we are to reduce the danger to the public who use the roads and we need the collective support of all our community safety partners if we are to achieve this.”
Making the transition to secondary school safer
Many of you will be parents of children ready to take the big step from Year 6 to secondary school. Knowsley Council have produced the following guide to assist with that change whilst ensuring their safety on the roads.
It helps you advise your children on how to travel safely and independently to school, whether they catch a bus, walk, cycle or catch the train. Download a copy of the guide here.
Cycle training sessions for children during the school holidays
BikeRight, the national cycle training organisation are offering group cycle training sessions for children during the school holidays in Knowsley, Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral and St Helens. The Level 2 ‘on-road’ training sessions for children aged 10 and over are available for FREE in some areas.
They are run by 2 qualified instructors and fully compliant with current social distancing guidelines. These courses are very popular, so please book early. More information can be found at the BikeRight website
UK sees the return of Mandatory MOT test
With restrictions easing and mandatory MOT testing of vehicles returning from Saturday 1st August, it’s important to check your vehicle documents to see when your vehicle was last tested. Knowsley Council have put together some information to explain your rights and give you a clear indication of what to do next.
Sarah English, from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, said: “Many of us may not have used our cars very often recently. Some may not have driven at all. It’s worth remembering that your car or motorcycle may need more than just a wash before you take it onto the road. Even if your M.O.T test was extended during lockdown you’re still expected to ensure that your car is in a roadworthy and legal condition before driving.”
Please follow this link to read the article in full.
Wirral Council’s Road Safety Team have been working with schools to assist in their post-lockdown reopening.
The plans include a return of the School Crossing Patrol service who play a crucial role in ensuring that children get to school as safely as possible.
Cllr Liz Grey, Cabinet Member for Environment and Climate Change, says: “As lockdown starts to ease and we begin to travel more, it is so important that we stay alert on our roads. I am really pleased that School Crossing Patrols will be able to support schools as they reopen to help protect the safety of children and their parents travelling to the site.”
MRSP and the Road Safety Teams are keen to make sure that children and their families are ready for the walk, cycle, or car ride to school and have issued some tips to help make the journey safer. Please follow this link to read the tips and the article in full.
Merseyside Police clamp down on seatbelt offences
Police in Merseyside are clamping down on seatbelt offences as part of a nationwide campaign. The operation, which is being co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council, targets drivers and passengers who fail to wear seatbelts in the front and back of vehicles.
The Partnership’s Paul Mountford commented, “Car occupants represent the highest number of fatalities in the UK every year – last year alone there were nearly 2,000 seatbelt offences. While we are confident that the vast majority of drivers and passengers recognise the importance of seatbelts and child restraints, the number of those who continue to break the law, placing themselves and others at risk is a cause for concern.”
Seatbelts reduce your risk of death or serious injury in a collision by:
- Reducing your impact with the vehicle interior
- Keeping you positioned correctly for the maximum effectiveness of the airbag
- Preventing you from being ejected from your vehicle in a collision or if your vehicle rolls.
To read the article in full, please follow this link.