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.
We teamed up with Wirral Council at the OVO Energy Tour event in Hamilton Square this month to host a #SharedSpace campaign.
With a brightly coloured tent, free safety gear and educational resources for people to take away, our ambassadors were kept incredibly busy (helped by fantastic weather).
The big showstopper was our bike powered smoothie maker! All the children, and a few teens, wanted a go. It was a great opportunity, not only to give a boost to their love of cycling, but also talk to them informally about how they can stay safe when they’re on their bikes.
Our ‘Keep Your Distance’ mat was out, emphasising to drivers how much space a cyclist needs on the road – and quite a few people were surprised.
The key message that we promoted – and will promote wherever we go – was that we all share the roads, and so we all share the responsibility.
One step closer to a safer Merseyside!
The Road Safety Team have been at Mount Primary School in Wallasey this week to try out the new Kids Court initiative.
Merseyside Police were present from 8.00 in the morning to tackle the issue of anti-social parking. However, on this particular morning, drivers caught exceeding the speed limit were given an unexpected choice.
Offenders were given the option of either being issued the standard fine and points, or attending the kids court. Accompanied by officers, drivers were taken to the school asked and explain themselves to the panel of waiting year 6 pupils.
The children asked the drivers if they knew what the speed limit by the school was, and why they were putting children’s lives in danger by speeding.
ALL drivers interviewed by the kids court said they found the experience daunting. They said that it had made them think seriously about their actions and their driving in general. Several drivers also said they found the process upsetting.
The Mount Primary School pupils were outstanding in the role of judges. Throughout the experiment they remained calm whilst maintaining eye contact and refusing to be swayed by the drivers excuses.
This month we are focusing on one of our road safety initiatives Engage Driving, aimed at young people aged 17-24 wanting to learn to drive. We talked with Engage Driving Instructor, Jane Rooney and got her take on what the benefits are of choosing Engage Driving.
Engage Driving instructor
Q: Why do you feel we need Engage, why would a young driver benefit from it?
A: We are trained to give our young drivers the knowledge and confidence to drive safely. We tackle lots of different subjects like peer pressure, common road issue scenarios and making the right speed choices, to name but a few. Giving them the confidence to not only pass their test but also be a safe and courteous driver.
The training meetings we attend give us a more cognitive insight on how to develop ways of thinking, which we pass on to our pupils. The emphasis is always on promoting road safety both in how we teach and the information we provide.
Q: Do you have to do any additional training to become an Engage Driving Instructor?
A: Yes, I did a Client Centred Learning (CCL) course with Ian Edwards. All Engage Driving instructors are sent on this course. It made me realise I needed to change the way I approached driver training. When I joined Engage I was a PDI (Potential Driving Instructor). I remember feeling, will I have the confidence to take that leap in to Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) status. But the staff were really helpful and on hand to answer any questions I had. I’m glad to say I am now a fully qualified ADI.
Q: When you discuss ‘Distraction’ and ‘Fatigue’ with the learners, do they give you feedback to the information?
A: Yes, all Engage Driving ADIs receive resources to use with their learners, including video modules. We ask learners a series of questions relating to ‘distractions when driving’ and watch the short video. The pupils learn so much from this. As an example, a good percentage of them don’t think using ‘bluetooth’ is a distraction as you’re not holding the phone. These discussions help them think twice about the meaning of distraction and take a different view about using a phone while driving.
‘we tackle lots of different subjects like peer pressure, common road issue scenarios and making the right speed choices’.
I asked one pupil what a distraction is? He answered ‘My Mum.’
I ask how is your mum a distraction? He said, ‘When I am watching TV and my mum shouts my name, my attention is on what mum is wanting.’
‘How is this distracting you?’ I asked.
He said, ‘I have to listen to what Mum wants and miss what’s said on TV.’
What could distract you when driving? He said, ‘Phone’.
So how can you prevent this? He replied, ‘Turn if off, put out of reach.’
When you ask the question in an everyday scenario and then bring their thinking round to driving they understand more fully the safety issues.
‘Fatigue’ is discussed in the same way as ‘distraction’, and not many of them truly understand what it is. They don’t comprehend the dangers of driving fatigued until we have watched the video and discussed it.
Q: How has being an Engage Driving instructor benefitted you?
A: It’s helped me expand my existing skills, given me more confidence and a massive insight into how to teach pupils. I feel assured that I am teaching young drivers to be safe on the road and to understand that there are real consequences to their actions.
If you’re looking for driving lessons or your interested in becoming an Engage Driving instructor click here to find out more.
How we keep you safe requires what’s called the four ‘E’s. Enforcement. Engagement & Education. Engineering.
This month we focus on Engagement & Education. Whether you drive, walk or ride in Merseyside chances are you’ve had an encounter with another road user. Part of the Safer Roads Team’s job is to work closely with the community to educate and encourage all age groups to keep safe on our roads.
We talk with as many people as possible by visiting schools, colleges, businesses and community groups. At public events such as the Knowsley and Southport Flower Shows we pass out lots of different resources and give practical advice and demonstrations on road safety.
We have specific initiatives to help young drivers, senior drivers, senior road users and cyclists. But we are here to help and support every type of road user in Merseyside. Contact us here if you need help, or send us a direct message via Facebook or Twitter.
Click here for more info on the ways we keep you safe.
Our Safer Roads Team in Merseyside come from all different walks of life and their combined road safety experience makes us a very effective team. Paul Mountford writes about his experience as a cyclist and what we can do as drivers to share the road more responsibly.
Paul works for the Safer Roads Team. Paul drives a car to work each day. Sometimes he rides his motorcycle (when the sun is shining!). On other days, he cycles to work, commuting through the peak time traffic in the city centre. At weekends, he rides for recreation.Very occasionally he takes a train and walks to the office.
How would you define Paul as a road user? Why do you need to define him? Paul is someone’s father, husband and brother who uses our roads in a variety of different ways, for a variety of reasons. There are 1000s of people like Paul in Merseyside.
When you see a cyclist riding along the road, what do you see? A nuisance who is holding up traffic, making you late for work? Someone who ignores traffic signals and rides on the pavement – after all, they’re all the same, aren’t they? Or do you consider that that person may simply be someone who chooses to cycle because it’s more affordable, or who cares about the environment and air quality, or who simply wants to exercise and enjoys it.
As a driver, would you regard a child on a small bicycle riding to school in the same way as an adult in lycra on their racing bike? Why might you treat them differently? After all, they should be afforded the same level of care and safe space shouldn’t they?
More and more people are choosing to cycle on our road network, a network that is not increasing in size to cater for them. In the future, they may have dedicated cycle lanes, separating them from traffic. However, for the time being, they must ride among the cars, taxis, buses and heavy goods vehicles, along narrow traffic lanes, dodging potholes and coping with poor road surfaces. Their safety should not rely upon them wearing protective helmets, reflective clothing and having bright flashing lights.
Without the presence of motor vehicles, crashes that result in injury and road death would be far less likely to occur. Drivers have a huge responsibility towards the safety of more vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cycle riders. They have no more rights or privileges than a cycle rider, regardless of the size and type of their vehicle.
And if you are a cycle rider, remember that whilst you have every right to ride on our roads, by your very nature, you may not always be seen by a driver and are more vulnerable to serious injury.
We are all just different people, from different backgrounds, using our roads in different ways. The law and the Highway Code apply to all of us, drivers and riders alike. We all have a duty to share our roads and use them safely and responsibly.