Safe Vehicle Awareness in May
During May we will be highlighting awareness of Safe vehicles, one of the 5 pillars outlined within the LCR Road Safety Strategy.
You will see content across our social media channels, highlighting the importance of Safe vehicles.
We will be working to encourage drivers to check their own, borrowed or rented vehicles before setting off. The Road Traffic Act is clear with ‘drive’ being incorporated into most offences. While maintenance may be the responsibility of the keeper, the Road Traffic Act outlines, it is an offence to drive a vehicle that is not insured, with no valid test certificate, in a dangerous condition, etcetera.
We will be providing guidance on checks and what to look for throughout the month ensuring you are Road Safe.
Throughout May the focus will be Safe Vehicles, we will however be working towards other campaigns and projects, one of which being Project EDWARD which will be making an appearance in Merseyside on Tuesday 16th May, full coverage of the visit will be made available during the weeklong road trip.
The Safer Vehicles pillar seeks to reduce road danger by focusing on vehicles which present the greatest risk on our roads. In recent decades, vehicle safety improvements have tended to reduce danger principally for those inside the vehicle.
New technologies offer the opportunities to improve safety for those outside the vehicle too. Research by UCL Centre for Transport Studies shows that across Great Britain around 1 in 3 road deaths, 1 in 5 seriously injured and 1 in 4 casualties of all severities involve someone driving for work. The study estimates that 39% of killed pedestrians were hit by a working driver. The risk that working drivers face is also highlighted by the increase in the volume of Light Goods Vehicles in recent years. Whilst vans and lorries are the life blood of cities supplying, food and other goods for business, and without them our way of life wouldn’t be possible, volumes of Light Commercial Vehicle traffic (vehicle kms) increased by more than three-quarter (76%) between 2001 and 2019 across the LCR11, with popularity for vans rising with the influx of new small businesses entering the market and the increased demand for online shopping deliveries.
There are ongoing schemes and initiatives across the LCR which seek to reinforce good practice within the prevalent users of our roads. There are established programmes of education for taxi driver input, and through Wirral Council’s Mind Your Business scheme which works alongside businesses and their employees to manage road safety at work. This award-winning scheme features practical, theoretical and legal input and has been recognised at the National Transport Awards. The Safe Vehicles pillar also focuses on technological innovation in respect of modern forms of urban, sustainable travel.
The pandemic has brought a significant shift in the accessibility of goods and services with a much greater emphasis on home delivery. This has seen an increase in vehicles on the road within the business driving sector, who are looking towards automation and telematics to increase safety and identify vehicle activities. Telematics are also being introduced Merseyside Police as an emerging new technology.
Vehicle technology is also changing with the advent of the General Safety Regulations, which are likely to have significant impact on the safety features appearing on new vehicles in the next few years. Most notable for the safety of those outside a vehicle are the introduction of Advanced Emergency Braking Systems and Intelligent Speed Assistance (ISA). There are opportunities from ISA to hugely increase compliance levels with speed limits in built-up areas which makes setting the appropriate speed limit even more important to be able to gain the advantages this technology can offer.
The evaluation of the e-scooter trial within Liverpool will be invaluable in assessing the long-term viability of this specific type of vehicle in contribution to greener, cleaner and cheaper forms of movement through the LCR networks. Within the LCR, there is a shared responsibility for vehicles used on the network.
There will be ongoing educational programmes and communication campaigns to inform owners of the importance of vehicle maintenance, followed up with roadside checks and enforcement with partners Merseyside Police and DVSA. Analysis can identify both vehicles of influence in KSIs and other problematic behaviours, for example, a prevalence of drink and or drug driving in certain sectors and shape enforcement and educational opportunities around this.
Be Road Safe – #SafeVehicles