Hampshire Now - your County Council magazine

Driven to distraction - Hampshire supports Brake Road Safety Week

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

In support of Brake' National Road Safety Week (18-24th November), local council road safety teams, the police and fire service in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will be working in partnership to deliver education, training and enforcement activities targeting distracted drivers, pedestrians and cyclists throughout the week.

'Tune into road safety' is the key message, with distraction being the main theme for the week. The campaign aims to reduce the number of casualties on Hampshire's roads.

Increasingly research is revealing the dangers of not only using a mobile behind the wheel and its contribution to road accidents but also other forms of driver multi-tasking, like eating and drinking, sat navs and disruptive passengers. While for pedestrians and cyclists music players, mobile phones and being with friends prevents them from giving the road their full attention.

Councillor Seán Woodward, Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council said: "Drivers who divide their attention because they're either on the phone, seeing what the children are up to in the back, finding a cigarette, tuning the radio, even the satnav display, are significantly increasing their risk of causing a devastating crash.

"Whether you're a driver, cyclist or pedestrian, don't underestimate the effects being distracted will have. Even if you believe you can multi-task because you are still looking at the road straight ahead, the reality is you are not gathering the whole picture of the road around you; you're less able to spot hazards and your awareness is reduced.

"In fact, distracted drivers are a much higher risk to cyclists and pedestrians being involved in fatal collisions. I'd urge all road users to give their full attention to the road and keep their eyes on the job."

In 2012, in excess of 5000 mobile phone offences were detected in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight along with over 100 offences of not being in proper control of the vehicle. Since January 2013 the amount of mobile phone offences equates to 4153 in addition to 220 people not having proper control of a vehicle.

Inspector Steve Wakeford, from Hampshire Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit, said: "We are very glad to be supporting the road safety charity BRAKE". Hampshire Constabulary's Safer Roads Unit enforces distraction offences as part of its general role of speed enforcement and will be supporting the Road Safety Week alongside colleagues and partner agencies.

"The Road Safety Week is intended to raise greater awareness of all distractions to all type road users and therefore people are encouraged to view BRAKE's website to get information regarding this campaign and all other road safety information."

There will be several performances of a hard hitting theatre production called Safe Drive, Stay Alive aimed at young drivers organised by the Hampshire Constabulary and Thames Valley Police and supported by all the partners. It's been promoted to all sixth form schools and colleges in the region.

Hampshire County Council's road safety team has on-going activities lined up for the week:

  • Promoting Safe Drive, Stay Alive

  • Approved Driving Instructors coaching - 3 hour training sessions to improve teaching to learner drivers and delivery of pass plus and driver training. These coaching sessions will develop ADI's understanding of coaching and their knowledge of the human factors linked to novice drivers.

  • Street Sense - teenage distractions programme delivered in secondary schools Assemblies at Westgate School in Winchester and Wavell School in Farnborough.

Hampshire Constabulary will be carrying out a week of enforcement with an emphasis on mobile phones and a number of operations in the force area. Updates and information will be provided through social media with Twitter updates having the hashtag #RSW13. Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service crews will also be visiting various locations throughout the county to talk about the consequences of distractions.

Portsmouth City Council will be:

  • running sessions in Junior Schools all week together with SNT/PCSOs

18/11 - Langstone Infant School (AM) and Penhale Infant School (PM)
19/11 - Stamshaw Junior School (AM/PM)
20/11 - Copnor Junior School (AM) and Corpus Christi (PM)
21/11 - Northern Parade Junior School (AM / PM)
22/11 - Langstone Junior School (AM) and Newbridge Junior School (PM)

  • Launching a new 'Scooterbility' road safety training in junior schools
  • College Road Safety Awareness days, together with HFRS and colleagues from Sustainable Transport. (Portsmouth College 20th and Highbury College 21st )
  • Launching new motorcycle simulator sessions at the colleges.

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