Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Woman was "absolutely terrified" as driver tried to force her off the road . . .

_________________________________________________________________

Woman was "absolutely terrified" as driver tried to force her off the road (6th Apr 2014)

Cited at:
http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/update/2014-04-06/woman-was-absolutely-terrified-as-driver-tried-to-force-her-off-the-road/



A driver tried to force a woman off the road as she drove along the A131 in Essex.

Police in Essex say a woman was left "absolutely terrified" after another driver tried to force her off the road.

The victim, who is in her 40s, was on the A131 at Great Leighs, near Braintree, at about 4pm on Friday.

Police said a man in a red Ford Ka shouted and swore at her as he swerved towards the side of her car before pulling in front of her and breaking sharply.

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Tuesday, 29 April 2014

GUIDE TO MAINTAINING ROADWORTHINESS 2014 REVISION . . .


___________________________________________________________________


GUIDE TO MAINTAINING ROADWORTHINESS

2014 REVISION 

We have this year updated the Guide to Maintaining Roadworthiness – essential reading for anyone whose responsibilities include vehicle roadworthiness. We are especially grateful for the views and advice of the transport industry representatives we worked closely with during this review.

As a result of their input, the 2014 revision clears up some grey areas and gives better guidance to operators, drivers and maintenance providers. Some of the more important changes we’ve made are to:


  • older vehicles and trailers 
  • safety inspection completion date 
  • safety inspection and repair facilities 
  • brake testing 



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DfT BUS REGISTRATION CONSULTATION . . .

___________________________________________________________________

DfT BUS REGISTRATION CONSULTATION

A lack of competition between bus operators in many local markets has prompted the Competition Commission to recommend to the government a series of remedies to help open up the market for commercial bus services.

This consultation seeks views on the government’s preferred approach to implementing:

  • an extra 14-day pre-notification period during which local transport authorities may review and discuss a registration application with the operator 
  • a minimum standard notice period of 90 (as opposed to the current 56) days following acceptance of a change to an existing service registration 
  • a restriction on making changes to any registration application during any notice period except by making a short-notice application and alignment of the reasons for any short-notice application to those used in Scotland 
  • a requirement that operators specify the frequency of services currently registered as ‘frequent’ (those with six or more services per hour) with a default band, so only frequencies in excess of this need to be detailed 
The consultation also seeks views on making bus registration digital by default and how to make the Electronic Bus Service Registration (EBSR) system more easily accessible to small and medium operators. 



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LONDON’S INDUSTRIAL HGV TASK FORCE . . .

___________________________________________________________________

LONDON’S INDUSTRIAL HGV TASK FORCE

The Industrial HGV Task Force, which targets the most dangerous commercial vehicles, helping to improve the safety of everyone using London's roads, is being continued in the capital following a successful six-month trial.

Since the start of the trial in October 2013, this task force has targeted and stopped over 1,960 vehicles, seized 24 vehicles, progressed 15 prosecutions through the Criminal Justice System and issued 519 fixed penalty notices for offences including:

  • lack of insurance 
  • driving not in accordance with a licence 
  • unsafe tyres 
  • vehicle not equipped with safeguards 
  • not accurately recording driver hours 

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EU to require that EVs and hybrids make noise to alert pedestrians . . .

___________________________________________________________________

EU to require that EVs and hybrids make noise to alert pedestrians

Cited at:
http://www.engadget.com/2014/04/06/eu-requiring-ev-noise-alerts/


The EU has been talking for years about requiring pedestrian alert noises on electric cars and hybrids, and some vehicles already do. In the future, however, those warning systems will be mandatory. 

The European Parliament has backed a proposal that would require sound-making hardware in new electric vehicles by July 2019. The European Commission would lock down the final rules by July 2017. Whether or not you're a fan of the potential regulation, gas-powered vehicles aren't being let off the hook. 

Parliament also wants to start lowering conventional engine noise levels as soon as July 2016, so every Europe-friendly automaker will have to be mindful of audio before too long.

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Monday, 28 April 2014

Police helicopter chased car going wrong way on A38 . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Police helicopter chased car going wrong way on A38

Cited at:
http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Police-chopper-chased-car-going-wrong-way-A38/story-20918207-detail/story.html


The police helicopter tried to warn other drivers

A motorist drove the wrong way along the A38 as a police helicopter hovered over the road shining a light on the car in a desperate bid to warn other drivers.

There were several near misses as the driver headed along the wrong carriageway as it weaved in and out of oncoming traffic on the Devon Expressway at night.

The airborne police team tracked the vehicle with a powerful light beam, as it went the wrong way from Plymouth to Exeter, in order to warn drivers coming in the opposite direction.

Officers finally stopped the vehicle near Exeter just before midnight on Friday after it was spotted going east on the westbound carriageway of the A38.

Dozens of shocked drivers were lucky to escape unharmed with no collisions reported depsite a string of near misses.

The helictopter tracked the car from Ashburton to Chudleigh, where it was stopped by police from Newton Abbot.

The crew tweeted: "Deployed to A38 Ashburton reference vehicle on wrong carriageway.

"Able to illuminate vehicle to warn others. Vehicle stopped at Chudleigh."

Duty Inspector Adrian Woon later said: "We received a number of calls from members of the public after two to three near misses while the vehicle was travelling northbound in the south bound carriageway.

"There are reports it was in lane three which is the fast lane."

He said that the first alert came in at 11.30pm after the car was seen near the old racecourse near Buckfastleigh, Lower Dean and Drumbridges at Heathfield.

The driver was stopped at Chudleigh at 11.39pm.

One driver who was on the A38 at the time said: "I passed someone driving the wrong way down the A38 on my way back home tonight. Was rather surreal."

A 67-year-old from the Plymouth area was arrested on suspicion of drink driving.

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Friday, 25 April 2014

£4.3m pinch point improvement project to reduce congestion near Leeds and Wakefield . . .

___________________________________________________________________

£4.3m pinch point improvement project to reduce congestion near Leeds and Wakefield

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/43m-pinch-point-improvement-project-to-reduce-congestion-near-leeds-and-wakefield

A Highways Agency project to reduce congestion and improve access to Leeds and Wakefield will get underway on the M1 at junction 41, in West Yorkshire next week (7 April).



The work will involve widening all of the approaches to the M1 junction 41 roundabout, from 2 lanes to 3 lanes, widening the roundabout to accommodate three lanes, improving lining and signing, refurbishing the traffic signals, improving lighting and providing improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists.

The aims of the pinch point project are to help to reduce congestion, make journey times more reliable, reduce the impact of future planned development, enhance access to surrounding areas, and benefit the economy.

Highways Agency Service Delivery Team Leader Roger Wantling said:
Once the scheme is complete, it will improve congestion at this junction and in the surrounding area. The M1 junction 41 roundabout is heavily congested, causing severe delays for drivers. The A650 is also a very busy link in to Wakefield and Leeds, and the pinch point improvement will make journey times more reliable. The scheme will also reduce the impact of traffic from planned future developments in the area.

Additional good news for drivers in Wakefield is that the pinch point work at junction 40 is nearing completion. The junction is fully open and all traffic restrictions have been lifted. The final work to complete lighting work and clear the site is now taking place.

The work, scheduled to last until January 2015, will mainly be carried out during off-peak hours between 8pm and 6am, and at weekends. The work will affect all lanes on the slip roads and A650 approaches to the roundabout. However, the work will be carried out in phases to minimise any disruption. The work is taking place within the M1 junction 39 to 42 smart motorway scheme and will be co-ordinated to make the best use of any lane or slip road closures.

During the work it will be necessary to carry out overnight slip road and lane closures, and temporary traffic lights may be in operation. Advanced notice of any closures will be signed at the junction before the work takes place.

It is one of 15 Highways Agency pinch point schemes taking place in Yorkshire and Humber. The pinch point programme provides smaller scale improvements that can deliver big returns by easing congestion and making journey times more reliable for road users, including hauliers and commuters, to help boost local economies and drive economic growth.

The work is part of a £317 million pinch point programme designed to boost local economies, reduce congestion and improve safety on the strategic road network in England. The programme is part of the Government’s growth initiative, outlined during the Chancellor’s Autumn statement in November 2011.


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Thursday, 24 April 2014

Student defends driving vehicle . . .

___________________________________________________________________

The car that has no doors... but it does have an MOT! Student defends driving vehicle

Cited at:
http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/372796/Student-defends-driving-vehicle-that-has-no-doors-because-it-has-an-MOT

A STUDENT who drove a car without doors, lights or bonnet thought it was legal because it had its MOT.


SKELETON: Wilson’s car had no bonnet and no lights when the police stopped him [RAYMONDS PRESS]

Sam Wilson was using his arms to indicate when turning after he stripped the Peugeot 306 and took out the indicators.

Although the car had previously passed its MOT, Sam had removed vital parts since the test, including the doors, headlights, grill and rear brake lights.

The 25-year-old drove the vehicle, described by police as a “skeleton”, for almost three miles before he was pulled over.

Wilson, who is studying electrical engineering at college, was taking it to a recycling centre five miles from his home in Bingham, Notts.

He had taken off some parts to sell online and planned to flog the remaining body for scrap.

But at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court the dad-of-two was found guilty of using a dangerous vehicle and fined £110.

He was also ordered to pay £120 costs and given three penalty points on his licence.

After the hearing, he said: “The car didn’t have any lights on it, but my argument was that it was daylight.

“It didn’t have any signals either, but I used arm signals to indicate.”


He thought the car was safe to drive because it still had a valid MOT certificate.

Wilson added that he did not think he had taken off any key working parts.

He said: “I only did it so I could get more money back for the car.

“I wouldn’t have driven it if I didn’t think it was safe for the road.

“I was starting college and I was only going to get £150 at the scrapyard.

“So I thought if I took the doors off and a few other parts I could get more money back.”

Sam claimed there were kit cars on the road that don’t have doors or lights.

But a spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police said: “There are strict rules governing the safety of vehicles in this country.

“It beggars belief that he thought he could drive it without anyone having concerns.

“In doing so he put the safety of himself and others at risk.

“It would not have taken much to realise that the skeleton of a vehicle that Wilson was trying to drive on the carriageway was not roadworthy.

“We had to take action.”

The car was eventually collected for scrap and Wilson was paid £70.

He said that he had since bought himself a new Peugeot.

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Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Man arrested for wrong-way driving on A27 near Lewes . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Man arrested for wrong-way driving on A27 near Lewes

Cited at:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-sussex-26851753


Other motorists had to swerve to avoid the Vauxhall Antara on the A27

A motorist has been arrested after he drove for five miles the wrong way along a dual carriageway in East Sussex.

Sussex Police said members of the public had to swerve to avoid the vehicle on the A27 near Lewes.

Police managed to stop the driver on the westbound carriageway at about 06:40 GMT on Wednesday.

A 74-year-old man, from Brighton, was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving.

Police said he is due to answer bail on 22 May.

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Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Villagers fear A420 closure . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Villagers fear A420 closure

Cited at:
http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/11160730.Villagers_fear_A420_closure/

Villagers fear A420 closure

VILLAGES around the A420 are expecting delays, gridlock, speeding, collisions and even injuries when Oxfordshire County Council closes the A420 for seven weeks in July.

It plans to shut both lanes from July 21, between the Watchfield Roundabout and the Townsend Road junction to Shrivenham and Bourton, in order to carry out essential roadworks.

That will leave commuters in and out of Swindon with little choice but to overrun the country lanes that link up the rural communities north and south of the A420.

Residents in Shrivenham have already commissioned an independent transport study, which estimated between 17,000 and 20,000 traffic movements a day along the main road.

Shrivenham is likely to be the worst affected village, with preliminary plans in place for traffic to be diverted through the heart of the community before it returns to the A420.

Sarah Day, chair of Shrivenham Parish Council, said: “The problem that we have is with the HGVs. Oxfordshire is saying it will put a seven-and-a-half-tonne weight restriction on the diversion.

“But the question is: who’s going to police it? They suggested trading standards, but I can’t see them standing out there, on the road, 24 hours-a-day, seven-days-a-week, for seven weeks.

“We know the road needs doing, but what we are asking for is, at the very least, they put in a 20-miles-per-hour speed limit and that they police the HGVs.

“Those vehicles inevitably sat in the queues in the villages are also going to find opportunities to create their own diversions with their sat-navs and go off down side roads.

“A lot of the houses on those roads don’t even have footpaths – we are worried somebody’s going to get hurt.”

Ms Day also said Oxfordshire County Council was weighing up a one-way system, with westbound traffic travelling via Faringdon Road in Watchfield and eastbound traffic using Longcot Road before linking up with the A420 via Majors Road.

Villages south-west of Shrivenham are also bracing themselves for any knock-on effect which may stem from collisions or disruptions on the official diversion route.

Bishopstone, Hinton Parva and Wanborough are all communities which might face an influx of traffic looking to get in and out of Swindon via the Commonhead roundabout.

Ian Thompson, acting chair of Bishopstone Parish Council, said: “We have huge concerns. Ours is the only alternative road if Shrivenham becomes gridlocked.

“We knew it was going to happen, we just assumed it was a fait accompli. “There is going to be a huge amount of rat running.

“I would certainly support any calls for a tighter speed restriction through Shrivenham and the surrounding villages.

“I don’t even think most people have cottoned on to what’s actually happening yet – this is a major closure.

“People will find rat runs. It’s an accident waiting to happen.”

On its website, Oxfordshire County Council accepts disruption will happen, but the resurfacing will mean no further reconstruction should be needed for years to come.

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Transport Secretary to axe pointless traffic signs that clutter the roads . . .

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Transport Secretary to axe pointless traffic signs that clutter the roads 

Cited at:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2609129/Transport-Secretary-axe-pointless-traffic-signs-clutter-roads-revealed-theyve-doubled-number-20-years-4-5million.html
  • it's revealed they've more than doubled in number in 20 years to 4.5million
  • Patrick McLoughlin has called for an end to 'pointless' road signs
  • There is now one sign on the road for every seven cars
  • Mr McLoughlin said councils can cut down on constant alerts to drivers
  • A recent revealed that many drivers have no idea what some signs mean
'Pointless': Many signs on 
the roads duplicate 
information or serve 
no obvious purpose

Fed up of road signs warning of obvious speed bumps and lane closures, or just informing you that the sign isn’t in use?

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin has called for an end to ‘pointless’ signs – saying they confuse drivers and make the roads more dangerous.

Regulations are set to be tightened up, as it is revealed the number of signs cluttering Britain’s roads has more than doubled in 20 years to 4.5million.

This is around one sign for every seven cars on the roads.

Patrick McLoughlin said councils could clamp down on the constant alerts to motorists about loading restrictions, clearways, humps and speed limits, which are distracting and state the obvious. 

‘Over the past two decades we’ve seen a huge rise in the number of unnecessary signs blotting the landscapes of our towns and cities’, he said.

‘Many of the signs that go up are simply not needed and it has got to stop. As well as spoiling otherwise beautiful areas of the country, pointless signs just confuse drivers and make the roads less safe.’ 

A survey last year by an insurance company found one in three drivers admitted having a crash or a near miss because of baffling road signs.

The Department for Transport admitted at the time that Britain has around 9,000 signs which are redundant or misleading and need to be revised.

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EU tyre labeling regulation: guidance for business and industry . . .

___________________________________________________________________

EU tyre labeling regulation: guidance for business and industry

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/eu-tyre-labeling-regulation-guidance-for-business-and-industry

Labelling of tyres regulation: compliance and guidance

Introduction

The tyre label is a grading system through which manufacturers of tyres for cars, vans, and heavy trucks must specify:
  • fuel consumption
  • wet grip
  • noise classification
As shown below, the tyre label uses a classification from A (highest performing) to G (lowest performing). Information must be available in technical promotional literature (leaflets, brochures, etc.), including manufacturer websites. This has to be done for every tyre sold on the EU market.
The aim of the regulation is to increase safety, promote fuel-efficient and safe tyres, and decrease noise levels. It allows consumers to make a more informed choice.

The National Measurement Office (NMO) is working alongside the Department for Transport (DfT) to ensure compliance and has published several reports.

Guidance

The regulation requires the following information to be communicated to consumers:
vehicle fuel efficiency associated to the tyre’s rolling resistance
the tyre’s external noise level (expressed in decibels); not any tyre noise heard inside the vehicle
where applicable, the impact on vehicle safety associated to the tyre’s wet grip, provided for:
  • passenger car tyres (C1 tyres)
  • light commercial vehicles (vans - C2 tyres)
  • heavy vehicles (trucks, buses - C3 tyres)

Not included in the regulation

The tyre labelling regulation does not cover:
  • re-treaded tyres
  • professional off-road tyres
  • temporary-use spare tyres
  • studded tyres
  • tyres used only for racing
  • tyres whose speed rating is less than 80 km/h
  • tyres to be fitted only on vehicles registered for the first time before 1 October 1990
  • tyres whose nominal diameter is smaller than 254 mm or bigger than 635 mm

The transitional provision indicated in article 15 of the regulation (EC) No 1222/2009allows the sale of tyres produced before 1 July 2012 for which grading/labelling was not performed.

Obligations

Three parties have obligations to ensure consumers are properly informed:
  • tyre suppliers (manufacturers or importers in the EU) must:
  • either put a sticker on the tyre tread or a label on each delivery of tyres to the dealer and end-user for passenger (car) and light commercial vehicle tyres
  • provide technical literature (leaflets, brochures, etc), including the manufacturer website for passenger, light commercial vehicles, and truck/bus tyres
tyre distributors must:
  • ensure that at the point of sale tyres have the sticker or have a label for the end user to see before buying the tyre
  • give the information on the fuel efficiency, wet grip (where applicable) and external noise during the purchase process if the tyres offered for sale are not visible to the end-user (for passenger and light commercial vehicles tyres)
  • give information on or with the bill (for passenger car, light commercial vehicles and truck/bus tyres)
  • vehicle suppliers and distributors must:
  • provide end-users with information on the fuel efficiency, wet grip (where applicable) and external noise of the tyre that are offered before the sale of the vehicle

Testing procedure

Fuel consumption

Fuel consumption is related to the rolling resistance. By reducing rolling resistance, the tyre consumes less petrol.

The fuel efficiency/rolling resistance section of the tyre label is calculated by the scale specified in annex one to the regulation and measured in accordance with annex 6 of Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) regulation No 117 and its subsequent amendments. This is detailed in commission regulation (EU) No 1235/2011 amending regulation (EC) No 1222/2009.

See the following attachment for a fuel savings calculator Fuel savings calculator(XSLM, 111KB) .

Wet grip

Wet grip is one of the most important safety characteristics of a tyre. Tyres with very good wet grip have a shorter braking distance when it rains.
Vehicle ClassLegislation detailing how tyre class is calculated
C1EC regulation (EU) No 228/2011 amending the regulation (EC) No 1222/2009
C2 and C3EC regulation (EU) No 1235/2011 amending the regulation (EC) No 1222/2009 (with reference to ISO15222 standard)

Noise classification

The external noise generated by the tyre is expressed in waves: one black wave is the lowest noise level and three the highest.

Noise tests are undertaken in accordance with UNECE Regulation No 117 (same asEU directive 92/23/EEC).

Enforcement

The EU labelling scheme for tyres is based on self-declaration by manufacturers or importers.

Member States must apply the market surveillance provisions included in the relevant national legislation. They are obliged to survey the market, which includes compliance checks of the various provisions of the tyre labelling regulation.

National authorities also have to check the conformity of the declared classes on the label of tyres (for fuel efficiency, wet grip and rolling noise) and of the measured values.

Legislation

EC regulation No 1222/2009 on the labelling of tyres with respect to fuel efficiency and other essential parameters came into force on 1 November 2012.

This regulation puts obligations on suppliers and distributors was amended byregulation 228/2011 (with regard to the wet grip testing method for C1 tyres) andregulation 1235/2011 (with regard to the wet grip grading of tyres, the measurement of rolling resistance and the verification procedure).
Minimum requirements for the tyre label

Minimum requirements for tyre parameters, such as rolling resistance, wet grip and rolling noise are determined under another EU regulation: type approval for the general safety of motor vehicles and their components.

As the EU is increases minimum requirements certain classes will be phased out. The following classes of tyres will not be able to be placed on the market:
  • class G from 1 November 2014
  • class F from 1 November 2018

Contact

The advice provided via our enquiry service is based on the best and most up to date information available to us at the time.

We recommend that all enquiries are made via our online enquiries system, by choosing the relevant enquiry form and following the on screen instructions.

Alternatively, by phoning 020 8943 7227, you can leave a message, and an enforcement officer will return your call as soon as possible. Please be aware that this is an automated system and you will not be able to speak with anybody at the time of calling.

Enquiries can also be submitted in writing to:


NMO Enforcement Authority 
Stanton Avenue 
Teddington 
Middlesex 
TW11 0JZ 


Due to the legal nature and amount quantity, the NMO aims to respond to all enquiries within one month.
Attachments


PDF, 1.68MB, 35 pages


PDF, 952KB, 7 pages


PDF, 1.06MB, 6 pages


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Monday, 21 April 2014

Public back 20mph speed limit drive . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Public back 20mph speed limit drive


Cited at:
http://www.standard.co.uk/panewsfeeds/public-back-20mph-speed-limit-drive-9231469.html


The majority of the public back reducing the speed limit to 20mph around schools and in town centres, according to safety campaign group Brake

  • Nearly 80% of people think 20mph speed limits should be the norm around schools, in residential streets and in village, town and city centres, according to a survey.
  • More than four in five people think traffic travels too fast on local roads, the poll by road safety charity Brake and Allianz Insurance found.
  • Of the 1,000 people surveyed, 78% backed the 20mph campaign run by Brake, with 72% saying roads in their town or village need to be made safer for walking.

The survey results come as Brake today takes its GO 20 campaign to Parliament, calling on MPs to support the introduction of 20mph as the default urban speed limit.

Brake said that areas where 20mph limits have been introduced have seen casualty rates fall, with Portsmouth recording a 22% dip in casualties and Camden in north London seeing crashes reduce by 54%.

Other areas where 20mph limits have been imposed include the City of London, Birmingham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Edinburgh.

Brake deputy chief executive Julie Townsend said: "The GO 20 campaign is about defending everyone's right to walk and cycle freely without being endangered, whether it's to get to work, school, the shops, or just getting out and being active.

"We need to tackle the senseless and violent casualties that continue to happen daily on our roads, and we need to enable people to live healthy, active, social lives. It's clear that 20mph limits in communities can help bring this about - and it's clear this is what people want. "

Allianz Insurance chief executive Jon Dye said: "Public opinion is overwhelmingly in favour of reducing the urban speed limit to 20mph and this should act as a powerful force for change."

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: "Setting speed limits on local roads is a matter for local authorities but this Government has published new guidance to make it easier for councils to introduce 20mph zones.

"Research shows that having 20mph limits on certain roads can save lives and we must do all we can to prevent road casualties."

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Friday, 18 April 2014

Posters target roadwork accidents drop . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Posters target roadwork accidents drop

Cited at:
http://www.hucknalldispatch.co.uk/news/local/posters-target-roadwork-accidents-drop-1-6532354

New posters alerting motorists to the presence of road workers operating on the highway are being launched by Nottinghamshire County Council.

Already used widely in other areas of the country, the posters are being introduced in a bid to improve safety for highways teams working on Nottinghamshire’s roads.

The County Council is responsible for looking after more than 4,000km (2,600 miles) of roads, over 5,000km (3,400 miles) of footway, 90,000 street lights, 120,000 highway trees and 350 sets of traffic signals.

Coun Kevin Greaves, chairman of the Nottinghamshire County Council’s transport and highways committee, said: “Looking after Nottinghamshire’s roads can be a tough and dangerous job, but someone has got to do it – and it could be your dad, brother, uncle, cousin, or even sister working behind those cones,.

“Although we regularly talk about safety on our roads, the attention is normally focused on road users – drivers, cyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians – and it’s all too easy to forget about those people who actually work on the highways.

“These posters redress the balance and help to remind motorists that there are real people working behind those cones -- with families waiting for them at home.”

Since September 2010, the County Council’s highways workforce has encountered 14 reported incidents which have ranged from traffic speeding through road works to one worker actually being hit by a vehicle when the driver of the car in question refused to follow a signed diversion route

Luckily the worker recovered from his injuries – but it could have been much worse.

On another occasion, one of the County Council’s road workers was struck by a car while gritting a side street during winter to make it safe for road users.

These are just a couple of examples – many more incidents go unreported.

The new posters feature a small boy wearing a hard hat and hi-visibility vest with the slogan: “Slow Down: Kill your speed, not my Dad”.

The posters will be produced in a variety of formats and be used on-site wherever the Council’s highways teams are at work at the side of the road.

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Thursday, 17 April 2014

Passengers urged to speak up against over-the-limit drivers . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Passengers urged to speak up against over-the-limit drivers

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/passengers-urged-to-speak-up-against-over-the-limit-drivers

Car passengers urged to overcome self-conciousness and speak out against drink-drivers.


Transport Minister Robert Goodwill has urged car passengers to speak out against drink-drivers after 1 in 4 admitted to being too self-conscious to say anything.

Research for the THINK! Easter Drink-Drive campaign showed that a quarter of respondents admitted they had been in a car where the driver has been over the alcohol limit but said nothing because they were too embarrassed.

The campaign has been launched today (17 April 2014) ahead of the Easter Bank Holiday weekend where people may drink more.

Robert Goodwill said:
Everyone knows that drinking and driving is not only against the law, it’s extremely dangerous. It may well be the responsibility of drivers to ensure they don’t do it, but passengers can also discourage drinking and driving by speaking out.

Clearly the majority of passengers feel confident enough to say something, but it is worrying that a significant proportion feel too shy to pipe up.

I would urge anyone who sees someone attempting to drive after drinking to speak out confidently, take away their keys and call them a taxi. You could be helping them avoid a heavy fine, a driving ban or even a prison sentence. You could even be saving their life and the lives of others.

The research was commissioned in the lead up to the 50th anniversary of the hard-hitting drink-drive campaigns, the first of which was launched in 1964.

The research shows that the public attitude to drink driving has changed significantly in the past few decades, leading to a dramatic fall in the number of deaths due to drink driving on Britain’s roads.

There were 240 deaths from drinking and driving in 2011, 6 times lower than in 1979, when detailed reporting of road accidents began and 1,640 people lost their lives as a result of drink-driving.

But the research also showed that some people, especially young people, still believe some myths about drinking and driving that may explain why some will get in a car with a driver that they suspect to be over the drink-drive limit.

For example:
a third thought it was safe to drive if they waited a few hours after their last alcoholic drink two thirds would not be concerned about someone who drove after drinking with a meal

The latest THINK! campaign, which will see a series of adverts broadcast on national and regional radio for 8 weeks, also urges people to plan their route home in advance after the research found that more than 30% or people would get in a car with someone over the limit if it were an emergency or if there was no other way of getting home.

Roger Singer, head of the charity Drink Driver Education said:
In my job I meet a lot of people who have been convicted of drink driving. Drivers don’t realise that if you’re drinking alcohol with a meal or all day during a sporting event or celebration, it can take a long while for the alcohol to leave your system.

If you’re planning on having a drink then leave your car at home - this way you can enjoy yourself without putting yourself in temptation of getting in the car.

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Boost for drivers and Midlands’ economy as latest smart motorway goes live on M6 . . .

___________________________________________________________________

Boost for drivers and Midlands’ economy as latest smart motorway goes live on M6

Cited at:
https://www.gov.uk/government/news/boost-for-drivers-and-midlands-economy-as-latest-smart-motorway-goes-live-on-m6

The Midlands got a boost today with the launch of the latest stretch of ‘smart motorway’, making greater use of technology on the M6 near Birmingham, bringing improved journeys and less congestion.


Opening the hard shoulder to traffic during the busiest times between junctions 5 and 8 on the M6 will improve journey times, especially around Birmingham. The opening comes just in time for this weekend’s Easter bank holiday getaway.

The opening of this section marks a milestone for the Highways Agency, after several years of investment in this section of the M6. This 10 mile stretch means the benefits can now be felt continuously from junctions 4 to 10.

Highways Agency, project manager Rob Edwards said:

Drivers will reap the benefit of the government investing more than £111 million on this stretch of the M6, with improved journeys and a boost for the economy.

The move to smart motorways began in the Midlands on the M42 in 2006. This scheme brings the latest technology to the M6, despite the difficult engineering challenges we faced with the motorway being elevated.

More than 160,000 road users stand to benefit each day, now we can open the hard shoulder during the busiest times.

The smart motorway was delivered within budget working closely with contractor Carillion. More than 1,700 people have worked on the scheme since construction began in April 2012, almost 30 per cent of whom were from the local area. Materials, such as the concrete, surfacing materials, communications ducts and topsoil have also been sourced locally.

The project included installation of 21 new gantries, refurbishing three existing gantries, resurfacing over 100,000 square metres of carriageway, laying more than 78 miles of cabling and constructing six emergency refuge areas.

The scheme will be further enhanced by carriageway joints being replaced along this stretch, which will require some night-time closures; however these will not be full carriageway closures and will be completed by early June. This work will reduce noise for drivers and local residents.

The improvements use a range of technologies and operational systems to reduce congestion and smooth the flow of traffic. During busy periods, traffic officers will set overhead message signs to inform drivers they can use the hard shoulder as an extra lane and at what speed to drive.

Neil Taylor, Operations Manager at the West Midlands Regional Control Centre said:

The information displayed along the motorway has been carefully designed to be intuitive, so drivers should stay alert and follow the information they see.

They should only use the hard shoulder when there is a speed limit displayed above it. If there isn’t a speed limit, or there’s a red X over it, then it’s for emergency use only.

The M6 smart motorway launch is the second to go live this week, with drivers on the M25 now also reaping the benefits as an eight mile section in Hertfordshire became a smart motorway on Monday (April 14). Here the hard shoulder is being used as a permanent running lane to reduce congestion.

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