July 2014 Newsletter

SQA - Road Safety Delivering the Framework

Road safety professionals can take advantage of a unique industry standard qualification – the first of its kind in the UK - being launched by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Aimed at individuals with a professional interest or direct involvement in road casualty reduction, the SQA Road Safety Course, will equip current and new road safety professionals with the specialist knowledge, delivery skills and analytical capabilities needed to reduce road deaths.

RoSPA, which has been at the heart of accident prevention in the UK and around the world for almost 100 years, has tailored the course and qualification for Scotland’s road safety professionals, on behalf of Transport Scotland.

The qualification, which was officially launched on 19th June, Thursday, during the Royal Highland Show at the RHS Showground, Edinburgh, has been approved by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) at level 7 (advanced higher/A Level), and will recognise the skills and professionalism of road safety practitioners across the country.

Sandy Allan, RoSPA’s road safety manager in Scotland, explained: “For a number of years, the skills of road safety professionals have not been fully recognised, and after researching the core skills required of a road safety officer, we have devised a unique and relevant programme.

“Approval through the SQA will make this qualification, which is unique in the United Kingdom at this level, the industry standard.

Road safety today is far more than just teaching children to cross the road. The learning outcomes from this programme will equip all successful candidates with the skills necessary to reduce casualties on our roads.”

He added: “Road safety has been delivered by professionals for a great number of years, yet there has until now, never been a recognised industry standard qualification.

The introduction of this training programme is the ideal opportunity for those now assuming responsibility for road safety in Scotland to equip their staff with the necessary skills.”

Transport Minister Keith Brown said: “I welcome the launch of this new SQA-accredited road safety qualification, which will improve the professional standing of our road safety officers and help ensure consistent good practice in road safety education across Scotland. One life lost on Scotland’s roads is one too many and the Scottish Government will continue to work with our road safety partners to ensure everyone plays their part when it comes to making our roads safer.”

George Cairns, road safety manager for Glasgow City Council, added: "This is a fantastic opportunity for my team to gain a recognised qualification in road safety. Since taking over the team, I have put in place a number of training programmes to provide staff with a more comprehensive understanding of road safety, but this new qualification is just perfect and takes the pressure off me. I now have access to a structured programme of learning for my team, covering every aspect of their day-to-day job and more.
Glasgow's road casualties are now at their lowest since records began and this new qualification will equip my staff with the necessary skills to allow them to target new areas where I know I can make a difference, such as vulnerable road users and those who drive for work.

I would like to commend RoSPA and Transport Scotland for pulling this together and my team look forward to being some of the first professionals in Scotland to achieve the qualification."

For more information and application form, please visit Scottish Road Safety website.

Road Showing the Message

Amidst glorious weather, ScORSA once again had a stand within the Road Safety Village at this year’s Royal Highland Show. With record attendances of over 178, 000 visitors this year, it was estimated as many as 20,000 people visited the Village over the four days. This proved to be a fantastic opportunity to speak to current and potential members about our work and emphasise how, together, we can improve the Management of Occupational Road Risk.

We also took the opportunity this year, to launch a new ATV/Quad Safety Leaflet at the Show which generated a great deal of interest. With new backdrops on our stand giving a positive corporate image, we received very good feedback on our work and presence at the show. Thanks to all who came along and spoke to us.

A particular Thank You goes out to the RoSPA and Healthy Working Lives Staff along with Mr Neil Macgillivray, Strathclyde Safety Camera Partnership who all helped out on the stand throughout the Show.

Attending The Highland Show is always labour intensive but from our perspective, very worthwhile. If you have any suggestions of other Events where you think our presence would be worthwhile, or have any comments or ideas on how we should promote the work of ScORSA, then let us know by emailing us.

All Terrain Vehicle Guide - ATV Staying Safe

Many of the fatal and serious injuries experienced by people working on farms and elsewhere occur as a direct result of using a quad bike or side-by-side utility All Terrain Vehicle (ATV).

ATVs have in recent years become very much the utility work horse in agriculture, forestry and other outdoor work, particularly where individuals are working alone. ATVs are ideal for tasks which require travel across rough ground or in confined areas where you may be carrying light or medium-sized loads.

Whether the vehicle is a quad or a side-by-side style ATV, similar safety rules apply. There are a number of steps you can take to reduce the risks.

Click here to download the guide.

Regulations and Checks for Agricultural Vehicles

According to Transport Scotland Statistics, there have been more agricultural vehicles licensed in 2012 if compared to 2002 numbers in Scotland (38,000 vehicles were licensed in 2001 and 48,000 in 2011), which means an increase in of almost 30% of new licensed vehicles during this period.

The lack of a simple Vehicle Health Check allows unsafe vehicles to be driven on and off-road with serious consequences.

Find more information about British Agricultural and Garden Machinery Association (BAGMA) farm Vehicle Health Check Scheme here.

RoSPA Delivers Road Safety Workshop to Heavy-Vehicle Drivers in the UAE

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has partnered with United Arab Emirates-based Tristar Transport to deliver a road safety awareness workshop for more than 500 heavy-vehicle drivers.

RoSPA was commissioned to launch the Tristar Road Safety Awareness Campaign workshop under the auspices of the Road and Transport Authority (RTA).

Bus, truck, trailer and tanker drivers from across the UAE received first hand training from RoSPA on defensive driving and safe decision making while on the road. In addition, RoSPA has trained staff from Tristar to continue delivering the project, increasing the take up of the training throughout the region.

Keith Bell, quality manager in the driver and fleet solutions team at RoSPA, a family safety charity with a history spanning almost 100 years, said: “We are proud to have helped Tristar to deliver this important and much needed training to truck drivers in the UAE. One of the key ways to improve road safety is through effective education that is tailored to the local driving culture and so RoSPA has a strategy of helping local people to help other local people through consultancy, course and centre accreditation and trainer certification. RoSPA has delivered these products throughout the world to many different types of organisation.”

Eugene Mayne, CEO of Tristar Group, said: “As a major player in oil and gas logistics, we are conscious of the potential consequences of an incident involving road tankers transporting flammable products, and we remain committed to sharing our experiences and international best practices to make the roads safer for all users in the UAE and across the Gulf Co-operation Council.”

To find out more about RoSPA’s international driver training, visit: www.rospa.com/occupationalsafety/global/international-driver-training.aspx.

Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland

Transport Scotland has released provisional figures for road casualties reported to the police in Scotland in 2013.

The number of people casualties in Scotland's roads fell by 10% with fatalities falling by 3% and serious injuries falling by 16%.
Casualty numbers for all modes of transport fell, including a 12% per cent fall in pedestrian casualties, an 11% per cent fall for motorcycle casualties and a 3% per cent fall in pedal cycle casualties. But there was an increase in the number of fatal accidents involving cyclists, motorcyclists and car users. However, the number of pedestrian fatalities has decreased.
Comparing these statistics to the baseline 2004-2008 and checking on progress against Scottish Road Safety Framework to 2020, in 2013 there were:

  • 172 fatalities, a reduction of 41% in the number (2020 target: 40% reduction).
  • 1,667 serious injuries, a reduction of 36% (2020 target: 55% reduction)
  • an average of 6 children killed over the last three years, a reduction of 61% (2020 target: 50% reduction)
  • 143 children seriously injured, a reduction of 56% (2020 target: 65% reduction)

The figures also show that:

  • Of the nine children killed, five were walking, two were cycling and two were travelling by car.
  • Overall, 1,062 children were injured or killed on the roads, a fall of 9%.

For more information visit: Transport Scotland website.

Driving for work training

IAM Drive & Survive has commissioned a survey with people who drive for work in the UK.

The survey results show:

  • 72% of participants have never been offered driver training, even though 44% of these participants stated they would welcome the opportunity.
  • 3% of participants stated they had been offered driver training, but had declined.
  • 29% claimed they would benefit from a refresher course on the Highway Code, whilst others felt their driving skills could be improved by training in other areas such as fuel efficient driving, speed limits, manoeuvring and parking.
  • Almost 50% stated they were not interested in further training.

For more information, visit IAM Drive & Survive website.


AXA Study Reveals Van Road Risk

AXA and Road Safety Analysis have carried out a study of British van drivers. The study used more than 1.3 million police crash reports between 2008 and 2012 and it has shown that van drivers face an increased risk in a number of areas when compared to all other motorists. Researchers examined the situations where van drivers are at more (or less) risk on the roads than everyone else.

The situations when van drivers are more likely to crash compared to other motorists are:

  • Reversing
  • Parked up
  • Doing a U-turn
  • Changing lanes
  • Motorways

The situations when van drivers are more likely contribute to crashes compared to other motorists are:

  • Close following
  • Tiredness
  • Observation errors
  • Distractions
  • Unsafe driving

The situations when van drivers are less likely to crash compared to other motorists are:

  • Traffic jams
  • Roundabouts
  • Towns and cities
  • Overtaking

Click here to know more about the study.

Click here to download the full report.


Texting at the Wheel of a Stationary Car with the Engine On

Quadrangle carried out a survey on behalf of the RAC for the Report on Motoring 2014 which consisted of a large-scale internet survey of 1,526 British motorists who hold a current driving licence and drive at least once a month.

The results show that 61% (nearly 2/3) of motorists are unaware that texting at the wheel of a stationary car with the engine on is against the law despite the fact it has been illegal since 2003 for drivers to use a hand-held mobile phone.
The research also shows that 12% (about 1 in 8) of participants did not know texting and driving is illegal and 21% did not realise it is illegal to check Facebook and Twitter while driving.

The research also showed that there is greater awareness about the illegality of the new offences of tailgating or middle lane hogging on the motorway than texting whilst stopped in traffic.

Click here for more information.

Dangers of Texting whilst Driving

In 2008, TRL has conducted a piece of research (“Dangers of Texting whilst Driving”) with 17 young drivers (17-24 year old).
A driving simulator was used to ensure that the study was carried out in safe, controlled conditions and to enable detailed analysis of performance. The drivers completed two drives: one without distractions and one in which they were required to complete a number of text messaging tasks (reading and writing).

It was found that participants were significantly impaired in their performance when both reading and writing text messages, with the latter producing the greatest impairment. Reaction times to trigger stimuli were around 35% slower when writing a text message. This compares to an earlier distraction study looking at alcohol consumption to the legal limit where an increase in reaction time of 12% was recorded, whilst with cannabis, the reaction time slowed by 21%.

Drivers who were texting slowed significantly, indicating that they recognised the impairment caused by their texting activities and were attempting to mitigate risk by reducing speed. However, drivers also showed significantly greater lateral variability in their lane position when texting, with the vehicle drifting into adjacent lanes far more frequently when texting. This risk is not mitigated by speed reduction and would lead the driver into potential conflict with other traffic.

Two-thirds of fleets believe fines for texting while driving should be increased

TrackCompare.co.uk has carried out a 7 day survey after scientists from the Transport Research Laboratory found texting to be more dangerous than driving after a couple of drinks, talking on the phone or eating a sandwich.

When asked: “Should fines for texting while driving be increased?”, 66% of fleet operators said yes, 34% said no.
Comments included ‘Yes, too many deaths are caused because of this,’ ‘I think people should be banned – that can kill. It has killed people, people I know,’ ‘ No, fines are already ridiculous,’ ‘No, I don’t agree,’ ‘I suppose if it helps people stop doing it, then yes,’ and ‘Please don’t ask me such a stupid question.’”

Click here for more information.


IAM warns ‘Quick fix’ modifications are costing lives

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) is warning that some popular aftermarket vehicle modifications are not only making cars and vans illegal; they could also be risking lives.

The IAM has highlighted three of the most common modifications that render vehicles illegal – diesel particulate filter removal, fitting xenon headlights, and reprogramming or ‘chipping’ vehicle electronic control units (ECUs).

Diesel particulate filters (DPFs) can sometimes be troublesome, especially for van operators making frequent stops in urban areas. Due to the fact the DPF doesn’t run at the optimal temperature in town centre driving, the item can sometimes clog up and fail – causing an expensive and lengthy repair. Some garages offer to remove the filters, assuring the operator the modification is acceptable – but the result of these back-alley tweaks is to increase deadly pollutants and CO2 emissions.

The popular trend for xenon headlamp conversions is also a major hazard – not having a self-levelling or washing function means they can dazzle oncoming traffic, potentially causing an accident.

The reprogramming of ECUs, or ‘chipping’ is another popular modification that is fraught with hazards for a number of reasons.

Click here for more information.


National speed limits for heavy goods vehicles

On 24 July 2014, Claire Perry, Under Secretary of State for Transport announced the national speed limit in England and Wales for heavy goods vehicles of more than 7.5 tonnes on single carriageways will increase from 40 mph to 50 mph. The change, following earlier consultation, is scheduled to be implemented in early 2015.

The Minister also announced a six week consultation programme to seek views and evidence on increasing the national speed limit in England and Wales for HGV’s on non-motorway dual carriageways from 50 mph to 60 mph.

It was highlighted the current speed restrictions were antiquated and not in line with most other European countries. It is estimated about three quarters of HGV drivers currently break the existing speed limits on single carriageways when conditions allow.

The new limits will reduce delays and congestion, particularly on busy single carriageway A roads. It will remove a 20 mph differential between the lorry and car speed limits on single carriageway roads, cutting dangerous overtaking and bringing permitted lorry speeds into line with other large vehicles like coaches and caravans. Assessed benefits to business are £11.8 million per year.

For more information go to Department for Transport website.

Action needed to make Occupational Road Risk a Priority

Road deaths and serious injuries involving at-work drivers and riders remain one of our most serious road safety issues, according to a strategic review published today.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) commissioned TRL (Transport Research Laboratory) and the Centre for Transport Studies at University College London (UCL) to produce a Strategic Review of the Management of Occupational Road Risk. It assesses the progress made in helping employers to manage the risks their staff face, and create, when they use the road for work purposes.

Since 2006, 4,726 people have been killed and more than 40,000 seriously injured in collisions involving an at-work driver or rider (not including commuting). Since then, almost 30 per cent of road deaths and just over 22 per cent of serious casualties occurred in accidents involving at least one at-work driver or rider.

Often, it is not the at-work driver or rider who is killed or injured, but another road user. In 2012, 87 at-work drivers were killed and 16,720 injured in these collisions, but 422 other road users were also killed, and 25,484 injured.

The review, which was carried out as part of the RoSPA/BNFL scholarship scheme, makes a number of key recommendations. These include:

  • Doing more to ensure work-related road safety is given the same widespread attention as general health and safety
  • Improving data on work-related driving risk, including better recording by the police, and by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)
  • Properly evaluating the effectiveness of different approaches to the management of occupational road risk (MORR)
  • Conducting more work into the effectiveness of in-car data recorders and monitoring technologies
    Reviving the Occupational Road Safety Alliance in partnership with a wide range of stakeholders, and supported by the Department for Transport (DfT).

Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety, said: “Injuries and deaths sustained from work-related driving remain a priority action point for both road and occupational safety. As the latest figures show, up to a third of road accidents involve someone who is using the road for work purposes.

“This review further emphasises the need for the awareness of MORR to be raised and given the priority it deserves. RoSPA will lead a MORR stakeholder forum in the autumn to help develop an action plan. We will also be developing guidance for employers to help them evaluate the measures they have to manage their occupational road risks.”

Dr Shaun Helman, TRL’s head of transport psychology, said: “Work-related driving remains an important area for action if we are to sustain progress in reducing the burden of road injuries. Although some businesses are switched on to the issue, most of the time injuries sustained on the road are not afforded the same priority as injuries sustained on work premises and sites. This needs to change, and the recommendations in this report provide a starting point.”

To download the full review, visit RoSPA website.

FREE ScORSA A3 Desk notepads with 2014 calendars and A6 driver notepads

The Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ScORSA) still has a number of A3 desk pads and A6 note pads, featuring road safety messages, to give away free of charge.

The pads are designed for small and medium-sized firms but have relevance to anyone who drives for work purposes or manages those who drive for work purposes. They remind managers of their responsibilities in terms of health and safety legislation and ask them to consider safety issues relating to the journey, the vehicle and the driver. The A3 desk pads include a 2014 calendar.

The pads are available in bulk to organisations across Scotland. Email us place an order.

For more information about ScORSA, please visit our website.