June 2016 Newsletter

Breaking News

St Andrews Seminar 2016 - 24 November 2016 (provisional)

Whilst we realise it isn’t even officially summer as yet and therefore don’t really want to start discussing our winter Seminar we thought it only correct to highlighting potential changes to its format this year at this early stage. As with all such events, planning for the next one often starts at the end of the previous year’s event.

The information contained within your evaluation forms over the past few years has been assessed and presented to the ScORSA Steering Group Meeting. In acknowledgement of the comments made, it has been decided to facilitate a half day focused seminar for attending delegates this year which will be followed by a Q & A Webinar. The presenters from the Seminar will participate and be available to interact with a wider audience and carry the debate forward.

We thought it appropriate to update you on these proposals at this time.

The event will still retain the ‘St Andrews’ name and more than likely be held around 24th November 2016 in or around Edinburgh. The exact venue, theme and webinar content are all subject to funding availability and securing the attendance of presenters at both parts of the event.

Over the next month or so we will be working to progress this and update you further as soon as we have some confirmed details available.

Courses and Workshops

SQA Road Safety

This qualification, unique at this level in UK, will provide everyone coming into road safety with the same basic grounding in road safety knowledge, information and resources. There is also the potential for these courses to be delivered within approved establishments across UK. The course is designed for candidates with a professional or personal interest or involvement in road casualty reduction in UK.

MORR workshops

RoSPA Scotland provided the opportunity for ScORSA members to attend a practical workshop on the Management of Occupational Road Risk. Two separate events were held over a day and took place in Edinburgh and Dundee.

The workshop focused on the need and practicalities of establishing clear MORR policy and working practices within your workplace. Topics covered included:

  • What is MORR & Why?
  • Legislation
  • Implementation of Risk Assessment
  • Monitoring
  • Creation of Policy

These topics were discussed by the presenters and supplemented throughout the day by practical exercises and group discussions to enhance the learning experience.

The delegates filled a before and after questionnaire with closed and open questions about the contents of the workshop to evaluate the day. All delegates who attended the workshop in Edinburgh returned the questionnaires and in Dundee, 18% of delegates did not return the questionnaire. The results of questionnaires returned show that the workshops succeed in delivering information and raising awareness about the Management of Occupational Road Risk:

  • The level of understanding of 28% of Edinburgh’s delegates about MORR (what it is, who should be involved and why it should be done) was none, low, with 56% medium before the workshop. At the end of workshop, 100% had good or excellent understanding of MORR.
  • In Dundee, 45% had no or low understanding of MORR, with 18% with medium understanding before the workshop, totalling 64%. In addition, Dundee had 36% of delegates with excellent knowledge of MORR. At the end of workshop, 91% had good or excellent understanding of MORR.
  • In Edinburgh, before the workshop, 17% of delegates did not understand the benefits of effective Road Risk Management and 39% had medium level of understanding. 44% of delegates had a good or excellent understanding of the benefits of MORR. At the end of workshop 100% of delegates had a good or excellent understanding of the benefits of MORR.
  • In Dundee, 55% of delegates had a good or excellent understanding about the benefits of MORR before the workshop, with 27% with none or little understanding. At the end of workshop, 91% of delegates had good or excellent understanding of the benefits of MORR.
  • In Edinburgh, at the beginning of workshop, 22% of delegates had little or no knowledge of the legal position of MORR, while 55% had good or excellent knowledge. At the end of workshop, 89% of delegates indicated they had good or excellent knowledge.
  • In Dundee, the 36% delegates indicated they had little or no knowledge about the legal position on MORR and 64% indicated they had good or excellent knowledge. At the end of workshop, 91% of delegates indicated they had good or excellent knowledge of MORR legislation.
  • In Edinburgh, 50% of delegates indicated they had little or no knowledge of the structured approach to manage Road Risk before the workshop. After it, 89% indicated their knowledge was good or excellent. In Dundee, for the same topic, before the workshop 45% indicated they had little or no knowledge whilst after 91% indicated they had good or excellent knowledge.
  • In, Edinburgh, 33% of delegates indicated they had little or no knowledge of control measures and 28% indicated their knowledge was at medium level before the workshop. After the workshop, 100% of delegates indicated their knowledge was good or excellent. In Dundee, 39% indicated they had little or no knowledge prior to the workshop, whilst after the workshop, 82% indicated good or excellent knowledge.
  • In Edinburgh a total of 61% of delegates indicated little or medium knowledge of monitoring options before the workshop. After it, 94% indicated good or excellent knowledge of the topic. In Dundee, the percentages were 55% and 82%.
  • The figures are encouraging showing the workshops raised the awareness and delegates’ knowledge about the Management of Occupational Road Risk.

Some comments of delegates for the following questions:
Please provide one example (if any) of how you think your practice will change as a result of this workshop?

  • I will review the existing policy, which is several years old to make sure it is relevant. The RA proforma needs to be updated as well.
  • Introduce a policy, training, vehicle books.
  • I will use the information gathered at this session to carry out training sessions with managers at my place of work.

What do you think is the most important thing you learned, from this workshop?

  • That we are not managing ORR adequately & not monitoring policy implementation. The RA needs to be reviewed as it does not tell us anything relevant - being used as a data collection tool, rather than an assessment of risk.
  • importance of procedures which are adhered to
  • importance of communicating MORR roles and responsibilities to managers as well as employees

What do you think were the strengths of this workshop?

  • Delegate participation was excellent as opposed to seminar type format.
  • Workshop scenario's work better than others!
  • Definitely refresher in many areas such as: risk assessment, MORR legislation & control measures when driving
  • The content was very good; the presenter was good with relevance to workplace issues
  • Open discussions generated by the various activities - different backgrounds / dynamics within the group



Each day in the UK, people are killed and injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver. All age groups have been affected, but according to The World Health Organisation (WHO), the young (15 – 29) lead the statistics around the world.

Drivers get distracted when they are driving whilst doing another activity that takes their attention away. Distraction can increase the chance of a motor vehicle crash.

The main types of distraction are:

  • Visual (e.g. looking away from the road for a non driving-related task);
  • Cognitive (e.g. reflecting on a subject of conversation such as thinking about your dream job – rather than analysing the road situation);
  • Physical (e.g. when the driver holds or operates a device rather than steering with both hands, or leans over to tune a radio that may lead to rotating the steering wheel or use one hands to hold food or drink or to smoke);
  • Auditory (e.g. responding to a ringing mobile phone, or if a device is turned up so loud that it masks other sounds, such as ambulance sirens).

Using a cell phone, texting, and eating can all distract drivers. Using in-vehicle technologies (such as navigation systems) can also be sources of distraction. While any of these distractions can endanger the driver and others, texting while driving is especially dangerous because it combines all three types of distraction.

For more information: The World Health Organisation (WHO).

Put your call on hold – don’t phone or text a loved one or colleague if they are driving

If you know your loved one or colleague is driving, don’t pick up the phone – that’s the plea from family safety charity RoSPA as it supports the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).

As part of the NPCC’s Mobile Enforcement Campaign, running this week, RoSPA is urging people to wait until a driver has finished their journey before contacting them by phone call or text.

Drivers using their phone, whether handheld or hands-free, are four times more likely to crash, potentially injuring or killing themselves or other people.

Nick Lloyd, RoSPA’s road safety manager, said: “Imagine you are travelling at 40mph in a residential area, the phone rings and you pick it up and have a quick look – in the two seconds it’s taken, you will have travelled for around 40 metres, completely blind.

“Hit a pedestrian at that speed and they will suffer life-changing injuries or worse – and you will live with the consequences for the rest of your life.”

Drivers who use their phone:

  • are much less aware of what's happening on the road around them
  • fail to see road signs
  • fail to maintain proper lane position and steady speed
  • are more likely to tailgate the vehicle in front
  • react more slowly, take longer to brake and longer to stop
  • are more likely to enter unsafe gaps in traffic
  • feel more stressed and frustrated.

Nick added: “If you know someone is driving, please don’t pick up the phone to them until they have finished their journey – it could lead to tragedy.”

For more information visit RoSPA website.

RoSPA responds to University of Sussex hands-free study

Scientists at the University of Sussex have found that drivers using a hands-free phone get just as distracted as those holding it in their hand.

The study found that those engaged in conversation took just under a second longer to respond to events such as a pedestrian stepping off the pavement.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “We are not surprised at the findings of this study, as it confirms previous research that using any type of mobile phone while driving is distracting and dangerous and increases the risk of crashing.

“Although many people think that using a hands-free mobile phone while driving is safe, it is not. All the research clearly shows that using a hands-free phone does not significantly reduce the risks because the problems are caused mainly by the mental distraction and divided attention of using a phone at the same time as driving.

“RoSPA, which was instrumental in bringing into force the law banning the use of handheld mobile phones behind the wheel, would like to see that extended to hands-free for these reasons.

“Sadly, people continue to lose their lives on our roads in crashes caused by drivers who are distracted because they use a mobile phone. This can so easily be avoided by all drivers switching off their phones while driving, and only checking messages once they have stopped in a safe place.”

For more information visit RoSPA website.

Road Traffic Estimates: Great Britain 2015

The latest traffic estimates on Great Britain roads was released by The Department for Transport. It looks at recent and long-term trends in traffic, in the context of related statistics. Traffic is presented in units of vehicle miles, which combines the number of vehicles on the road and how far they drive.

Annual traffic statistics are compiled using data from around 8,000 roadside 12-hour manual counts, continuous data from around 300 automatic traffic counters, and data on road lengths.

According to the estimates, in 2015, 316.7 billion miles were driven on Great Britain’s roads, nearly 1% more than the previous high in 2007.

Other key findings are:

  • Car traffic grew by 1.1% from 2014, to 247.7 billion vehicle miles. This is a new record, being slightly higher than the previous peak in 2007.
  • Van traffic continued to grow more quickly than any other vehicle type, rising 4.2% from 2014 levels.
  • Lorry traffic saw the largest year-on-year increase since the 1980s, growing by 3.7% from 2014.
  • Motorways carried 66.5 billion vehicle miles of traffic, 2.6% more than in 2014 and 10% more than 10 years ago.
  • The Strategic Road Network carried 89.7 billion vehicle miles of traffic; one-third of all motorised traffic in England.
  • Rural roads saw a 2% rise in traffic from 2014, with traffic on both ‘A’ roads and minor roads reaching record levels.
    Urban roads saw little change in traffic from 2014.

If you want to read the full document, please visit the Department for Transport website.


Proposals to remove white lines ‘fatally flawed’

Fleet News carried out a survey poll about the removal of white lines from UK roads. Nine out of ten respondents indicated they are not convinced their removal would improve road safety.

The first white line was painted almost 100 years ago with the aim to improve road safety, following complaints by residents over reckless driving and the high number of collisions.

Gradually, they have become a standard feature on almost all roads in the UK, with official guidance recommending they only be omitted when the carriageway is rural and not more than 5.5 metres wide.

However, Transport for London (TfL) and others have argued that, in some instances, the removal of centre lines could be good news for road safety.

A study conducted by Wiltshire County Council between 1997 and 2003 found that not reinstating the centrelines on a number of resurfacing sites led to a reduction in collisions and traffic speeds. This in turn built on referenced research by TRL (the Transport Research Laboratory), which concluded that there are safety benefits to be gained by removing centrelines in 30mph zones.

More recently, sections of three roads – one in central London and two in Croydon – were the subject of a trial by TfL in 2014. The trial concluded that the study and analysis showed there was a “statistically significant reduction” in vehicle speeds and suggested that white lines gave drivers a “sense of confidence” that no vehicles will encroach on ‘their’ side of the road.

However, some road safety advocates and fleet managers remain unconvinced by the evidence that removing white lines will make our roads safer.

The idea of removing road markings follows the principles of so-called ‘shared space’ schemes, where physical boundaries such as kerbstones and railings between the carriageway and footpaths are removed to slow down drivers.

To read the full article visit Fleet News website.


Drugs and driving: the law

The drug driving law has changed.

It’s illegal to drive if either:

  • you’re unfit to do so because you’re on legal or illegal drugs. Legal drugs are prescription or over-the-counter medicines. When taking legal drugs is always advisable to check with the doctor, pharmacist or healthcare professional whether you can drive.
  • you have certain levels of illegal drugs in your blood (even if they haven’t affected your driving)

The police can stop a driver and make a ‘field impairment assessment’ if they believe the driver is on drugs. The assessment consists of a series of tests and the police also use a roadside drug kit to screen for cannabis and cocaine.

If the police think the driver is unfit to drive because of taking drugs, s/he will be arrested and will have to take a blood or urine test at a police station. If the test results are positive, i.e., if they show the driver has taken drugs, the driver can be charged with a crime.

Prescription medicines

You can drive after taking the drugs below if they have been prescribed by a healthcare professional and the driver followed their advice on how to take them and they the drugs are not causing any effect to the driver, making s/he unfit to drive, even if they are above the specified limits if you are driving in England and Wales:

  • amphetamine, eg dexamphetamine or selegiline
  • clonazepam
  • diazepam
  • flunitrazepam
  • lorazepam
  • methadone
  • morphine or opiate and opioid-based drugs, eg codeine, tramadol or fentanyl
  • oxazepam
  • temazepam

The driver should always talk to their doctor about whether they should drive if they have been prescribed any of the drugs above.

They could be prosecuted if are caught driving with certain levels of these drugs in their body and you haven’t been prescribed them.

The law only covers England and Wales, however, the driver can still be arrested if s/he is considered unfit to drive.

Penalties for drug driving

If convicted, the penalties for drug driving are:

  • a minimum 1 year driving ban
  • an unlimited fine
  • up to 6 months in prison
  • a criminal record
  • the driving licence will the conviction for 11 years
  • the penalty for causing death by dangerous driving under the influence of drugs is a prison sentence of up to 14 years.

There are also other problems that might arise if convicted, such as:

  • the car insurance costs will increase significantly
  • if driving for work, the employer will see the conviction
  • some countries, such as the USA, might restrict your entrance

For more information, visit the Department for Transport website.

MORR Case Studies

If you have a MORR policy which we can add to the ScORSA case study page of the website we would like to hear from you. This could be a whole MORR policy document or simply parts of a MORR policy that you are willing to share with other businesses. (Please email info@scorsa.org.uk) .

FREE ScORSA Resources

The Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ScORSA) still has A4 notepads which feature various road safety messages and key rings with our campaign ethos of Come Home Safe available.

As a way of supporting your efforts to improve occupational road risk, all these resources are free of charge to all ScORSA members.

To order your promotional items just Email us.

For more information about ScORSA or to become a member, please visit our website.