March 2015 Newsletter

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 this 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.

Management of Occupational Road Risk

A Specialist Unit has been designed within the SQA Framework, to provide an understanding of Occupational Road Risk in Scotland and allow the candidate an opportunity to explore this in a global or UK context or simply at more local level.
Candidates undertaking this Unit will gain an understanding as to what type of accidents occur, where and when they happen, why and how they happen and the legal background involved in MORR.

More importantly, the candidates will have an opportunity to implement an effective management system within their own workplace.

Email us at to register your interest.

In-Car Safety 2015

There continues to be a vast assortment of child car seats available on the market and we know that not all child car seats fit all cars. As a consequence, a high proportion of children are transported in seats that are either incompatible with the vehicle, unsuitable to the weight, height and stage of the child or simply not fitted correctly.

RoSPA Scotland will be providing an opportunity for road safety practitioners to update their skills in fitting child car seats by running training sessions in GTG Edinburgh.

The training will provide up to date information in aspects of current legislation, the theory of in car safety devices, why car seats are required and how the safety devices protect car users. There will be an overview of the types of seats available and factors that inform choice. The training will provide delegates with the opportunity to have “hands on” practical experience in fitting car seats under expert guidance.

The training will be free of charge for those who meet the requirements for SQA (Public Sector Road Safety Professional). If in doubt, please check our website (

Those under Private Sector will be charged £310 (20% discount will be applied to RoSPA Members) plus 20% VAT.
The training workshops will take place on 11th and 20th May 2015 with places still available for 20th May. The numbers will be restricted to 12 delegates each session, so please book early to ensure your place.

To book your place or if you would like more information or would like to discuss, please contact a member of the road safety team at:


New guidance on 20 mph limits released

The Scottish Government has published a Good Practice Guide on implementing 20 mph speed restrictions.

The guide was written in conjunction with the Society of Chief Officers of Transportation in Scotland (SCOTS) and aims to provide clarity on the options available to local authorities.

The government expects that the guide will aid greater consistency on setting 20 mph speed restrictions throughout Scotland while encouraging local authorities to introduce them near schools, in residential areas and in other areas of our towns and cities where there is a significant volume of pedestrian or cyclist activity.

The Road Safety Framework also includes commitments to encourage local authorities to consider 20 mph zones in all residential areas and supports intelligence-led safety initiatives. As a result of these commitments Transport Scotland supported an extensive 20 mph trial in Edinburgh which resulted in lower vehicle speeds, without the need for traffic calming measures, and attracted strong support from residents. The results of this trial mean that local authorities throughout Scotland can now consider the introduction of 20 mph limits, without traffic calming, in circumstances detailed in the Guide.

To know more, visit the Scottish Government website.

To download the full guide, click here.

Driving licence changes

From 8 June 2015, the paper counterpart to the photocard driving licence will not be valid and will no longer be issued by DVLA. The counterpart was introduced to display driving licence details that could not be included on the photocard. These details include some vehicle categories you are entitled to drive and any endorsement/penalty points.

For those who already hold a paper counterpart, after 8 June 2015 it will no longer have any legal status. The paper counterpart should be destroyed after this date but you still need to keep your current photocard driving licence.

Those who hold a paper driving licence issued before the photocard was introduced in 1998 will remain valid and should not be destroyed. If there is any need to update name, address or to renew the licence, a new licence will be issued with a photocard only.

From 8th June 2015 new penalty points (endorsements) will not be added to driving licences. From this date, the way the court deals with the paperwork will change. Applicable fines will still have to be paid and the licence be submitted to the court in case of offences.

The information about any driving endorsements will be held on DVLA’s driver record, and can be checked online, by phone or post.

To provide evidence of driving record (entitlements and/or penalty points), you can do this online for free by accessing DVLA’s Share Driving Licence service. This service is currently in development but will be available before the counterpart is abolished. The service should be used by both paper and photocard driving licence holders and will also allow you to download a summary of your licence record which can be printed or shared. Alternatively you can call DVLA and give permission for your driving record to be checked verbally by a nominated person/organisation.

This new service will be offered in addition to the existing services, but is designed for those who have a business need for real-time access to the information, and may not wish to call DVLA or be in a position to use an intermediary. Driving licence information via Share Driving Licence will only be made available with the consent of the driving licence holder.

For more information visit the Department for Transport website.

Drug Drive

Drug drive legislation: am I fit to drive?

In the dawn of new drug drive legislation, THINK! is encouraging people who take medicines and aren’t sure if they are safe to drive to check with their pharmacist or doctor. The new law comes into force from the 2nd March and is designed to catch people who risk other people’s lives by getting behind the wheel after taking drugs, and not those taking legitimate medicines that don’t impair their ability to drive.

The new law sets limits at very low levels for 8 drugs commonly associated with illegal use such as cannabis and cocaine. There are also 8 prescription drugs that are included within the new law. These are:

  • clonazepam
  • diazepam
  • flunitrazepam
  • lorazepam
  • oxazepam
  • temazepam
  • methadone
  • morphine

However, the limits that have been set for these drugs exceed normal prescribed doses, meaning that the vast majority of people can drive as they normally would, so long as:

  • they are taking their medicine in accordance with the advice of a healthcare professional and/or as printed in the accompanying leaflet
  • their driving is not impaired

For more information visit Department for Transport website.

For more information speak to your doctor, pharmacist or visit drugs and driving: the law.

Materials to help advise those taking prescription or over the counter medicines can be found at drug driving.


Come Home Safe

During 2012 there were 12,676 people injured on Scotland’s roads. Whilst this was slightly down on the previous year, it is still a sizable number of people who have left on a journey and not arrived safely. Nearly one in three of these road crashes involve someone who is driving for work.

In the United Kingdom it is estimated we are seven and a half times more at risk when using our roads than carrying out any other everyday activity.

Any crash on our roads does not just affect those immediately involved. It is often seen as being similar to throwing a stone into a still loch. The ripples extend from the crash outwards impacting on the emergency services, other road users, relatives, colleagues and in some tragic cases, people who may never even have heard of the victim previously. There is not a single incident on our roads which does not impact on others therefore we all need to work together to keep ourselves safe.

When it comes to driving for work we are all bound by legislation to carry out tasks either as an employer or employee to stay safe when carrying out our daily routine. We should have a much greater morale duty to Come Home Safe to family, colleagues or friends. By the time you ask the question “ If only I had .....” - it’s too late. We need to consider this as employers and drivers before every journey.

The Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ScORSA) aim to raise awareness of the risks associated with driving for work by highlighting how no one lives or works in isolation. We all have dependants whether they are at home or work who wish our safe return. As an employer, employee or dependant we can all do our bit to make a journey safer and consider the consequences of getting things wrong.

The concept of undertaking any task or journey and returning safe and well is not new but certainly remains particularly relevant to those who drive for work.

As a driver you should always be aware there is someone awaiting your return whether it be from your business or from your personal life at home. Ask yourself the question, if I were to take a risk whilst driving for work, who would be affected by the consequences - my boss, my partner, my children?

As a dependant of someone who drives for work we can also encourage our employees, dependants or loved ones to return safe and well. When they don’t return it is too late, encourage them to Come Home Safe before they leave.

Coming Home Safe is everyone’s responsibility; we just need to think of the consequences of taking risks when driving or advising others to do so.

Together we can reduce the number of people injured on our roads. There is always someone awaiting your safe return.

Drivers unaware of risk of driving in ‘red X’ lanes

A Red X sign is used to identify when a lane is closed and indicates that drivers should move into an open lane to continue their journeys. They are used on smart motorways and other major routes to help manage traffic and incidents effectively and efficiently.
The Highways Agency asked 4,156 people in its National Road User Survey about the red X sign. The survey suggests that almost a third of motorists do not know what to do when they see a ‘red X’ sign displayed.

The survey results show that:

  • 68% understood that a red X means the lane beneath the sign is closed, but only around one in twelve said they would stop if they saw a red X.
  • a significant number of drivers do not understand the legal implications of driving through a Red X; with 39 per cent either not knowing it was against the law or thinking that it was not against the law.

In a separate poll, the AA found that a third of drivers would continue in a red X lane – until they saw the reason for closure. Another third would move into an adjacent lane, but then move back if the red X lane appeared to be moving more quickly.

An AA-Populus poll of more than 19,000 AA members reinforces our message that there is a lack of understanding. The AA found that a third of drivers would continue in a Red X lane until they saw the reason for closure. Another third would move into an adjacent lane but then move back if the Red X lane appeared to be moving more quickly.

For more information visit Department for Transport website.

To read the NRUSS annual report click here.


Driverless cars in the UK: a regulatory review

Driverless vehicle technology has the potential to be a real game changer on the UK’s roads, altering the face of motoring in the most fundamental of ways and delivering major benefits for road safety, social inclusion, emissions and congestion.

This regulatory review lays out the Government’s plans to facilitate the testing and production of vehicles in which the driver can choose to use their travel time in ways that have never previously been possible.

The focus of this review is to ensure the UK is at the forefront of the testing and development of the technologies that will ultimately realise the goal of driverless vehicles.

The Government will publish a Code of Practice in spring 2015 for those wishing to test driverless vehicles on UK roads and also, by working with the devolved administrations, will review and amend domestic regulations by summer 2017 to accommodate driverless vehicle technology.

The Government expects a test driver to supervise the vehicle at all times and be ready and able to take control if necessary. The test driver must hold the appropriate category of licence for the vehicle under test. This is true even if testing a vehicle’s ability to operate entirely autonomously.

Where vehicles with a high degree of automation are tested on public roads it must be within the existing legal framework. Testing has to comply with all current legislation.

A test driver would be as culpable as a standard driver when the vehicle is operating manually and, being in the position to exercise or take over the exercise of active control of movement and direction of the vehicle at any moment, we believe it likely that the driver would be responsible for observing road traffic law and the liability for harm caused to third parties from the way in which the vehicle is used in autonomous mode. The test driver would therefore, for example, have the responsibility of ensuring that the vehicle drives at the appropriate speed within the speed limit, including overriding and adjusting the speed the vehicle sets if necessary.

The test driver could therefore be prosecuted for failure to comply with current road traffic laws, for example, if the vehicle was detected exceeding the speed limit. At the same time, failure of the automated equipment might be treated in a similar way as today, with the equipment manufacturer being liable for a fault.

Currently, in the worst case drivers can be sent to prison where the standard of behaviour has fallen to well below that expected of a typical driver, and perhaps elements of recklessness are involved. Similar behaviour on the part of a vehicle manufacturer, in terms of reckless disregard for safety, might be theoretically possible but it is expected manufacturers will put in place procedures to guard against this.

The Government will review the allocation of criminal and civil liability between driver and manufacturer and amend the appropriate legislation, as necessary.

To read the full report, click here.

One in four business drivers fear being replaced by driverless cars

Masternaut has carried out a survey with 2,000 business drivers to find out their attitudes towards driverless cars and the effect this will have on their job in the future.

The results show that:

  • One in four business drivers are concerned that they’ll be replaced by autonomous vehicles in their working lifetime
  • Over half (55%) of business drivers aged 25-34 said they were concerned that they will be replaced by driverless cars in their working lifetime. Those aged 35 and over are less concerned, with only 34% of 35-44 year olds and 12% of 45-54 year olds worried that autonomous vehicles will replace them

When asked about the biggest barriers for entry for driverless cars rolling out onto UK roads:

  • 41% believe integration with regular vehicles
  • 37% said updating road infrastructure
  • 34% mentioned insurance and liability issues
  • 33% of drivers are apprehensive about viruses and computer glitches affecting the car’s performance
  • 30% said changes to driving regulations would present a stumbling block to autonomous vehicles

When asked about working with autonomous vehicles in the future:

  • 15% of professional drivers said that they wouldn’t like it and they would change jobs
  • 23% said that wouldn’t like it but would stay in their job.
  • 9% business drivers said that they would prefer working with autonomous vehicles

For more information visit Masternaut website.

Van drivers fail mobile phone test

A study on behalf of the Department for Transport by the Transport Research Laboratory into the prevalence of illegal mobile phone use while driving has been released. The TRL has said that the data gives greater understanding of who is using mobile phones while driving and for what purpose, and how this can then be used to support future policy development.

The figures show in 2014, 1.1% of drivers in England and Scotland were observed holding a phone in their hand with a further 0.5% observed holding the phone to their ear. This equates to more than 470,000 motorists.

A higher proportion of drivers in England and Scotland were observed using a hand-held mobile phone when stationary (2.3%) than in moving traffic (1.6%).

The figures show that more men than women use a hand-held phone, and that van drivers were the most likely group to be seen doing it at 2.7% - almost twice the rate for car drivers. Meanwhile 5.2 % of young drivers aged 17-29 were seen holding a mobile phone making them by far the biggest group by age.

To read the Statistical Release click here.

FREE ScORSA Resources

The Scottish Occupational Road Safety Alliance (ScORSA) has revamped their items for change for 2015. We now produce A4 notepads to compliment the very popular A6 notepads, both of which feature various road safety messages.

This year we have also reintroduced the very popular wind up torches and chamois style cloths which also feature our new campaign ethos of Come Home Safe. 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.