November 2014 Newsletter

ScORSA St Andrew’s Seminar

Our next St. Andrew’s Seminar will take place at Radisson BLU Hotel, 80 High Street, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 1TH, on Tuesday, 25th November 2014.

A third of all road crashes involve someone who is driving for work purposes so it makes good business sense to manage occupational road risk. More employees are killed in “at work road accidents” than in all other occupational accidents combined.

By attending you will:

  • Gain information on how to manage occupational road risk and to take advantage of free advice and support available and also know more about:
    • MORR Policies and Standards
    • The Operational Advantages of MORR
    • The Introduction of Telematics – Avoiding the pitfalls to maximise the benefits
    • Driving for Work – What keeps you legal
    • Driver Health Check - Mandatory and essential policies to keep the workforce healthy, legal and safe.
    • Liability – Who’s responsible and for what?
    • The Face of Road Safety in Scotland – A Guide to resources and responsibility
    • SQA Qualification – the benefits of the MORR module to your business
  • Take advantage of a tremendous networking opportunity

There is no cost involved for you – this is a free event.

We would like delegates to bring along someone from out-with their organisation either from their supply chain, sub contractors or clients to help broaden the safety culture.

You can download the application form from Scottish Road Safety website and email it to ScORSA. You will need to move fast as our closing date is 17th November 2014.

SQA Road Safety

This qualification, which is 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 SQA courses to be delivered within approved establishments across UK. The course is for candidates with a professional or personal interest or involvement in road casualty reduction in UK.

For more information visit Scottish Road Safety website.

Specialist Units - Management of Occupational Road Risk

This unit will provide an understanding of the Occupational Road Risk in Scotland and allow the opportunity to explore this in a global or UK context or simply at more local level.

The candidates will gain an understanding as to what accidents occur, where and when they happen, why and how they happen, the legal background involved in MORR.

More importantly, the candidates will have an opportunity to implement an effective management system.

Email us at to register your interest.

RoSPA hosts Forum to Make Occupational Road Risk a Priority

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) recently hosted a forum of key stakeholder representatives and experts to help re-energise the management of occupational road risk (MORR) as a key risk management priority for UK plc.

More than 30 leading thinkers and practitioners in the field of road safety gathered at London’s St Bride Foundation where presentations were heard from three researchers - Nicola Christie and Heather Ward, from University College London, and Shaun Helman of the Transport Research Laboratory.

The trio were authors of an independent strategic review of MORR, which was commissioned by RoSPA with funding under the RoSPA/BNFL Scholarship Scheme, and discussed findings including data, interventions and policy initiatives.

They focused on issues surrounding data on the scale, severity and causes of work-related crashes, the lack of detailed studies on interventions and the lack of awareness of MORR outside higher-performing organisations.

Delegates also took part in workshops at the event, which was funded by distribution and outsourcing firm Bunzl, to discuss the way forward for tackling MORR, ways to get more organisations involved and how to embed good practice.

Roger Bibbings, RoSPA’s partnership consultant, who chaired the event, said: “The forum was a great success and the delegates really got involved and came up with several innovative ideas on how to progress this important agenda.

“MORR is the single biggest work-related safety issue for almost all UK businesses, with about a third of deaths on the road involving someone driving for work, so it is an issue which cannot be ignored.

"We hope that the event will have inspired everyone involved to think harder about ways in which they can enhance their influence and reassert the importance of MORR as a major element of health and safety at work.

“Much progress has been made, although in recent years it has been more difficult to maintain momentum for change. But if we continue to stick at it and work more closely together, there is major scope for further reducing casualties as well as the costs – both human and financial – which work related road crashes impose on families, businesses, communities and the wider economy.”

RoSPA launched its pioneering MORR campaign in 1996, being the first organisation to reveal occupational road risk as the hidden killer on Britain’s roads.

To find out more about the strategic review of MORR, visit RoSPA website.


It’s time to get ready for winter

According to research commissioned by the Scottish Government and British Red Cross, two consecutive relatively mild winters appear to have made people in Scotland less worried about severe weather incidents.

The study has found that 40 per cent of Scots surveyed said that they were concerned about emergencies caused by treacherous weather conditions, down from almost half of those questioned a year ago.

The survey also found:

almost nine out of ten car owners believe they are prepared for an emergency, largely because three-quarters carry an ice-scraper and de-icer.
seven per cent had experienced an extreme weather emergency in the past year, with higher levels in rural areas. Of these, two-fifths claimed they got together with neighbours to help them cope.

Launching this year’s ‘Ready for Winter?’ campaign, Scottish Government Transport Minister Keith Brown said:

“If there is anything recent winters have shown us it is that Scottish weather is unpredictable.

“In the last five years, most parts of Scotland have been affected by severe weather ranging from snow and freezing temperatures to high winds and flooding, and we also saw the terrible impact of flooding in south-west England last winter. While extreme weather can happen at any time of year, winter remains the time of greatest risk.

“The unpredictability of weather patterns means we cannot simply hope that we will miss the worst of it. While we can’t stop the weather causing disruption, we can be well prepared to cope with it.

“Our annual winter preparedness campaign reminds us of this and the simple actions we can all take to get ready: in the home, before a journey, at our place of work and in our communities. This will serve us well not just throughout the winter months, but all year round and in a range of emergency situations.

“I’m delighted the campaign is again being run in partnership with the British Red Cross and will be supported by a variety of other partners across the public, private and voluntary sectors in Scotland.”

For more information visit Scottish Government website.

Get ready for winter tips

We all know that the Scottish weather can be very unpredictable and drivers can sometimes experience a variety of different driving conditions during a single journey.

Before embarking on a journey:

  • See weather, traffic and operator info at Transport Scotland’s travel dashboard, where you can plan your journey and also get traffic information.
  • Follow the guidelines for safe winter driving. Alternatively you can read the tips/advice on driving in bad weather here. This leaflet offers tips/advice on driving on a variety of conditions such as driving on ice and snow, driving in a windy weather, in a low sun, in a fog among others.
  • Read about extra maintenance on trunk roads during winter
  • See guidance on police messages and traffic diversions
  • Learn how to prepare for travelling during winter weather
  • Find out why planning your journey is important. Things you should do include: check weather forecast and road conditions, allow extra time, consider alternative routes and modes of transport and make sure your mobile phone is fully charged among others.
  • Remember to always carry a winter toolkit with you. It should contain:
    • An ice scraper and de-icer
    • A torch and spare batteries
    • A shovel for snow
    • Warm clothes, boots and a blanket
    • Some food and a warm drink in a flask
    • A reflective warning sign
    • A first aid kit
    • Battery jump leads and a map for any unplanned diversions

Police Scotland has produced a video showing drivers how to make simple checks on their vehicles, and giving advice on safe winter driving. The film features sergeant Debbie Allan and constable Fraser Cameron from the Police Scotland Road Policing Unit.

Their patrols have been carrying out mobile and static checks across the country to raise awareness of road safety ahead of the winter weather and shorter days.


RoSPA welcomes Scotland’s move to lower drink-drive limit in time for Christmas

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) strongly supports the Scottish Government’s move to lower its drink-drive limit in time for this Christmas.

If the plans are approved by the Scottish Parliament, the new limit will be introduced on December 5.

When introduced, the new legal limit will be 50mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, a reduction from the current limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. A public awareness campaign will also be launched with the message that drivers should not drink alcohol at all.

RoSPA, a safety charity that has been at the heart of accident prevention for nearly 100 years, has long campaigned for a lower drink-drive limit to be introduced across the whole of the UK.

It hopes that other parts of the country will now follow Scotland’s lead in taking steps to reduce their drink-drive limits too.

Sandy Allan, RoSPA’s road safety manager for Scotland, said “RoSPA welcomes and strongly supports the Scottish Government’s decision to lower the drink-drive limit in Scotland, which we believe will save lives and prevent injuries on Scotland’s roads.

“There is a considerable body of research which shows that reducing drink-drive limits is effective in reducing drink-drive deaths and injuries. We would like to see the rest of the UK follow Scotland’s example.”

The Scottish Government previously announced its intention to reduce the limit following a consultation which found almost three quarters of those who responded believed the drink-drive limit should be reduced.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: “Drink driving shatters families and communities and we must take action to reduce the risk on our roads.

“The latest estimates show that approximately one in ten deaths on Scottish roads involve drivers who are over the legal limit and research shows that even just one alcoholic drink before driving can make you three times as likely to be involved in a fatal car crash.

“As a result, 20 families every year have to cope with the loss of a loved one and around 760 people are treated for injuries caused by someone who thought it was acceptable to drink alcohol and get behind the wheel and drive. We cannot let this continue.”

Across the whole of Great Britain, an estimated 230 people were killed, 1,200 were seriously injured and 8,510 were slightly injured in drink-drive accidents in 2012.

You can read the Scottish Government’s full announcement online.

HGV speed limit rise on single carriageways in England and Wales

Ministers have pressed ahead with plans to raise the national speed limit for on single carriageways for HGVs, despite being warned of a likely increase in road deaths.

The change in speed limits for HGVs on single carriageways will come into force in early 2015. The maximum speed for HGVs on single track roads will rise from 40mph to 50mph. Depending on the consultation responses, the increase for dual carriageways will come in at the same time. The existing limits continue to apply until the change has been put into effect.

The amended speed limit will cover single carriageway roads outside built up areas in England and Wales, unless specific lower local speed limits are in effect.

The Department for Transport (DfT) is also urging English councils to use local powers issued last year to restrict traffic to 30, 40 or 50 mph where necessary because of pedestrian and cyclist use of roads, location and layout of the road, high air pollution or safety risks.

According to DfT, the current speed limit does not work in practice as about three quarters of HGV drivers at any particular time when they are not constrained by other traffic or the road layout break it.

It’s the government intention to allow UK roads to be used in a better and more effectively way.

The increase in speed limit is expected to reduce delays and congestion, particularly on busy single carriageway A roads as 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.

All drivers, but particularly the professional drivers of HGVs, need to be aware that the speed limit is a maximum not a guideline.

These changes will not be implemented across Scotland.

HGV speed limit trial commences on the A9 in Scotland

In Scotland, the legislation to allow HGVs to travel at 50mph on sections of single carriageway on the A9 between Perth and Inverness has been signed. A pilot project on the A9 has raised the speed limit on single carriageway sections between Perth and Inverness for heavy goods vehicles having a laden weight exceeding 7.5 tonnes.

The trial which will last 36 months came into force at the end of October the same time as the average speed camera system became operational. The cameras will help support the wider changes that have been made to promote an overall improvement in driving conditions.

The A9 is one of Scotland’s most important links, and the Scottish Government is committed to dualling the route between Perth and Inverness by 2025. The pilot is part of wider engineering, enforcement and education measures being delivered in advance of the dualling programme.

Many A9 incidents, together with the resultant delays, are caused by no more than sheer motorist frustration when getting stuck behind a slow moving heavy goods vehicle. It makes sense that a 10mph reduction in the speed differential between cars and HGV’s will mean a corresponding reduction in frustration and accidents.

The pilot is expected to help to improve journey times and also driver behaviour, by reducing frustration, queue lengths and journey times for HGVs.

For more information visit Transport Scotland website.


Practices of Management of Road Risk

Brake and Licence Bureau have carried out a survey with fleet managers of 220 organisations operating fleets of all sizes and vehicle types, and responsible for thousands of drivers and vehicles around the globe in order to compare their road risk management practices.

The results of the survey will be published in four reports, the first one focusing on how young at-work drivers are managed. The report provides insight into the risks posed by employing novice drivers and advice on how to minimise those risks to maximise the safety of the whole fleet.

The report shows many fleet operators are aware of these risks and are taking steps to identify them within their own fleets.

However, it also concludes that a high proportion of organisations are not doing enough firstly to identify higher risk young drivers in their fleet at any given time, and secondly to monitor their involvement in crashes.

Almost a quarter (23%) of respondents to the survey did not know what proportion of their vehicle collisions involved a young driver. Fleets that do not record and maintain this information are unable to assess and mitigate their risk.

Riverside Housing Association Driver Development Programme

In 2013 Riverside Housing Association put its managers through their paces with RoSPA's Driver Development Programme – a bespoke driver training package that provides those who drive for work with a systematic approach to hazards and defensive driving techniques when out on the road, as well as providing additional environmental and economic benefits.

Following training, a hugely encouraging 91% of drivers said they would recommend Driver Development Training from RoSPA to others.


With more people still being killed and injured in at-work road accidents than in all other occupational accidents combined, driver safety is obviously a major concern for every organisation.

The Driver Development programme focuses on teaching drivers to spot dangers when out on the road. The delegates at Riverside found this aspect of the course particularly valuable, with over 78% of respondents feeling that their anticipation of hazards improved after undergoing training.

77% also noticed a difference in how they positioned their vehicle in relation to other road users and 1 in 3 delegates felt an increase in their ability to manage fatigue while driving – a major cause of on-road accidents.

Driving Confidence

Almost 60% of drivers felt their confidence had increased since undertaking RoSPA training – with a number of delegates commenting that they found the course 'useful' as a refresher and informative 'without being patronising'.

Driving Behaviour

Stress while driving can often manifest itself in the guise of 'road-rage'. This is often a major factor in road accidents, not to mention having a detrimental effect on public relations and image.

Driver development is a great way to improve driver behaviour, with almost 2 in 3 delegates commenting that RoSPA training provided them with effective strategies for dealing with on-the-road stress.

Fuel Efficiency

The price of fuel has risen on average 38% in the last 5 years. It goes without saying this rise has had a major impact on organisations up and down the country, which are naturally doing everything they can do to reduce costs.

As well as improving general safety (reducing the risk and cost of accidents within your fleet), Driver Development Training can also save money by teaching drivers to use their vehicle in a more fuel efficient manner.

A massive 82.9% of delegates felt they were more conscious of fuel efficiency after taking part in the training, helping them to drive in a safer and more economical manner.

Environmental Impact

For the four months following training, Riverside has measured a CO2 reduction of 327 tonnes compared to the same period last year. Projecting this figure forward we are looking at potentially reducing our CO2 emissions by 982 tonnes over the whole of 2013.

Click here to download the full Riverside Case Study.

FREE ScORSA A3 Desk notepads and A6 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 pads are available in bulk to organisations across Scotland. Email us to place an order.

New A4 deskpads and A6 pads will be available soon. Watch this space!

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