Road Safety Updates

safety2016.9

New Measures announced by UK Government

 

New measures to help learner drivers and punish dangerous drivers

 

DfT road safety plan to build on Britain’s excellent road safety record

  • £2 million for research into driver education, including the possibility of giving learner drivers motorway experience with an instructor before taking their test
  • £750,000 grant for police forces to build drug-driving enforcement capability

 

The proposals will ensure learner drivers are properly prepared before their test, including the chance to gain motorway experience with an approved driving instructor. This follows plans announced last month to introduce a deposit which is returned to the learner driver if they pass, encouraging them to take their test when they are ready.

Other measures to take priority in the government’s plan for road safety include funding to train the next generation of cyclists and extra money for police forces to crack down on drug drivers.

The plan outlines how the government is delivering on its commitment to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads during this Parliament.

The main proposals announced today are:

  • learner drivers will for the first time be offered the opportunity to drive on motorways
    • the proposals would see learners allowed to take a motorway driving lesson with an approved driving instructor in a dual controlled car – this is designed to make drivers safer once they have passed their test
  • police forces across the country will be able to remove more dangerous drivers from UK roads, thanks to new government funding
    • £750,000 grant for police forces in England and Wales will fund more officers with drug recognition and impairment testing skills to enable more effective and targeted enforcement
  • a grant of £50 million over the next 4 years will support Bikeability cycle training in schools
    • this funding will help to increase children’s road awareness, encouraging children to be healthy and active
    • since its inception, more than 1.5 million school children have received training through the Bikeability scheme – we expect to train 275,000 children during 2015/16
  • the government will consult on changes to improve cycle safety to ensure sideguards are not removed from HGVs but remain permanently fitted
  • the Compulsory Basic Training (CBT) for learner motorcyclists will be strengthened and there will be a consultation on a range of further proposals to support safer motorcycling
  • a £2 million in-depth research programme will be launched to identify the best possible driver education, training and behaviour-change interventions for learner and novice drivers
  • motorists who endanger lives by using hand held mobile phones while driving will face an increase from the current 3 penalty points to 4, while the fixed penalty notice will rise from £100 to £150
    • for larger vehicles such as HGVs where the consequences of an accident can be much more severe, the penalty will increase from the current 3 points to 6 and the fixed penalty notice will rise from £100 to £150

 

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Fatigue risks – Identify the risks

Increased risks of accidents in the workplace or while travelling

Poor quality of sleep have been shown to correlate significantly with motor vehicle accidents and fatalities.

Identify the risks

Businesses should identify their key fatigue risks. This could include the aforementioned shift work, sales personnel driving long distances or on-call engineers available throughout the night. As with all safety management, focus should be placed on the most significant risks, with resource appropriately delegated. Determining who is most at risk is not simply a matter of counting the hours, but should also include an assessment of:

*the type of work being performed and whether it is physically or mentally demanding:

*whether an individual has a long commute that significantly extends their working day;

*the choice each individual feels they have over the work they are being asked to do; and

*any home events (such as young children) which may adversely affect the amount of sleep individuals are obtaining each night.

 

Where relevant, fatigue risks should be captured in risk assessments, along with the appropriate control measures.

Fatigue risks – Physical effects

Increased risks of accidents in the workplace or while travelling

Poor quality and quantity of sleep have been shown to correlate significantly with motor vehicle accidents and fatalities.

Physical effects

There is strong evidence to indicate that chronic sleep loss may induce neurobiological changes that can lead to serious health consequences such as an increased likelihood of cardiovascular diseases, impaired immune function and the exacerbation and early onset of Type II diabetes. For example, one study found that for those individuals sleeping six hours or less a night, there was a 48 per cent increase in the likelihood of developing, or dying from, heart disease.

In addition to the above risks, there is also now a growing body of evidence to suggest that chronic sleep loss (such as long-term fatigue) is associated with the exacerbation of certain mental health issues such as schizophrenia and clinical depression.

What should be done?

HSE’s current guidance on fatigue is focused on ‘shift workers’ where the risks of fatigue can be more acute. That guidance can still be applied to any workplace and working pattern and should be used to complement an organisation’s current safety management approach.

Fatigue is a hazard that an be assessed and mitigated just as any other; whether that is currently the position within organisations is a matter for health and safety professionals to reflect on.

HSE – Fatigue and Risk Index Calculator Jan 2016

Fatigue Risks – Cognitive effects

Increased risks of accidents in the workplace or while travelling

 

Poor quality and quantity of sleep have been shown to correlate significantly with motor vehicle accidents and fatalities.

 

Cognitive effects

Abilities that include alertness, vigilance and concentration are negatively affected by chronic poor sleep, as are problem-solving,, creativity and decision-making abilities. It has been found that decision-making abilities can be affected after a reduction of sleep for just one night. As a result, individuals become more risky when making decisions and were more confident in those decisions.

 

Respect the environment

Extend the length of your stay

Flying to a destination for an ecotourism weekend is a bit of a paradox; air travel is said to account for 4% of the greenhouse gas emissions causing global warming.

Take it easy, take your time! Travel less but for longer periods, it will be more fulfilling and restful as well.

Offset your carbon footprint by giving back to projects that contribute to the protection of the environment and to biodiversity conservation.

Anti-plastic attitude

Avoid using plastic bags or Styrofoam food boxes as their disposal is a major problem. Take your own bags with you when shopping – say ‘no to plastic’. Try buying in local markets instead, where packaging is reduced, the food is fresh and your purchase directly benefits the local producers.

Say ‘no to straws’ when ordering a drink. The excessive use of straws is becoming an issue. Count how many drinks a day you have with a straw used for only a few minutes, then thrown away. Calculate the figure over a year, multiply by the number of tourists and you can visualise a mountain range of waste growing. If a glass is not clean, using a straw does not make it any safer.

Avoid wrapping your luggage in kilometres of the plastic sheeting that is now commonly offered in airports; buy locks and carry precious items with you.

Waste is a waste

Avoid leaving any rubbish behind. Ideally, pick up any rubbish you see littering the forest, the sea or beach. Action speaks louder than words; you’ll notice that you encourage others to follow suit by spreading good practice instead of moralising. And you’ll feel so good!

Smokers, please don’t throw your cigarette butts in the sea, the rivers or even on the ground, just think, they end up in the stomachs of the fish you eat! Keep them with you until the next dustbin.

Drinking Water

Bottled water is easy to find, but unfortunately recycling facilities are not. You can reduce the number of plastic bottles you use by:

Simply refilling, you’ll find water fountains in many places, tap water in the UK is normally safe to drink.

Save energy and water

Turn off your engine when your vehicle is stationery.

For the best sightseeing experience walk or cycle. Choose a fuel-free or shared transport (next time in the taxi queue, don’t be shy to ask if anybody wants to share a taxi, cuts the queue and good for the environment) option like a public bus.

In you room, use air-conditioning sensibly.

Turn off taps and switches. Many hotels suggest you choose not to have your towels and bed linen changed daily.

 

Water is precious, help save it.

Ethical Travel

When travelling through a developing country it is easy to become overwhelmed by the plight of some children, misery and social issues can be affecting and travellers may be moved to take action, or wish to contribute in a meaningful way. However, direct contributions often only add to the problem and reinforce practices that put children in vulnerable and dangerous situations.

Do not give gifts, money or sweets to children or buy anything from them – although you might think it helps, it only encourages them to stay on the streets where they have little hope of a better life and are vulnerable to all sorts of abuse. These children are usually exploited by local mafias or their own family.

Millions of children around the world are pushed onto the margins of their societies. These children have little access to education and forced to work, are separated from their families and as such are at risk op physical sexual and emotional abuse.

 

Consumer Behaviour

Support the local economy : buy locally made food and handicrafts directly from local crafts people and markets. Items in shopping areas where tourists are taken are often overpriced as the guides may get a commission on purchases.

Opt for Fair Trade goods where available.

Avoid purchasing products that exploit or destroy wildlife.

Don’t purchase historical artefacts.

 

Bargain within reason and with a smile!

With patience and a broad smile you will not only get a better price when you shop but also enjoy the art of negotiation. Some tourists take pride in paying the cheapest price they can, unaware that the seller might be accepting a sum below cost price because they desperately need the cash. Whatever you buy, be mindful that it is their livelihood.

 

Do not support the sex industry

This includes the various shows in hostess bars, street prostitution, etc. Aside from the fact that men and women are best not viewed as commodities you risk putting money into the hands of the mafia. What you may see as entertainment is not the full picture. No one is willing to work as a prostitute; those who do are trapped by human traffickers or do it to support their relatives.

Paedophilia is strictly forbidden. Violators will be pursued and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, ever after they return to their home countries.

Greetings

Take the time to learn how to say “hello”, “goodbye” and “thank you” in the local language. Your hosts are very friendly people and they highly appreciate it when foreigners take the effort to learn their language. In Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar a respectful way of greeting another individual is to bow the head slightly with hands pressed together at the chest, as if in payer. Be aware, these societies are still firmly rooted in a system of class and social hierarchy.

 

Keep calm, be patient

Travelling though developing counties can be unpredictable and frustrating at times, but losing your temper will not help. Whatever the situation, try to stay calm, firm and courteous and speak without raising your voice. Personal dignity is extremely important here. Becoming angry is considered a major weakness and local people will be embarrassed for you. If you do get into a stressful situation it is always better to ask for help than to finger blame.  “Saving face” is a subtle but important aspect of personal dignity. Criticism is not at easily accepted as it is in western countries and should only be made when also giving praise.

 

Try to understand the local culture

Keep in mind that every country has many different ethnic groups, each of which may have its own etiquette and taboos and listen to the advice of your guide; you may not understand the significance of everything you see and learn, but this mystery is part of the beauty of travel. Cultural diversity and exoticism is what you came looking for; accept it, enjoy it – don’t try to change it!

Do tell locals about your own culture – many may have a wrong idea about your country and its customs and most are just as curious as you are to learn about other cultures.

 

Connect with people before taking pictures

It is polite to always ask permission before taking photographs of people of filming them and, in the rare case they refuse, please respect their wishes. Refuse to pay for photographs as this encourages begging. Take some time to chat; your photo will become a shared memory, which you can send back to them.

 

Answer questions

Be prepared to answer, numerous times, questions like: ‘where are your from? where you are going? Are you married? How old are you? While you may find these questions disconcerting and too intimate, most people are just trying to be friendly, to practice their English skills or start up a conversation.

Respect Cultural Differences

Whether travelling within our own country and travelling worldwide, we recommend to learn what you can about the culture and customs of the country you plan to visit before you travel; the more you know about you destination the better you will appreciate and understand it. The important principle to remember when travelling, just as in everyday life, is RESPECT.

When faced with strong cultural differences the first thing to consider is whether you would act this way or tolerate such behaviour in your own home country. How would you feel, for example, if foreigners were stepping into your life, entering your house, taking photographs, behaving as if you were not there and acting in a way that conflict with your culture? What would you think if they were visiting your children’s school, taking photographs of them and handing out sweeties (candies)?

Please consider carefully what you are doing, avoid intruding into people’s lives, into their villages, their houses, their fields.

 

‘It is your holiday it is their everyday lives’

DVSA – Updates

DVSA  transforming their approach to enforcement

DVSA are currently working towards transforming their approach to enforcement which gives recognition to compliant operators as well as focusing on the seriously or serially non-compliant. This new way of working, including the concept of earned recognition, will allow DVSA to adopt a different approach to operators depending on their compliance.

Operators will ‘earn recognition’ by proving a strong track record of compliance, as well as allowing DVSA to access their real time driver and vehicle data.

This differs from OCRS which is a targeting tool based on current DVSA data. The main benefit of this scheme, for compliant and exemplar operators, will be the ability for DVSA to carry out ‘remote’ checks of their fleet, significantly reducing the requirement to stop these vehicles at the roadside. In these days of ‘just in time’ deliveries for everything from perishable goods to component parts for assembly lines, this is a significant benefit for operators.

Earned Recognition will also allow DVSA to dedicate time and resources to targeting the seriously and serially non-compliant operators.

From 30 October, DVSA have been working with operators in a blind trial. Working ‘blind’ means operators involved won’t be named avoiding any commercial advantage. We’ll then use the trial to compare data gathered from this and our former method of enforcement to make sure this approach to enforcement is the best way forward for operators and DVSA.

We’ll keep you updated as the trial progresses