Blaenau Gwent Road Safety Campaign Shines Headlights on Vehicle Safety and Maintenance

Officers spoke to 100 drivers in Blaenau Gwent between October and November to check their vehicles were fit for the road and share some winter maintenance advice.

PC Phillip Thomas said: “We’re committed to increasing road safety and have recently been talking to drivers about the steps they can take to ensure their vehicles are safe to be driven.

“Now that we’re in December, where icy roads, dark evenings and changeable driving conditions are commonplace, it’s important road users keep themselves and others safe by undertaking vital maintenance checks.”

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Concerns Raised Over Misuse of School Drop-off Points

Bridgend County Borough Council has confirmed that it is introducing new temporary measures at three local schools following an assessment of how their drop-off points are currently being used.

From today, Monday 6 December, the drop-off areas located at Pencoed Primary, Brynmenyn Primary and Coleg Cymunedol y Dderwen will only be available for use by staff working at the school, parents and carers who are Blue Badge holders, and home-to-school transport vehicles provided by the local authority.

The move follows monitoring by council staff which has confirmed that if used correctly, the drop-off points offer a safe, convenient way for parents and carers to take children to school.

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Christmas Anti-Drink and Drug Drive Campaign Launched

With the festive season about to take off, police officers in Wales are reminding people who are looking forward to a night out not to get behind the wheel after drinking or consuming drugs.

The four Welsh police forces – North Wales Police, Gwent Police, South Wales Police and Dyfed-Powys Police - are today launching their Christmas Anti-Drink and Drug Drive Campaign which aims to catch people who risk their life and the lives of others by getting behind the wheel while under the influence.

Dyfed-Powys Police Superintendent Clark Jones-John said the reason for the operation was to try and prevent the needless loss of life at the hands of irresponsible drivers who flout the law.

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Illegal E-Scooter Use: How Can Retailers Play Their Part?

As we approach Christmas, some of us may be considering purchasing an e-scooter as a gift. However, a number of people are still unaware that it is illegal to use a privately owned e-scooter on public roads, pavements or cycle paths. In fact, the only place to legally ride an e-scooter in Wales is on private land with the permission of the land owner – everywhere else it is against the law.

Road Safety Wales is urging retailers to ensure that potential customers are fully aware that if an e-scooter is purchased and subsequently used illegally, the rider risks being issued with a £300 fine, 6 penalty points on their driving licence and their new e-scooter could also be seized.

Retail outlets across the country are at the forefront of providing expert advice to the public and selling products that are safe to use. A commitment to making customers aware of the current regulations around e-scooters will enhance the retailer’s reputation and greatly assist in minimising the road safety risk.

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Llanharan Railway Footbridge – Upcoming Site Investigations

Site investigations will take place at the Llanharan Railway footbridge next week, requiring a temporary change to pedestrian arrangements – as the Council continues to work towards delivering a replacement structure.

The footbridge remains subject to an ongoing emergency closure after a recent inspection found its condition to be deteriorating. The footbridge closure has resulted in a lane being brought out of use on the road bridge immediately adjacent to it (carrying the A473 Bridgend Road) – enabling a temporary footway to be established within the closed lane of the carriageway.

The next steps toward replacing the bridge include site investigations from Monday, November 29, which will be completed over six days of work until December 4. A CCTV survey will then follow on Monday, December 6.

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Any Use of Hand-held Mobile Phone While Driving to Become Illegal

Police will soon be able to more easily prosecute drivers using a hand-held mobile phone at the wheel after the government strengthens existing laws to further improve road safety.

It is already illegal to text or make a phone call, other than in an emergency, using a hand-held device while driving. Next year, laws will go further to ban drivers from using their phones to take photos or videos, scroll through playlists or play games.

This will mean anyone caught using their hand-held device while driving will face a £200 fixed penalty notice and 6 points on their licence.

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135 Off-Road Vehicles Seized Over the Last Year in Gwent

Operation Harley – Gwent Police’s response to targeting off-road vehicles that damage land, cause disturbances in communities and put other road users and pedestrians at risk – has been in place across the county since 2020.

Since then, the force's rural crime team, neighbourhood officers, special constables and more have worked with partner agencies during regular operations to address the problem.

Using specialist vehicles and equipment like drones, operations have seen motorbikes, quad bikes and mopeds seized for a variety of offences, including being used without insurance, registration or a licence, or for being driven off-road.

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Making Journeys Safer for Everyone

Throughout this week, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, alongside colleagues from South Wales Police, Gwent Police and Local Authorities, will be out positively engaging with members of the community through their joint ‘Operation Options‘ initiative.

Operation Options allows the partner organisations to engage with drivers and passengers who break the law by failing to wear a seatbelt. The offending road users will be offered the option of accepting a fine or listening to an educational presentation delivered by the fire and rescue service on road safety and the dangers of poor decision making. The safety presentation aims to highlight the importance of wearing a seatbelt, even on short, familiar journeys, and how it can be the difference between life and death. 

On Monday this week, 50 drivers were stopped and received an educational input. One vehicle was also seized for no licence, M.O.T or insurance and 3 tickets were issued for mobile phone use.

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A Bright Future For Cycling in Merthyr Tydfil

Thanks to funding from the Welsh Government, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council has launched a new scheme through the purchase of balance and learn to ride bikes.

During the first week of operation the initiative has been extremely well received by participating schools and great achievements have been made. Some pupils became confident enough in their new skills to ride without stabilisers for the very first time.

Well done to all involved!

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Road Safety Wales Poster Competition

When we’re walking, cycling or scooting to school, or when we’re out playing with our friends in the community, we want to be able to get there safely without being hurt by a driver who is drunk or has taken drugs.

We also want our family to stay safe if they’re driving, so we need to let people know that driving when drunk or after taking drugs is dangerous and could really hurt someone.

Road Safety Wales is inviting young people aged up to 18 from across Wales to design a poster that highlights how drink or drug driving can affect innocent road users. The winning entries will be shared on Road Safety Wales Partner social media channels.

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