Since the introduction of seatbelt laws in the UK, tens of thousands of lives have been save by the simple act of belting up. Nevertheless, every day a small minority of people are risking travelling in a vehicle without using this vital safety device.
Police officers enforce seatbelt laws throughout the year and during the current all-Wales enforcement campaign efforts will be stepped-up to remind drivers and their passengers that non-compliance is not acceptable.
Drivers are also legally responsible for ensuring that passengers under the age of 14 are using the correct child restraint for their height and age, or the adult seatbelt if they are over 135cms tall or over 12 years old.
The UK government will consult on options to ban older tyres from use on buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles and minibuses to help keep road users safe.
The Department for Transport announced that it will consult on legislation to make it illegal for these vehicles to run with a tyre aged 10 years or over. This follows a research project, launched by the government last year, to look at whether the age of a tyre has a direct impact on its safety.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "Keeping people safe on our roads is our priority, and we have been working hard to understand the link between tyre age and road safety. Emerging evidence and leading expert testimony shows us that we need to ban tyres over the age of 10 years from larger vehicles based upon the ‘precautionary principle’ – a move that will make our roads safer for everyone."
Matt Penny, Road Safety Officer at Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council, recently visited Bodringallt Primary School with the council's parking enforcement vehicle and two civil enforcement officers from the parking services team.
Also in attendance were colleagues from the South Wales Police Rhondda community policing team as well as Junior Road Safety Officers from Bodringallt Primary and YGG Bodringallt. The children took the rare opportunity to check out the equipment in the vehicle and were able to ask the enforcement officers some questions about how everything is operated. They will use the information they gathered to present an assembly to the rest of their school in the near future.
The parking enforcement vehicle targets problematic parking outside schools on zig-zag markings, pedestrian crossings and bus stops. The vehicle can issue fines automatically using the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera which is then followed up by a “notice to owner” letter.
If you’re planning to drive abroad over the coming weeks and months, the driving documents you’ll need may change. The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) has issued the following advice which you can find below.
International Driving Permits
Before the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019, holders of UK licences can drive in all EU countries and the European Economic Area (EEA) without the need for any additional documentation.
Denbighshire County Council is cracking down on motorists who could be putting lives at risk by overloading their vehicles.
The Council works closely with its partners from North Wales Police and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency to raise awareness of the dangers around overloading vehicles, but also carrying out random checks to see whether people are complying with the law.
Since September 2017, 338 vehicles have been weighed in Denbighshire. 58 of those vehicles were reported for action, 30 written warnings issued, 14 verbal warnings/advice issued and a number of other offences identified, including the use of red diesel, no tax and insurance, no licence, unsafe loads, faulty tyres, faulty suspension, loose wheels and drug driving.
RoSPA has recently published a series of video clips containing advice on group riding, where a motorcycle trainer shares his experiences of organising group rides. The clips are designed for those who have not organised a group ride before and contain advice to help riders ensure maximum safety and enjoyment while taking part in their group ride, whilst avoiding common pitfalls.
The video clips feature Kevin Bryan, a motorcycle trainer with over 28 years of experience. You can find the full suite of videos here.
A joint operation between North Wales Police and Gwynedd Council’s Licensing Team recently carried out checks on taxis and light goods vehicles in the Caernarfon and Bangor areas.
Officers from the Roads Policing Unit which included the Commercial Vehicle Unit, Special Constabulary Road Safety Unit and Local Policing stopped vehicles at checkpoints in both areas on Friday, 25th January. Routine compliance checks were given on the vehicle’s condition/roadworthiness with officers from Gwynedd Council checking licensing documentation.
Several vehicles were checked during the day including a taxi which was found to have a defective tyre. The driver was issued with a TOR (Traffic Offence Report) which will result in a fine and penalty points on his licence. A van which was carrying scaffolding poles which were found to be protruding dangerously was directed to a nearby weighbridge in Caernarfon and was also found to be overloaded. The driver was issued with TORs for carrying a dangerous load, being overloaded and an expired driving licence.
The safety of children around schools is paramount and Neath Port Talbot Council believes the school vicinity should be a safe haven and not a threat caused by parking issues.
The Council’s Road Safety Team has carried out a county-wide School Gate Parking campaign in partnership with South Wales Police and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service to produce banners to be displayed outside all schools to raise awareness as well as delivering education to all pupils - encouraging them to be a positive influence on those taking them to school.
Enforcement for persistent drivers however appears to be the most effective way to tackle this growing issue.