Virtual Reality Film Aims to Improve Safety for Horses and Riders

The British Horse Society has launched a new virtual reality film to raise awareness of the safety issues horse riders face on the roads.

The film, which forms part of the BHS’ ongoing Dead Slow campaign, aims to give drivers first-hand experience of how it feels to be riding a horse when a car passes either too fast or too close.

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Dangerous Vehicles and Loads Taken Off the Road

A major operation has seen a number of dangerous vehicles and loads stopped on a Mid Wales road.

The Dyfed-Powys Police specialist roads policing unit, based in Newtown, teamed up with the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency and HM Customs to carry out random checks throughout Monday on the Welshpool bypass.

A number of vehicles were stopped for breaking the law in various ways, and officers have issued a warning to other road users in the area.

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Road Safety Wales Awards 2018

The Road Safety Wales Awards recognises individuals, groups and organisations that have made a real commitment to road safety, above and beyond what would normally be expected of them.

The winners this year included a Sustrans volunteer, an enforcement team, and the organisers of active travel and motorcycle events in Wales. The recipients were invited to attend the Road Safety Wales Conference in Llandrindod Wells where they were presented with their awards by Teresa Ciano, Chair of Road Safety Wales.

Speaking at the event, Teresa said: "The Road Safety Wales Awards recognise the good road safety practice, innovative projects and personal contributions being undertaken in Wales.

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Road Safety Wales Conference 2018

Road safety professionals from across Wales met at the Road Safety Wales Conference at the Metropole Hotel in Llandrindod Wells on 19th June. This annual event, which is free to member organisations, explores key road safety topics, advances in technology, and provides a valuable networking opportunity.

Speakers for the morning session were:

  • Lyn Morris of Carmarthenshire Road Safety - Horsin’ Around on the Road
  • Alan Hiscox from British Horse Society – Safer Drivers, Safer Riders, Safer Horses
  • Russell Whitehouse, First Car – Introducing the First Car Academy
  • Neil Davies of South Wales Fire and Rescue Service - UKRO 2018, Cardiff
  • Anne-Marie Penny, Highways England – Work Related Road Safety, The Captive Audience

The afternoon sessions highlighted the varied enforcement work being carried out across Wales with:

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Month Long Drink/Drug Drive Campaign

Welsh Police forces have launched a month long campaign to reduce the number of drivers putting themselves and others at risk by driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Led by South Wales Police, the campaign will see increased resources on the roads across Wales.

In the last 50 years, road casualties caused by drink driving have fallen dramatically- this is due to change in attitude regarding drink driving and also the improvements in technology and processes by the Police.  However according to the Department for Transport there has been a six-fold increase in the number of people caught drug-driving across the UK.

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Free Over 65 Driving Skills Class in Pembrokeshire

Free Drive for Life courses are being run by Pembrokeshire County Council's road safety section.  The one-day refresher course is for experienced motorists, over 65, who are driving regularly.   It aims to give them an overall update on all aspects of safe driving, both in theory and in practice.

Mr Sam Hassan, 78, from Milford Haven, recently undertook the course with his wife Janet. He said all drivers aged over 65 should consider doing it.

"It was very beneficial," said Mr Hassan, a former electrical engineer at Total. "I've been advising people my age that if they have the chance, they should go and do it! And it was a nice day as well, very enjoyable."

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Ride to Work Week

Riders and employers are being encouraged to join the motorcycle industry in promoting the benefits of commuting on two wheels, as part of an annual week-long initiative.

Organised by the Motorcycle Industry Association (MCIA), Ride to Work Week 2018 takes place between 18-24 June, with 18 June named as Ride to Work Day.

Using the tagline #commutehappy, Ride to Work Week aims to encourage a shift towards powered two wheel (PTW) commuting. The campaign highlights the benefits of riding a PTW to work which include saving time and money, easier parking and improving road skills.

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New Chairperson For Road Safety Wales

Road Safety Wales, the partnership of all key road safety personnel across Wales has announced the appointment of Teresa Ciano as its new Chairperson.

Teresa Ciano, Partnership Manager for GoSafe, succeeds Susan Storch, civilian Road Safety Officer for Dyfed-Powys Police, who expanded the role of Chairperson during her successful eight year tenure. Remaining a key officer within the partnership, Susan Storch will take on the role of Vice Chairperson.

On her appointment, Teresa said, “I am delighted to accept this role and look forward to working with all partners in Road Safety Wales in support of the partnership’s mission: To further casualty reduction through collaborative working. 

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Young People Road Traffic Casualties in 2016

Welsh Government has published a report about road traffic casualties amongst young people, that is people aged between 16 and 24 inclusive.

Key points

  • 2016 saw the lowest number of young people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on Welsh roads
  • There were 239 young person KSI casualties in 2016, a reduction of 39.6 per cent compared with the 2004-08 average. The Welsh Government target is a 40 per cent reduction by 2020.

2016 was the first year since 2012 which saw a fall in young person KSI casualties.

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Learner Drivers on Motorways

From Monday 4 June 2018 learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales, although it will not be compulsory for everyone to do so.  The aim is to help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely.

Since 2006, young drivers in Wales have been able to participate in Pass Plus Cymru, an enhanced version of Pass Plus, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency’s (DVSA) post-test course.  Ever since the scheme was conceived, the Welsh Government has provided road safety grant funding to local authorities to enable young drivers in Wales to contribute just £20 to the cost of attending Pass Plus Cymru.

Consisting of an interactive workshop followed by a practical element, the course has traditionally involved driving in town, on rural roads and on dual carriageways; areas that many young drivers may have already covered in their driving lessons.  Pass Plus Cymru builds on these skills and teaches drivers how to deal with a wide range of situations that they may not have encountered whilst learning to drive, including driving on motorways.

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