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Road Safety in the News


Young Drivers


A study, carried out for the RAC Foundation has concluded that young drivers are likely to moderate their behaviour behind the wheel – if they believe their actions will get back to their parents.


The author of the report Dr Simons-Morton says it is often young drivers’ parents who effectively control the keys because they have paid for the car and foot the bill for running costs such as insurance. He adds that evidence shows that while new young drivers can drive relatively safely when they are accompanied by their parents or other adults, they undertake more risky behaviour when that adult figure is absent and suggests the combined use of dash cams and ‘accelerometers’ – technology that records the high G-forces created when a car is driven erratically or dangerously – can be particularly effective. GDL and greater evaluation also needed alongside his argument for greater ‘parental management’ which place restrictions on new drivers, such as a minimum learning period, not driving at night, or not driving with passengers under a certain age in the car.


In July, as part of its road safety action plan, the Government confirmed it was looking further at whether it was a viable and sustainable cause of action to introduce restrictions for a minimum time. There are a good number of practitioners now raising concerns about restrictions which offer nothing else. Restrictions which operate for a given period of time after which the driver can gain full entitlement do nothing if for example the driver still has not had any night time tuition or not experienced passengers in the car. Practitioners are therefore questioning whether this is Graduated Licensing or just restrictions to do something for a given period of time?


A copy of the report can be found at https://www.grahamfeest.com/resources/latest-uploads/


33 New Drivers Lose Their Licence Every Day


The DVLA has released data showing that an average of 33 new motorists lose their driving license every day after committing road offences.


Within the New Drivers Act motorists who get six or more penalty points within two years of passing their test get their licenses revoked and are then forced to go back to learner status and have to pass the theory, hazard perception and practical tests again on top of having to pay any fines which are due. It is clearly designed as a deterrent but is it actually working as we might like. It is understood many of those who lose their licences under this regime never appear again for re-testing giving rise to the fact that many are potentially driving around without a licence yet alone not being insured. It is designed more as an inconvenience to those who offend since putting them back into the system when clearly they can drive begs the question as to the overall value of doing so if as expected so many are never seen again.


Statistics from a DVLA freedom of information request sourced from road safety campaigners Brake indicated that:

11,953 new drivers lost their licenses in 2018. When these statistics are averaged out over a calendar month, on average 33 new drivers lose their licenses every day. Young drivers make up almost two-thirds of the statistics, with 62 percent of those who lost their licenses aged between 17 and 24 years old. In this category, 19-year-olds topped the list with 1,649 getting their licenses revoked. 20-year-olds followed on 1,395, closely followed by 21-year-olds on 1,026.

(Excerpt from Graham Feest Newsletter Sept 2019)


Ban on Pavement Parking Across England


The Government should introduce an outright ban on pavement parking across England says the Commons Transport Committee and as well as legislation to ban pavement parking, the report also calls for reforms to make it cheaper and easier for councils to use Traffic Regulations Orders. 

The Local Government Association's said it was pleased that MPs had joined it in recommending an extension to the ban on pavement parking to all areas of England.


(Excerpt from Graham Feest Newsletter Sept 2019)



Western Morning News Article

Our blue light services deal with trauma every day, so who is there for them?

By WMNHFinchPosted: December 23, 2016

The M5 tragedy cost seven lives and affected countless others Our blue light services deal with trauma everyday, so who is there for them?X

Every day our emergency services are called to help in some of the most traumatic events we will ever face. But who is there for them? Hannah Finch talks to trauma specialist Rosemary Pell about her work helping people rebuild their lives in the most tragic of circumstances.

The 2011 M5 pile-up involving 34
vehicles remains one of the UK's worst road traffic disasters. Seven people were killed that day, 51 others injured and countless lives destroyed by the loss. It was devastating for survivors and witnesses and never became 'just another day' for the emergency services who were tasked to help in the moment of crisis.

Rosemay Pell, a counsellor in Exeter and founder of Road User Support Service, was called upon in the days that followed to debrief the paramedics and ambulance staff that were called to the devastating scene. She was there to tell them that the flashbacks, nightmares, feelings of anger or disbelief that they were or could be experiencing were entirely normal.

She explained: "For the paramedics, as with everyone, their experiences are individual. There were some who attended that day who have been in the job a long time and they felt able to deal with what they had seen but there were others who had not been with the service for so long.

"They were confronted with a terrible scene, of injured people, dead bodies and a mass of vehicles.

"My work has been to help them come to terms with what they have had to deal with and to make sure they are safe in their work. Even the smell of burning or the sight of a collision can trigger the memory."


Copy link to paste in your messageRosemary Pell has helped thousands deal with the aftermath of road trauma

Rosemary has gone on to work with members of Devon and Somerset Fire Rescue Service and Devon & Cornwall Police. She said that a challenge for those in the emergency services is finding an outlet to talk about the situations they are confronted with at the end of a 999 call. But for reasons of confidentiality or choice, it is not so easy to respond honestly when they get home and asked, 'So, how was your day?'

Rosemary said: "Inside that uniform is a human being with a range of emotions. These are people who have empathy and have chosen to help people in their profession, and they are presented with many distressing incidents on a daily basis."