Motorcycle Deaths Up – DFT

Britain is in a period where the number of road deaths is ‘fairly stable’, with most annual changes relating to ‘random variation’, according to the DfT’s annual report giving casualty statistics for 2015. However, motorcycle deaths increased by 8% in 2015 compared to 2014

The report, published yesterday shows that 1,732 people were killed in reported road traffic accidents in Great Britain in 2015 – the second lowest on record after 2013.

Although this represents a decrease of 43 fatalities (or 2.4%) from 2014, the report says that ‘natural variation’ explains the reduction.

The DfT says in statistical terms the number of fatalities has remained unchanged since 2011. There were 45% fewer fatalities in 2015 than a decade earlier in 2006 and 4% fewer than the 2010-14 average.

To read or download the report CLICK HERE

IAM RoadSmart response to DfT reported road casualties in Great Britain 2015

Independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has responded to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) reported road casualties in Great Britain 2015 (1).

The 2015 figures show there were 1,732 reported road deaths – 2% fewer compared with 2014. According to the DfT, this is the second lowest annual total on record after 2013. The number of people seriously injured in reported road traffic accidents also saw a decrease by 3% to 22,137 in 2015, compared to 2014. And a total of 186,209 casualties of all severities in 2015 – a 4% decrease compared to 2014 and the second lowest level on record.

However, the latest figures also reveal a total of 365 motorcyclists were killed during 2015 – an 8% increase from 339 in 2014.

IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said: “Five years of flat lining on road deaths is unacceptable. Whilst 2015 was a relatively good year the huge gains in road safety made in the past now seem a distant memory.

“The government must show more leadership to really drive down road deaths in the future. Key trends still show the increasing risk to vulnerable road users, particularly motorcyclists, and big increases in fatal crashes involving vans and lorries. The rise in goods vehicle related deaths is worrying and is probably linked to the surge in van sales and use on Britain’s roads. IAM RoadSmart supports police campaigns to crack down on those driving for business, but we also need more firms to step up the plate and take occupational road safety more seriously.”

The Brexit Road Must Not Impede Road Safety

As the UK government begins contemplating the process for leaving the European Union, Brake, the road safety charity, is highlighting the need to make sure life-saving regulations and standards are not just maintained but improved upon.

Road safety and the battle for sustainable transport in the UK is currently assisted by European Commission regulations and requirements in a number of areas. Vehicle crash protection standards, driver working hours and air pollution limits all help keep both our roads and planet safe.

EC regulation of relevance includes, to name a few:

1. General Safety Regulation EC 661/2009 on vehicle standards: Setting out specifications to ensure the general safety of motor vehicles and their trailers, systems, component and separate technical units.

2. Pedestrian Safety Regulation EC 78/2009: Crash protection for pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, e.g. decisions on frontal crash protection systems to reduce the number and severity of injuries to vulnerable users hit by the fronts of vehicles.

3. Regulation (EC) 561/2006 and Directive 2002/15/EC: Provides a common set of rules for maximum daily and fortnightly driving times, as well as daily and weekly minimum rest periods for all drivers of road haulage and passenger transport vehicles. The scope of operations regulated is tremendously diverse, including passenger transport and road haulage operations, both international and national, long and short distance.

In addition, the EU sets the bar for limits for air pollution in cities, much of which is caused by traffic. It’s more important than ever, with the World Health Organisation describing air quality as a public health emergency, that these controls are maintained, particularly when diesel vehicles have recently been found to be polluting far more on roads than in laboratory test conditions.

The EU air pollution limits led, last year, to a Supreme Court ruling against London for failing to stay within these targets, requiring them to comply. As an outsider to Europe, Britain will have no such compulsion for London and our other growing cities to comply with nitrogen dioxide, sulphur dioxide and particulate matter levels set by Europe.

The EU also provides valuable opportunities for traffic enforcement and transport research agencies across the union to share best practice and knowledge and generally combine efforts to improve road safety measures and support the cross-border policing of traffic laws. Europe-wide links regarding traffic enforcement have never been stronger, helping the fight against unsafe and illegally operated commercial vehicles in particular, but also cross-border enforcement of driver licensing generally, and the border-less campaigns against the Europe-wide scourge of alcohol and drug driving. We must ensure as a nation that our expertise and voices are still heard as widely as possible to save as many lives as possible.

Gary Rae, Director of communications and campaigns for Brake, the road safety charity said: “It’s vital that as we begin the process of separation from the EU, road safety and work on sustainable transport solutions is not compromised. Thousands of lives have been saved by improved transport regulations. Life outside the EU must not be seen as a move backwards when it comes to safety and sustainability. That will be down to the UK government to ensure that our own standards meet, and indeed, exceed, current European standards.  As a charity, working to save lives and protect the planet, Brake aims to play its part by being at the forefront of campaigning for these standards.

IAM Response To Reported Road Casualties Scotland Statistics

Independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has responded to the Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2015 statistics published today by Transport Scotland.

The 2015 provisional figures show there were 10,950 reported road casualties – 357 or 3% fewer than 2014 – the lowest figure recorded – of which there were 162 fatalities: 41 (or 20%) fewer than 2014; 1,597 people seriously injured: 107 (or 6%) fewer than 2014; and 9,191 people slightly injured: 209 (or 2%) fewer than 2014.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research said: “It’s good news that the long term downward trends in deaths and serious injuries on Scotland’s roads continue but the figures are still far too high.

“With over three deaths a week it is essential that the Scottish government continues its successful partnership approach to road safety in which IAM RoadSmart plays an important part.

“Joint working and clear targets are clearly having a positive impact. Continued investment in better roads, plus recent suggestions that Scotland might finally introduce speed awareness courses and drug-driving laws mean the country is well placed to make further gains.”

Travelling In Wet Weather

With the ongoing forecast of rain expected for the tail end of June, here are some tips from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, about how you can stay safe when travelling in wet weather.

  • Be sure to check your local weather forecast beforehand so you can plan your journey accordingly. If heavy downpours are expected, avoid starting your journey until it clears. And if you have no choice but to travel, use main roads where possible which are less likely to get flooded.
  • Don’t forget to check your windscreen wiper blades and lights are working properly. You’ll need to use your dipped headlights if visibility is significantly reduced so give them a check too.
  • On flooded roads, think before driving through deep water, don’t stop in standing water and drive through the highest section of the road slowly. If there is any doubt don’t enter it. Once you have managed to drive through check your brakes and dry them out as quickly as possible – a light touch of the brakes whilst still moving should do the trick.
  • Roads will be more slippery than usual in wet weather – be sure to give yourself more time to react when approaching a hazard. Increase your following gap to at least four seconds from the moving traffic in front.
  • Keep your eyes peeled on the road at all times as spray from other vehicles can suddenly reduce your visibility. Remember it affects others too, so anticipate their actions and be prepared.

Richard said: “If your tyres begin to lose traction, ease off the accelerator, avoid braking and allow the speed to naturally decrease until you have full control of your car again.

“Driving in wet weather can be challenging, and with delays and increased concentration needed it can be more tiring too. By allowing increased time to stop and extending your following distance you can remain safe.”

IAM RoadSmart response to Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2015 statistics

Independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has responded to the Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2015 statistics published today by Transport Scotland.

The 2015 provisional figures show there were 10,950 reported road casualties – 357 or 3% fewer than 2014 – the lowest figure recorded – of which there were 162 fatalities: 41 (or 20%) fewer than 2014; 1,597 people seriously injured: 107 (or 6%) fewer than 2014; and 9,191 people slightly injured: 209 (or 2%) fewer than 2014.

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research said: “It’s good news that the long term downward trends in deaths and serious injuries on Scotland’s roads continue but the figures are still far too high.

“With over three deaths a week it is essential that the Scottish government continues its successful partnership approach to road safety in which IAM RoadSmart plays an important part.

“Joint working and clear targets are clearly having a positive impact. Continued investment in better roads, plus recent suggestions that Scotland might finally introduce speed awareness courses and drug-driving laws mean the country is well placed to make further gains.”

BSB star Hickman special guest at IAM RoadSmart birthday party

British Superbike star Peter Hickman has been confirmed as a special guest at the IAM RoadSmart 60th anniversary bike party on 2 July at the National Motorcycle Museum in Birmingham.

Peter, or Hicky as he is better known, races this year for the JG Speedfit Kawasaki Team and currently stands eighth in the series with one win so far. By coincidence his race number is 60 in 2016.

Peter also raced at the Northwest 200 and Isle of Man TT this year. He scored two podiums at the Northwest and became the fourth fastest rider ever at the TT this year with a 132.465mph lap in the Superbike race.

Peter will be on the ‘Stars on Stage’ discussion panel which will take place three times during the day, alongside seven times Isle of Man TT winner Mick Grant. MC for the discussion forum will be Steve Plater, 2009 British Supersport champion.

The event is a celebration of all things motorbike, while also marking the 60th birthday of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, now renamed IAM RoadSmart.

Established in 1956, the Institute of Advanced Motorists introduced its advanced motorcycle test in 1976. By 1994 more than 250,000 had taken and passed the advanced test for drivers and riders. Today more than 400,000 have passed it.

Peter will be joined for the Stars on Stage sessions, which will allow visitors to put their questions to the guests, by Mick Grant. Mick won the fearsome Isle of Man TT race seven times in the 70’s and 80’s.

MC for Stars on Stage will be Steve Plater, 2009 British Supersport champion and twice Isle of Man TT winner.

During the funday there will be a slow riding skills contest, offering the chance to show just how good you are – but keeping the speed way down. This is being looked after by Birmingham Advanced Motorcycle Group.

There will also be a marketplace featuring a number of exhibitors including Intaride, National Association of Disabled Bikers and the National Association of Blood Bikes, and the chance to stock up on memorabilia and useful bike accessories during the day.

Tickets are just £10 each which includes a barbecue lunch and a tour of the National Motorcycle Museum.

Peter Hickman said: “I am really looking forward to coming along to help IAM RoadSmart celebrate its 60th anniversary. Helping so many people become better riders is a real achievement. I know that being safe and precise was my way of becoming a winner – and using these skills on real roads is it’s just as big an achievement.”

“I applaud anyone who has become an advanced rider, and look forward to meeting so many enthusiasts this Saturday.”

Tickets are available online through our special event page https://www.iamroadsmart.com/bikeparty or by calling 0300 303 1134.

Driving Through Roadworks On The Motorway

Driving through roadworks can be nerve wracking. Narrower lanes, slow traffic and fraying tempers all add to the challenge. But as long as you drive carefully and at a steady speed your journey needn’t be stressful. Here’s some advice from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, to ensure your motorway journey through roadworks is as safe and stress-free as possible.

  • Ideally, you should check the status of any roads you plan to use beforehand. If there are significant amounts of repair works and you think you might get caught up in traffic consider taking a different route, even if it means covering a few more miles.
  • If there’s no alternative route, give yourself more time to travel and ensure you have plenty of fuel. Running out of fuel is one of the most common reasons for a breakdown on the motorway, so don’t risk running on a low tank.
  • Maintain a safe following distance of at least 2 seconds and if other traffic moves into your gap adjust it by slowing very slightly. You won’t add more than a couple of seconds to your journey.
  • Try and look as far ahead as possible. There may be a lane that’s restricted and marked off by cones. If it is safe to do so, merge in turn if vehicles are travelling at low speed.
  • Keep an eye out for any roadwork signs that give you particular instructions. There may also be a temporary maximum speed limit that you will need to adhere to.
  • Average speed cameras are also common where long term roadworks are in force – be prepared to slow down throughout. They are there for your safety and the safety of the workforce.

Richard said: “If you can see traffic building up then avoid switching lanes too often. Changing lanes on extremely busy roads will increase your chances of being involved in a collision and also slows down traffic flow.

“So long as you stay alert and plan ahead, your journey should be a safe and stress free one.”