Latest News, Events & Updates
Be Bright Be Seen November 2021
As the clocks have now gone back and our days are shorter and nights are longer, visibility is reduced for everyone and statistically more incidents take place involving pedestrians and vulnerable road users from October to March than throughout the rest of the year. Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians need to be more vigilant when travelling around our area.
Often during winter we wear dark clothes and our visibility is further reduced by poor weather, wearing hoods or carrying umbrellas. During these challenging times it’s more important than ever that we all work together to protect ourselves and our families from serious injury or harm on our roads.
Cyclists & Pedestrians
Help others to see you at all times, wear brightly coloured or fluorescent clothing during the day, and then wear reflective items during dark, reflective items such as vests, sashes and stickers can be added to your clothing or bags.
Choose routes that are well-lit and use pedestrian crossings wherever possible.
Ensure your headlights and windscreens are kept clean to aid visibility and reduce your speed so that you can react to spotting cyclists and pedestrians in good time.
Everyone check out this video that demonstrates what a difference wearing suitable clothing can make to a drivers ability to see cyclists and pedestrians on the road
Fasten that seatbelt every trip! – June 2021
As travelling restrictions are being relaxed and summer has arrived Sandwell Road Safety are supporting the national seatbelt campaign running between 31 May and 13 June to encourage drivers to belt up to save lives and prevent injuries. See article further down this page - Seatbelts save lives!
Did you know?
It was 30 years ago that it became law that seatbelts should be worn at all times in the front and back of the car.
The driver is responsible for making sure that all passengers under 14 are safely seated and belted up before they travel.
Child car seats
In 2006 it was made law that children must use a child car seat or booster cushion until they are either 12 years old or 135cm, 4.5 feet tall (whichever they reach first) as their bodies are not developed well enough to be protected solely with an adult seatbelt. After this they must use an adult seat belt, there are very few exceptions.
The child seat must be appropriate for your baby's height and weight and it must conform to the United Nations standard, look for the 'E' mark label on the seat.
Please refer to www.childcarseats.org.uk for further information
Evidence showed that children were being moved into backless booster cushions far too early, and therefore in March 2017 standards changed and backless booster cushions should now only be used by children that are taller than 125am/4.1 feet and that weigh more than 22kg/3.5 stone
This change does not affect existing models of seats or cushions; they will only apply to new booster cushions, not ones which are already in use and meet existing safety standards.
This change means that anyone buying a booster cushion should take extra care to read the manufacturer's labels and instructions in order to ensure that the one they select is appropriate for their child.
High backed boosters offer upper body protection for the neck, spine and head and help position the seat belt correctly across the child’s chests and hips. In a collision, especially a side impact, a booster cushion wouldn’t offer this protection and therefore it is recommended that a child uses this type of seat for as long as possible
Always remember to secure your booster seat even when your child is not sitting on it. A loose seat can cause serious injury in the event of a collision.
It’s 20 for a reason – March 2021
As the school run returns, it’s important we remember that most areas around our schools in Sandwell have a speed limit of 20mph.
Children will be excited to meet their friends again and may be distracted at the roadside.
Keeping to the 20mph speed limit, helps families to walk around the area more safely and greatly reduces the risk of serious injury should an incident occur.
Remember the 20mph speed limit is a legal limit the same
as any other speed limit. West Midlands Police will issue fines to drivers breaking the law.
Tigers have arrived in Sandwell January 2021
Zebra crossings with their familiar black and white stripes and flashing amber Belisha beacons were first introduced in the United Kingdom in 1951 in the town of Slough.
It is said that MP James Callaghan first made the observation that the black and white stripes of the crossing resembled the pattern of a zebra in 1948 and the name stuck.
Now there is an new addition to the Pedestrian Crossing family The Tiger Crossing (Parallel Crossing. ) These were first seen in the UK in 2015, named Tiger as early versions had yellow stripes on the black road.
Oldbury Town centre has the first Tiger Crossings in Sandwell.
One is located on Church Road near to the junction of A4034 Bromford Road
The other is located on Halesowen Street, near to the junction of Ratcliffe Walk
Both allow cyclists to cross without dismounting in a segregated area parallel to pedestrians and motorists are obliged to give way to both sets of road users.
Advice and news from our partners
Pint Block – December 2021
The Department for Transport THINK! has launched Phase Two of Pint Block: their ongoing campaign encouraging young men to step in and stop a mate from drink driving.
The target audience for the campaign is 17-24-year-old men, who continue to be heavily over-represented in drink drive-related collisions. Young men are also less likely than the wider population to perceive drink driving behaviour as risky or unacceptable.
The campaign encourages mates to have each other’s backs with the message that ‘A mate doesn’t let a mate drink drive’.
Check out the link below for more videos and full details of the campaign. Stay safe and support each other this festive season.
West Midlands Police, Christmas Drink & Drug Driving Campaign - Dec 21
West Midlands Police inform us in order to support their combined commitment to road casualty reduction, West Midlands Police will be taking part in the national Christmas Drink & Drug Driving Campaign to crack down on offenders who continue to break the law. It will start on Wednesday 1st December 2021 and run until Saturday 1st January 2022
Officers will be patrolling throughout the evenings and also during the morning where they will aim to speak to as many motorists as possible about the dangers of driving the morning after a night out, and look to educate and enforce where necessary.
Anyone caught driving or attempting to drive while above the legal limit or unfit through drink may get:
- 6 months’ imprisonment
- an unlimited fine
- a driving ban for at least 1 year (3 years if convicted twice in 10 years)
If you break down on the motorway – Go Left! Dec 2021
Highways England’s 2021 Breakdowns campaign aims to improve road users’ awareness and confidence around what to do in the event of a breakdown on a motorway, including those without a hard shoulder, helping us all feel more capable and equipped should it happen to us.
Look out for the TV adverts and radio messages or visit;
https://highwaysengland.co.uk/road-safety/breakdowns/ for more information
Looking to learn to drive? New help available! July 21
The Department for Vehicle Standard Agency(DVSA) has re-launched the Safe Driving for Life website with some exciting new features.
A selection of practice theory tests, hazard perception tests and road signs tests are readily available and for the first time the main e-learning dashboard also now features a ‘Test Readiness Gauge’ – giving learners an indication of when you are ready to take your test.
You will be able to share your progress through the e-learning modules with your qualified driving instructor allowing you to work through the theory element together.
With new drivers being over represented in road casualty data it is more important than ever to prepare, study and practice your skills so that when you pass your test you can feel confident in your abilities to start that new journey on the road safely.
The DVSA has teamed up with its publishing partner, The Stationery Office (TSO), to relaunch the Safe Driving for Life website with a host of new features.
The Safe Driving for Life website is designed to support learners through their theory and driving tests and in becoming a life-long safe driver.
Some content – such as practice theory tests, hazard perception tests and road signs tests – can be accessed free of charge, with more available through a paid-for subscription.
The redesigned website is described as having a fresh and clean look and easy-to-navigate.
Among the new features is a series of updated e-learning modules, which were formerly located on the Official DVSA Learning Zone.
They cover all driving categories, including new modules for anyone wanting to train as an approved driving instructor (ADI).
The main e-learning dashboard also now features a ‘Test Readiness Gauge’ – giving learners an indication of when they’re ready to take their test.
The gauge is based on different factors, including the amount of practice questions the learner has answered correctly and how long they’ve spent studying.
Another added benefit for the new website is an increase in functionality for ADIs, who can use the platform free of charge.
Learners will be able to share their progress through the e-learning modules with their ADI and parents, allowing them to work through the theory element together.
The DVSA is welcoming feedback on the new website.
Seatbelts save lives! - June 2021
West Midlands Police are supporting the national seatbelt campaign to encourage drivers to comply with the seat belt legislation to save lives and prevent injuries between 31 May and 13 June 2021.
In 2019 23% of car occupants killed were not wearing a seatbelt, wearing your seatbelt saves lives and West Midlands Police remind us that being prosecuted whilst driving without wearing a seat belt is a real one.
They would like to highlight that if motorists and/or passengers are caught driving/travelling without a seatbelt on they will likely receive a large fine of £100.
Drivers travelling with children under the age of 14 are responsible for ensuring that each child is seated in the correct child car seat for their height and weight.
Ensuring that children wear their seatbelt every time they travel is a habit that can continue with them into adulthood when they become young drivers themselves.