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Road Safety in the News


Road Casualty Figures for Great Britain 2018


The main results showing the number of people killed and injured on the roads for 2018 have been published which records a total of 160,378 casualties of all severities in reported road traffic collisions for the year. This is 6% lower than in 2017 and is the lowest level on record.

Headline figures

1782 killed in road collisions

24,484 seriously injured

133,112 slightly injured

(The above figures relate to Great Britain and do not include Northern Ireland)

Some quick reference points

Car occupants deaths 777

Pedestrians deaths 454

Motorcyclists deaths 354

Cyclists deaths 99

Children accounted for 48 deaths (under 16 years of age)

The age group 17-25 accounted for 279 deaths

People aged 60 and over accounted for 586 deaths

Road deaths in the constituent parts of the UK (to include Northern Ireland)

England 1,519

Scotland 160

Wales 103

Northern Ireland 55

A UK TOTAL of 1,837

Whilst the overall reduction in road casualties is very pleasing and a fall has been consistent for a number of years there is much concern that the total the number of people losing their lives has become stagnated and we do need to explore why it is that we can get an overall reduction but this is not matched by an equal reduction in the number of people being killed.

Our active travel agenda which encourages people to walk and cycle more along with motorcycling which is also seen as part of our active travel programme is pushing more people into greater vulnerability and these three groups now represent 50% of those killed.


Top 10 Reasons For Failing The Driving Test

The most common faults made during driving tests between 4th December 2017 and 3rd December 2018 were:

1. Junctions - observation

2. Mirrors - change direction

3. Control - steeting

4. Juctions - turning right

5. Move off - safely

6. Response to signals - traffic lights

7. Move off - control

8. Positioning - normal driving

9. Response to signs - road markings

10.Reverse park - control


Using a Mobile Phone Whilst Driving

The RAC study of drivers indicate that across all age groups, a quarter (25%) of drivers admit to illegally making or receiving calls while driving, compared to 24% in 2017, despite the introduction of tougher penalties for illegal phone use in March 2017. The study also found a rises in the proportion of younger working-age drivers admitting to using a phone illegally in 2018. Drivers in the 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 age groups admit to a range of dangerous activities involving a handheld phone, with nearly half in the younger age group (47%) saying they make or receive calls while driving – up 7% on 2017 and compared to just 25% of drivers in all age groups.

(Information from Graham Feest Newsletter April2019)



The European Parliament is proposing that all new cars sold from 2022 will be fitted with speed limiters. The move is part of a series of measures backed by MEPs to make a variety of safety systems compulsory. The intelligent speed assistance (ISA) systems will use road sign recognition or GPS data to determine local speed limits and limit a vehicle's speed to within that.

The mandatory fitting of ISA was approved by MEPs following proposals by our colleagues at the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC). ETSC says that making speed limiters mandatory will reduce traffic collisions by 30 per cent and could save 25,000 lives within 15 years of being introduced.

(Information from Graham Feest NewsletterApril 2019)



Courts need to ‘get tough’ and enforce the law on drivers and riders who accumulate 12 penalty points on their licences following a reminder that figures published in October 2018 show that nearly 11,000 people are still driving with 12 or more points on their licences.

GEM Motoring Assist says

"Motorists who reach this level show ‘disregard for the law’ and potentially represent ‘a big risk’ to other road users and in keeping with the views and opinions of many other people that a driving ban should be ‘inevitable’ for anyone who has received 12 penalty points. Whilst it is appreciated that a ban might well cause considerable levels of hardship but this is the consequences of their own actions and the courts need to give more thought to other road users who face the greatest danger when such high-risk drivers are allowed to keep their licences."

(Excerpt From Graham Feest NewsletterApril 2019)

Car Controls and Adaptations

Uploaded into the reference and guidance section of the Graham Feest Website is a very useful and informative updated document which has been put together by Hayden Jenkins who is an ADI specialising in training people with physical difficulties and sets out some of the adaptations which are available to support drivers and their special needs.

Although aimed at driver trainers the information will be of great value to those who need to adapt their vehicles later in life or in the event of an unforeseen event and this booklet provides valuable sources of information and is well worth a read.


The public support for regular mandatory driver re-testing has increased following the Duke of Edinburgh’s recent crash.

But it raises the question as to whether or not we will prevent such incidents by undertaking such a draconian step, what stress it will place on older and the more vulnerable members of our society, what exactly are we to test and who is going to be put in a position of conducting such a test. However there is a bank of drivers who are backing a change in the law which would force every motorist to retake their test, either at set intervals or in old age, in order to keep their licence.

Two in three motorists now support the idea of compulsory driving re-tests. A majority suggest that they should take place once licence-holders are 70 or over.

The policy has been growing in favour for some time, with just over half of drivers backing re-tests in the first half of January, but support surged after 97-year-old Prince Philip’s Land Rover crashed into another car and overturned.

The findings emerged in research by BuyaCar.co.uk, which began canvassing opinion on mandatory re-testing before the incident. The sudden marked shift in public opinion also revealed a belief that it’s not just elderly drivers who could benefit: three in five respondents thought that every motorist should be tested every ten years.

(Information from Graham Feestnewsletter, March 2019)


A recent poll, commissioned by Alison Hernandez, road safety lead for England’s Police and Crime Commissioners,found that 80 per cent of people backed tougher penalties for offences such as speeding and 85 per cent also wanted to see stricter enforcement of traffic laws.

Ms Hernandez points out that the penalty for those caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving doubled to a £200 fine and six points last year, and the maximum fine for those admitting littering from a car rose to £150 – yet the fixed penalty charge for speeding remains at £100 and three points.

Under current laws, motorists will receive a £100 fixed penalty notices and three penalty points for most offences. This punishment can rise up to £2,500 for the most severe offences and if your case is taken to court.



There are new speed cameras being introduced in the south-west which have the ability to monitor your speed, check your seatbelt, detect mobile phone usage or see whether you’re eating, smoking or drinking, and it could lead to prosecution. These new cameras have been nicknamed ‘The Yellow Vultures’.

We are used to seeing average speed check cameras throughout various locations, however, these new cameras are the next generation. They use infrared technology and high-definition, so that day or night, they have the ability to catch you unawares.

These new breed of cameras are much more accurate, which means that breaching the speed limit by just 1mph motorist may get fined. Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, Britain’s Road Policing Chief wanted these penalties to happen and with this new technology, he may just get his way.

Currently, the National Police Chiefs Council guidelines recommend a 10+2 limit, that is 10% over, plus 2mph – 35mph in a thirty limit, 57mph in a fifty and so on, but that really is only a courtesy, as speedometers were allowed to have some inaccuracy. Now speedometers are accurate and so the motorist can tell what speed they are reaching.

The camera unit itself is similar enough to existing average speed cameras, but the tell-tale is that they’ll be preceded by a bank of LED equipment and sensors 20 metres before the first camera, even so, you’ll need sharp eyesight to know when you’re entering a zone.

(excerpt taken from PetrolPrices.com website. Jan 2019)


IAM Roadsmart are offering a special price for first 50 people - If you are a mature driver who needs a confidence boost or would like a reassurance that your skills are still tip-top for £40.00.

The Mature Driver Review (MDR) is not a test or exam – there is no pass or fail. It's a friendly onehour session, with a qualified assessor. People will use their own car and drive on roads that are familiar. The assessor will also work through any issues which arise or are of concern and provide a written report in complete confidence. To take advantage of this offer: call 0300 303 1134 quoting code MDA 40.

This offer can only be accessed by phone and is not available to book on line however
you can find more about it at


(Information from Graham Feestnewsletter, February 2019)



An airbag vest which can detect a collision and inflate in less than one second has been developed to help protect cyclists from back and neck injuries has been developed by Helite, a French company which specialises in airbag technology.

The vest known as “B”safe will inflate in 100 milliseconds (0.1 seconds) and will give ‘optimal protection’ to three vital parts of the body: the thorax, the back and the neck. It is made of a strong nylon fabric which is designed to ensure the vest won’t rip
after inflation. The company say that the focus in the development has been on the main areas that need to be protected during a fall. The great news is that following each inflation the airbag automatically deflates slowly and can be used

The vest is used in conjunction with a saddle sensor which detects shocks from the road surface Helite has also developed an airbag for motorcyclists – Airvest –
which is currently being used by 14 UK police forces and London Ambulance motorcycle paramedics.

(Excerpt from Graham FeestNewsletter, February 2019)

Use of Hands Free Phones Whilst Driving

The RAC’s Be Phone Smart campaign reported that drivers using phones caused 2263 crashes between 2013 and 2017. It also reported that 25% of respondents admitted using a hand-held phone while driving, and 40% admitted to checking texts or social media. However, most such campaigns focus on hand-held mobile phone use rather than hands-free.

Research carried out by Dr Graham J. Hole (University of Sussex) with Dr Gemma F. Briggs and Dr Jim A. J. Turner (Open University) reveals overwhelming evidence that – contrary to popular assumption – driving while having a phone conversation using hands-free technology is no safer than using a hand-held phone. Over 80% of studies into phone use have now shown significant performance degradation, with hands-free phone use causing the same dangerously high levels of distraction as hand-held phone use.

The road safety fraternity has promoted the message that being engaged on the phone whilst driving is totally unacceptable whether it is hand held (which is against the law) or hands free. Drawing from their own research, as well as numerous studies by other academics and public bodies, this research collates and gives further evidence around some common misconceptions about the safety of hands-free phone use, and examines some potential solutions for tackling the problem.

Find a copy of the paper at https://www.grahamfeest.com/resources/latest-uploads/

Black Box Technologies Seems to be Working

There are a number of companies who offer a range of more affordable policies to newly qualified drivers if they are prepared to have a black box fitted which monitors their driving performance.

Research by the RAC has found that more than 60% of its black box policyholders believe the device makes them safer on the roads. Black box, or ‘telematics’ insurance, sees a small black box device installed into a vehicle which records information on speed, acceleration, braking and cornering – which is sent back to the insurer.

62% of RAC black box car insurance policyholders believe the device – and its ‘driver score’ feature – makes them safer on the roads, compared to just 12% who think it makes no difference to their driving. 58% claim they now rarely exceed the speed limit, while 30% say that they drive more slowly around bends as a result of the device.

The RAC says the figures support its long-held view that telematics devices help create safer drivers, and illustrate the influence they can have on in-car behaviour.

Excerpt from Graham Feest Oct 2018


Learn2Live Presentations

Learn 2 Live

New dates coming soon . . .

Learn2Live Exeter University

Learn2Live South Devon College

For more infomation visit Learn2Live website.


Following a period of consultation the Department of transport has announced that Learner drivers will be allowed to take motorway driving lessons with an approved driving instructor in a car with dual controls from 2018. The exact date in 2018 will be confirmed nearer the time. The change will apply to England, Scotland and Wales.

Learner drivers will need to be:

Accompanied by a fully qualified Approved Driving Instructor (ADI)

Driving a car fitted with dual controls

(Trainee driving instructors will NOT be allowed to take learner drivers on the motorway)

Any motorways lessons will be voluntary and it will be up to the approved driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough to have a motorway lesson. This change will only apply to learner drivers of cars.

(Learner motorcyclists will NOT be allowed to have motorway lessons

The change will be well-publicised so driving instructors and learner drivers are prepared for the change, and other road users know what to expect. The Highway Code rules on motorways will also be updated.

Driving instructors will be allowed to decide whether or not to keep their driving school roof-top box on during motorway lessons, based on the manufacturers instructions. However, the car will still need to display L plates on the front and rear if the rooftop box is removed. It is not intended to provide driving instructors extra training on providing motorway lessons, but learning materials and the car driving syllabus will be updated to incorporate motorway lessons. DVSA will also work with driving instructor associations and Highways England to provide extra guidance and advice for driving instructors.

Until the law is changed, it's still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway.

(Excerpt from: www.grahamfeest.com)

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."

Read more at http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/who-s-there-for-the-emergency-services-at-christmas/story-29989065-detail/story.html#g95g4GqpR33HepbW.99

Call for the return of the Tax Disc?

1st October marked the second anniversary of the loss of the tax disc. The move was meant to save the DVLA 10 million a year but instead revenue from vehicle excise duty is reported to have fallen by some 93 million.

In a research study conducted by uSwitch, three quarters of the six thousand respondents called for the tax disc to be brought back!

The DVLA has confirmed that almost 99 per cent of all vehicles on the road are correctly taxed that's around 6 billion in vehicle tax passed to the Treasury every year. They write to every registered vehicle keeper in the UK to remind them when their tax is due and rely therefore on drivers telling them when they move house. The new system also means that you can pay in monthly instalments instead of one sum.

However some are asking if the loss of the tax disc is encouraging more motorists to evade the tax?

Kasey Cassells, insurance expert at uSwitch.com, said:

"A gap has clearly been left by the paper disc, but the move towards modernisation doesn't go far enough. Despite receiving reminders by post, motorists with the best intentions are getting caught out by forgetting their renewal date. The DVLA should consider more relevant notifications, like text alerts which have proved successful for the NHS."

(Excerpt from Traffic Safety Roads Graham Feest Consultancy)


"The Honest Truth"

This project (The Honest Truth) provides a resource pack for driving instructors, including a video, teaching cars, letter templates and leaflets helping instructors to deliver safer driving messages to their students and students' parents.

Approximately every 18 hours a young person is killed on UK roads, while every 90 minutes a young person suffers a serious injury.

Over 300 driving instructors across Devon and Cornwall are already associates of The Honest Truth. It's free for instructors to join and the first of it's kind in the country.

visit thehonesttruth.co.uk

email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

call 01626 215894

Online Driving Instructor Directory

A free online directory, launched by the Driving Standards Agency, is to make it easier for learner drivers to find qualified instructors in their area. Fully-qualified driving instructors can sign up to be listed on the 'Find your nearest driving instructors' directory.

Learners can search by postcode and will be able to see if instructors have signed up to the voluntary code of practice and are committed to continuing their personal development