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IAM launches winter driving campaign

15 October 2012

Road safety charity the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) launches its winter driving campaign this week to help motorists prepare their cars and drive them safely this winter.

The campaign includes a website, drivingadvice.org.uk, containing advice, traffic updates and weather forecasts. The IAM will also be publishing weekly news releases and driving tips in reaction to the winter weather as part of the campaign.

This campaign comes in response to winter's more dangerous driving conditions which cause an increase in accident rates:

  • Slippery roads (due to weather) contributed to 13,420 road casualties in 2011, and related to 79 fatalities.
  • Rain, sleet, snow or fog was the cause of 1,786 reported road casualties in 2011.
  • Travelling too fast for conditions was a contributing factor in 13,425 accidents in 2011.
  • The amount of rainfall during December 2011 was 34 per cent above the average for that time of year.
  • During February 2012, freezing rain fell across northern England causing treacherous conditions on roads and pavements; 100 road accidents were reported from Cumbria, and A&E departments dealt with hundreds of falls on icy pavements.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "The first thing you need to ask when the weather is bad is whether you need to travel, and if so, if there are alternatives to the roads.

"When you are on the road, be prepared to slow down and take extra care, particularly on bends and roads which are open to the elements.

"Our winter driving campaign will provide comprehensive advice and guidance for those who do decide to travel, keeping them as safe as possible."

ENDS

Notes to editors:

  1. Sources: Met Office (Winter 2011/12), Health Protection Agency evaluation report 'Cold Weather Plan for England 2011-12', Department for Transport release 'Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain: Annual report 2011'
  2. drivingadvice.org.uk
  3. If you would like a weekly blog on winter driving tips please contact the IAM press office.
  4. The IAM is the UK's largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.

ENDS ALL

Media contacts:

IAM press office - 020 8996 9777

press.office@iam.org.uk

ISDN broadcast lines available

iam.org.uk 

Bring me sunshine

22 October 2012

The IAM is calling for changes to British Summer Time (BST), to give us more daylight hours in the evening.

Bringing the British time zone forward by an hour in both winter and summer, would mean lighter evenings, when crashes are more likely. Figures from the Department for Transport show that changing the daylight hours could prevent about 80 deaths and at least 200 serious injuries on our roads each year.It would also align the hours of daylight to the waking and working hours of the vast majority of the population.

Road casualty rates increase with the arrival of darker evenings. In 2011:

  • The number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured in November was 14 per cent more than the monthly average.
  • The number of cyclist casualties was 5 per cent higher.
  • The rate of motorcycle casualties per vehicle mile was 28 per cent higher.1

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "Making evenings lighter would save lives. While an extra hour of daylight would help to make the commute home much safer for all road users, children, cyclists and motorcyclists would benefit most."

"We want to see a three-year trial of the new daylight system. If the trial period proves the new daylight hours have a positive effect on road safety, it is clear that it is the system we should keep. With convincing evidence of the potential benefits, it is only right that we pilot a new system."

ENDS

Notes for Editors:

  1. Calculated by the IAM from Department for Transport 'Reported Road Casualties Great Britain' (2011) table RAS30020 'Reported casualties and casualty rates by month, road user type and severity'.
  2. The IAM is the UK's largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.

ENDS ALL

Media contacts:

IAM Press Office - 020 8996 9777

press.office@iam.org.uk

ISDN broadcast lines available

iam.org.uk

Motorists want rule change for emergency vehicles

29 October 2012

Almost half of motorists believe that traffic stopped at an incident should keep a lane space free for emergency service vehicles, according to the latest poll by the IAM.  They also agree that those who fail to get out of the way of an emergency vehicle should be fined.  This approach is being trialled in Europe3.

Thirty-five per cent of respondents admit that they don't know the current rules on how to deal with an approaching emergency service vehicles. This is reflected in the results with a quarter of people saying they would go through a red light to let an emergency vehicle through which is illegal, and almost a third have entered a bus lane to allow access to an emergency vehicle which often results in fines.

Forty-four per cent of motorists believe that it is unfair to prosecute someone who crosses a red light to let an emergency services vehicle through. A further 31 per cent of people feel that this should be made legal. But, overall the largest group of respondents (41 per cent) believe that the law should not be changed in regards to crossing red lights for emergency vehicles. 

It is illegal to enter a bus lane during its active hours of operation to let an emergency vehicle past, and you can be fined if you do. Eighty-six per cent of motorists believe that this is unfair.

Other results show:

  • 74 per cent of people will pull over where possible when they see an emergency vehicle approaching.
  • Half of motorists would not drive through a red light if an emergency vehicle approached them from behind.
  • 82 per cent of people are aware that it is illegal to cross a red light to let an emergency services vehicle past.

Findings reveal that, while most people are aware of the laws surrounding emergency vehicles, around half are willing to flout them to let the emergency services through.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: "Fining people for pulling into empty bus lanes so that  life-saving services can get through is just plain wrong.

"Most drivers quite rightly want to get out of the way. Simply catching and penalising drivers who break the rules to let emergency vehicles pass will not serve to educate them - people must understand the rules to abide by them.

"Road users must be on the look-out for emergency service vehicles and move out of the way where possible but laws have been put in place for the safety of all road users. Our survey shows clear support for more clarity and new ways of ensuring police, fire and ambulance personnel get to incidents with maximum speed and minimum risk to themselves and others."

 ENDS

 Notes to editors:          

  1. IAM survey - Emergency services vehicles web poll - 2,506 respondents
  2. The IAM is the UK's largest independent road safety charity, dedicated to improving standards and safety in driving, motorcycling and cycling. The commercial division of the IAM operates through its occupational driver training company IAM Drive & Survive. The IAM has more than 200 local volunteer groups and over 100,000 members in the UK and Ireland. It is best known for the advanced driving test and the advanced driving, motorcycling and cycling courses. Its policy and research division offers advice and expertise on road safety.
  3. Emergency corridors are now mandatory whenever congestion occurs on Austria's motorways and dual carriageways.  An emergency corridor is a precautionary corridor that motorists are required to form and leave free between individual motorway (highway) or dual carriageway lanes whenever road congestion occurs. 

ENDS ALL

Media contacts:

IAM Press Office - 020 8996 9777

press.office@iam.org.uk

ISDN broadcast lines available

iam.org.uk