Drink Drive awareness event to encourage people to take responsibility for their actions this festive period

People across Leeds are being encouraged to take responsibility for their actions this festive period and beyond by not drinking and driving.To raise awareness of the consequences of drink driving, Leeds City Council’s Influencing Travel Behaviour Team held a Drink Drive awareness event on Thursday 13 December in Leeds City Centre.

Members of the public were encouraged to test out beer goggles to stimulate the effects of alcohol impairment and were offered information about alternative travel options in and around Leeds.

Leeds City Council’s annual Drink Drive campaign started on Saturday 1 December and will run throughout the month to enforce the message that drink driving is unacceptable and that there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel when you are under the influence of alcohol.

The campaign emphasises the message that individuals who are caught over the limit the morning after a night out will be treated like any other drink driver, with alcohol taking much longer than most people think to pass through the body.

The consequences of driving under the influence of drugs will also be highlighted.Over recent years, great progress has been made in reducing drink/drug driving.

However, research shows that a small minority of people are still prepared to consume alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel.

Between 2013 and 2016 drink and drive collisions in Leeds increased from 32 to 49; with a casualty rate increase from 57 to 77.

In 2017, the number of fatal or serious injury drink drive casualties (KSI) fell to 11 with an overall reduction of casualties to 67.

This year, Leeds City Council are being supported by West Yorkshire Police and Public Health in a bid to spread key messages surrounding drink driving and to further reduce the road collisions and casualties involving alcohol and drugs.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for regeneration, transport and planning said:

“Leeds City Council is committed to providing a safe environment for all who travel on our roads. This festive period the message is clear, if you’ve had a drink or are under the influence of drugs, don’t drive. The results could be life changing for you, your passengers and other road users around you.

“If you are out and about this Christmas, assign a designated driver, book a taxi or use public transport to get home. We want to continue to emphasise this message and make drink driving socially unacceptable no matter what age you are.

”Police Sergeant Gary Roper, West Yorkshire Police Roads Policing Unit said:

“As we head into the Christmas season I would remind people to consider their travelling arrangements if they are out and about and not to drink or drug drive.

“No one wants an officer on their doorstep telling them their loved one is never coming home, especially not due to a drink or drug driver. We want everyone travelling on our roads this Christmas to be safe. The consequences of drink or drug driving could be devastating so I urge people to do the right thing and don’t drink or drug drive.

”For more information on drink/drug driving, visit:

www.leeds.gov.uk/parking-roads-and-travel/connecting-leeds-and-transforming-travel/road-safety and follow @SaferRoadsLeeds on twitter.

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Advent Calendar

Christmas Drink /Drug Driving

Christmas Drink /Drug Driving If you’re old enough to drive then you should be aware of the reasons why drink or drug driving is not socially acceptable. Every year you will see an array of messages that highlight the reasons why you should not get behind the wheel under the influence of either alcohol or drugs. However, although great progress has been made over recent years, research shows that a small minority of people are still prepared to drink then drive.

Whilst the vast majority of us are decent people who believe ourselves to be safe and sensible behind the wheel, there are still some who believe that they are not affected by alcohol or drugs or that they won’t get caught. In Leeds last Christmas, 26 people were charged with drink/drug driving offences which, we are sad to report, is an increase of 11 from the 2016 festive period, highlighting the fact that the message is not getting to everyone.

This December, Leeds City Council’s Influencing Travel Behaviour (ITB) team want to drive home the message of not driving under the influence of drink or drugs. We have therefore put together a Christmas advent calendar with a difference. We want to help you make decisions around driving and the temptations that surround us at this time of year. The advent calendar contains links to useful webpages which will help you make a more informed decision when out and about this festive period.

Many drivers are caught out the morning after. Some have been caught out by just moving their car while others have lost their licence by sleeping in their car while drunk.

It’s easy to think that a few hours’ sleep will make all that alcohol in your system disappear, but whether you’re asleep or awake your body can only process things at a certain rate. Just how long that takes depends on many factors, including whether you’re male or female, your weight, how much booze you’ve had, how much and what you’ve eaten – and more.

Alcohol affects us all differently so there are no set rules as to what you can drink before driving to stay within the legal limit. The key thing is not to try to calculate if you’ve consumed enough to put you over the limit. It’s simply not worth the risk to yourself, your loved ones or other people who will be using the roads.

The consequences of drink driving are life changing.

If you want to know more about anything covered here, check out our advent calendar which is free to download. There are also some links to free online resources that’ll guide you through this festive period.

We’d suggest you check out:

 

Brake Road Safety Week – Bike Smart

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Cycling, as a way of travelling, has become incredibly popular in the last few years and people are making more of an effort to incorporate cycling into their daily lives. Cycling is well known for being one of the healthiest, cheapest and most environmentally friendly forms of transport available.

With the theme of this year’s Road Safety Week being ‘Bike Smart, it is important for drivers to be aware of how to drive safely around both motorcyclists and cyclists. To ensure that everyone is safe on the roads.

In 2017, there were 281 cyclist injuries (of all severities) recorded in Leeds and there were a total of 170 motorcyclists injured in the same year, including 2 fatalities.

Leeds City Council feel strongly about improving cycle and motorcycle safety. Whilst understanding the important role that cycling has to offer in terms of the wider benefits to the city (improving air quality; reducing congestion; improving physical health and wellbeing), the most important factor is the health and safety of those who travel by two wheels.

If we want to get more people choosing to travel by two wheels then it is only understandable that we accept that people should feel safe and expect that their journey from A to B is a pleasant and uneventful one.

The simple fact is that everyone who uses the road has a part to play in making them a safe place, no matter how they travel. It’s easy to blame others, but if we all take a little more time and pay more attention to how we use the roads then we can help to make the roads a safer place.

Bike Smart is the message at the heart of this year’s Brake Road Safety Week, focusing on the safety of those on two wheels. Taking place between 19th and 25th November, Road Safety Week seeks to raise public awareness of road safety, aiming for positive change on our roads.

That’s why this year Leeds City Council’s Influencing Travel Behaviour Team (ITB) are supporting Brake’s road safety event which will be held in Victoria Gardens on Tuesday 20th November 2018.

The ITB team will be engaging with the public by encouraging road users, particularly drivers, to look out for cyclists and motorcyclists and give them sufficient space on the roads. Other key priorities for the ITB team are to provide information on safe routes and using appropriate equipment while cycling and motorcycling.

Here are some ways in which you can help keep cyclists safe on the road:

Traffic lights

If you are behind a cyclist when approaching a red or amber traffic light, make sure that you give the cyclist plenty of time to pull away when the light changes to green. Although some traffic lights have a designated area for cyclists (Advanced Stop Lines / Cycle Boxes), not all sets of lights have this. Even if the lights don’t have a designated area for cyclists, make sure that you don’t get too close to them. If there is a cycle box please leave this clear.

Minimise distractions

Concentration behind the wheel is crucial for the safety of all road users. It is especially important for vulnerable users such as cyclists. Looking at your mobile phone, eating or listening to loud music can all contribute to a driver losing focus. Factors such as fatigue can also have an impact on concentration.

Maintain a consistent driving style

Unpredictable drivers can make cyclists feel unsafe on the road. Although it can be frustrating to be stuck behind a cyclist, make sure that you wait for a safe opportunity to overtake. If there is an oncoming car or a blind turn coming up, wait until a more appropriate time to overtake. When it is safe to pass the cyclist, keep your speed low and leave them plenty of space as you drive past (the recommended distance is 1.5 metres).

Misjudging cyclists’ speeds

Some cyclists can reach higher speeds than many car drivers expect. Misjudging the speed of a cyclist can cause a collision as the gap between the car and cyclist may not be as large as expected. This is particularly important when making a right turn which involves cutting across oncoming traffic. If a cyclist is approaching faster than expected, you may not have time to move across the road. If carrying out this manoeuvre, always check for cyclists filtering down the inside of queuing traffic.

Plan ahead

Consider your route before overtaking a cyclist. It can be dangerous to speed up to overtake a cyclist and then have to immediately slow down to turn off onto another road or to stop at traffic lights. If your journey is about to take you onto a new road or cause you to stop for some reason, it is safer to stay behind the cyclist.

Remain observant

Cyclists can be easy to miss as they are often obscured by larger vehicles. Therefore, it is important to pay close attention to your surroundings and drive at a suitable speed to ensure that you have enough time to stop if a cyclist emerges unexpectedly.

On a final note, the number of people choosing to cycle or ride a motorcycle in Leeds each year is increasing at a rapid pace. But there are still a large number of people who could cycle, yet don’t as they don’t consider it an option due to perceived and real personal safety risks. Therefore it is imperative that the dangers (and opportunities) for those on bicycles and motorcycles are addresses, and that those on two wheels feel confident that their journeys will be safe and pleasant.

We are united by the urgent need to reduce their risk of death and injury on our roads. Please come and support this event we will be in Victoria Gardens between 10am and 4pm on Tuesday to promote cycle safety and support Brake Road Safety with a ‘Virtual Cycle’ event to highlight the number of casualties on bikes each year.

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If you’re free and would like to pop down at some point, it would be good to see you.

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Bonfire night – Be Bright Be Seen

Bonfire night

Bonfire Night can be a great time for all the family. Fireworks and bonfires are something the whole family looks forward to around 5th November, but it is important that everyone celebrates safely.

Wrapping up warm, making sure our children are cosy in their coats and wellies as weuntitled stand around the bonfire eating pie and peas and munching on toffee apples is one of our favourite traditions. We all enjoy bathing in the glow and warmth of the bonfire, eagerly awaiting the evening’s light show which illuminates the sky.

However, there are some important road safety messages that we would like to remind you of to make sure your evening goes off without the ‘wrong’ kind of bang!

Follow our 5 simple tips to help keep everyone safe on and around the roads this Bonfire Night and beyond.

  • Be Bright Be Seen

Smoke from bonfires and firework displays can drift over roadways and research hasCapture.PNG 16 shown that visibility reduces by around a quarter, or even more in humid conditions, due to air pollution. Be aware of this whether you are driving, walking or cycling – it will be harder to see and be seen. Motorists should adjust their speed to ensure they have more time to see other roads users and react in time if necessary. If you’re a pedestrian or cyclist, wear something bright and reflective to make yourself stand out to motorists.

  • Be Alert

There will be lots of children out and about, so be extra vigilant when driving in residential areas or near event sites. Animals can be spooked by fireworks and are more likely to bolt across the road, so drive with caution.

  • Don’t Get Distracted

Whatever you do, don’t be distracted by fireworks as you drive. It’s very tempting to take a look, but it only takes a moment’s inattention to cause an accident. At 30 mph, while looking up for 3 seconds to admire a rocket exploding, you will have travelled 40 metres, the length of 2 cricket pitches. In that time you could drift from your lane, miss a traffic signal or a child crossing the road. If there’s a great display going on, why not pull over somewhere safe and enjoy the show for a while.

Find the distractions in this game for all ages, Driven to distraction!

  • Be Responsible

If you’re having a display, be mindful of the wind direction and make sure your bonfire smoke won’t obscure a highway. You could be fined if it drifts and becomes a danger to traffic.

  • Walk If You Can

If you’re planning to travel to a display, why not park away from the event and walk the final distance. It’ll help cut traffic volume and may be much less stressful, leaving you in a better mood to enjoy the spectacle.

Encouraging everyone to make our streets safer, more pleasant places by driving less, living more

Here are some extra tips to prepare us all for bonfire night and firework season:

  • Dress for the weather but do not drive wearing wellington boots.
  • Make sure you have a designated driver if you are planning on drinking alcohol.
  • If you have to drive, keep fully concentrated on the road.
  • Protect your pets and never leave them in a car near a fireworks display in case they get agitated and injure themselves or damage the vehicle. Take them out for walks before it gets dark. Leave the radio or television on so that it hides the noise of the fireworks.
  • Always travel with fireworks in a safe container (like a biscuit tin) in the boot, removing any temptation for passengers to interfere with them while you are driving.shutterstock_332564996

 

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Be Bright Be Seen – October clock change

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Be safe and be seen this autumn/winter, that is the message from Leeds City Council’s Influencing Travel Behaviour Team.

This message coincides with the end of Daylight Saving Time: at 2am, the clocks will go back by one hour on Sunday, 28 October. On the one hand, this means an extra hour in bed, and the mornings will be brighter; suddenly, 28 October can’t come fast enough!

It also means that the sun will set one hour earlier, signaling the beginning of darker winter evenings.

One of the consequences of this is an increased risk to people’s safety on the roads. Vulnerable road users like children, the elderly, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists are particularly at risk of being involved in an incident.

These darker evenings coincide with the excitement of Halloween and bonfire night.

Bonfire night holds a special place in many people’s hearts, as it brings back happy childhood memories of huge bonfires and spectacular firework displays.

Wrapping up and keeping warm is our main concern, as we make sure our children are cosy in their coats and wellies as we stand around the bonfire eating pie and peas and munching on toffee apples. We stand bathing in the glow and warmth of the bonfire, eagerly awaiting the evening’s light show, which illuminates the sky.

However, there are some important road safety messages that we would like to remind you of to make sure your evening goes off without the ‘wrong’ kind of bang!

Be Bright Be Seen

Smoke from bonfires and firework displays either on 5 November itself, or around this time, can drift over roads. Be aware of this whether you are driving, walking or cycling – Capture.PNG 16it will be harder to see and to be seen. If you’re a pedestrian, wear something bright and reflective to make yourself stand out to motorists. Same goes for cyclists – and don’t forget to use lights in dusk and darkness. Motorists, be aware of the extra volume of people on the roads and reduce your speed to ensure you have more time to see other roads users and react in time if they do something unexpected.

Be Alert

There will be lots of children out and about, some dressed in weird and wonderful scary costumes, many of which may be dark in colour. If you’re driving, be extra vigilant when in residential areas or near event sites, remember that many residential areas now have lower 20mph speed limits. Also, don’t forget that animals can be spooked by fireworks and are more likely to bolt across the road, so drive with caution.

Don’t Get Distracted

Tempting as it may be, whatever you do, don’t be distracted by fireworks as you drive. ItFire%20works.jpg only takes a moment’s inattention to cause an accident. At 30 mph, while looking up for 3 seconds to admire a rocket exploding, you will have travelled 40 metres, the length of two cricket pitches. In that time you could drift from your lane, miss a traffic signal or fail to see a child crossing the road. If there’s a great display going on, why not pull over somewhere safe and enjoy the show for a while?

Be Responsible

If you’re having a display, be mindful of the wind direction and make sure your bonfire smoke won’t obscure a highway. You could be fined if it drifts and becomes a danger to traffic.

Walk If You Can

If you’re planning on travelling to a display, why not use public transport or park away from the event and walk the final part of the journey? It’ll help cut traffic volume and may be much less stressful, leaving you in a better mood to enjoy the spectacle. Plus the extra time will give you chance to talk to your children about what you did for bonfire night when you were a child.

Here are some extra tips to prepare us all for bonfire night and firework season:

  • Dress for the weather, but do not drive wearing wellington boots.
  • Make sure you have a designated driver if you are planning on drinking alcohol.
  • If you have to drive, keep fully concentrated on the road.
  • Protect your pets and never leave them in a car near a fireworks display in case they get agitated and injure themselves or damage the vehicle. Take them out for walks before it gets dark. Leave the radio or television on so that it hides the noise of the fireworks.

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Have A Safe and Memorable Halloween and Bonfire Night from SaferRoadsLeeds

Tune Into Tyre Safety

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October is tyre safety month. Leeds City Council want to spread the word about how important tyre safety is, by reminding drivers of the importance of frequent tyre pressure checks to improve road safety, reduce motoring costs and be kinder to the environment.

At the end of March 2018, there were 37.9 million vehicles licensed for use on the roads in Great Britain, of which 31.3 million were cars. Research by TyreSafe suggests that almost 10 million of those vehicles are being driven with illegal tyres each year, putting lives at risk. Millions of drivers in the UK are driving around on illegal and dangerous tyres; one in four motorists have one or more tyres with dangerous tread depth.

Tyre Tread & Tyre Pressure

Your cars tyres are the only part of the vehicle that makes any contact with the road surface. They play a critical role in the handling (such as the steering and braking) and safety of the entire vehicle. Therefore it’s essential that you know how to check your tyres for any defects or general wear and tear. The depth on the tyre refers to the cracks in your tyres, which should be at least 1.6mm deep. However, for optimum safety, it is recommended that your tyres should be changed at 3mm.

  • It’s a very simple test when you need to check the tread of your tyres. All you need is a 20p coin. When the 20p is inserted into the main tread grooves, the outer band of the coin should be obscured. This means that the tyres are above the legal limit, and you’re safe to drive.

Maintaining tyre pressure is just as important as checking tread depth, but this is often forgotten by drivers.

Under inflation is also a concern. You might not think much of it if your tyres are not inflated to the correct PSI as specified in your vehicle handbook. TSM-Banner-240x400-1But under inflated tyres can be a real danger to you and other road users. They increase your braking distance as the tyre contact patch is not fully connecting with the road and they affect your road handling making it more difficult to corner.

But safety isn’t the only issue. If your tyres are under inflated you might feel the pinch in your pocket too as under-inflated tyres consume more fuel meaning you’ll need to refuel more often and your tyres will wear faster than usual and need replacing much sooner.

TyreSafe has found that over half (56.8%) of car tyres on UK roads are at least 4 PSI below their recommended pressure and that an estimated £600m is wasted on excess fuel as a result of driving with under-inflated tyres.

How to correctly inflate your tyres

Checking your tyres to make sure they are not under inflated is easy and most garage forecourts provide air for a small charge.

  • Firstly, make sure you know what the correct tyre pressure should be for your vehicle by checking the vehicle handbook. The correct pressure is also usually printed inside the jamb of the driver’s door or under the petrol cap.
  • Then, set the machine to the correct tyre pressure.
    • Tip: since most petrol stations provide air on a timer, make sure you remove the dust caps from your tyres before starting the machine to maximise your time and ensure you’re not having to fiddle with these once the clock starts!
    • Attach the airline to the tyre valve and the machine will show you the current air pressure. It will beep to let you know when the desired tyre pressure PSI is reached (so it’s important to set this correctly first).
  • If you are at all unsure about your tyre pressure or have a question about your tyres, just pop in to your local Auto centre and they’ll be happy to check them for you.tread

The consequences

As the driver of a vehicle, you are responsible for ensuring the tyres are safe, legal and in a roadworthy state. Failure to comply with the minimum regulations can result in fines of up to £2,500 and three penalty points for each illegal tyre. This could cost you your licence, or even worse, your life.

On top of the fine you could also have other very serious consequences:

  • You could cause an accident, injuring yourself and others in the process.
  • Less tread depth means less grip, which means worse handling.
  • Your tyre is likely to go flat quicker – which increases the chances that they could burst whilst you are driving along.
  • A reduction in grip means your stopping distance increases – you are also more likely to skid and lose control on non-ideal road conditions.
  • Your insurance cover could be invalid.

Tyre condition

Drivers are advised to look out for signs of irregular wear on their tyres. This could be in the form of cuts, lumps or bulges. If this isn’t regularly checked you could face driving with a defective tyre which could deflate very quickly.

What causes irregular tyre wear?

Irregular tyre wear can usually be down to a variety of driving habits, but unfortunately there’s no definitive answer. These habits can be anything from aggressive turning, repeatedly scuffing tyres along kerbs or pavements or under inflation of tyres on one side of the car.

Remember, it’s not just the tyres that you need to check; it’s the rest of the vehicle too.

Find my ideal pressure here https://www.kwik-fit.com/tyres/information/tyre-pressure-search

 

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Are you a Two Zero Hero? 20mph is now the new speed limit on many local and residential streets in Leeds.

Are you a two zero hero

There was once a time when our streets were unrestricted spaces which belonged to no one group or form of transport. They were places where people would stop and have a chat with their neighbours; where kids would be riding their bikes or playing ball games; where families looked out for one another. But most of all they were a place where communities were brought together and people would walk where they liked.

This changed as we witnessed a growth in the demand for motor vehicles, which led to a shift in the way people moved around. As the demand for cars grew, they became more affordable and people wanted bigger and faster vehicles. Pedestrians were forced to the sides and given places where they should cross, cyclists were barely tolerated and expected to keep out of the way.

Times are changing again, and people are beginning to realise the value of having a safe environment, not only for children to play in but for all residents to feel part of. Residents want to make their communities enjoyable and safe places where they can cycle or walk instead of using their cars.

Why 20mph?

Leeds, like many residential areas within the UK, is introducing 20mph limits within more of its residential areas as part of a city-wide program. This is to help reduce road casualties, and to make our communities nicer places to live. As a city, we need to change behaviour and attitudes towards speed, so that 20mph is seen as the ‘norm’ within residential areas. 20mph limits are not implemented to inconvenience people, but to reduce speed in built up areas where children and other vulnerable road users are.

Aside from the proven safety benefits of 20mph speed limits, this is as much about encouraging people out of their cars, to lead more active lifestyles by walking and cycling. And reducing noise pollution can also have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of people living in these communities. Who wants to live in a place where there are high levels of traffic noise which can cause stress and discourage active travel? Are we likely to want to walk on or encourage our children to cycle or scoot to school along a noisy urban street?

So this is your chance to be a two-zero hero. Let’s work together as a city and make Leeds a nicer, healthier place to live, where children and families engage in active travel and communities can share the streets once again.

For more information, visit Leeds City Council 20mph webpage http://www.leeds.gov.uk/tcs

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