Posts Tagged ‘Safety’

Pets In The Car

Posted on August 3rd, 2011 by David Williams MBE

With the hottest week of the summer upon us, it’s important to remember your pets’ needs as well as your own.  GEM is urging motorists to take special care of pets when travelling and make sure they are properly hydrated, cool and safely secured.

Pets In The CarAs UK holidays become increasingly popular, we expect to see even more animals being taken on long journeys. So this summer, to ensure your dog is cool throughout the journey, make sure they have enough air, water and space and do not leave them in the car alone for even a short period of time in hot weather, even with a window open.

GEM believes that safety of dogs in cars does not get the attention it deserves and that’s why the road safety company is also warning drivers about the dangers of driving with an unrestrained dog. As mentioned on Daybreak earlier this week, huge numbers of accidents are caused by dogs travelling in cars without proper harnesses.

Former Eastenders actor Todd Carty appeared on the show to talk about introducing laws making it compulsory for dogs to wear seat belts.

It may look sweet when you see man’s best friend sticking their head out the window, wind blowing back the ears, tongue lolling, nose up taking in all the smells, but the dangers are extremely high. An unrestrained average-sized dog weighing around 50lbs would be thrown forward with a force equivalent to almost nine 12 stone men if you were to have an impact, even when travelling just 30 miles an hour.  Not only could a single impact see your pooch injured, or even dead, the other human passengers are also at risk.

To avoid this horrible situation, there are several types of dog car safety belts and harnesses so you can travel safely with your hound.  If your dog already wears a harness type collar, then there is a simple safety belt that attaches to your dog’s harness and the car seat belt and costs around £7. A dog car seat harnes cost around £12 – £20 depending on the size of your dog, a small price to pay for their safety. So make sure you’re strapped in for a safe ride this summer and look after yourself and your four legged friend.

When the cameras went on again!

Posted on April 18th, 2011 by David Williams MBE

When the cameras went on again!

It has been interesting to read the many viewpoints relating to the story that Oxfordshire County Council has now decided to switch back on their safety cameras following an argument  regarding funding and after severe public protest.

Some might argue that the decision to switch them off a few months back was politically motivated to ensure funding issues were addressed.  However, what now seems very clear is that cameras have a role to play in reducing illegal speeding and in reducing death and injury on the road.

GEM Motoring Assist has always tried to avoid the opposite viewpoints about whether money should be spent on cameras or on more police officers enforcing traffic rules.  Our view has always been that we need both and indeed any other measure that will encourage safety without compromising personal and independent travel.

As a local parish councillor I have clearly seen at first hand that an on-going concern of most residents is speeding vehicles. Any method of enforcing the law of the land has to be welcomed and myths that safety cameras are only used as revenue machines have to be dismissed.

Changing the Clocks for Safety

Posted on March 25th, 2011 by David Williams MBE

Changing the Clocks for SafetyWhen I joined the road safety profession in 1972 one of the ‘hot topics’ was the then recent experiment of changing the clocks to provide and extra hour of daylight in the afternoon peak road accident period.

For political reasons, that were far from clear at the time, the experiment was abandoned despite what was believed to be a significant reduction in road accident casualties.

Since that time several in depth research studies have shown clearly that a change to British Summer Times in the winter i.e. one hour ahead of GMT and Double Summer Time during the rest of the year (GMT+2) would prevent over one hundred deaths and many hundreds of serious injuries on the road each and every year.  All of the major road safety organisations including GEM Motoring Assist waited in anticipation for what would be the most cost effective life saving measure of all time.  Yet 40 years on still no change has taken place.

There are many reasons why this simple change in the way we manage our clocks would benefit the nation as a whole:

• A significant reduction in road accidents during the peak afternoon travel period.

• This reduction would outweigh many times over any small increase in early morning crashes.

• A total saving of around 100 lives and many thousands of injuries on our roads.  This includes Scotland.

• A huge saving in energy costs as more energy is consumed in the afternoon/evening than in the early morning.

• A significant benefit in lowering emissions and CO2 as energy demands would be reduced.

• A benefit to tourism and leisure with winter afternoons having more daylight for outdoor pursuits.

• A benefit in terms of health of the nation with fewer accidents and an increase in outdoor activities in the winter.
These are but a few of the advantages of making a simple change to our clocks.

I hope that my 40 year wait will soon be over and that more than 100 families each and every year will be saved from the trauma of an unnecessary death on the road.

Cutting safety – school crossing patrols

Posted on March 8th, 2011 by David Williams MBE

Cutting safety – school crossing patrolsWe know that the Country has to seriously address the financial dilemma it faces and difficult decisions need to be made.  However, surely the saving of life and limb on the road needs to have a prime position on the list of ‘can’t do without’.

The decision by Suffolk County Council to abandon its entire School Crossing Patrol service to save £170,000 is one of the very worst cases of social neglect that the current round of cuts have caused.  In terms of the saving needed to meet its budget this cruel cut is a very tiny amount of money yet will endanger thousands of school children and indeed parents on their way to and from school.

School Crossing Patrols or ‘Lollipop’ people as they are better known have been a feature on our roads since the 1940’s and they not only prevent children from having accidents on the way to and from school they also directly and indirectly provide vital road safety training to young people.

Their work is poorly paid and extremely dangerous as the Patrol Officer in Lowestoft Suffolk found out recently when he was struck by a car and received serious injuries.  The driver said he did not see the ‘lollipop’ man despite the fact that he was dressed head to foot in fluorescent/reflective clothing and carrying a reflective school crossing sign.  What chance would a child in dark school uniform have had?

Taking away the dedicated people who work literally at the ‘sharp end’ of road safety is a cut too far and must be opposed by everyone involved in child safety and welfare.

Meanwhile, GEM appeals to drivers everywhere to stay vigilant when driving in built up areas and anywhere they are likely to encounter school children crossing the road.  With these cuts in place, everyone needs to do their bit to ensure the safety of young pedestrians and of course all other road users who are vulnerable to injury by vehicles on the road.