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Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Support for speed cameras remains high

A national survey by the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has shown that although most drivers support speed cameras there are big variations across the country – and Londoners and people in the north-east appear to show higher levels of resistance than most.

The survey polled 1,000 drivers of all age groups across Britain and asked "It is now common for the authorities to use speed cameras at the side of the road to identify vehicles involved in speeding offences. How acceptable do you think this is?" The national average is 79% but only 69% of Londoners said it was acceptable, down from 85% in 2011.

The north-east also has seen a decrease in acceptance in the past year, down from 84% to 70%.  The north-west, Yorkshire and Humber and Scotland have also all seen acceptability decrease over the four year period.

When asked if they agree with the statement "Speed cameras are only sited at places where accidents are happening" again there was a sharp decrease in people in the north-east and London agreeing with it. Only 37% of those polled in the north-east agreed with this, down from 69% between 2013 and 2014.

In London the numbers agreeing fell from 46% to 28%. The north-east has seen the biggest fall in drivers agreeing with the statement (from a peak of 69 per cent in 2013 to 37% in 2014).

We asked if they agree with the statement: "Raising money from fines is not the motive for speed cameras" there is a sharp fall in those in the north-east and London agreeing compared to 12 months ago, and a gradual fall over the past four years. In 2011 48% of people agreed with this statement in London, which has dropped to 29% last year. In the north-east those agreeing with the statement dropped from 58% in 2013 to 30% last year.

The West Midlands and London are the only regions where the overall trend since 2011 indicates that more drivers believe raising money from speed cameras is the motive (from 37% in 2011 to 56% in 2014 for London, and from 51 per cent in 2011 to 58 per cent in 2014 for the West Midlands).

With deaths on UK roads having fallen from around 3,600 in the mid-nineties (when speed camera use became widespread) to 1,713 in 2014, respondents were asked: "To what extent do you believe speed cameras have helped in this decline?"

While there is a very high agreement across the country for this statement, the north-west is the only region to see a consistent year-on-year decrease in those who believe speed cameras have contributed to the decline in road fatalities.

And there was a sharp fall in those in the north-east in the past year who agree with the statement that speed cameras have helped in this respect, from 91% to 57%.
In its manifesto, the IAM supports the use of safety camera systems at collision hot spots, on roads with a bad crash record and at areas of proven risk, such as motorway road works. 

However, the IAM states that it is vital for their credibility and road safety policy that their use is concentrated on these areas, directly linked to speed related crashes and casualties.  It also suggests that cameras should be seen as a temporary solution until long term engineering improvements can be implemented to solve the problem permanently.

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer, said: "It is clear that most drivers accept that speed cameras are effective in reducing the numbers of people who are killed and seriously injured, but for many there is still an unfortunate link to revenue raising and a perception they are not always in the right places. 

"Public support is very important when it comes to effective speed camera operation. They will respect them if they can see their effectiveness and worthiness, and these regional variations highlight where extra work is needed to convince drivers of the benefits and to counter media perceptions and urban myths around cameras."
For the full survey findings as commissioned by the IAM click here: http://bit.ly/1k7b3p9

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Forward thinking as the clocks go back from the IAM

As British Summer Time comes to an end, this week's tips from the IAM's head of driving standards, Peter Rodger, are looking at what you can do to ensure your journey is as safe as possible in the dark. Here are our latest tips to see you through.

• With morning and evening fog expected, it's important that you keep your windows clear of ice and frost throughout. Use a good quality windscreen washer fluid to keep them clean, and keep the reservoir topped up.

• As you will be using your dipped headlights more often it's important you make sure they are working properly. The same applies for all other car lights, indicators and tyres too – make sure you check the tread depth regularly. If any of these need replacing, do so as soon as possible. A spare set of light bulbs is a very worthwhile investment for your car.

• Automatic headlamp systems do not always put dipped headlamps on in foggy weather conditions, so you may need to switch them from an auto to manual setting. Remember, you don't need to wait until it's completely dark before you switch on your dipped headlights – you may need to use them in reduced daylight conditions too.

• Where there are no street lights or you are driving on an empty stretch of road in seriously reduced visibility, switch on your full beam to help you see further ahead. However, you mustn't use your full beam during the day even in poor visibility as you risk dazzling other road users.

• Look out for vulnerable road users in the dark including motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. Take particular care when driving near schools in the late afternoon when children are travelling home – see and be seen at all times.

• Pedestrians are not easily spotted when they wear dark clothing. Keep your eyes peeled and avoid speeding when your vision is reduced in both dark and bad weather conditions.

• Keep an eye out for reflective road signs and motorway studs that help you drive in poor light. Use these to guide you with your journey.

• Judging the speed of vehicles is difficult in the dark – increase the distance between you and the car in front of you. If you cannot see ahead, you must slow down to give yourself more time to react to a potential hazard.

Peter said: "It might sound obvious, but you cannot drive the same way in the dark as you would in daylight – but that's what a lot of people do. Make allowances for your own abilities in darkness; your eyes take time to get used to the dark. And be aware others might not be as careful as you, and might not be wearing reflective or bright clothing as they should do. Take on the responsibility of looking out for others, and your journey will give you a warm glow inside – even if it's chilly outside."

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

The IAM has scooped a major European award

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has scooped a major European award today for its efforts in improving road safety at work through its own staff driving guidelines and safeguards.

The accolade has come from the Brussels-based European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), a leading non-profit organisation dedicated to reducing the numbers of deaths and injuries in transport in Europe.

The ETSC has credited the IAM in its PRAISE awards today (20 October) in Brussels. The awards recognise organisations in Europe that have taken 'outstanding measures to improve road safety at work.'

The IAM, Britain's biggest independent road safety charity, scooped the award in the small and medium-sized enterprise category, and was credited for its online and on-road risk assessment of all staff driving on work business, annual targets to reduce total mileage and number of collisions, and a company car scheme requiring Euro NCAP five star rating and random inspection of vehicles.

The ETSC's PRAISE project (Preventing Road Accidents and Injuries for the Safety of Employees) addresses the safety aspects of driving at work and driving to work, and its aim is to promote best practice in order to help employers achieve high road safety standards for their employees.

Through its Drive & Survive subsidiary, the IAM recognises this and has issued a number of papers on the issue.

Earlier in the year it discovered a shocking 86% of fleets have experienced an accident in the previous 12 months, while 100% of fleets have had an accident where one of their drivers was 'at fault'.

It also found only 14% of fleets had not had any vehicle incidents in their fleet in the previous 12 months (reference 1).

According to Government figures, between 2008 and 2013, 3,493 people were killed in accidents involving a driver/rider driving for work, including 515 in 2013 (reference 2).

Sarah Sillars, IAM chief executive officer said: "We are honoured to have been recognised by the ETSC for our work in ensuring our employees don't just talk about road safety, they live it through the business they do in our name.

"Company operators have a duty to their employees and the public that those driving in their name have undergone a high level of driver training before motoring for business. Not only do we wish to improve levels of road safety but very importantly increase people's driving experience and reduce costs for operators by minimising incidents and accidents."

Antonio Avenoso, executive director of the European Transport Safety Council, said: "Our work at the ETSC is all about saving lives. We are delighted that the IAM is living up to those beliefs and making sure its own employees reach the highest standards of driving professionalism.

"We hope that all companies operating fleets, no matter how big or small, will follow the example of the IAM and all the winners at the PRAISE awards today."

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Happy Birthday Max

This year's Annual Group Dinner coincided with our Vice-Chairman

Max Power's birthday.  A good time was had by all and it was just great to see him looking so fit and well.  Happy Birthday Max!!


Sunday, 4 October 2015

National Observer Sucess

     Nick Skew passes the IAM National Observer Test!  Congratulations Nick
                                         very well done that man!

Test Passes

Congratulations from us all at the KGAM to Tom Wise & Andrew Light for passing their Advanced Driving Test .................. Well done Guys!