4.1 Mark Astle (Fire and Rescue Service) and Jo Arnold (co-ordinator Safe and Social Driving) gave a presentation on this priority within the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan. The Commissioner introduced the item emphasising the word ‘safe’ within the priority name. He explained that the Chief Fire Officer led on the item, and that Mark Astle had led on this in the absence of a Chief. In regards to the Road Safety Partnership, he explained that he had never withdrawn money from that partnership. The presentation outlined the current position for Gloucestershire compared to national statistics and the focus on prevention through education.
4.2 Members understood that in 2016, 27 people had lost their lives. In 2017 20 people had lost their lives. The majority of fatalities had happened in the later months of the years, this was due to changing weather conditions, darkened nights and behaviours. It was behaviour which could be changed. It was explained that most fatalities had occurred in the Cotswolds. Male fatalities were higher than female fatalities in all modes of transport other than car passenger.
4.3 With regards to education, the focus was on 16-24 year olds. This was because although there had overall been a decrease in the number of fatalities between those ages, there had been an increase already in the current year compared to the previous year. It was important to continue to deliver messages that would change driver behaviour. The Fire Service was now delivering education prevention packages to year 12 and 13 students across the county. By Spring 2019, 8 firefighters would achieve accreditation to ensure the continued delivery of this. Members heard details of the ‘What if?’ Road Show, which would be delivered to 3700 students throughout February and March.
4.4 In September 2018, a ‘Leave your mobile phone alone’ campaign was run for a week. The lack of knowledge and understanding from the public was evident of how prevalent the problem was. Speed camera vans had been placed in strategic locations. Drink/ Drug Drive campaign in December was carried out through social media, police operational support and educational support. The target audience was 17-25 year old male drivers. Members received details of how the campaigns were co-ordinated showing the partnership work with the Fire and Rescue Service.
4.5 As part of the ‘Choose Zero’ campaign 1142 students had received education throughout December. This had been very effective and would continue moving forward. Campaigns for the future, included seat belts and speeding on top of the continued mobile phone and drink and drug driving campaigns.
4.6 In the future there would be a review of the current action plan taking into account the data the team had received. These messages would be included in the Safe and Well visits that the Fire Service carried out. Options included the use of virtual reality headsets to give people a real insight into what it would feel like to be involved in an incident. One aspiration was to develop a safe and social driving app.
4.7 The Commissioner thanked the Fire Service and the Constabulary for the partnership work being carried out. He outlined the new technology being used by the Police to help support this work and noted that the Chief Constable would welcome an increase in precept which would help fund further work in regards to Safe and Social Driving. The National Drivers Offending retrain scheme had been very effective, with the cost to the public reduced and more locations for people to go for those courses. 1% of the Policing budget was top sliced as part of the Commissioner’s Fund and this funded a great deal of work. The Police did not receive any money from enforcing fines, the only funds allowed to be generated were those that directly paid for the enforcement and retraining.
4.8 One member asked about any targeted work around the effects of prescribed drugs of drivers. In response it was explained that this was about implementing these messages into Safe and Well Visits. Another member asked whether work was being carried out with pharmacies to help provide that information to people of the effects of medication on driving. In addition the member emphasised the importance of educating at an even younger age about safety on the road referencing children as young as seven playing games on the road. The member referenced the work of Police Cubs and the work in educating around speeding.
4.9 With regards to the Cotswolds having the highest amount of fatalities, one member referred to the A429 task group and asked whether there needed to be more visible campaigns such as signage on the road referencing the number of fatalities on a road. In response the Commissioner stated that ‘Highways’ was a county council responsibility but that he had provided a degree of funding for signage.
4.10 One member asked whether the Constabulary were asking young people on how they wanted to be engaged? It was explained that this work was very much led by young people and that the team were most interested in what they had to say. Members received details of collaboration across emergency services through the south west collaboration board and about the learning from what had worked in other areas. Members understood the role of the Skillzone centre in terms of helping to engage with young people.
4.11 Accident figures for November and December emphasised that this was the most dangerous time of the year and it was important to get that message out. It was explained that a lot of campaigning was carried out at that time of year.
4.12 One member explained that he thought that dash cams were useful in terms of providing evidence of where people were acting inappropriately on the road. This was something that was being taken forward in the future.
4.13 One member raised the lack of statistics to help support members in getting highways improvement work started. He asked if any work was being done to share those statistics. The Commissioner shared the member’s frustration that sometimes it was about pre-emptive work being taken in areas where an accident had not happened yet. In response to a question it was explained that insurance companies would not hand over data for data protection reasons.
4.14 One member asked whether the Police took action against incidents such as cars with only one headlight which in rural lanes caused problems. It was explained that there was money in the proposed budget to increase policing of roads. The Commissioner emphasised the partnership working needed to deliver some of these outcomes.
4.15 One member emphasised that this was a small percentage of incidents in regards to the overall population of Gloucestershire. He reiterated the importance of education with regards to the attitude of young people in a wider sense than just safety on the roads.
4.16 One member stated that she believed the drink drive limit was out dated and not fit for purpose and that it should be at zero. There was further discussion around areas of concern from members including trials on widening cycle lanes, as well as types of education and providing support for elderly drivers.