Council is committed to road safety for all ages

Coun Gordon Wheeler, chairman of the communities and place review and development committee Nottinghamshire County Council.
Coun Gordon Wheeler, chairman of the communities and place review and development committee Nottinghamshire County Council.

Road safety education is a key service Nottinghamshire County Council provides in partnership with Via East Midlands, and we at the council passionately believe it makes a positive difference at all stages of life, writes Coun Gordon Wheeler.

Everyone in the county is a highway user, whether on foot, bicycle or in motor vehicles.

The council is pleased to be able to offer almost 30 cycle training events for riders of all ages across the county this summer.

Events range from teaching young children to learn to ride with balance bikes, progressing to cycling activities in a traffic-free environment before ultimately giving young people the cycle skills to navigate more challenging traffic situations.

Details on the full programme of events over the summer can be found on the council’s website.

More than 10,000 people have completed the Bikeability scheme this year, which forms part of the cycle training, and the council is now working with partners to roll out a ‘close pass’ campaign that encourages drivers to give cyclists more room and cyclists to adopt good road positions.

Casualty figures from the county’s roads, along with national trends, has identified secondary aged children as a key audience and this work has seen a significant reduction in the number of teenage road casualties in the county.

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Sessions are as interactive as possible, starting from year seven right through to sixth form.

They look at the change in the modes of transport as people mature into adulthood and educate youngsters to consider attitudes and behaviour, such as the dangers of being distracted, how our choices affect road safety, overcrowding in cars and the consequences of young drivers being involved in accidents.

Figures also suggest there has been a significant increase in accidents involving drivers aged 70 and over, so it’s important to offer a programme designed to support them too.

For example, the Drive On scheme aims to keep people safely behind the wheel for as long as possible by helping them to understand the issues which can impact their driving.

The scheme is really taking off and has been delivered in partnership with groups such as U3As and WI groups, with many attendees taking up the opportunity to go on an accompanied drive with a qualified instructor.

Another important part of this scheme is to encourage people to have that ‘difficult conversation’ with older relatives and friends to raise any concerns they might have about their driving.

Keep an eye out for posters and postcards in your area and help spread the word about safer driving in later life and the support on offer.