Central Bedfordshire Council and Amey Win Prestigious Road Safety Award
22 November 2012
Central Bedfordshire Council and Amey’s work to reduce road casualties and improve road safety has been recognised with a Prince Michael International Award for Road Safety.
The two organisations implemented a ‘research led’ approach to deliver road safety education, training and publicity after the service transferred to Amey in 2010. Road safety campaigns are structured after analysis of local collision statistics, through which key target groups are identified and campaigns designed specifically for their requirements. Four key target groups were identified – motorcyclists, young drivers, car passengers and children – accounting for 55.7% of all killed and seriously injured casualties in Central Bedfordshire.
This approach has contributed towards a 33% reduction in casualty statistics in the first year of service.
Councillor Brian Spurr, Executive Member for Sustainable Communities Services at Central Bedfordshire Council, said: “We are delighted that our work to reduce road casualties across Central Bedfordshire has been recognised by the Prince Michael International Awards for Road Safety. Providing a service that has been developed using statistical analysis enables us to tailor individual campaigns to the most appropriate audience, which we continually review to ensure the campaigns are effective.”
Amey has worked on behalf of Central Bedfordshire Council since 2005 delivering highways maintenance and management services. As part of this service, Amey collates collision statistics and also manages road safety engineering design and implementation across the county. The transfer of the road safety education, training and publicity service to Amey formed a new, holistic road safety team who could work closely with the highways team to embed road safety practices across the highways service.
Adrian Walsh, the award scheme director from RoadSafe, said: “Bringing together many private sector management skills with the knowledge from the experienced people in community safety has made a real difference. It is a model that should be followed elsewhere.”
The Prince Michael International Award for Road Safety also recognises the MORE (Motivation, Observation, Reaction, Education) programme, a set of specific courses aimed at young drivers. MORE 16 targets pre-drivers, providing them with their first experience of driving; whilst MORE Drive offers 17 – 24 year olds, who have passed their driving test, the opportunity to drive on a skid pan and experience ABS braking systems. Both courses contain a variety of workshops including vehicle maintenance and distractions. Over 340 young people from across Central Bedfordshire have attended the two programmes in the last 18 months. The third course, MORE Experience, covers eight driving themed modules, such as speeding and an IAM driving assessment, and is available to all students at Central Bedfordshire schools.
Jon Shortland, Account Director at Amey, said: “The MORE programme provides pre and young drivers with a variety of practical and theoretical sessions to develop their driving capabilities from a young age. Offering young drivers additional training opportunities early in their driving career enhances their driving skills, and has been shown to reduce the likelihood of being involved in a collision later in life.”
All road safety campaigns undergo a full evaluation by an independent team from the University of Bedfordshire, who use a variety of techniques including analysis of local statistical data, face-to-face interviews, focus groups, online surveys and eye tracking technology software for website analytics. These techniques assess the effectiveness of each campaign at influencing participants’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviours towards road safety.