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Q1. Why was it necessary to form the Somerset Road Safety Partnership?
Every year thousands of people are injured on the roads of Somerset. Although there has been a slight reduction in casualty numbers over the years, we believe that by harnessing the experience and expertise of agencies across the county in a co-ordinated casualty reduction campaign, we can make our roads safer – and that will benefit everyone.

Q2. The Partnership must being costing the county a lot of extra money?
Actually it isn’t. The beauty of the Partnership is that it brings together people from different organisations to share their expertise to achieve a common aim – making the roads safer. If the Partnership didn’t exist they would go back to working, separately and less effectively, in their own departments.

Q3. How do we know whether to contact the Partnership, the County Council or the Police ?
It depends on what the problem is. Different organisations have different budgets and responsibilities. The table below may help resolve some of the confusion. (SCC stands for Somerset County Council, SRSP for Somerset Road Safety Partnership).

Typical problem Responsibility Options
Traffic calming We need road humps to reduce speeding SCC
Speed Limits We want a new or lower limit SCC Implemented in accordance with SCC policy
Speed Enforcement The present speed limit is constantly exceeded Police SRSP will arrange survey to gauge the extent of the problem and inform police
Safety Cameras We would like a cameraon our stretch of road SRSP Depends on the site meeting strict criteria relating to speeds and history of collisions
Vehicle Activated Signs We would like to see these signs in our village SCC Will only be installed in accordance with SCC policy
Pedestrian Crossing We would like a pedestrian crossing installed SCC Depends on number of pedestrians and the volume of traffic
School Crossing Patrol We would like a school crossing patrol outside our school SRSP Site needs to meet SCC criteria


Q4. What training do you provide in schools?
We place great emphasis on education. A wide range of programmes promoting an understanding of traffic and road safety issues are available for young people of all ages, from pre school to those in sixth form and further education colleges. The immediate aim of these programmes is to help to ensure the safety of pupils as pedestrians and cyclists but they should also make them better, and safer, riders and drivers in later life.

Q5. How can schools find out about the education programmes you offer?
Anyone wanting more information can find details on our website www.roadsafetysomerset.org.uk or they can ring 01823 423430

Q6. Who pays for training in schools?
All training programmes in schools are financed from public funds as part of the Education and Training budget. A nominal charge may be made for cycle training if an instructor has to be brought in because volunteers cannot be recruited. However, it is unlikely that a child would be denied training due to financial restrictions.

Q7. Do you provide any training for special needs schools?
Yes, we have a number of programmes suitable for children and adults with special needs or learning difficulties, including “Step in the Right Direction”, a highly-praised training package and DVDs designed to help them cross roads safely.

Q8. Does SRSP work with local businesses?
Yes, particularly those companies who employ drivers. Two thirds of road collisions involve someone who was at working at the time. Under Health and Safety legislation, firms have a legal responsibility to ensure the safety of their employees, whether they work in an office or drive a vehicle. We organise special workshops for businesses who employ drivers to make employees aware of the safety issues and reduce the risk of them being involved in a collision.

Q9. Are there any other groups that SRSP works with?
Yes, we work with any anyone who has an interest in improving road safety. That means local authorities, parishes, community groups, specialist interest organisations and, of course, road users. The list is almost endless. We are always prepared to give talks to groups.

Q10. Why can’t we have more Vehicle Activated Signs?
Every site is investigated to decide the most appropriate measures to reduce the risk of collisions. There are a number of options that can be considered, subject to budgets. See Q3.

Q11. Who is responsible for placing safety cameras?
The responsibility for placing safety cameras rests with the local highway authority in consultation with the police. Cameras are placed at locations where there has been a history of injury collisions or places where traffic speeds are posing potential danger.

Q12. Speeding is not a serious offence – everybody does it at some time.
Speeding is a very serious and criminal offence. Research and experience confirm that excessive and inappropriate speed is a major contributory factor in collisions that cause death and injury. The purpose of speed safety cameras is to encourage drivers to change their attitude towards speeding and comply with limits at all times.

Q13. Numerous television programmes and press reports claim that cameras are placed to raise revenue.
Media reports on safety cameras are often inaccurate or selective. All relevant research indicates very clearly that where cameras are placed at sites or on routes with a history of speed related accidents, the reduction in collisions resulting in death and serious injury is very substantial. During the past five years there has been a % drop in collisions on Somerset roads covered by cameras.

Q14. Why are some cameras hidden?
None of our safety cameras is hidden. All our roadside cameras are coated with a bright yellow reflective paint and we make regular checks to ensure that the cameras can be seen clearly by approaching drivers. Cameras are installed to slow traffic. It is not in our interest to hide them. Visit the Safecam web site for further details www.safecam.org.uk

Q15. Why not try other methods of slowing drivers down, such as better speed limit signs, traffic calming , driver education and publicity?
We look at a range of engineering and education options before looking at enforcement, which is always our last resort. Cameras are not the only means of slowing drivers, but they are effective in the right circumstances.

 
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