Thanks to Les for organising our guest speakers.
Denis is one of our Bike Advanced Tutors and holds the RoSPA diploma. He also teaches for a living so is skilled in applying different approaches to allow those with dyslexia to reach their full potential. About 10% of the population have dyslexia so it is important we all (and particularly tutors) understand how we can assist others who may need a coping mechanism.
Mark is one of our members and a passionate Blood Biker. He has spent 40 years in the oil and lubrication industry and has an in-depth knowledge of the specifications and performance of all oils and lubrications – add bit more knowledge to your pre drive/ride checks and Mark will also help us avoid some of the advertising hype.
January Speaker Graham Feest, Road Safety Consultant
Graham introduced himself, asking us whether we could guess his age! Almost 70! We were nowhere, politely, near that!
He does many group presentations, having spent many years promoting road safety to Northampton County Council as their consultant. He is also a parliamentary advisor, an ADI consultant for all driving instructors; as well as being a member of the UK Road safety network – for which he sends out a monthly newsletter. See www.grahamfeest.com
for more details and to register.
Due to the many innovations in road safety, the number of fatalities has actually declined between the years of 2008 – 2018. Dropping from 2,528 to 1,784 which means the UK has almost the safest roads in the world. Didn’t mention the safest!
Road deaths in England were 1,515 and Scotland were 161.
Against current thinking and what is reported in the press and our trustworthy insurance companies, of the 1,784 deaths in 2018, only 99 were drivers between the ages of 17-25. The reasons attributed for this paradigm shift is that it is considered that young people can’t necessarily afford to drive when they first pass due to high insurance premiums, and/or are learning to drive later, once left university perhaps.
With the current government having a majority, no matter what your political persuasion, things can now get done that haven’t been done for the past 10 years! Hopefully, the right things! However, the agenda is being driven by a desire for clean air, concerns for the environment and CO2 emissions.
Road Safety Engineering
How roads are made and laid out is becoming more considered. For example, one of the biggest issues is when a car, or motorcycle, leaves the road for whatever reason, they tend to hit things such as trees and lamp posts, signs etc. So, the engineers are now moving things like that away from the edge of the road – hard to do retrospectively – but for new roads this is a major step forward. Also, things such as wire central reservations offer little or no protection and are being phased out.
Night time driving – we all rely on the white lines at night. When the paint fades its impossible to see the line especially in the wet. Councils are not spending money on repairing these lines and this is a contributing factor to the fact that most road deaths occur on rural roads. Seems councils are good at building new roads, but very poor at repairing old roads! With the current pot hole situation, it will take at least 15 years to repair them all.
Funnily enough, councils are sealing roads to stop water absorption; when water freezes it increases in volume thereby causing cracking and the potholes. By sealing the road, it prevents pot holes from forming, but creates standing water.
The new shared space schemes do work in some places, but not all. So, where they do they stay; where they don’t, they are removed! Shared spaces either have nothing at all, or some do have zebra crossings for example.
In terms of road reforms, each local authority interprets the acts differently.
Road settings are becoming more complicated, to deal with the number of vehicles on the road. For example, the new layout at Junction 16 on the M4 – some find it confusing. Likewise, Junction 11 of the M4 and the M40 at High Wycombe. Seems to be that the engineers design roads but don’t necessarily inform the public on how to use them!
Received a lot of bad press as 35 people were killed on them; given the numbers of annual deaths, there are typically 5 deaths a day. So, 35 is equal to 7 days worth. Not too bad in the overall scheme of things, but its the way the press deals with it, sensationalising perhaps?
The M42 was the premier smart motorway.
Not alot to be said here! But they are a complete muddle; 1 in 3 people get a ticket for using a bus lane for the inconsistent way the rules are applied. In Swindon, bus lane operates between 7am and 7pm; in Bath, 24hours; in Swindon motorbikes can use the bus lane; in Cheltenham they cannot!
Many towns and cities are trying to ban cars from their centres. London being a prime example. Others are trying to ban the more polluting vehicles.
This was an interesting talk from a very enthusastic speaker. It was a shame that we had to end when we did. Thank you very much Graham! For more info on Graham and his work, take a look at www.grahamfeest.com
Notes taken by Peter Millner
Les is working hard to fill the rest of the year’s speakers if you have any ideas please let him know at firstname.lastname@example.org