Police Forces across Wales are working together to deliver the All Wales Seatbelt Campaign, warning drivers they are risking their lives by not wearing belts, and cracking down on motorists and passengers who refuse to belt up.
Not wearing a seatbelt can be a fatal decision even on short, familiar journeys and at low speeds. As a driver you are responsible for ensuring that passengers under the age of 14 are wearing a seatbelt, or using the correct child restraint for their height and age.
Although most road users are fully aware of the potential consequences of not wearing a seatbelt, police officers throughout Wales will be clamping down on those who continue to ignore the law, endangering all road users.
From Monday 4 June 2018, learner drivers will be able to take driving lessons on motorways in England, Scotland and Wales. This will help to make sure more drivers know how to use motorways safely. At the moment, you can only have motorway lessons after you’ve passed your driving test.
Learner drivers will need to be accompanied by an approved driving instructor in a car fitted with dual controls. Any motorways lessons will be voluntary, and it will be up to the driving instructor to decide when the learner driver is competent enough for them.
Until the law changes, it’s still illegal for a learner driver to drive on a motorway, and the changes only apply to learner drivers of cars; learner motorcyclists won’t be allowed on motorways.
On 1 March 2017 the penalties for using a mobile phone whilst driving doubled to a £200 fine and six points. One year on the Department for Transport have reported that more than 26,000 motorists – including 500 novice drivers who had their licences revoked – have been caught using a mobile phone since tougher penalties came into force.
One year on THINK! is highlighting the chances of being caught in a series of adverts which will run on radio, social media, on demand video and in shopping centres, as part of its ongoing campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of using a mobile phone whilst driving.
Almost 2,000 motorists – 74% of whom were male – were handed fines as part of a national crackdown between 22-28 January, organised by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
The DVSA has launched a new online service allowing buyers of used cars to check if a vehicle is subject to a safety recall.
The new service, which uses real-time data supplied by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), allows anyone wanting to buy a used car, and existing car owners, to use the vehicle registration number to check if it may have a serious safety problem.
More than eight million used cars were sold in the UK during 2016, with figures from the SMMT suggesting that as many as one in 13 vehicles has an outstanding safety recall.
In the last year more than five million motorists received automatic refunds of vehicle tax after selling their car, totalling over £360 million.
When you tell DVLA that you’ve sold your car, you’re eligible for a refund of vehicle tax for any unused months. The quickest and simplest way to tell DVLA that a vehicle has been sold is online, but the latest figures from DVLA show that more than 60% do not use the service. This means motorists will be waiting longer for their refund.
The online service only takes a few minutes to complete, the seller will get confirmation instantly that they are no longer the vehicle keeper, and the refund will arrive within three to five working days. The service is available on GOV.UK, seven days a week from 7am to 7pm.
Although motorcyclists represent just 0.7% of road traffic in Wales, they account for 23% of killed or seriously injured road casualties.
As we all know, motorcyclists are often also drivers and depending on which mode of transport they use on a particular day, they could be drastically more at risk of being involved in a serious collision. Latest figures for Wales show that motorcyclists are 86 times more at risk of being killed or seriously injured than any other driver.
Reducing motorcycling casualties across Wales remains a key priority for partners in Road Safety Wales and raising awareness of the increased level of risk experienced by riders of motorcycles is one of the measures being used.
More than 530 people were arrested in Wales in December as police forces cracked down on driving under the influence of drink or drugs. The All-Wales Christmas Anti-Drink/Drug Driving Campaign, led by North Wales Police, saw 537 people arrested across the country. South Wales Police recorded the highest figures, making 207 arrests for drink and drug driving. Police described the actions of those caught as "disappointing".
As part of the campaign, North Wales Police distributed free disposable breath test kits for anyone who wanted an indication of alcohol levels the morning after a night of drinking.
Inspector David Cust, North Wales Police said: "We have received an overwhelmingly positive response to the disposable breath test kits. Many have told us it stopped them from driving the morning after having indicated that alcohol was still present in their systems. From our point of view if it prevented one person from taking a risk then they've done their job."
With wintry weather blowing in again, now is the time to get familiar with winter driving tips. You can find comprehensive advice on the RoSPA website.
To make a good start, put yourself together an emergency kit to keep in your car, especially if you're going on a long journey. If this seems unnecessary, take a moment to imagine yourself stranded in your car overnight, due to a snow storm or floods. How would you stay warm? What would you eat and drink?