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Road Safety

Ford Inflatable Seat Belts

Ford showcases world’s first inflatable seat belts

Car manufacturer Ford is introducing innovative new seatbelts that inflate like airbags to give extra protection to passengers in the event of a collision.

Ford is fitting the back seats of vehicles with belts that inflate automatically during a crash.

Ford will be fitting the new seatbelts into the new Ford Explorer 4 x 4 which goes into production in 2010.  Experts say the new technology will be particularly effective at preventing broken ribs, internal damage and bruising.

Inflating over the shoulder and torso in a mere 40 milliseconds, a cylindrical airbag stretches from the buckle to the shoulder and fits inside a pocket in the belt.

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Merseyside drivers fined £1.2m for using mobiles

mobile-phone-drivingIn the past year, drivers in Merseyside were fined more than £1.2m for using their mobile phones while driving.

The Liverpool Daily Post reported that between April and September this year, police gave out tickets to more than 20,000 drivers for using handheld mobiles while in charge of their vehicles.

Even a driving instructor was among those hit with an £60 penalty and three points on their licence. The driving instructor was teaching a learner driver at the time!

Merseyside Police warned that the number of killed or seriously injured on the road could potentially increase unless they enforced the law. The cause of accidents while driving is not recorded, so there is no available data for how many people may have perished on UK roads because of mobile use.

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Texting & Driving film gets BBC TV premiere

COW, the graphic texting & driving public information film which we discussed on the Latics blog in August is being given its TV premiere by BBC Wales next week after becoming a global hit on the internet.

The film stars young actors from south Wales and shows a teenager killing four people in a crash when she sends a text from her mobile phone whilst driving.

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Filmmaker Peter Watkins-Hughes produced it for Gwent Police as an educational tool for young drivers.  It will be broadcast for the first time on BBC Two Wales on Monday 2nd November at 10pm (Sky Channel 991).

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DSA joins Youtube

youtubeThe Driving Standards Agency (DSA) has launched its own video sharing channel on YouTube.

YouTube is the world’s largest video sharing service with over 100 million videos viewed every day.  The DSA will be using the site to publish official road safety videos.

DSA’s Director of Strategy & Performance, Nick Carter said: “Using YouTube will let DSA reach a wider audience than ever before – we want to talk to our audiences on the platforms we know they use.

“By putting our videos on YouTube, we’re catering for the growing number of people whose first choice to find information is to go online.”

Video content from the DSA channel can be embedded directly into visitors own websites or blogs, used in forums, shared by email, and linked through social networking sites such as Facebook.

The channel can be viewed at youtube.com/dsagov and is being used to post videos which offer advice to road users as well as test candidates.

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New ECOlogical driving test launched

An ECOlogical driving test was launched on 1st September 2009.  The test is designed to assess the driver’s fuel economy and accident avoidance skills.

This new test is set to become a vocational test and is being closely watched by Whitehall.

The voluntary 90-minute test provides a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).   Drivers will pass if they demonstrate a high level of safe, defensive and environmentally friendly driving.  The Eco-Advanced Driving Test costs £160 and will test drivers on most types of road situation.

Drivers who are successful could benefit from:

  • fuel consumption savings up to 15% below the vehicle’s official average
  • reduced risk of incidents and reduced vehicle wear and tear by up to 60%
  • maximum vehicle insurance discounts
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