In Car Safety

ENGAGE Driving Intructors

ENGAGE is a ground-breaking safety initiative for novice drivers launched by the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership. The inititiative aims to deliver a high standard of driving tuition to novice drivers across Merseyside. One hundred driving instructors have received specialist training to deliver learner-centred coaching to better equip novice drivers with skills to identify and deal with hazards on the roads.

Among the topics to be covered in the scheme are: distraction, influence of others, fatigue, speed, drink and drugs, medication and seatbelts.

These are all factors that Merseyside Police see as contributing to the number of people killed and injured on the roads every year.

In addition to in-car discussions between the instructor and student, learners will complete exercises between lessons and attend an evening workshop held by Merseyside Police and local authority road safety officers to reinforce their learning and highlight the potential dangers faced by new drivers.

There will also be workshops aimed at parents and guardians to inform them about ENGAGE and the advantages of the scheme to their families.

Sgt Paul Mountford from Merseyside Police Roads Policing Department has played a key role in the launch of this initiative.

He said: “ENGAGE is a new, exciting approach that looks to set a higher standard for driver education to improve road safety for novice drivers of all ages across Merseyside.

“It also places an expectation on parents and guardians of young drivers to involve themselves in the process. As a parent myself, I know what it feels like to see a son or daughter drive away from home for the first time after they have passed their driving test and the stress and worry, waiting for them to return.

“I would say to other parents to ask themselves how important is the safety of your son or daughter?

“ENGAGE not only gives new drivers the skills to pass their driving test but equips them with the knowledge and confidence to drive on their own and the ability to deal with various situations safely.”

Chief Inspector John Hogan, head of Merseyside Police’s Roads Policing Department, added: “Road safety is not just the responsibility of the emergency services and local authorities.

“This scheme, with the involvement of driving instructors and parents, is a significant step towards improving driver education and as a result seeing safer roads in Merseyside.

“We do not want any families to suffer the pain and heartache that follows a road death and we welcome initiatives that reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.”

Dave Foulkes, manager of the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, said: “Novice drivers are too often involved in a collision within a short time of passing their test. This initiative is trying to widen the learning process and prepare drivers for their transition into independent driving after receiving their full licence.

“Anything that lessens the risks faced by novice drivers must be a good thing.”

Gill Roberts, St Helens Council’s senior road safety officer, added: “Most learner drivers pass the test and miss having their driving instructor sitting with them.

“By learning to drive through the learner-centred coaching method, they will take responsibility for their own actions before taking the driving test and therefore cope with situations when they are on their own.”

Please take the time to visit teh ENGAGE website to find out more 

The map below is produced using the onlime mapping service BatchGeo and any advertisements that may appear below are in no way assocciated to or endorsed by the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership

View Engage Instructors August 2013 in a full screen map

The Mobile Phone


Research demonstrates that reaction times for drivers using a handheld phone are 30% worse than for driving under the influence of alcohol at the leagl limit. Using a mobile phone whilst driving means you are 4 times more likely to have a collision. It is illegal to use a hand held mobile phone or similar device while driving. The penalty charge is £60 and 3 penalty points. If the case goes to court, it’s a maximum fine of £1,000, discretionary disqualification and 3 points. If you reach 6 points within 2 years of passing your test your licence will be revoked and you wil need to re-sit your test to get your licence back. You can also be prosecuted for using a handsfree phone or similar device if you are distracted and not in proper control of the vehicle. The same penalties apply. Employers could be prosecuted if employees are distracted because they require them to use their mobile phones while driving.


The Seat Belt


While few people admit to regularly travelling without a seat belt, research shows that 24% of people admit they sometimes don’t wear a seat belt in the back and 10% in the front. There is also evidence that people are less likely to use seat belts on short or familiar journeys or at low speeds. This puts them at serious risk of injury in a collision.


If you are convicted of failing to wear a seat belt as a driver or passenger, you could face a fine of up to £500. In addition to the legal penalties, failure to wear a seat belt or failure to ensure that a child passenger uses an appropriate child restraint or wears a seat belt, could affect any claims against your motor insurance cover. You could also face civil proceedings for damages, if (for example) you failed to safely carry someone else’s child. But, of course, the most serious penalty of all could be that you or a passenger loses their life!


The Child Car Seat


The law requires all children travelling in cars to use the correct child restraint until they are either 135cm in height or the age of 12 (which ever they reach first). After this they must use an adult seat belt.


It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure that children under the age of 14 years are restrained correctly in accordance with the law.


The Luggage


An unsecured or incorrectly secured load or object in your vehicle is a potentially deadly risk. Moving objects can affect the balance of your vehcile, causing you to lose control. In a collision or sudden manouvre, like braking, an unsecured object could become lethal, smashing into anything that gets in its way, like a person in your vehicle, or another road user.


According to the Transport Research Group TRL, in a 25mph collision, a laptop could crush a persons skull, whilst in a 35mph collision a piece of luggage in your boot would break through the rear seats in 0.11 seconds and hit the windscreen in 0.37 seconds.