Road safety

The SaferPeterborough partnership has a target to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Peterborough roads.

The road safety action plan contains key areas of work to reduce casualties by focusing on the following areas:

Children

School crossing patrols are not just for children. Patrol officers may assist anyone who seeks their help in crossing the road.

When you see a school crossing patrol officer step into the road you must stop to allow people to cross the road (Rule 87 of the Highway Code).

It is an offence under the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 if you do not stop when signalled to do so by a school crossing patrol.

If you do not stop, the possible penalties include:

  • A fine of up to £1,000
  • Three penalty points
  • Disqualification

You should always stop a safe distance away from the crossing patrol. After people have crossed the road, you must not move off until the patrol officer has returned to the pavement. You should take special care when driving near schools, even if there is no crossing patrol in operation.

Dropping off children at school

A warning has been issued to parents that dangerous and inconsiderate parking during the school run is putting children’s lives at risk.

The SaferPeterborough Prevention and Enforcement Service (PES) operates a school enforcement programme and has penalised drivers for a number of incidents of dangerous parking outside Peterborough's schools.

School parking video transcript

Size: 178.07 KB File format: pdf

Prevention and Enforcement Service officers have carried out more than 680 school visits over the past year and issued around 200 penalty charge notices since April 2016.

But they cannot patrol at every school, every day and one head teacher in Peterborough claims that it’s only a matter of time before a child is seriously injured or worse.

Cycling

Cycling is a fun, healthy and convenient means of transport and Peterborough has an excellent cycle network. 

Travelchoice run a free cycle training scheme and also offer advice about cycle safety, the scheme encourages children to develop a positive attitude towards cycling and promotes their knowledge, skills and understanding of the road environment.

Be safe, be seen

Pedestrians and cyclists are more likely to be involved in an accident during the winter months, and these accidents are most likely to happen during the morning and late afternoon.

As a pedestrian or cyclist you might be able to see the driver of a vehicle but they might not be able to see you, even during daylight drivers can have difficulty seeing as the sun is lower in the sky.

    Be Safe, Be Seen lesson plan

    Size: 63.98 KB File format: pdf

    • Make sure you are visible to other road users and pedestrians
    • Keep away from the kerb
    • Wear bright or florescent clothing in daylight or poor light
    • Wear reflective clothing at night as it shows up in car headlights making you visible to the driver
    • Always use your lights when cycling after dark, in the rain, or if the weather is dull or overcast.
    • Always make sure you lights are working, it is illegal to cycle on the road with no lights after dark. White lights should be used at the front and red lights at the back.

    Why not play the Lighten Up game to learn more about road safety on the Tales of the Road website.

    Drink driving

    If you drive at twice the legal alcohol limit you are at least 30 times more likely to cause a road crash, than a driver who has not been drinking.

    Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive. There is no fool proof way of drinking and staying under the limit or of knowing how much an individual person can drink and still drive safely. 

    Each person's tolerance to alcohol depends on a range of factors including: weight, gender, age, and metabolism, current stress levels, whether they have eaten recently and amount of alcohol.

    The only safe option is not to drink alcohol if you plan to drive, and never offer an alcoholic drink to someone else who is intending to. 

    Further information about drink driving, including legal alcohol limits and the penalties if you are convicted of drink driving, is available from the Think! website.

    Morning after calculator

    It takes about an hour for your body to rid itself of each unit of alcohol. Sometimes it’ll take longer depending on how healthy you are and how much you've eaten. Eating a big meal means alcohol is absorbed more slowly, so it takes longer to sober up.

    The morning after calculator can help you calculate roughly when it would be safe to drive the morning after drinking alcohol.

    Drug driving

    It is an offence to drive whilst under the influence of drugs. Many people think that if they drive under the influence of drugs a vehicle search and a potential charge of possession is all they have to be worried about. 

    Taking drugs will impair driving skills. Driving whilst under the influence of drugs is extremely dangerous and can affect driving in numerous ways.

    Drug drivers can suffer from slower reaction times, erratic and aggressive behaviour, an inability to concentrate properly, nausea, hallucinations, panic attacks, paranoia, tremors (or 'the shakes') dizziness and fatigue. In such conditions, it is a bad idea to be behind the wheel of a car, for the driver and their passengers.

    During the phase whilst the effects of drugs are wearing off, the taker may feel fatigued, which will affect their concentration whilst driving.

    For further information about drug driving visit the Department of Transport website.

    Mobile phones

    Using a mobile phone, sat nav or any similar device whilst driving means that the driver’s attention is distracted from the road.

    • You’re four times more likely to crash if you use a mobile phone while driving
    • Reaction times for drivers using a phone are around 50% slower than normal driving
    • Even careful drivers can be distracted by a call or text – and a split-second lapse in concentration could result in a crash

    Further information about how using mobile phones when driving is available from the Think! website.

    Motorcycling

    Every year thousands of people are injured on roads in the UK. While motorcyclists represent less than 1% of road traffic, they account for almost 20% of deaths and serious injuries on the roads. Motorcyclists are also 40 times more likely to be killed than a car driver. Further information and advice about motorcycle safety is available from the Think! website.  

    Motorcyclists are encouraged to attend BikeSafe courses. The courses are delivered by advanced police motorcyclists and explain the attributes of a good rider and how to control a motorcycle including cornering, positioning, overtaking and group riding.

    Off-road bikes

    Riding off-road bikes on pavements or in any public space is illegal...don't do it!

    The facts:

    • There is nowhere legal in Peterborough to ride an off-road bike
    • It's illegal to ride on pavements, parks, and wasteland
    • To ride legally you must have a road-legal bike, be over 16, have a licence, MOT, road tax, insurance, registration documents, and an approved crash helmet

    If you use your off-road bike illegally, we can:

    • Seize your bike
    • Crush your bike or charge you a minimum fee of £150 plus storage to get it back
    • Prosecute you, which could lead to a fine and points on your driving licence, if you don't have a licence yet the points will be saved until you do
    • Prosecute your parents for permitting the use of a motor vehicle without insurance, driving licence or valid MOT

    Seatbelts and in-car safety

    In a crash someone not wearing a seatbelt is twice as likely to die than someone wearing one. 

    The Think! website has a crash simulator to demonstrate the effects of not wearing a seatbelt, there is also further information about seatbelt safety and the law. 

    Child car seats

    The safest way for children to travel in cars is in a child car seat that is suitable for their weight and size, and is correctly fitted in the car.

    The Child Car Seats website will help you to:

    • Understand the different types of child car seats
    • Choose the most suitable child car seats for your children
    • Ensure your child seats are fitted correctly in your car
    • Comply with the law on how children should be carried in cars
    • Understand how to carry other people's children safely

    Speeding

    The difference of a few miles per hour can mean the difference between life and death. The faster someone is driving, the less time they have to stop if something unexpected happens.

    If you kill someone while speeding, you will have to live with the long-term emotional consequences.

    Speed limits are there for a reason.

    Further information about speeding is available from the Think! website.

    Speeding on rural roads

    Driving on country roads can seem safer because of the lack of traffic - but statistics show that drivers and passengers are more likely to die on a rural road than a busy street. 

    Drive at the appropriate speed for the conditions. Only around 10% of drivers actually go over the speed limit on rural roads, but deaths are three times that of road fatalities generally.

    Remember that it is still possible to drive at an inappropriate speed even if you are within the speed limit.

    Be careful by day and by night. An equal number of accidents happen in daylight and at night-time, although accidents at night tend to be more serious. One of the hazards of driving at night is that other drivers' headlights can temporarily blind you.

    Be aware of single carriageway hazards. Most casualties on country roads happen on A and minor roads.

    Winter driving

    Motorists are urged to get their vehicles ready for winter and keep them maintained to withstand adverse weather conditions.

    Carrying out simple checks including tyres, lights and the windscreen wash level before setting off is vital in winter. Motorists should also check the local and national weather forecast before setting off on journeys, as the weather can be unpredictable.

    Often motorists do not realise their car is badly prepared for the cold weather and that ill preparation can cause anything ranging from inconvenience to real danger.

    Further advice about driving in winter weather is available from the Met Office.

    You can also find out more about gritting roads on the winter maintenance page.

    Young drivers

    Drivers between 17 and 21 years represent 10% of all licence holders and drive lower than average mileage and yet they are involved in over 20% of all accidents. 

    Road traffic accidents are by far the most common cause of accident details of young people age 15 to 24 years.

    Various activities take place throughout the year aimed at young drivers in the Peterborough area. These include various publicity campaigns, and young driver days at secondary schools and colleges. 

    Further advice is available from the For My Girlfriend website.