Royal Mail/CWU Road Safety Campaign – “Taking The Time” – W/C Monday 4 November 2019
Background and Context
The importance and aim of the November business-wide Road Safety Campaign is to raise awareness amongst our members who are drivers about the importance of road safety and the importance of “Taking The Time” and not rushing when driving.
The campaign will concentrate on a central key message to drivers and managers “Time is a driver’s best friend” – When driving, drivers are constantly taking in information, road layout, traffic conditions, weather conditions, what the traffic is doing, what hazards are present, clues as to unseen hazards that might be present. Time allows drivers to plan for what might happen, to react to situations that develop and to take avoiding action if something does occur. It doesn’t take much time to do all of this, and it doesn’t save much time when drivers don’t! – Again the key message is – “Rushing isn’t worth it, so Take The Time!”
All Royal Mail drivers have a responsibility to drive safely and minimise risks to themselves, other road users and the public. That should never be forgotten.
We genuinely want to make a difference. All drivers can make mistakes when driving but we can minimise risks, eliminate many potential errors and give us more chance to react in time if we are driving sensibly. Road conditions can be dangerous, especially in adverse weather but if we plan our journey, take our time and read the signs and signals well in advance, we can make that precious decision and not only keep ourselves safe but other road users too. We can all improve safety on the roads and our personal safety by being aware, prepared and responsible. Time is a gift and to get somewhere fast – we need to slow down – if we want to arrive safe and sound! “Drive Safe-Stay Safe”.
Our strong advice is – “Don’t rush-Take your time” and make sure you continue to drive safely on your journey. Rushing makes you more likely to miss important parts of driving – Like your blind-spot check – and puts both the driver and others at risk. So “Take The Time” to:
- Always drive at an appropriate speed – Which allows you to react if something unexpected should happen. Drive slower around pedestrians and children – they often do the unexpected.
- Leave a gap behind the vehicle in front – Remember to leave a minimum 2 seconds (4 in wet weather) behind the vehicle in front to give you adequate thinking and reaction time. In larger vehicles this time will increase.
- Look carefully when pulling out at junctions – Judge the speed that other road users are travelling at. Check that there are no cyclists, motorcyclists or pedestrians that you didn’t see.
- Check mirrors and blind spots before turning into a driveway or a side-road – Other people may not be patient and may try to overtake.
- Change lane safely – Check mirrors and check your blind spots – indicate your intention to manoeuvre and only change lanes when you are satisfied the way is clear.
- Overtake safely – Only overtake if it is safe and necessary to do so, don’t pass cyclists until you can leave a minimum gap of 1.5m. Wait for gaps in traffic before overtaking parked vehicles.
- Park in a safe location – Walking an extra few seconds can keep you, your vehicle and other road users safe – never leave your vehicle exposed (sticking out or on a blind bend). Always park in the same direction as traffic.
- Reverse safely – Follow the “GOAL” synonymGet Out And Look if you aren’t sure what’s behind you.
- Follow the HIT procedure for Handbrake Safety – Take an extra couple of seconds to ensure you put the “H” – Handbrake on, Put the vehicle “I” in gear and “T” turn the wheels. This will ensure the vehicle it will not roll away if the handbrake fails to hold the vehicle for whatever reason.
- Check your vehicle – Always complete the pre-use walk-around/vehicle checks, which provides confidence that the vehicle is in good, safe condition and ready for the journey.
- Give way to other drivers – Even if you feel you have “right of way” – there’s no glory in being right but having a collision and spending time injured and completing an RTC and Police investigation.
Dangers and Top Accident Causes While Driving – Speed, Carelessness and Distractions
Road safety experts, road safety organisations and charities (e.g., Think, Roadpeace, Brake, RoSPA, RAC, AA, AIRSO, FTA, Police etc.,) say that rushing, speeding, driver distractions and carelessness are top causes of road accidents so drivers should take their time!
Unfortunately, lots of drivers do ignore speed limit signs when rushing to their destination – putting themselves and others in danger. The faster you drive, the shorter reaction time you have to prevent an accident.
After decades of awareness campaigns, driving too fast for either the road or the driving conditions is still one of the most common contributory factors in collisions. The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) states that speeding kills 500 people a year in the UK so wherever you’re heading, it’s always safer to stay within the speed limits and don’t rush.
Careful driving isn’t just about managing your speed but also about being considerate to other road users. Changing lanes too quickly and erratically on a motorway or dual carriageway can cause other drivers to brake suddenly, possibly resulting in a crash with a vehicle behind them.
Driving too closely to the vehicle in front of you, also known as tailgating, is also very dangerous. If it suddenly brakes, there’ll be little time for you to react and this could result in a serious crash.
Driver distractions – Don’t get distracted by your phone or food. Since 1 March 2017, holding and using a phone while driving could result in a £200 fine and 6 points added to your driver’s licence. For no good reason – text driving is twice as likely to cause a crash as drink driving, due to a driver’s reaction times. Driving while using a phone impairs your driving in many ways:
- DistractionDriving and using your phone means doing two ‘thinking’ tasks, which our brains are not designed to do well.
- PhysicalUsing a phone means having only one hand to control the car.
- VisualEven a quick glance at your phone takes your eyes off the road for a second or two – which could be the difference between a safe stop and an accident.
Be sure to turn the phone off when on the road. If you need to use it, stop somewhere safe to do so and stay safe – stay within the law. Royal Mail Group policy prohibits the use of mobile phones, PDAs or any other device including hands free that may cause distraction whilst driving on behalf of Royal Mail Group (Royal Mail, Parcelforce, RMSS, RMP&FS, RME, RM Fleet, etc.,) and by doing so is a breach of business standards.
Although no specific law makes it illegal to eat and drive, doing so could present a significant danger. And despite the law, you can still be prosecuted for careless driving if not in proper control of the vehicle.
CWU Area Health & Safety Reps Involvement
CWU ASRs are to be fully involved and consulted on joint Road Safety Week activities and attached is an ASR Road Safety Campaign task/activity guide to follow. This includes carrying out visits to units, safety inspections and speaking to drivers. ASR full support is very much appreciated by Royal Mail Group and the CWU.
ASRs are asked to agree with Operational Managers, which units they plan to visit and jointly support during this Road Safety Campaign, and:
- Assist the front-line Manager in delivering the WTLL (which will be published on Friday 1 November).
- Carry out additional activities to increase awareness.
- Remind drivers to carry out preparations, pre-use vehicle checks before they set out on their journeys.
Engage Drivers and Check that they have:-
- Received the WTLL briefing on Road Safety Week (which will be published on Friday 1 November).
- Seen the leaflets and seat drop (copies attached).
And that they:-
- Stick to speed limits and don’t rush – Take Their Time whilst driving.
- Drive carefully and don’t be distracted – put the phone away before starting their journey.
- FINALY – REMIND DRIVERS THAT EVEN A MOMENT’S DISTRACTION CAN CAUSE AN ACCIDENT WITH DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES.
Ask Front Line Managers:
- What activities have they completed for the Road Safety Campaign?
- Have they made all drivers aware of the actions they need to take?
Thanks for your support and assistance.
National Health, Safety & Environment Officer