Road Safety Advice

Page updated on: 19/07/2019

The Road Safety Team promotes local, all-Wales and National Campaigns. We support campaigns such as those targeting mobile phone use, non-seatbelt wearing, child road safety, Walk to School, speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and many more.

If you plan to drink, don’t risk driving – book a taxi, use public transport, stay overnight, arrange for someone who is not drinking to drive.

Any amount of alcohol affects your ability to drive safely impairing your reaction times and your ability to judge speed and distances. The only guaranteed safe level is no alcohol.

Factors which affect your ability to absorb alcohol:

  • Your weight
  • Your sex
  • Your age
  • Your metabolism
  • Stress levels
  • What you’ve eaten
  • The amount and type of alcohol

Currently, the legal alcohol limit for driving in Wales is – 80 Mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood.

The only safe option is not to drink if you plan to drive and not offer drinks to others who are driving.

It is now an offence to drive with certain drugs above a specified level in your blood. This includes illegal drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, heroin and cannabis as well as some drugs available on prescription such as morphine or opiate based drugs e.g. codeine, diazepam, temazepam.

The penalties for drug driving are the same as for drink driving. If you are convicted you could face:

  • a minimum 12-month driving ban
  • a criminal record
  • an unlimited fine
  • up to 6 months in prison
  • an endorsement on your driving license for 11 years

Mobile phones are an extremely valuable tool in an emergency, as well as providing an extra sense of security for people in remote areas etc.

Valuable as they are, the use of mobile phones whilst driving is a potentially lethal combination.

The penalty for using a hand-held mobile phone whist driving is £200 and six penalty points added to the drivers’ licence.

The law applies when you’re stopped at traffic lights or in a queue of traffic, making or receiving calls, pictures, text messaging and accessing the internet.

A driver can also be prosecuted for using a hands-free device if you are not in proper control of your vehicle when using the device. The penalties are the same – £200 fine and six penalty points on your licence.

Did you know that in a crash, if you are unrestrained, you could seriously injure yourself and potentially others in the vehicle?

The penalty for not wearing a seatbelt is a fixed fine of £100.

It is the driver’s responsibility to ensure all passengers aged under 14 are in a restraint appropriate for their age, weight and height.

Driving over the speed limit is against the law. The minimum penalty for speeding is a £100 fine and three penalty points added to your licence.

If you already have a certain number of points on your licence, you won’t be offered a fine and you’ll have to go to court.

The speed limit is the absolute maximum and does not mean that it is necessarily safe to drive at that speed irrespective of the conditions.

School Crossing Patrols are employed, primarily to help children cross the road safely on their way to and from school. When a school crossing patrol displays their stop sign, motorists must stop. If they do not, they are breaking the law and will be reported. They can face a £1,000 fine and a minimum of 3 penalty points on their licence.

School Crossing Patrols are allowed to stop traffic for anyone wishing to cross the road so long as they are operating at their approved site and within their authorised hours of duty. Even where a School Crossing Patrol is provided, parents remain responsible for ensuring their children’s safety.

Wherever you know a School Crossing Patrol operates, please give them every consideration and assistance by:

  • Parking well away from them. (They need to see and be seen by approaching traffic).
  • Always reduce your speed and be prepared to STOP!
  • Obeying their instructions when signalled to STOP!
  • Giving them time to cross the children safely and return back to the pavement.

Did you know...

  • Sign upside down - not ready to cross children.
  • Sign sideways – barrier to stop children crossing.
  • Sign held up high – ready to cross children. Vehicles must be prepared to STOP!
  • Sign extended out – all vehicles must STOP!

With your help and consideration the problems facing children on the way to and from their schools will be greatly reduced.

Driving conditions during the winter months can be unpredictable and bad weather can strike suddenly. The best advice when severe weather hits is to stay off the road. If you must drive, make sure you are prepared for the conditions.

During the winter months, motorists and cyclists have to deal with increased flooding as well as frost, sleet, snow, icy winds, icy roads, fog and the usual frozen locks and non-starts.

One of the biggest causes of accidents during the winter is not the weather but poor driving. The other reason for unnecessary frustrations and delay is not preparing your vehicle and making sure it is mechanically ready for winter.