Road Supervisors

Senior Road Supervisors  

New Points System

Licences.  

Files. 

Social Pressure

Review Panels

Offences.

Information: Data.


The Concept. cars heading into a sunset
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Introduction.

Identify the Problem.

Rectify the Problem.

Information.

Summary of the Concept.
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Introduction.
The present levels... of Accidents, Injuries and Deaths are not inevitable.  New Technology presents Society with new challenges... new opportunities... the chance to tackle old problems in more efficient ways.  This website has been set up in order to look at... the Internet: Information Technology: and Modern Communications... and examine the many possibilities they offer in the area of Road Safety.
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This Road Safety Concept...  is both Radical and Innovative.  It would entail the biggest changes in 'Policing' methods on the roads since the invention of the automobile.  This is a Concept which is based around the idea of using Information as the driving force for change... rather than various forms of Punishment.  It would require the establishment of two mechanisms which do not exist at present... the first, to Identify problems... the second, to systematically Rectify those problems.
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Driver Behaviour... There are many groups that campaign of every aspect of Road Safety and whether it's... Driving under the Influence: Speeding: Training: Traffic Calming measures: Road Rage: Illegal use of Disabled Driver Parking Spaces: etc. etc. etc. the majority are endeavouring to control some aspect of behaviour.  Driver behaviour is now the issue and it would be much more effective if there was some kind of 'Control Mechanism' within the System which allowed people to become much more pro-active in this important area.  Just as companies like eBay have revolutionised the way people can buy and sell goods... it is possible to revolutionise the way bad behaviour on the Highways is controlled... by empowering the Road Users... rather than the 'State' trying to monitor, control and punish everyone.
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[Article Who should support this type of System?]
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We cordially invite... any interested members of the Public to review our website... and then submit their Comments: Opinions: and Ideas... based around the Concept we have presented... or the general issue of Road Safety... everything is open to debate.  If you happen to have some totally different concept in mind... we'd like to hear about that too... we're not about to rule out any possibilities!
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Article.   The future of driver education — The author provides a brief history of driver education in the USA: describes current events: and suggests some future directions in Road Safety.  [More Articles]
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Identify the Problem!
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'Tough on Crime... Tough on the causes of Crime'.  Some drivers are far more likely to cause accidents that other.  Some Countries consistently have a higher rate of accidents than others.  In order to achieve a low rate of accidents you need to address the specific problems of Individuals... and the more deep-seated problems which are embedded within the Road Culture of each Country.
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This Road Safety Concept... would mean establishing an Internet based Reporting system... to collect large volumes of 'high-quality' Information: [Data gathered, approximately 200-500 times the present levels] in order to positively identify 'high-risk' drivers... and to detail the exact nature of their 'high-risk' behaviour.  This would mean using large numbers of volunteers: [perhaps 5-10% of drivers] experienced drivers who would be making objective 'assessments' of their fellow drivers: [as they went about their everyday business.]
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These assessments... would be based on a driver's ability to 'Interact' with other road users in a way which was 'Safe: Considerate: and Courteous'... rather than strict adherence to every rule... a process we call... 'Continuous Peer Assessment'.
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A major change in the Law... 
would be required so 'Road Supervisors' would be able to use the Internet to make a limited number of 'Reports' each month concerning every aspect of road use and driver behaviour.  Every time a driver was reported for 'Bad' driving, one more point would be put on their licence... under a new 100 point penalty system.  [Or it could end up as two independent systems... a Points system... and a Reporting system.]
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In addition... it would also create a limited number of Senior Road Supervisors who would be able to report any serious offences directly to the Police using Mobile Phones.
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In essence... this is not unlike some present 'How's my driving?' type schemes which are utilised by some commercial employers... see an Offence: take down the Details: phone in a Report.  Some of these schemes have managed to reduce accident rates by 20% or more... despite the fact that there is no control over the quality of Information gathered: [i.e. anyone can phone up and complain:] no consistency: [i.e. they don't collect the same Information each time:] and no particular strategies for using this Information.  As this type of system has already proven to be successful...
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The logical extension... of this is to run an official Road Safety scheme that covers everyone.  So, instead of drivers phoning individual companies... 'Road Supervisors' would all log-on to one website... and fill in a 'Report Form' using the Internet.  Control the consistency and the quality of Information that goes into the system... and use that Information as a basis for developing a range of strategies to rectify the problems.
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Easy Targets.  The Authorities' favourite, sitting at the side of the road booking long lines of vehicles who are exceeding a speed limit.  If you do not identify the specific problems then what chance do you have of rectifying them?  Even the safest drivers can get caught out by this type of simplistic nonsense... it is never going to achieve anything... except generate revenue!  [To read a newspaper article which demonstrates exactly what we are talking about: Click Here.]
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Would anyone seriously suggest... that Educational Standards could be improved by randomly going out into the corridor... rounding up the first students that are unfortunate enough to walk by... and giving them some sort of Punishment? of course not! so why assume that Road Safety can be improved in such a haphazard way?
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[Article: Speed Cameras: life savers or cash cows?]
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Rectify the Problem! 
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The basic premise... the more 'high-risk' activity you allow on your roads the more accidents you have... and the more accidents you have the more injuries and deaths you have.  Reduce the level of 'high-risk' activity be 50% and all the accident: injuries: and deaths: will also be reduced by a similar level.
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[See Article: The Road Supervisor Process.]
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Gathering Information... Having gathered large quantities of Information... Identified those drivers posing the greatest risks... and the exact nature of those risks... you are then in a very good position to systematically change this behaviour... using a whole range of Strategies which would increase the pressure on a driver to change their ways as their points total became higher and higher.
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Analysis of the Data... would also tell you what kind of problems drivers found the most annoying... any offences that needed to be targeted... identify any 'Reporting Blackspots'... and give a good insight into the general 'Road Culture'.
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[Article: Are Drivers the real Problem?]
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Five Strategies... 
Detailed below... are 5 basic strategies which could be used to increase driving standards and bring about a reduction in high-risk activity... 4 of which could be in use before a driver had caused an accident.
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First Strategy: [Motivation.]  
Some drivers are already self-motivated and take positive steps to educate themselves and improve their driving... like attending an advanced driver's course.  More drivers could be encouraged to improve their own driving... and maintain a high standard of behaviour... especially if given a definite reason for doing so... like becoming a Road Supervisor.  While others would simply be deterred from the worst excesses of behaviour, knowing that their chances of being reported would be very high with so many Road Supervisors about.
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Deterrent... Drivers would also be deterred from the worst excesses knowing that Senior Road Supervisors could report them to the Police directly using Mobile Phones.  Anyone who was identified as a serious offender: [like a convicted drink-driver] or a vehicle which had been identified as registered at a false address: etc. could be targeted and intercepted by the Police as a priority.  [This Information could also be used at a later date when a vehicle passed a Police car fitted with a new number plate recognition computer system.]
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Second Strategy: [Education.]
Would be to supply drivers with some 'Feedback' on each Road Supervisor's Report sent to them.  In addition, each Report should also include a detailed 'Insert' written by experts... relevant to every separate offence mentioned.  This would be 'targeted' Education: the Report would say... this driver has this problem: this is what they were doing: this is why it was wrong: etc.  And the Insert would explain in detail exactly what they needed to do in the future.  This would then give every driver reported the opportunity to reassess their own behaviour... to 'fine tune' their driving skills... and to voluntarily make any changes or improvements required.  Each individual would have many opportunities to improve their own behaviour before anyone else became officially involved.
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Third Strategy: [Social Pressure.]
Would be to make sure Information was readily accessible over the Internet to those who were in 'Positions of Influence'.  This could easily be done... simply click on to a website... type in the driver's licence number... and have a look at their points total... then scroll back to see what it was at any point in the past.  Those drivers who did accumulate a high number of points... and did not voluntarily alter their behaviour... might be pressured into making changes by... their own Family: their Employer: their Insurance company: etc. etc.
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Fourth Strategy: [Enforcement.]
Special units of voluntary Road Supervisors' 'Review Panels' could be set up to deal with those drivers who were unable... or unwilling... to change through their own efforts and allowed their points total to spiral out of control.  Review Panels would be given the task of ensuring that 'problem' drivers did alter their behaviour... however much 'resistance to change' they might have shown in the past.  Having the power to... assess: re-educate: re-train: monitor: suspend: or demote: any 'high-risk' drivers, as required.  Basically, their task would be to turn 'Bad' drivers into 'Good' drivers: [as opposed to Magistrate's Courts which simply hand out a punishment and let drivers go.]  Change and improve, or lose their licence! it would be as simple as that.
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Fifth Strategy: [Punishment.]
Would basically, just leave the present system in place.  There would always be an important role for the Police and Courts to play, particularly when it comes to establishing the guilt or innocence of those serious offenders who have caused death or injury because of reckless behaviour... and handing down a suitable punishment: [be it a Fine: Points on a licence: a driving Ban: or Imprisonment.]
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Raising Standards... but, when it comes to raising driving standards, 'Punishment' on its own, is simply, not going to do the job!  'Punishment' needs to be a single strategy within a much broader and more sophisticated system which is based around good quality 'Information'!  With this system, the first four categories could all be working to bring about very specific changes to a person's behaviour before any accident has occurred!
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With little or no Information... Courts often find it very difficult to conclude whether something was a 'genuine' accident or not.  If Courts had access to a driver's File [at some stage in the proceedings] this could give them a much better insight into the driver's behaviour... ensuring that any serious offenders who caused accidents because of a pattern of reckless behaviour were dealt with in the appropriate manner.  [In Britain they now have something called 'Bad Character' evidence for this very purpose.]  Opinion? leave a Comment by E-mail.
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Continuous Peer Assessment is...
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  • Empowering... i.e. it gives a small amount of power to a very large number of citizens.  Drivers would mainly be held accountable by those road users they were directly sharing Road Space with... rather than being monitored, controlled and punished by an all powerful 'State'. 
  • Broad based... i.e. it deals with all types of behaviour... with all the rules of the road... and all drivers.  Targets real problems which actually have some affect on other people... rather than just concentrating on single issues: [like exceeding speed limits.]
  • Specific... i.e. gathers large quantities of good quality Information... identifying very specific problems associated with individual 'high-risk' drivers.
  • Permanent... i.e. operated 24 hours a day: 7 days a week: 52 weeks a year... rather than just being some 'periodical' Road Safety campaign.
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Information...  
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The essential point... this is basically all about Information...
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1. How you Gather that Information...
2. How you Process that Information...
3. How you Disseminate that Information...
4. How you Use that Information... See>>>>>
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[Article: Preventing Road Accidents using Information Technology.]
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It does not mean... 'doing away' with anything.  This Information is in addition to those things that are already done and work... it just opens up a whole range of alternative strategies because you then know exactly what all the problems are.
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Article.   What works in changing road user behaviour — This report reviews published research on behaviour models that have been used to attempt to explain road user behaviour, and it summarizes the results of efforts to change that behaviour using four broad classes of tools? Legislation: Enforcement: Reinforcement: and Education.  [More Articles]
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Gatherers of Information.
Would to some extent be the same as present... the Police in the normal course of their duties... giving 'tickets' to offenders and attending accidents.  Cameras of various kinds: i.e. Speed cameras: Red light cameras: Police patrol car mounted cameras: and c.c.t.v.
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In addition... there would also be the new Road Supervisors' Network... supplying very large numbers of Reports via the Internet... about every form of 'Bad' driving.  And new Senior Road Supervisors who could also supply 'Real-Time' Information to Police by Mobile Phone about the most serious breaches of the law so that they could be dealt with as a priority.  [A system might be introduced so that a Road Supervisor could use a digital recorder... even a mobile phone camera... to up-load an image as part of their 'Report'.]
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Tickets... when the Authorities hand out Tickets, they are also aiming to curb 'high-risk' behaviour... but are using the 'big stick' approach... far to often catching easy targets rather than the worst offenders... just giving a good whack to those they do catch, in the hope that... they won't do it again... and it will act as a warning to others.  This is a very, very poor attempt at Identifying problems... and then making a serious attempt at Rectifying them.  [Visit this Road Safety website - UK Driving Secrets - for all the low-down on what to do if you do get a Ticket.]
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Processors of Information.
Much of the Information might be dealt with in the old fashioned way with Road Supervisors filling in their Reports on a paper form and sending them in through the Post which would then be punched into the system by Data processors.  Hopefully, most would submit their Reports directly into the system by Logging on via...
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* The Internet... and possibly even by using...
* Telephones.
* Text Messaging.
* Voice Recognition Technology.
* Mobile phones... 
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Finally... some specialist Software would be required to ensure Information could be retrieved from the system in a variety of different ways, so as to benefit... Individuals: the Authorities: those Analysts studying the Data: and any Companies that might be in the business of supplying road and traffic Information through Modern Technology.
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Information Technology...
is not simply about having lots of Information... it's about having access to the right Information.  Information which is...
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* Relevant.
* Accurate.
* Reliable.
* Accessible.
* Where you want it.
* When you want it.
* Presented in a way which is easy to understand...
* so that you can make informed decisions.
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Dissemination of Information.  
Having an Information based system would mean making this Information available in a variety of ways: i.e... Sent: Access over the Internet: Downloading Files: Searching and Analysing the Database.  A copy of each Report would be sent out through the Post to the Registered Owner... [this should quickly identify those owners using a false address.]  Perhaps concerned Parents... or Companies operating a fleet of vehicles... would be able to register an e-mail address... or a text number... in order to receive an immediate notification.
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Some Information... could be made available over the Internet... i.e. log on to a website... type in a driver's licence number... and see how many points they have.  Scroll back to see how many points they had in the past: [might also give a summary of all offences reported.]  This might be done by... an Insurance company: a Car Hire company in a foreign country: etc.
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Certain groups... like, the Police: Courts: Review Panels: might be given a password so they could download entire Files over the Internet whenever necessary.  Police might also be able to search the main Database looking for a lead in... a crime: a road rage incident: a suspicious vehicle: witness to an accident: etc.  Likewise with some Government Depts. which might analyse the Database to find... Reporting Blackspots: where: when: who: which offences reported: etc. etc.
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Accidents.  Only Time and Experience will teach you how to best use some of this Information.  For example... whenever there is a serious Accident the Police investigate the circumstances.  It's not always easy to determine who was at fault... especially if there are conflicting stories.  Reading the Files of those drivers involved might give some indication as to what really happened.
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More generally... if you look at Accidents where a driver was at fault... compare that to their File... this may answer the question... how accurate are Files at 'predicting' Accidents?  Were the 'Signs' already there? [if the driver caused an Accident by jumping a Red Light... and they had already been Reported six times for jumping Red Lights... then the 'Signs' were there.]  If so... why did 'the System' fail to take action?
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Users of Information.
The following list shows a range of people that might be Sent, or have Access to Information for a variety of reasons: for them to... use as they see fit: [i.e. Parents] in order to help them make decisions: [i.e. Insurance Companies] and for very specific purposes: [i.e. Review Panels.]  See Social Pressure.
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Drivers: feedback from fellow road users.  [Education]
Driving Instructors: evaluating drivers' problems.   [Education]
Family: warnings of potential problems.  [Pressure]
Employers: controlling their drivers.   [Pressure]
Potential Employers:  deciding who to employ. [Pressure]
Insurance Comps:  assessing premiums. [Try Privilege] [Pressure]
Car Hire: quoting on rental rates: insurance: etc.  [Pressure]
Review Panels: rectifying specific problems.  [Enforcement]
Police: investigating crimes.  [Enforcement]
Courts: sentencing offenders. [Punishment]
Gov. Depts. analysing reported Data.  [Prevention]
Road Supervisors: directed to target specific offences. [Prevention]
Companies: reporting traffic and road conditions. [Prevention]
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Families and Employers can already get feedback by using the services of companies like...
1-866-I-Saw-You! - USA.
1800 - How's my Driving? - USA.
Tell-My-Mom.com - USA.
Better Driving Please - UK.
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Arrive Alive - South Africa. - has set up a National Road Safety Call Centre... where members of the public can volunteer to become "Traffic Observers" who report on a whole range of dangerous and corrupt behaviour.
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Changing the Road Culture.  
As well as dealing with the problems of individual drivers you also need to identify the more deep-seated problems which are peculiar to whole countries.  For instance... despite having similar Populations: Roads: Rules: and Vehicles... for many years France had an annual death rate of 8,000+ while Britain had about 3,500... that means there must have been certain high-risk practices which were much more common on French roads than they were on British roads: [i.e. drink-driving: dangerous overtaking: etc.]
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October 14, 2004.  The first "FIA World Prize for Road Safety, the Environment and Mobility"... was awarded to the President of the French Republic, Jacques Chirac.  2002: in his Bastille Day address President Chirac announced that road safety was going to be one of the top priorities of his new Presidential term... he encouraged his Ministry of Transport, the Police, Public Authorities and above all the French people to take action to promote road safety.  In 2002, 7400 people died on the roads in France.  Two years later, that number had dropped to 4900.  President Chirac’s initiative had resulted in an unprecedented 34% reduction in road traffic deaths.  So... congratulations to him... just goes to show what one person can achieve!
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The basic process is that...
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  • you identify any specific high-risk practices: [analyse your own Data and compare your problems with those of other countries.]
  • explain the problem to the whole population through the Media... point out what needs to change and why.
  • tell them that Road Supervisors have been asked to target and report the problem in the coming weeks.
  • many of the worst offenders identified... send out educational Inserts to those reported.
  • follow up on any serious and persistent offenders who are not making the changes.
  • when satisfied... move on to the next problem and repeat the process.
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FaceBook, YouTube, MySpace.  There is no reason why any official Road Safety website could not be as 'Interactive' as some of these other well known sites.  Where the 'users' can generate their own page, express their opinions, form communities, start petitions, upload videos and generally influence the agenda.  [Though it is important that no particular demographic comes to dominate the system... whether they be Petrolheads that just reports anyone that 'gets in their way'... or anti-car zealots that want to report everyone for everything.]
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Structural Problems.
And finally there are the Structural problems.  We can say with a fair degree of certainty that if you collected 100million Reports [about 3 per driver]... plotted them all on a computerised map of the country: [using a dot for each report] then the dots would not be evenly distributed across the entire map.  There would be many clusters of dots: ['Reporting Blackspots'] and any cluster would indicate that there was some kind of Structural problem associated with a particular motorway exit: intersection: car park: etc. [a process some Governments already do with 'Accident Blackspots'.]
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Software... should allow analysts to punch in different information like weather conditions: time of day: and see different patterns of dots appear.  If you then read the Reports for a cluster of dots which you have at an intersection during the morning rush-hour... and an engineer visits the intersection at that time... you should have a very good idea why drivers are coming into conflict with each other at that particular point... and be able to make some recommendations for improving the situation.  [Displaying the locations of Accidents that have actually happened and comparing them to 'Reporting Blackspots' will show you how good an indicator this system is.]
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Under this system... Road Supervisors would also run Branch meetings which would be open to the general public... attended by a representative from the Police and local Authorities so that any Road Safety issues could be raised and discussed.  It is very common to have local problems associated with parking: speeding: anti-social behaviour: etc. etc. which all the locals know about.  These may go on for literally years and years... and nothing is ever done about it because the Authorities don't know about it... don't care... or are just responding to the odd complaint which they can easily ignore.  This would put a mechanism in place so as to address problems in an... open: co-ordinated: and accountable manner.
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[See Article: Road Safety Publicity Campaigns.]
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2008: Investment/Business/Sponsorship Opportunity this link will lead to a Section which outlines the options for moving this Road Safety Project forward... but particularly, in a commercial way... and the opportunities for an outside party with experience and/or financial resources to become involved.
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Summary of the Concept... 
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is 'Outlined' in 9 different sections which can be accessed below or at the top of this page.  Once into that section just click 'Details' at the top or bottom of the page if more Information is required.  If you would like to help us develop this Road Safety Concept further... have a look at the 'Help Us' section... or support us by making a 'Donation'.
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Road Supervisors.

Motivation and Deterrent.  Gatherers of 'High-Quality' Information... a large number of experienced volunteer drivers: [perhaps 5-10%] of good character: self-motivated: setting a good example: acting as a deterrent: giving assistance when required.
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Senior Road Supervisors.
Motivation and Deterrent.  Gatherers of 'High-Quality' and 'Real-Time' Information... [as above] but less in number and more experienced: [perhaps 0.5-1%] some specialist skills: extra training: carrying some basic equipment: and with a more 'hands-on' approach to problems on the road.
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New Points System.
Control Mechanism.  Introduction of a new 100 point penalty system... giving more flexibility to Courts.  One point added whenever reported for 'bad driving' by a Road Supervisor.  Approx. 10 Road Supervisor points in circulation for every driver: [so only the most serious and persistent offenders would accumulate a high points total.]
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Licences.
Control Mechanism.  Graduated licence system... Learner: Probationary: Full: Advanced: [Road Supervisors.]  Probationary licence... compulsory use of 'P' plates: to help monitor... young: inexperienced: and 'high-risk' drivers: less points: and some restrictions.  A Full licence would have to be 'earned'.
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Files.
Education.  One for every driver... 'problem' drivers, [by definition] would be those accumulating the most points: detailed Reports would identify specific problems relating to each individual.  Educational Insert sent out for every Offence reported.  Files available to... Courts: Police: Review Panels.
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Social Pressure.
Social Pressure.  Making Information widely available... especially to those in 'positions of influence' who could exert pressure on high-risk drivers to change... and those who would have the power to enforce change.
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Review Panels.
Enforcement.  Formed using mainly volunteer Road Supervisors... who would evaluate 'high-risk' drivers: prescribe various re-training courses to rectify specific problems: and closely monitor progress.  Road Supervisors would also run Branch Meetings which would be open to the public: attended by the Police and local Authorities: providing a mechanism for people to raise local issues: discuss problems: and hopefully find solutions.
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Offences.
Punishment.  Covers every offence: every driver: Reports would be based on a driver's ability to 'Interact' with other road users in a way which was 'Safe: Considerate: and Courteous', rather than strict adherence to every rule.  Details available to... Courts: Police: Review Panels.
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Information: Data: Knowledge.
Control Mechanism.  Making the system work... recruiting and training personnel: developing courses: identifying problems: raising driving standards: changing the Road Culture: rectifying problems: fine tuning the system: monitoring progress: presenting Information in useful ways: etc. etc.
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