Category - Education

The 4 Es of Road Safety

All the Es

This article was originally published in 2011, but I’ve updated it a couple of times since, and again in 2018 following a run of hits. It’s been popular on and off since, and has suddenly been swamped again in mid-2021.

The original article came about after watching an argument flare up on a forum concerning the 4Es. Basically, no one knew what they were, but they’d all done a quick search and were arguing their own interpretations of the first hit they’d come across on Google. It’s funny watching people trying to put each other down when none of them have a clue.

As an aside, I notice that some organisations have turned the 4Es into the 5Es. At least I guess it means they can have more meetings, do more flipcharts, and offer more consultation opportunities instead of getting on with some bloody work. I’ve even seen the 3Es out there somewhere. Talk about confusion!

One of the big problems trying to get to the bottom of what the 4Es are all about is that even the people apparently implementing them obfuscate things so much that they don’t have a clue, either. The best place to go for a serious explanation is America, and a public safety site for Nevada is probably the best I’ve seen.

Nevada gives them as:

  • engineering
  • enforcement
  • education
  • emergency response

The Wikipedia entry explains:

Accident prevention and improvement of traffic safety

This comprises education and information, above all following the “4 Es”: enforcement, education, engineering, encouragement/economy. The main goal is promoting safety by influencing and modifying behavior using legal, educational, vehicle- and road-specific measures; driver training, driving-instructor education, information on traffic issues, campaign design and marketing, effective enforcement.

You will note the slight difference with the fourth one, though if you think about it, Nevada has it covered with their version – and bear in mind that they actually use it.

“Engineering” means things like road design, lane markings, footpaths, and so on (design things with safety in mind). “Enforcement” means publicity, policing, and so on (remind people, and pull them up if they don’t comply). “Education” means giving out information, conducting campaigns, and so on for all users (pedestrians and drivers). “Emergency response” refers to maintaining a “first responder” system.

India has been looking into it, and they refer to:

…included engineering of safe roads, provision of emergency care, enforcement of traffic rules and regulations, the use of ITS for improving road safety, and the creation of an educational and awareness campaign for changing road user behaviour to improve road safety.

The same headings as Nevada. And the ITE – an international organisation – says:

Within the 4 E’s of transportation safety, “engineering” and “education” are two of the more traditional focuses for transportation engineers and planners. However, the importance of “enforcement” and “emergency responses” should not be understated, and both are critical elements of a successful roadway safety management program.

From a driving instructor’s point of view, the education part is the one they are going to be dealing with, though perhaps with a little enforcement thrown in.

Remember, though, that it is the dog which wags the tail – not the other way round – and decent instructors (or anyone else acting responsibly) are covering their part automatically without having to worry about acronyms and the inevitable flipcharts and Powerpoint sessions. In the rat race, though, it all has to be documented and filed, so it is a much bigger – and more costly – job.

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Saving Money On Magazines

ReadlyA couple of years ago I was having a clear out and I was amazed at the number of magazines I’d collected over the years. They were mainly my Classic Rock mags, and part of my decision to have a clear out was that I’d been getting more and more disillusioned with that particular publication.

At the time, I was on an annual subscription, but Planet Rock had just launched its own magazine and that did exactly what it said on the tin – it covered rock music. Classic Rock acquired a new editor, and she made it clear in her introductory piece what she was planning. Subsequently, any rock music they covered had to include at least half female acts – meaning it became obscure and far from ‘classic’, at best – and they also decided that (as just one example) Depeche Mode somehow ticked both the ‘classic’ and ‘rock’ boxes at the same time (actually, they decided twice in the space of just a couple of months with that one example). Then they did their ‘best 100 female artists of all time’ issue, and necessarily had to include non-rock genres to fill it out. That was it from me, and I cancelled my sub.

Before any feminists start frothing at the mouth over this, I go to see lots of female artists and bands with female members. I actually seek them out if I hear them on Planet Rock and like the sound. Like Samantha Fish, Haim, Paramore, Evanescence, Courtney Love, Joanne Shaw Taylor, The Lounge Kittens… I just don’t need any feminist magazine editors trying to filter out the men for me. And if you don’t like the fact that I don’t like that fact, click the back button and go somewhere else.

Planet Rock mag suits me fine, but when the lockdown came along, it also came with a lot of extra time for reading and finding tips on how to do stuff I wouldn’t have otherwise had time for. And going out to buy magazines wasn’t an option – even if it would have been of benefit with the ‘current’ issue on sale (you usually need a series of them).

A few years ago, as a result of my quest to find some authentic German food recipes, I came across a subscription service called Readly. It carries – and this is no exaggeration – thousands of UK titles. They’re all the ones you see on the newsstands (and many you don’t), from TV Times, OK!, Hello!, through all the photography and amateur DIY magazines, through to music and musicians (including Classic Rock). They cover specialist computer and technology subjects, gaming, weddings, cycling, fishing, horse riding, pets… everything (but no X-rated adult stuff). Including back issues, too, which multiplies the content by at least ten. And as I already implied, they have similar numbers of publications from Europe, Asia, and America. They’ve also recently started including newspapers, though it’s only The Independent and Evening Standard right now.

My normal Readly subscription is less than £8 a month, but they offer a two months for free trial. Even so, at £8 a month, that’s the newsstand cost of just three magazines! If you were after foreign magazines, you’d probably pay more than that for a single issue once shipping was included.

You can get the Readly app with the offer through Amazon (it’s free), and you can read on your phone, tablet, or computer. You can also read offline by downloading the content.

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The Attention Spans Of Gnats

Swarm of GnatsI’ve mentioned this before, but I started the blog way back in November 2008. That first month, I got 7 visits! It’s gone steadily upwards ever since, and at the present rate, I figure that the blog will pass the 1,000,000 visitor mark early in 2019.

So I guess I must be doing something right, even if I’m not pulling in McDonalds or Coca-cola levels of traffic.

I keep an eye on my stats, and investigate any blips. I had one recently where increased traffic was coming from Facebook and landing on the Should I Become A Driving Instructor article. After a bit of digging, I discovered that the owner of a Facebook group had linked to it in good faith.

That article is a long one, and it runs to more than 15,000 words, which is about a quarter of the length of standard novel. For me, that’s no problem whatsoever – I can both read that number of words (in about 20 minutes), and write them (albeit over a longer period). Tossing off a 1,000-worder takes me perhaps an hour, on and off, including digging out and editing a suitable image to go with it. If I know what I want to say, I have no problem writing it down, and the only bottleneck is how quickly I can type (or physically write if I’m putting it on paper). I guess that the only problem with all this is in assuming that other people can cope with that many words. But then again, as I’ve said before, it’s my blog and if they don’t like it, there’s the BACK button.

As an aside, I used to be able to physically write very quickly with what everyone said was “girlie” handwriting (i.e. it was neater than theirs, legible, and flowing). I’ve always had an interest in calligraphy, too. Many years of using computers means I get cramp if I try handwriting for long now, and it doesn’t feel anywhere as neat as it used to be – though pupils often comment on how neat it is.

Anyway, back on topic. It seems, though, that it is me who is somehow in the wrong for making that article 15,000 words long judging from some of the inane comments on that Facebook page!

The reason for this seems to be rooted in what the Internet Age has done to people’s intellects. Consider this question:

Discuss the issues facing someone who is considering becoming a teacher.

For me, a complete answer could easily run to 10,000 words or more. However, for many people today, a perfectly acceptable answer might amount to:

Smile lol

Regular blog readers will already know that I have a low opinion of many of those I have to share this planet with, and who cross my path in the course of a typical day (other driving instructors often make up a fair proportion of those). This is the main reason I don’t have comments enabled.

The point is, though, that if you were thinking of becoming a teacher, which answer is likely to be of most benefit to you? The one with a lot of relevant words on a complex subject written by a teacher, or the one put together by a monkey using random hieroglyphics? Incidentally, if you think it’s the monkey one, just accept that I’m trying to help you.

That’s why the Should I Become A Driving Instructor article is 15,000 words long. It’s not aimed at monkeys.

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Are You Sure About That?

Burntstump Seely emailThe local BBC newsfeed has a comment where a local school – Burntstump Seely – has set some “homework” for children, while the school is closed due to snow. It shows a photograph of the poster the school has put up (or possibly emailed) for the children (above).

Personally, I’d have set some spelling homework. The person who produced this can’t even spell the name of the school correctly (see bottom left).

Incidentally, the spelling is wrong on Google Maps, too, and anything related to that. The rest of Google shows it as “Burntstump”, and the road it is on is called “Burntstump Hill”. The letterhead in the image above shows it as “Burntstump”. There’s a nearby restaurant called “Burnt Stump”, and the school is right on the edge of the “Burntstump Country Park”

Confused?

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