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Road safety - What you asked us about

Find advice, guidance and answers to the issues you have raised around road safety.

Excessive traffic speed

Speeding continues to be a concern for many communities in both rural and urban environments. Motorists who speed through residential neighbourhoods are often unaware of:

  • the impact their actions may have on local residents;
  • or the danger they pose to pedestrians and other road users.

Addressing these concerns is part of a wider Calderdale Road Safety Strategy and Road Safety Action Plan. This is to help co-ordinate road safety initiatives across Calderdale to tackle these issues.

Five priority areas are identified in the strategy which will help to make Calderdale's roads safer:

  • Educate 'at risk' groups and individuals.
  • Engage with local communities.
  • Enforce legislation and taking a robust approach to dangerous and anti-social behaviour.
  • Engineer roads to reduce the safety risk by improving the roads and transportation links.
  • Communicate effectively with partners and locally interested parties.

The police undertake speed enforcement in order to:

  • Reduce death and injury on the roads.
  • Improve the quality of life for local communities.
  • Make sure that drivers stick to the speed limits.

Increase public awareness of excessive speed.

The Calderdale Road Safety Group secured £12,000 of funding for a speed indication device (SID) for each of the Safer Cleaner Areas of Calderdale. These devices are available for Police, Wardens, Neighbourhood teams and community groups to conduct community lead speed prevention activities.

We have also recruited a Police Volunteer to manage community Speed Watch. Our planned tiered approach:

  • Deployment of SID – Community participation.
  • Community Speed Watch Deployment.
  • Operation Hawmill/Neighbourhood Police Team enforcement.

Some drivers choose to ignore speed limit changes. Reductions are unlikely to be successful without additional engineering measures. These must be justified via objective data, such as collision/casualty trends and their causes. Unfortunately, we cannot provide engineering measures in all cases due to ongoing budget restrictions and/or the geometry of the location.

On highway with a 20mph speed limit

20mph speed limits is a sign only scheme in Calderdale. They were brought in to encourage drivers to drive at a suitable speed in residential and school communities. (Even a 1mph reduction in average speed can reduce accident frequency.)

Generally, no traffic calming was planned for the schemes unless a road has serious issues with casualties. In line with this we analyse areas where speed and casualties have not reduced and identify actions for improvements.

We are aware that without enforcement speed reduction will be difficult to achieve in some areas and on certain roads. The Calderdale Road Safety Partnership was established to:

  • Consider road safety issues.
  • Promote safer driving and road safety.
  • Prioritise how we reinforce safer driving messages in the communities.

This does involve enforcement but police resource is limited and they have to prioritise which areas to concentrate resources in. Given the reduction in policing resources clearly managing expectations in communities is critical. The police neighbourhood teams attend local Ward Forums and this is a good place to raise the issue around driver behaviour and enforcement. It should be emphasised that the Police will enforce 20mph speed limits where there is an identified issue with traffic speeds/speed related casualties.

In the first instance, please contact the Neighbourhood Police Team by email: Calderdale.NPT@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

Borrowing a speed indicating device for your road

If you are part of a local community group, you can borrow a device that shows speed. Use this in your local with a Community Warden or PCSO.

Speed Indicating Devices (SIDs) are mobile devices aimed at alerting passing motorists to the speed they are travelling at. Also, to raise awareness of local speed limits.

In Calderdale, there are two main methods used by the Council, which are the Smiley SID and the Radar Gun.

Smiley SID

This shows the drivers' speed with a frowning or smiling face. This depends on whether they are travelling above or below the given speed limit.

SID radar gun

This is mainly used to gather a 'snapshot data' of vehicle speeds. The data will then be analysed in order to identify areas where traffic speeding may be a problem. This allows the Calderdale Safer Roads Delivery Group partnership to assess the need for further action.

SIDs are not enforcement devices. The idea of using the equipment is to:

  • Educate drivers about the speed they should be travelling on roads in your local area.
  • Raise motorists' awareness in a positive way and to allow them to adjust their speed accordingly.

Primarily, it is a device that gives members of the local community the chance to help address anti-social behaviour. Also, it is used to influence motorists' style of driving through education.

SID works well to tackle the casual or unintentional speeder. Those who, through a lack of attention or awareness, may not realise they are breaking the speed limit. It tells them their speed, to help make them aware of potential hazards and the speed they should be going.

Places can be found from:

  • Data analysis.
  • Complaints from an residents.
  • Community groups (such as local road safety groups).
  • Via town or parish Councils and local Councillors.

SID will be used in normal working hours. This is when pedestrians and other road users would be most at risk and not during the hours of darkness.

The results of the speed check will be shared with the Calderdale Safer Roads Delivery Group and made available to the original complainant.

A calculation of the 85th percentile speed is used to show how much a vehicle is over the given speed limit. Also, to determine what action is deemed appropriate. The 85th percentile is the speed (at or below) which 85 percent of the motorists drive on a given road. It is a standard measure used by the Highway Authority and the Police. It should be noted that a high 85th percentile figure will not always result in action being taken.

Who can request a device?

If you would like to join us and carry out speed checks in your area, contact your neighbourhood co-ordinator:

Request for traffic calming measures

(Such as speed 'bumps' or 'speed cameras')

Traffic calming is not simply about reducing traffic speeds. It is used to help reduce the number of road casualties on our roads. The methods used include:

  • road humps and cushions;
  • mini roundabouts;
  • traffic islands;
  • and speed cameras.

We have limited and competing resources, so we aim to target routes with the worst road safety records. This is only appropriate where:

  • There is a recurrence of speed related casualties and a need to create a safer environment.
  • The high costs of physical traffic calming can be justified.

We can get requests for locations where there seems to be a speeding problem. If we do not have data to support the request, it is unlikely that traffic calming features would be considered. In these cases, we will signpost residents to community-led initiatives.

The process of managing installation and operation of safety cameras in West Yorkshire is managed through the West Yorkshire Casualty Prevention Partnership (WYCPP). For guidance on their criteria for camera installation, visit: West Yorkshire Crime Prevention Partnership.

Installation is currently based upon need as evidenced by the casualty statistics for a particular location or length of road. To make a request:

Request for change to a speed limit

Speed limits are not normally needed where the character of the road itself limits the speeds of most vehicles.

  • Driving without due care is an offence;
  • and speed limits have little effect on drivers who do not consider others.

Please note: We do not have the powers to enforce this, it is a Police matter.

Speed limits make a valuable contribution to road safety but there is a tendency to see them as a cure-all. They are most effective when they are seen by drivers to be a reasonable restriction in the particular circumstances. A limit that is not realistic for the environment may be ignored. When this occurs the speed limits are not providing any significant increased protection to either the frontages or other road users. To revise a speed limit downward and physically reduce traffic speeds may require the use of traffic calming measures.

Speed limits are set by the Highway Authority in accordance with the Department for Transport (DfT). For more details, visit: Setting Local Speed Limits (GOV.UK).

To ask for the speed limit on a highway to be reviewed, please see: Minor traffic and parking improvement scheme.

Report concern relating to pedestrian safety

Request for pedestrian crossing facilities

Numerous requests for crossing facilities are received annually. The following factors are considered when assessing the need and suitability of a crossing:

  • Traffic speed and volumes and the difficulty faced by pedestrians crossing the road.
  • The number and nature of personal injury accidents particularly those involving pedestrians.
  • The volume of traffic throughout a given day compared to the number of pedestrians crossing the road.
  • Site conditions, nature of the road and constraints.
  • Funding and available resources.

The criteria for the type of pedestrian crossings (such as zebra or Puffin) are set down by the DfT. There are strict rules that we must follow.

To ask for a pedestrian crossing, see: Minor traffic and parking improvement scheme.

Request for a pedestrian dropped kerb

Here we lower the kerb to make it easier to cross the road at certain points for people with:

  • Impaired mobility;
  • and users of wheelchairs, pushchairs or trolleys.

We aim to reduce social isolation and improve access for all to use:

  • Community routes to (for example) shops, surgeries and public buildings;
  • or to access (for example) bus stops and public transport.

If you have a location for a dropped kerb which fulfils this need please make your request, see: Minor traffic and parking improvement scheme.

Request for road safety improvements to the highway

West Yorkshire Police and the Leeds Accident Studies Unit provide accident data which highlights where clusters of accidents occur. Our priority is dealing with areas where accidents are occurring now.

In 2019, there was an overall reduction of all casualties, but numbers of those killed or seriously injured have risen for the second consecutive year. All child casualties fell for the second year in a row. Although, the number of seriously injured children has barely changed in the last five years.

All pedestrian casualties and those seriously injured fell substantially in 2019. The number of cyclist casualties reduced marginally in 2019, but figures for those killed or seriously injured have not improved since 2014. Powered two-wheeler (PTW) rider casualties continue to fluctuate in Calderdale. The numbers of car occupant casualties continue to decrease in the district. However, those killed or seriously injured have not improved in recent years.

To access this type of information, visit: Calderdale Data Works.

As the budget for road safety improvements is finite, it is the sites with the greatest proven need which are investigated first. These will have a cluster of incidents with a discernible trend or pattern in the cause of each.

Sometimes there is no information regarding a recent collision. The three most common reasons are that:

  • If a collision did not involve personal injury, this would not be recorded.
  • If the collision was not reported to the Police, we would not have any record.
  • The data may be recorded, but not yet available.

If you have a suggestion or request for a highway improvement, see: Minor traffic and parking improvement scheme.

Failure to observe one way system or access only

The aim of law enforcement for moving traffic offences is to stop dangerous manoeuvres on different roads, improve road safety and reduce traffic congestion.

It is acknowledged that 'vehicular access only' can be hard to enforce. Drivers who enter the area to access properties within the restricted area are acting lawfully. Basically, therefore, the police would need to follow all vehicles travelling through the restricted area to see if they stop or not. Clearly this level of enforcement is difficult for the police to resource. One way systems can be similarly resource intensive to enforce.

In the first instance, contact the Calderdale Neighbourhood Team by email: Calderdale.NPT@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

Traffic volumes considered to be excessive

Addressing the issue of traffic volumes on our roads is an element of the:

  • Calderdale Transport Strategy 2016 - 31;
  • West Yorkshire Transport Strategy 2040;
  • and the Calderdale Air Quality Management Plan. (Where it focuses on reducing congestion on motorways and major roads to enhance the environment and improve people's quality of life).

Request for new or additional signage

Warning signs are used to alert drivers to potential danger ahead. They show a need for special caution by road users and may demand speed to be a reduced or some other manoeuvre.

  • Relevant warning signs can improve road safety.
  • To be most effective, they should be used sparingly. Over use for conditions that are obvious tend to bring them into disrepute and can make them less effective.

The type and content of the signs used is prescribed by legislation. Please note: Requests for new or more road signs cannot always be fulfilled.

To make a request, see: Minor traffic and parking improvement scheme.

Request for HGV restrictions

It is almost impossible to restrict the size or number of vehicles that use a length of highway. If it is part of the highway network, drivers have a legitimate right to use it.

Weight restrictions have a limited effect at deterring drivers of large vehicles from using a road. This is because they are difficult to enforce. This is because any weight limit must have exceptions for access both written into the order and signed on site. Otherwise, delivery vehicles, bin wagons and other oversized vehicles would be unable to legally enter the area covered by the weight restriction. The Police are responsible for enforcing weight limit restrictions. The exception means that Police must show that any vehicle they take action against has actually broken the law.

  • Drivers of overweight vehicles which enter the area covered by the weight limit and drive through without stopping, have broken the law.
  • Drivers who enter the area to access properties within the restricted area are acting lawfully.

The police would need to follow all large vehicles travelling through the weight restricted area to see if they stop or not. This level of enforcement is difficult for the police to resource. Drivers of large vehicles regularly travel through areas covered by weight limits. Unless they get stuck, they know they are not likely to be caught.

The only guaranteed way of preventing large vehicles from travelling through an area is to physically close off roads. Restricting the width is often not an option. Some vehicles, such as bin wagons, delivery trucks and fire engines will still need to gain access. It is not possible to restrict large vehicles that are not essential, while allowing essential ones in. Closing the road would prevent large vehicles from travelling through an area. However, it also restricts access to everyone, including residents and is, therefore, something that is considered only in exceptional circumstances.

The only option which can often be used is to introduce blue and white "Unsuitable for large vehicle signs" as has been done locally. If these are used where the road is physically too narrow, they may be effective at keeping large vehicles off unsuitable roads.

To ask for restrictions, contact Customer First or see: Minor traffic and parking improvement scheme.

Red light 'jumping' at traffic lights

Enforcement of red light offending is primarily the responsibility of the Police. We encourage any members of the public to report their concerns to the Police.

Please contact the Neighbourhood Police Team by email: Calderdale.NPT@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

Installation and operation of red light safety cameras in West Yorkshire is managed by the West Yorkshire Casualty Prevention Partnership (WYCPP).

Funding is limited, so WYCPP sets strict criteria for prioritising red light camera sites. For more about this, please visit: Camera equipment and site (WYCPP).

Report a road or pavement defect, roads and highways maintenance

(Includes streetlights, traffic signs and bollards, road markings, roadside signage and traffic signals)

Please see: Roads and highways maintenance.

Report concerns relating to a new development

All developments are assessed in terms of local and national guidance. This requires any development that has a severe impact on the operation of the highway network to deliver mitigating improvements.

To comment on planning applications, please see: Search and comment on planning applications.

Winter gritting

Parking Issues

Double yellow line road markings mean:

  • No waiting or parking at any time.

Single yellow line road markings mean:

  • No waiting between the stated days/hours shown on the adjacent sign and parking should not happen at these times.

Loading is permitted on both double and single yellow lines. However it must be seen to be taking place and be for no more than 30 minutes. Where there are kerb blips in place to support the yellow lines, there is to be no loading:

  • During the restricted days/hours shown on the sign;
  • or at any time where there is a double blip.

Disabled badge holders can park on single or double yellow lines for up to three hours. This must not cause obstruction to other road users and there must not be any kerb blips in place. Drivers must set their time clock to the time of their arrival.

'Zig Zag' School 'keep clear' markings should be kept clear of all traffic during the times indicated on the adjacent signage. This includes picking up, dropping off and loading.

All the above restrictions are enforced by Civil Enforcement Officers, who work on behalf of the Council. If you have any particular issue with vehicles parking on these restrictions, contact Parking Services by email: parking@calderdale.gov.uk.

Parking outside your home

The road outside your house is usually defined as a 'public highway'.

If there are no parking restrictions in place, anyone can legitimately park a vehicle.

In areas where parking becomes problematic the authority has the power to introduce restrictions to control the highway use.

Parking on the footway or pavement and causing an obstruction

There are campaigns for a total ban on pavement parking in England. Also, to make this a civil offence that is enforced by local authorities. Parking on the pavement obstructs pedestrians and is a hazard for:

  • Blind and partially-sighted people;
  • wheelchair and mobility scooter users;
  • and those with pushchairs and prams.

Parking on the pavement could amount to the wilful obstruction of the highway.

Rule 242 of the Highway Code, which applies to all roads, states:

  • "You must not leave your vehicle or trailer in a dangerous position;
  • or where it causes any unnecessary obstruction of the road."

You can get a Fixed Penalty Notice if your car is reported or seen by a Police Officer and judged to be:

  • In a dangerous position;
  • or causing an unnecessary obstruction of the road, which includes the footway.

People are advised to use common sense when they have no option but to park on the pavement. If parking wholly on a narrow road stops vehicles getting through, it is sensible to partially park on a pavement:

  • Providing there are no parking restrictions;
  • and you are not blocking a wheelchair user or pram from using the pavement.

If there are restrictions or your parking causes wheelchair users problems, you can be guilty of "wilful obstruction". This is under Section 137 of the Highways Act 1980.

This type of offence cannot be dealt with in retrospect. It has to be seen by an officer in uniform at the time it is taking place for enforcement action to be taken. Positive action is being taken by the Police when obstruction offences are found.

In the first instance, please contact the Neighbourhood Police Team by email: Calderdale.NPT@westyorkshire.pnn.police.uk.

What can be done if someone blocks your driveway

If your driveway is completely blocked by a vehicle, the offence of 'obstruction' could be considered. Obstruction is a complicated offence to prosecute.

Obstruction has to be 'actual' not 'perceived'. This means that you are actually obstructed at that moment by that vehicle because your immediate passage is blocked. It is not enough that you might want to use your driveway some time in the future. Civil Enforcement Officers have the power to issue a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) to drivers who are parked in front of a private driveway.

  • Requests for enforcement must be made in advance, by email to: Parking@calderdale.gov.uk;
  • and must be made by the owner/occupier of the property.

Important note: Once an enforcement request has been made, any vehicle (includes owner/occupiers) may get a PCN.

The CEOs will not be able to visit the properties every day. They will try to check the driveways if/when they are in the area.

'H Bar' Markings

A H Bar marking is a painted road marking in the shape of an elongated 'H', which is sited across a vehicular crossing. It is white and extends across dropped kerbs from where each starts to taper down to the road surface. These can be useful for residents who experience problems with accessing and exiting their driveways. This may be due to vehicles regularly obstructing access to properly constructed dropped crossings/kerbs. The marking is provided solely to highlight the presence of your driveway to others.

Please note: It is not always possible to mark the highway with a 'H bar' marking.

  • They are intended to act as a visual reminder to drivers that access is required.
  • A PCN will only be issued to vehicles parked in part or fully in front of the dropped crossing or kerb.
  • For private access crossings, this will only be done if the property owner, landowner or tenant asks for it.
  • If you park on your 'H bar' marking, it devalues its meaning. Other drivers can think that you do not need access to your driveway and follow suit.
  • We do not have the powers to move parked vehicles.

For more details and to request a 'H bar' marking outside your drive, see: H bar road markings.

To report recurring issues with an obstructed driveway, email: Parking@calderdale.gov.uk, if the resident requires enforcement action.

Parking too close to a junction or blocking visibility

(No parking restrictions currently in place)

The advice in the Highway Code not to park within 10m of a junction is not mandatory. In the first instance, please contact the Police to report any such issue, phone: 101.

Parking outside school

Vehicles causing an obstruction, preventing access for emergency vehicles, parking on the pavement or blocking driveways may be parking illegally. Parking Services can deal with parking on school keep clears.

Police PCSOs and Council Civil Enforcement Officers can patrol areas outside the school at drop off/pick up times. Please note: Resources for this are limited and they cannot be outside every school every day.

The PCSO for your area can liaise directly with the school. They could get something in the school newsletter/website to ask parents to park with care when they visit the school.

  • High levels of congestion outside schools also cause increased pollution and have a negative effect on air quality around schools.
  • Illegal or inconsiderate parking can cause inconvenience to local residents and undermines the schools efforts to be a good neighbour.

Do you have an issue with inappropriate parking outside your school at the start and end of the day? Do you want to reduce the number of children coming to school by car? We have put together a collection of ideas that can be used to try to reduce the problem.

For more about this, please see: School Parking - Helping Schools to Reduce their Parking Issues.

Request for school crossing patrol

We can provide and manage your school crossing patrol service.

For more details, please see: School crossing patrols.

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