on mobile and seat belt offences
MORE than a quarter of all
fixed penalty notices handed to motorists in Merseyside are for
mobile phone and seat belt offences. Since the start of this year
Merseyside Police has issued drivers in Merseyside with 772 fixed
penalty notices for mobile phone offences and 992 for seat belt
offences. In 2011, 23 people lost their lives in road traffic
collisions and more than 500 people sustained serious injuries.
Chief Inspector John Hogan, head of roads policing, said:-
"Merseyside Police is committed to reducing the number of people
killed or seriously injured on our roads and we are determined to
target the minority of motorists who continue to flout the law and
recklessly endanger lives. Lack of concentration features heavily in
many road traffic collisions and drivers need to be aware that
actions such as using their mobile phone, eating or reading pose a
significant threat to their safety and the safety of other road
users, particularly cyclists and pedestrians. You are four times
more likely to be involved in a collision if using your mobile phone
while driving. And it is proven that you halve your chance of dying
in a collision if you wear a seat belt in either the front or back
of the car. Our officers will continue to adopt a zero tolerance
approach to the offences that cause the most serious collisions such
as using your phone, speeding and not wearing a seat belt."
Did you know that anyone found using a mobile phone while driving or
not wearing their seat belt is liable to a £60 fine and three
penalty points. If a driver is found to have used a mobile at the
time of a collision they could be charged with dangerous driving.
Merseyside Police believe these 2 offences are part of a bigger
picture of driver apathy with many motorists believing:- 'it
will never happen to me.' In May 2012 Merseyside
Police will be involved in a driver training initiative called:-
'Engage'. Police officers, local authority road safety
officers and driving instructors will work together to better
educate learner drivers and influence their future attitudes.
Sgt. Paul Mountford, from the Roads Policing Department, said:-
"This is an innovative scheme in which the learner driver is
presented with a number of different issues and they have to
identify the dangers and solutions. There will also be an
expectation on parents of young drivers to contribute to their
child's driving education by attending a workshop to gain an insight
into the structure of the scheme and how they can support it. We
would ask parents to ask themselves a question; how important is the
safety of my son or daughter?"
Any driving instructors who wish to learn more about the scheme or
register their interest in being involved is asked to call Sgt.
Mountford on:- 0151 777 5732. Alternatively they send him an
email the St Helens Road Safety
Beavers and Cubs
Learn Responsible Pet Care
PETS at Home Southport are
offering local Beaver and Cub Scout groups free workshops to help
members gain their animal care badge. Children in the area who
attend the workshops at the Southport store will receive advice from
trained in-store advisors on how to care for pets responsibly in
order to achieve part of their set badge criteria.
To obtain their Animal Friend
Badge, Beaver Scouts will learn how to care for small animals and
fish along with the correct type and quantities of food to feed
them. They will also find out the right habitats for small animals,
where they sleep and how to ensure they get the appropriate level of
To help gain their Animal Carer Badge, Cub Scouts will find out, in
the in-store aquatic centre, about different types of freshwater or
tropical fish and what food they eat. Cubs will also learn the
correct foods that small animals need to keep healthy and how to
recognise common illnesses.
Store Manager David Salisbury at Pets at Home said:- "Our
in-store pet advisers are always happy to share their extensive
knowledge of animal care. The free workshops will help local Beavers
and Cub Scouts find out all the information they need to achieve
some of their badge activity tasks, teaching them how to care for
pets responsibly and everything that’s involved in looking after
Examples of suitable animals for the badge include dogs, cats,
gerbils, guinea pigs, fish, birds and rabbits.
Simon Carter assistant director at The Scout Association said:-
"Having a trusted place that our leaders can go to that helps our
Cub and Beaver Scouts learn about the correct way to care of animals
is of real value to our leaders. This support from Pets at Home
really helps make the life of our volunteers that bit easier."
over under-age drink sales
SHOPS and off-licences
which sell alcohol to under-age customers have been warned that they
are putting their licences at risk. The warning follows a
recent 28 day suspension of the licence for Greens Convenience
Store, in Lodge Lane, Liverpool, for selling drink to a 16 year old
girl in a test purchase. The city council's licensing committee also
imposed extra conditions on the shop's licence to say that alcohol
should only be sold by the designated premises supervisor or a
personal licence holder; staff should have regular training on the
proof of age scheme and staff had to be trained in making meaningful
ID checks. Subsequent checks have shown that the shop has since
complied with the terms of its licence. Councillor Christine
Banks, licensing committee chair, said:- "Selling alcohol to
underage customers is something we are determined to crack down on.
It causes a lot of concern to residents as well as being potentially
very harmful to young people. Shop and off licence owners and
managers need to be aware of their responsibilities and ensure that
all staff carry them out. Training is available on these issues and
there is no excuse for selling drink to the under 18's. Our alcohol
and tobacco unit keep a close watch on these issue and we will have
no hesitation in suspending or even revoking the licence of those
irresponsible premises who make these illegal sales. Any who have
had their licence suspended can be sure that it will be revoked if
there is a second offence."
stroke survivors' quality of life
STROKE survivors who like
art have a significantly higher quality of life than those who do
not, according to new research. Patients who appreciated music,
painting and theatre recovered better from their stroke than
patients who did not. The research was presented at the 12th
Annual Spring Meeting on Cardiovascular Nursing, 16 March to 17 March
Stroke is the 3rd cause of death in the western world and the first
cause of disability in adults. More and more older people are having
strokes and undergoing recovery. "We know that every 6 seconds
there is a person affected by stroke in the world.
Identifying strategies to improve stroke recovery and patients’
quality of life represent a priority for the health care system and
art exposure seems to be promising." says
lead author Dr Ercole Vellone, assistant professor in nursing
science at the School of Nursing, University Tor Vergata, Rome,
For the research (FPN 38), 192 stroke survivors (average age 70
years) were asked if they liked or did not like art (music,
painting, theatre). Quality of life was compared for patients
interested in art (105) and patients not interested in art (87).
Patients interested in art had better general health, found it
easier to walk, and had more energy. They were also happier, less
anxious or depressed, and felt calmer. They had better memory and
were superior communicators (speaking with other people,
understanding what people said, naming people and objects
Dr Vellone says:- "Stroke survivors who saw art as an
integrated part of their former lifestyle, by expressing
appreciation towards music, painting and theatre, showed better
recovery skills than those who did not. In our study the 'art'
group of patients showed a comparable clinical picture to the 'no
art' group. This is important because it means that patients
belonging to the ‘art’ group had a better quality of life
independently from the gravity of stroke. The results suggest that
art may make long term changes to the brain which help it recover
when things go wrong."
Other researchers have shown that listening to our favourite music
directly stimulates a feeling a pleasure by releasing dopamine in
the brain. Dopamine is the starting point of the so-called
gratification circuit that activates oxytocin (the hormone of love)
and finally endorphins (the molecules of pleasurable emotions).
"Dopamine improves quality of life each time it is released in
the brain. Further research is needed to see if other art
forms stimulate dopamine release. These results shed light on
the importance of lifelong exposure to art for improving the
recovery process after a stroke. Introducing art into nursing care
after stroke could help improve stroke survivors’ quality of life."
British Summer-time - Don't Forget
DON'T forget to reset your
clocks and gadgets this week-end. We lose one hour of beauty sleep,
or working time, when at 1am on Sunday, 25 March 2012, we change the
time to 2am. If you, like many of us, find it hard to remember
which way it goes, the mnemonic – "spring forward, fall back"