Cam­paign to make driv­ers think about what’s around the cor­ner

Video backed by Bucks County Coun­cil fo­cuses on ru­ral roads and turns po­ten­tial haz­ards into signs

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS -

Trans­port for Buck­ing­hamshire is sup­port­ing a na­tional Think! Coun­try Roads cam­paign to help boost aware­ness of safer driv­ing on the county’s ru­ral roads, par­tic­u­larly on ap­proaches to bends.

New fig­ures from the Depart­ment for Trans­port re­veal that driv­ers are most at risk on coun­try roads, with an av­er­age of three peo­ple dy­ing ev­ery day last year, nearly ten times the death rates recorded on mo­tor­ways.

In to­tal, 1,040 peo­ple were killed and 9,051 se­ri­ously in­jured on the UK’s coun­try roads in 2014, with a third (348) of fa­tal­i­ties oc­cur­ring on a bend.

In Buck­ing­hamshire, there were nearly 700 ac­ci­dents recorded in the same year, in­clud­ing 14 deaths. The causes are of­ten re­lated to brak­ing too late ap­proach­ing bends and swerv­ing to avoid some­thing in the road.

Think! has part­nered with a farmer to pro­duce a short video which turns po­ten­tial road haz­ards into i mpos­si­ble- t o - i g nore warn­ing signs. Avail­able to watch at www.getbucks.co. uk, Help­ful Haz­ards fea­tures an­i­mals and ve­hi­cles sprayed with signs prompt­ing driv­ers to slow down, an­tic­i­pate haz­ards and brake be­fore the bend, not on it. Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil’s cab­i­net mem­ber for Trans­port Coun­cil­lor Mark Shaw said: “Buck­ing­hamshire is a ru­ral county with many beau­ti­ful coun­try lanes that at­tract a wide range of road users in­clud­ing walk­ers, cy­clists and horse riders.

“The Think! cam­paign aims to get driv­ers to an­tic­i­pate the haz­ards that may lie ahead and re­duce their speed into bends, with the key mes­sage ‘brake be­fore the bend, not on it’ as you never know what may be just around the cor­ner”

Road Safety Min­is­ter An­drew Jones said: “Ev­ery in­jury and death on our roads is a tragedy and that is why the new Think! coun­try roads cam­paign is so im­por­tant.

“We want the pub­lic to an­tic­i­patepo­ten­tial­haz­ards on the road when driv­ing in the coun­try­side, to watch their speed and take care when ap­proach­ing a bend.”

For­mer For­mula Ford cham­pion and cur­rent Bri­tish Tour­ing Car driver, James Cole is also back­ing the cam­paign.

He said: “I’m con­cerned that so many peo­ple take the rac­ing line on bends.

“It’s one thing to do that in a race track en­vi­ron­ment but quite an­other to do it with no knowl­edge of what is around the cor­ner.

“Take more care, an­tic­i­pate haz­ards, stay in con­trol and give your­self more time to re­act by brak­ing be­fore the bend, not on it.”

TfB also sup­ports mo­torists by offering Be a Bet­ter Driver As­sess­ments, which are in­tended to help all mo­torists.

Th­ese as­sess­ments place a strong em­pha­sis on driv­ing on ru­ral roads and the im­por­tance of an­tic­i­pa­tion and haz­ard aware­ness.

For more in­for­ma­tion on the as­sess­ments email tfb@ buckscc.gov.uk or call 01296 382 416. FOL­LOW­ING last year’s suc­cess­ful run, a Bucks com­mu­nity ra­dio sta­tion is re­turn­ing to the air­waves to­day (Novem­ber 19).

From to­day un­til De­cem­ber 16, Wy­combe Sound will be broad­cast­ing from its per­ma­nent new home in Bridge Street in High Wy­combe.

The crew will be fol­low­ing the build up to the switch on of the High Wy­combe Christ­mas lights and the Driv­e­time team will be host­ing the event from the Main Stage in Frog­moor.

Pro­gramme di­rec­tor and pre­sen­ter Philippa Sawyer is de­lighted that the sta­tion is back on air.

She said: “Our month long broad­cast last year was hugely suc­cess­ful so we are very ex­cited about bring­ing Wy­combe Sound to the air­waves once again. We be­lieve that Wy­combe is cry­ing out for a ra­dio sta­tion which has a High Wy­combe fo­cus and we are ded­i­cated to pro­vid­ing in­ter­est­ing and rel­e­vant con­tent cov­er­ing lo­cal is­sues, lo­cal busi­nesses and lo­cal news as well as a mix of mu­sic and phone ins.

“In ad­di­tion, we will be pro­vid­ing bands with the op­por­tu­nity to per­form live on air and reach a wider au­di­ence through the Blue Room, a ded­i­cated area within our stu­dio which will host lo­cal mu­si­cians.”

Wy­combe Sound’s first guest will be mayor of High Wy­combe’s Coun­cil­lor Mo­hammed Hanif who will be ap­pear­ing on the Break­fast Show with Des Withey from 7am.

The sta­tion has a per­ma­nent home on Bridge Street and hopes to be given the go-ahead to be a per­ma­nent fix­ture on the air­waves in 2016. Visit www.wycombe­sound.org. uk for more in­for­ma­tion and tune in to 87.9 FM.

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