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
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.