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Driving home “No Need To Speed” message In National Road Safety Week

Did you know?

The level of death and injury caused by poor, and often illegal, behaviour on the road far exceeds the number of people killed through any other form of crime.

• Driving is the most dangerous work activity that most people do. Around 150 people are killed or seriously injured every week in crashes involving someone who was driving, riding or otherwise using the road for work purposes.

• Driving at inappropriate speeds is not a minor, technical offence that everyone commits, but a serious, dangerous and anti-social activity.

                  Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA) – March 2020

Officers from Avon and Somerset Police are joining colleagues across the country in supporting Road Safety Week (16-23 November), which this year aims to drive home the dangers of inappropriate speeding.

The week, organised by ‘BRAKE’, a road safety charity, is an annual event and the biggest road safety awareness event in the UK. This year, the campaign message is “No Need To Speed”, a message that remains appropriate despite lockdown, with roads still busy with people travelling to work and school and on essential journeys.

Inappropriate speed is one of the most serious road safety problems on Britain’s roads. Inappropriate speed is not only when the speed limit is exceeded, but when driving too fast for the conditions at the time even within the speed limit, for example in poor visibility or weather conditions or in busy pedestrian areas. Inappropriate speed magnifies the impact of other poor driving behaviour, such as driving too close or when tired or distracted, multiplying the chances of these types of driving causing an accident.

High speeds mean that drivers have less time to identify and react to what’s happening around them, and it takes longer for the vehicle to stop. It removes the driver’s safety margin, turning near misses into crashes. In a crash 1mph can be the difference between life and death.

With someone injured on a UK road every four minutes and vehicle speed being a contributing factor in 75 per cent of fatalities, we are urging people to consider the impact of their actions on others and slow down

Road Safety Officer PC Dan Cox said: “Every day our roads patrol team are out working to keep our roads safe and every day we see examples of dangerous driving, with speed often the leading offence.

“Sadly, inappropriate speed causes death and injury to thousands of people each year. In the same way that drink-driving is unacceptable to most people, driving at inappropriate speeds is not a minor, technical offence that everyone commits, but a serious, dangerous and anti-social offence.

“In Road Safety Week we ask drivers and riders to consider this for their own and everyone else’s safety and help us prevent the loss of life, injuries and devastation that we so often see.”

As well as continuing our year round work to drive down speeds within communities, we will be stepping up our presence and visibility on major routes across the region where high excess speed is traditionally a problem.

To stay safe on motorways and higher speed roads, we recommend:
1) Always travel in lane one unless you are overtaking, in which case you should return immediately after
2) Check your mirrors and indicate before changing lanes. You must give way to vehicles already in the lane you wish to move into
3) Follow other vehicles at a safe distance: stay at least two seconds behind any vehicle directly in front of you
4) Do not drive in the outside lane of the motorway while towing a trailer
5) You are only allowed to pass on the inside in traffic where all lanes are running at similar slow-moving speeds.
6) Using hands-free equipment is legal, but can be distracting so consider leaving it in the glove box
7) If you drive a goods vehicle, do not overtake if it means travelling alongside each other for miles. Stay in lane one
8) If you need to use the hard shoulder, slow down or speed up using the hard shoulder before re-joining the motorway. Do not do this in lane one
9) If you see a red X over the lane of a managed motorway, leave that lane immediately
10) If you are in a collision, move to the hard shoulder where possible and stay well away from the carriageway.