Monday, 17 August 2015 09:30

Rural motorists urged to slow down

Written by  Ruralcity Media
Rural motorists urged to slow down

POLICE are urging motorists to slow down during National Speed Awareness Week - especially in rural areas.

The aim of the national initiative, which runs from 17-23 August, is to remind drivers about the dangers of speeding behind the wheel.

    See also: Safety campaign targets rural motorists

As well as personal heartbreak, fatal road traffic collisions cost the tax payer over £1m each when all factors are taken into account - and rural roads are among the most dangerous in the country.

But the gravest cost is causing serious injury or death, to yourself or someone else, plus the loss and grief to all families concerned.

Inspector Mat Derrick, part of Staffordshire Police's tactical support team for roads, said: "If you speed, you will get caught out sooner or later – either by speed enforcement or by a collision.

"Consider having to live with the emotional consequences of causing injuries or deaths to others due to driving at excessive speed. Or your family getting a visit from the police with very unwelcome news."

Strict penalties for motorists caught speeding can result in the loss of a driving licence - which can have a big impact on rural motorists in areas where there is a lack of public transport.

Penalties can also result in an increase in insurance costs, the possibility of losing your job, trouble getting into countries like the USA and the shame of having a criminal record.

Research indicates that a driving conviction can cost as much as £50,000 - including solicitors' fees, fines, increase in car insurance and the loss of a job.

Inspector Derrick said the difference of a few miles per hour could mean the difference between life and death - both for motorists and pedestrians and other road users.

Excessive or inappropriate speed had a devastating impact on the safety of road users, increasing both the risk of a crash and the severity of the consequences.

Over the last ten years, more than 10,000 people have been killed as a result of road traffic collisions on UK roads.

It is estimated that speeding is a factor in one third of all crashes resulting in death.

Breaking the speed limit or driving too fast for the road conditions contributes to more than 700 deaths and nearly 5,000 injuries every year.

Driving too fast on country roads is seen as extremely dangerous.

Drivers and their passengers are four times more likely to die on rural 'A' roads as urban 'A' roads and 60% of road fatalities are in rural areas.

Police say driving more safely on country roads isn't just about obeying the speed limit.

They warn that motorists should drive at a speed that won't affect decision-making ability - and that may be well below the speed limit.

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