Cheshire Police and Fire supporting Think! Country Roads safety campaign Date published: 24th January 2018 8.52am

Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service is supporting a month-long Think! Country Roads campaign.

Running from Monday 22 January to Sunday 18 February, the campaign warns drivers of the dangers of country roads and urges them to 'brake before the bend, not on it’.

Think! research show that 59 per cent of all road fatalities occur on country roads. This equates to three people a day dying on country roads, with a third of the collisions occurring on bends.

With country roads often having sharp bends, blind bends and unexpected hazards, the key message is to slow down before bends to give yourself time to react and stay in control.

Police Constable Eoin Anderson, Education Officer at Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Cheshire has a lot of country roads and – with the number of incidents we deal with – at Cheshire Police we are all too aware of the enhanced dangers they pose.

“Many see country roads as being the fun part of driving, but motorists need to be particularly vigilant when driving on them, even those they are very familiar with, as you never what hazards lie ahead of a bend.

“Most collisions on country roads are caused by loss of control resulting from poor observation and planning, too high an entry speed into the bend and driving too fast for the conditions.

“The Think! Country Roads campaign urges drivers to reduce their speed on country roads – particularly at bends – and has our full support at Cheshire Police.

“Also we would encourage people to consider advanced driver or rider training. RoSPA, IAM RoadSmart and BikeSafe courses change the way you drive or ride forever and make you a lot safer out on the roads and more conscious of the dangers of country roads.”

The Think! Country Roads campaign appeals for drivers to read the road ahead and anticipate potential hazards, drive at a speed that allows them to stop in the distance they can see to be clear, stay in control and give themselves time to react by braking before a bend and respect other users of country roads, giving cyclists, walkers and horse riders plenty of space when overtaking.

Station Manager Colin Heyes, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Road Safety Manager, said: “Our firefighters are too often called to free trapped motorists from vehicles following collisions on country roads.

“The number of people killed and seriously injured on this type of road is 10 times higher than that on motorways.

“Drivers need to be more aware of the risks of driving on country roads, take more care and curb their speed, particularly on approach to bends and junctions.

“Remember, brake before the bend, not on it.”

Launched by the Department for Transport in 2015, the Think! Country Roads campaign is aimed at all drivers but with a particular focus on men aged under 34, as they represent the largest number of killed or seriously injured drivers on country roads.

The new campaign will see an ‘if you could see’ advert rerun in cinemas and online. It uses 3D scanning technology to allow you to see through the bends on a country road and spot the hazards ahead.

An audio version of the advert will also be rerun on radio stations.

For more information about Think! Country Roads campaign visit http://think.direct.gov.uk/country-roads.html.

You can also find out more at www.cheshirefire.gov.uk/home/country-roads-deadlier-than-you-think.