Drivers are being warned to avoid rural roads to help with the coronavirus

to avoid rural roads to help with the coronavirus

Drivers are being warned to avoid rural roads to help with the coronavirus

Drivers can do there bit and help the NHS

Brake, the road safety charity, has warned drivers to steer clear of rural roads to help with the fight against the Coronavirus. By decreasing traffic levels on these roads, that cause the most fatalities and serious injury, will keep people away from the hospitals and ease the burden on the NHS.

To tackle this deadly and invisible disease Britons have been urged by our prime minister Boris Johnson to stay at home when possible. Brake has warned drivers that if you do need to leave your house for essential work or food shopping then you should plan your route and try to avoid the rural roads if possible.

Casualty statistics 2018 – Rural roads

The annual report from Brake in 2018 for road deaths showed that 58% of these deaths occurred on rural roads compared to urban roads. There was 1030 fatalities on the rural roads, that is an average of 21 people per week. Data from the government reported that you are 3 more times going to be killed or 33% will suffer a serious injury on the rural roads compared to the urban roads.

Road users behaviour

The main cause for crashes on the rural roads is drivers driving too fast. Almost 7 out of 10 drivers drive over the speed limit on rural roads, they think this is acceptable. Driving too fast or above the speed limit is more than likely going to cause head on collisions, collisions at junctions or vehicles veering off the road.

The department for transport reported in 2018 that there was over 10% of vehicles that exceeded the 60 mph national speed limit on the single carriageway. The stopping distance for 60 mph is 240 feet (73m) that equates to 5 bus lengths. These road users were labelled irresponsible and dangerous from Brake the road safety charity.

Safety tips for leaving your house if essential

If you need to leave your house and drive on the rural roads then here are some clues and tips you should be looking out for.
Look out for sign posts, most common will be signs for sharp bends, T junctions, crossroads and speed limits.
Flashing headlights from oncoming vehicles on the bends at night, animals potentially running out, cars emerging from crossroads or T junctions, checking mirrors for any motorbikes that may want to overtake, looking ahead for tractors or cyclists.

Try to stay at home and keep safe

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake had this to say “We must all come together in this national crisis and keep everyone safe. Unless absolutely essential, then we would urge everyone to avoid and stop driving on the perilous rural roads. This is only going to put your self at risk of being killed or seriously injured on the road, this will will not help the NHS what so ever and put an added burden to them. Our advice to everyone is stay at home, keep you and your family safe. If essential and you must leave your home then make sure you stay within the speed limit and keep an eye at all times for unexpected hazards at all times.”

New Mobile Phone Laws – Are You Aware?

New Mobile Phone Laws – Are You Aware

Back in March 2017, new driving laws were introduced regarding the use of mobile phones while driving.

As a new driver, it is important that you are aware of these new laws before you get behind the wheel.

Not only because questions about them are set to appear in the theory exam, but also because knowing about the laws will prevent you from getting points on your licence and a possible ban from driving.

How do the new laws affect drivers?

While it has been illegal to use a mobile phone while driving since 2003, the punishment for doing so was doubled in March 2017.

Drivers now face a minimum of six penalty points on their licence, plus a £200 fine. If this is not their first driving offence, drivers could also face disqualification.

If a driver racks up more than six points in their first two years of driving, their licence will be revoked. This was reduced from 12 points prior to March 2017. If a licence is revoked, drivers will have to re-sit both their practical and theory tests before being allowed back on the road.

Can I still use a hands-free device?

Yes, but you are forbidden from touching, moving or picking up your mobile device at all times while you are in charge of a vehicle.

The police can and will pull you over if they suspect you have been distracted by your mobile phone and will issue you with an on the spot fine if that proves to be the case.

What if I use my phone as a sat nav?

Yes, but the same rules apply: drivers must not be distracted by the device and must not touch, move or pick up the device while behind the wheel. That means you must program destination details before you set off.

Also, the new laws were enacted in part because drivers were found to be distracted by following directions on mobile devices. So they specifically state that it is illegal to hold a mobile phone to follow directions. Therefore your phone must be placed in a hands-free holder at all times.

Can I use my phone in an emergency?

Yes, drivers are free to use a handheld phone to dial 999 or 112, but only if it is unsafe or unpractical to pull over. This would include occasions such as a motorway without a hard shoulder or contraflow system.

Can I still pull over to use my phone?

Yes, but you must ensure that you pull over in a safe place and that you are not illegally parked. Drivers must also ensure the engine is switched OFF before picking up or touching their mobile phone. Failure to do so will result in penalty points and fines being applied, regardless of if the car is moving or not.

These new laws are designed to keep all road users safe, the number of accidents caused by drivers being distracted using mobile phones has been steadily increasing. It is hoped that more stringent penalties for offenders will help reduce the risks and make the roads safer for everyone.