Safety campaign aimed at drivers on North Devon Link Road

MOTORISTS on the North Devon Link Road are being reminded of vital driving tips that will make their journey safer on the route. A campaign has been launched as part of the Devon Country Mile project. Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and De

MOTORISTS on the North Devon Link Road are being reminded of vital driving tips that will make their journey safer on the route.

A campaign has been launched as part of the Devon Country Mile project. Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police and Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service are working in partnership to hand out leaflets to drivers at Moortown Cross Picnic Site at Knowstone every Saturday between 10am and 4pm from July 18 to August 29.

The six safety tips for when driving on the A361 are:

* Be patient - overtake only when it is safe to do so


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* Stay focused - avoid distractions in or outside of the vehicle

* Take regular breaks - there are numerous laybys

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* Keep a safe distance - there are too many rear end shunts on this route

* Remember the speed limits on single carriageway - Max speed: 40 lorries, 50 towing, 60 cars

* Drive at lower speed in poor weather conditions.

Up to 17,000 vehicles a day travel on the road during the summer. A study shows that there were 341 collisions on the link road over the past five years, and around 85 per cent of these involved a "human factor" element, i.e. poor driver actions and or behaviour.

While it is a relatively low risk road, the Country Mile project is helping improve the road design and enforcement as well as providing education for motorists. If the travelling public take the safety advice on board and the measures prove effective, the same approach could be used elsewhere.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, said: "These safety messages are simple but are incredibly important because they could potentially save lives. Motorists are the key to the success of any road safety message as they have to take this information on board and taking responsibility when driving or riding. The number of collisions will drop if everyone is patient, slows down and pays attention."

Inspector Richard Pryce of Devon & Cornwall Constabulary's Roads Policing Unit said: "Increasing awareness among drivers and riders of safety messages and the need to take responsibility themselves for being safe on the road is vital. The messages are clear, relevant and simple. If all motorists take on board the advice and ensured they drive or ride in a respectful, careful manner, collisions and casualties would fall. This is about improving road safety and we need the motoring public to do their bit as well by being responsible and having safety at the front of their mind."

Alan Coxon, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service Group Manager, said: "The figures clearly state the numbers of people injured and killed in motor accidents, but what they do not illustrate is the pain and suffering experienced by their loved ones, friends and the impact upon those attending the scene. Whilst members of the emergency services attending a road traffic collision are there to give those involved the best chance of survival, the collision is usually due to not applying one of the six safety tips mentioned. In the cold light of day, it makes you realise that life is very precious and can be wiped out through very minor and irrelevant distractions and poor decision making."

Devon County Council, Devon and Cornwall Police, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, the Devon and Cornwall Safety Camera Partnership, Devon Primary Care Trust and South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust, are working in partnership on the Devon Country Mile to improve rural road safety, specifically in the area between Exeter and Barnstaple, bordered by the A361, the A377 and the A396. The Devon Country Mile project is supported by the Department for Transport.

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