Oxfordshire drivers warned ‘it’s not worth the risk’ in new road safety campaign

Drivers in Oxfordshire are being targeted in a new safety campaign, highlighting four factors which cause over 90% of road traffic collisions across the county.

‘It’s Not Worth the Risk’, being launched locally by Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service (OFRS), will raise awareness of the Fatal Four, promoting straightforward steps to reduce risk of death and injury. It is part of the thriving communities initiative to help people live safe and healthy lives.

Safety roadshows will be taking place throughout the month, with temporary road signs reminding people to drive responsibly.

On campaign’s launch day – Wednesday 27 March – the roadshows will be at Buckland Service Station (A420), Milton Heights Service Station near Didcot, Welcome Break Services at Peartree on Woodstock Road, Cherwell Valley Services (M40, Junction 10), and Welcome Break at Oxford (M40, Junction 8); all between 10am-2pm.

Temporary signs will be appearing throughout the county over the next couple of months, reminding drivers of the Fatal four:

  • Not wearing a seatbelt
  • Distraction
  • Speed
  • Drink and drugs

Drivers and passengers are twice as likely to die in a crash if they are not wearing a seatbelt.

Even careful drivers can be distracted, by a phone call, text message, in car technology, or a Satnav. A split-second lapse of concentration could result in a crash.

Using a mobile when driving increases the chances of a crash by four times.

The campaign promotes safe alternatives for drivers who rely on their phones. This includes, diverting calls to the messenger service. Having a no calls rule when driving, pulling over when safe to do so, but not on the motorway hard-shoulder. Passengers could also be asked to make or take calls instead of the driver.

The faster someone drives, the less time they have to stop when the unexpected happens. Research shows that for every mile-per-hour increase in speed, there is a three percent increase in risk of road traffic collision.

Many crashes happen because the driver loses control, particularly on bends or in wet or ice conditions. Drive for the road conditions and give time to react by reducing speed. The difference of a few miles per hour could mean the difference between life and death.

Drinking alcohol and driving puts all road users in danger. The only safe option is not to drink alcohol. It’s not worth the risk, and there are always safe alternatives such as taking a taxi, bus or train; designating a ‘dry’ driver, walking home or deciding to stay overnight.

Andy Ford, Oxfordshire County Council Fire and Rescue Service’s road safety manager, said:

“Oxfordshire has more rural roads than most counties. And Oxford city centre more cyclists per head of population than most other towns and cities. This means drivers must be alert, drive sensibly, safely and share the risk, from the moment they turn the ignition key.

“The Fatal Four are killers for drivers, their passengers, other road users and pedestrians. But, in most cases, these deadly collisions are avoidable.

“If you cause a collision, it can result in life-changing injuries to you, and to anyone else involved. You will also carry the terrible guilt, and for what? For the sake of a lunchtime drink, a phone-call, or saving a bit of time? It really isn’t worth the risk.”

For further information about the Fatal Four and how to drive safely, visit the website: www.365alive.co.uk/fatalfour