The long Easter weekend’s coming up and there’ll probably be about 20 million people on the road between Maundy Thursday and Easter Monday.
If you’re thinking of joining them, make sure you’re fit to drive, think about the time of day you drive, and give yourself lots of breaks.
Also, here’s a question: you wouldn’t expect a pilot to take off without running through some checks, so why shouldn’t you take the same approach for an important journey?
The vehicle checks campaign
Highways England (HE) are running this campaign. They’re the guys who look after what’s called the
strategic roads network (SRN) in Britain. That means the motorways and major roads we depend on to get around. The SRN makes up about 4400 miles.
HE know a thing or two about what keeps the SRN moving. They deal with the 85 000 or so breakdowns and crashes on our roads every year. These incidents are a pain to the majority and a tragedy to some, so HE have introduced the vehicle checks campaign to help you avoid being the person whose car holds up everyone else’s.
The campaign is based on the problem of ‘not checking your car before long journeys’. This behaviour doesn’t cause the worst road death or injury, but HE have identified it as the behaviour that would be easiest to change. Fewer breakdowns will also lead to fewer incidents on the network, keeping the traffic flowing.
So, why this?
In 2014, 38 people were killed or seriously injured (KSI) as a result of drivers not checking that their vehicle was roadworthy.
Also, traffic flow is badly affected by the number of people who break down because they’ve run out of fuel.
HE counted 7419 of these in 2015!
Are they talking to me?
Yes, if you’re going to use the SRN – or any road, for that matter.
The first phase of the campaign is specifically aimed at people between the ages of 30 and 50 who are driving long distances with their families. Phase 2, in the summer, will be aimed at people towing caravans.
But that doesn’t mean other drivers shouldn’t be paying attention.
What are the campaign aims?
There are two:
- making the network safer – reducing KSIs by 40 percent by 2020
- improving drivers’ experience on the roads.
What can I do?
Check your vehicle, of course!
All the checks you need to carry out are listed here on the Think! website – they’ll take you just a few minutes.
Doing this may make the difference between a fantastic Easter break, which you’ll remember for the sunshine, the chocolate and the daffodils, or a rubbish one that you’ll remember for being stuck at the side of a motorway waiting for a breakdown truck.
Have a fabulous and safe Easter, whatever you do.