How Fast Can You Stop?

Don’t break your heart, brake your speed

This Valentine’s Day, local Councils and Road Policing Units are joining forces to ask drivers to brake their speed, rather than breaking hearts.

The new road safety campaign, called ‘How fast can you stop?’ is backed by Chloe Sims from The Only Way is Essex and actor Matthew Wolfenden from Emmerdale.

The campaign kicks off during the month of love and focuses on raising 17 to 24 year olds approach to speed awareness. It centres on a short film which shows how different people react to cars unexpectedly braking and how this affects their ability to perform an emergency stop. Both celebrities travelled at speeds of 30mph, 35mph and 60mph to show the impact speed had on their braking distances.

Matthew Wolfenden, said: “I think the skill is definitely in your personal reactions to what is happening on the road, because there is no skill in driving fast. Anyone can drive fast - you stick the pedal to the floor and go. The skill is in stopping and your reactions to stopping and to the cars around you.”

The film was shot at Millbrook Proving Ground with advice from professional rally driver, test driver and Millbrook's Chief Marshal, Chris Beare, in a new car containing current safety features. Stopping distances could be even further in an older or poorly maintained vehicle.

Chief Inspector Richard Hann, from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit, said: “When driving, always observe the distance which is clear in front of you, as cars can slow down or stop unexpectedly. If you need to brake at any speed, remember to consider your reaction time as well as the time it will take for your car to actually stop. Driving at speed increases thinking distances and braking distances, and if you are driving too close to the car in front, you may not have enough time to stop.”

Dave Charlton, Event Operations Manager at Millbrook, said: “Safety is paramount when driving any vehicle. Incidents including vehicles can cause life-changing consequences to the individuals involved, and we strive to improve the safety of our industry wherever possible. Campaigns, such as ‘How fast can you stop?’, help to educate drivers that driving safely can reduce collisions and save lives. The team at Millbrook Proving Ground is pleased to be able to support these initiatives.”

The campaign was produced in partnership by Amey, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership, Cambridgeshire Road Policing Unit, Central Bedfordshire Council, Luton Borough Council and Hertfordshire County Council .

View the film and see both celebrities’ full reactions

Across Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton, collision statistics show that young drivers between the ages of 17 and 24 drive at inappropriate speeds on 30mph and 60mph roads.

Statistics were analysed from 1st January 2009 and 31st December 2011.

The Highway Code states: Stopping distances - drive at a speed that will allow you to stop well within the distance you can see to be clear. You should: -

* leave enough space between you and the vehicle in front so that you can pull up safely if it suddenly slows down or stops. The safe rule is never to get closer than the overall stopping distance (see Typical Stopping Distances diagram, shown below)

* allow at least a two-second gap between you and the vehicle in front on roads carrying faster-moving traffic and in tunnels where visibility is reduced. The gap should be at least doubled on wet roads and increased still further on icy roads

* remember, large vehicles and motorcycles need a greater distance to stop.

If driving a large vehicle in a tunnel, you should allow a four-second gap between you and the vehicle in front.

If you have to stop in a tunnel, leave at least a 5-metre gap between you and the vehicle in front.

posted from Bloggeroid