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The Fatal Five!

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Somerset County Council's road safety team has warned road users of the fatal five behaviours that are the main causes of serious injuries and deaths on our roads.

The fatal five are:

  • Speeding
  • Careless driving
  • Not wearing seatbelts
  • Using a mobile phone
  • Drink and drug driving

Here in Curry Rivel many are deeply concerned about preventing a death or serious injury on our local roads. These are parents, grandparents, or just people who care. To be honest, there's not a lot we can do if people refuse to wear seatbelts, use their mobiles or insist on driving home after a few jars, but we can so easily encourage people to think about their speed – the most common factor – and/or the way they are driving.

That is the reason why you see people standing by the roadside in hi-viz jackets doing a job that many would say ought to be done by Police Officers. But whatever your politics and no matter what you believe the reason to be, it is probably true to say that resources are stretched and our Police Force, with conflicting priorities, cannot always help communities.

Communities, therefore, are beginning to realise that self-help is a must!

Your community in Curry Rivel needs your help. We are lucky here that we do have a (small) team of dedicated volunteers who believe in taking action to take charge of our road safety.

They give, mostly, a few hours a month and consider it not a huge sacrifice to make in order to effect change for our community. Some volunteer much more, but a couple of hours a month from even a quarter of us would make a difference.

It is undoubtedly true to say that Speedwatch nationally challenges some peoples poor standards of driving and may, on a rare occasion, result in a barrage of verbal abuse. Fortunately Speedwatch does not have a real problem like this in Curry Rivel – just the occasional gesticulation from a speeding vehicle rapidly leaving the scene. How brave!

Most importantly, and contrary to some beliefs, Speedwatchers are not a group of old people out to see how many offences they can report. No, it isn't a competition! It gives them more pleasure to have no speeders recorded than a large number. If you are a parent or anyone else needing to be convinced, just stand with them to see the safer roads because of their presence. Most intelligent and considerate individuals do, instinctively, slow down!

We all know It is too easy in a modern vehicle to travel at speed, without actually realising it. The presence of a group of folks in hi-viz at the side of the road is a bit like an electronic speed monitor – it doesn't book you (although three 'strikes' may get you a visit from the local constabulary) but it does remind you that maybe you are going a little too fast.

The ultimate goal is to alert both residents, and those from outside the area who maybe don't know our village, to unpredictable hazards – a child or animal running out from a side street, a car door opening, someone backing out of their drive into the road (yes, they do!) and to think about the consequences of poor driving standards, and speed. If you can't stop in time to avoid such hazards, you are probably driving to fast for the road conditions. With speeding the number one threat on our roads, you could very well change the lives of two families for ever!

Speeding is proven to be the prime cause of death and injury on our roads. We can't change that in isolation here in Curry Rivel, but we can try to change it for our village. If you think you could offer a couple of hours a month (or more if you like) and don't know where to start, you could perhaps let members of our Parish Council know, or send an email to editor@curryrivel.org.uk – it'll be passed on to our local team.

Training is given, and you can devote as much or as little time as you have available.

That's editor@curryrivel.org.uk

Read more about the Fatal Five at dsfire.gov.uk/safety-on-the-road

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