As lockdown eases and more people take to the roads, Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service has produced three new digital resources to promote safe driving.
They can be found at www.dwfire.org.uk/road-safety-during-covid-19 and include links, videos and other signposting to helpful advice.
Amongst the areas of focus are the main reasons for injuries and loss of life in road traffic collisions, known as the ‘fatal four’ – use of mobile phones, non-use of seatbelts, excessive speed and drink/drug driving – and knowing how to use the FLOWER acronym to keep your car maintained. FLOWER stands for Fuel, Lights, Oil, Water, Electrics and Rubber (tyres).
Leaflet one is for all drivers, and includes the importance of checking your vehicle’s road-worthiness, especially if affected by the current MOT exemption; Leaflet two is aimed at older drivers, showing how they can prepare physically and mentally to return to the road; and Leaflet three addresses newly qualified drivers who won’t have been able to build up their skills and confidence since lockdown, and also looks at peer pressure.
Road safety manager Christine Sharma said: “Since lockdown started in March, we have had to completely rethink how we deliver road safety education. There has been a dramatic decrease in the number of road traffic collisions during the pandemic, as people haven’t been driving, and our worry is that we will see more and more incidents now we’re moving to the ‘new normal’. We’re encouraging all drivers to take a bit of time online, going through the advice and making sure that they’re mentally prepared to be back on the roads.”
She added: “We’ve also provided a couple of quizzes so drivers can test their knowledge after reading the leaflets! In many families, all three themes will be relevant, so we’re hoping there will be plenty of discussion in the home as well.”
These latest leaflets were created following the national success of the Service’s Covid 19 road safety workbook for 11-18 year olds, which focused on essential travel, drivers, pedestrians and using two-wheelers. This can still be found online at www.dwfire.org.uk/road-safety-education and can be completed by anyone.