Emergency services tackling motorist’s distractions

Fairfield Road traffic
Fairfield Road traffic

Fire and Rescue teams, police and Highways England want to save lives and stop Derbyshire motorists getting distracted at the wheel.

On Friday, August 25 the agencies are organising pop-up road safety workshops at service stations along the M1 to highlight the dangers of getting distracted while driving.

Toni Hall was the partner of Nottinghamshire Firefighter Darren Bryan who tragically died in a collision on the M1 two years ago because the driver of the lorry behind him had been using his mobile phone before the crash. She said: “Darren’s death has been absolutely devastating, not only for us as a family, but also for his friends and colleagues.

“We’ve had a very difficult two years trying to adjust to life without Darren and I cannot stress enough how dangerous it is to be distracted whilst driving. People think they can do it and get away with it – but they can’t. It has very real consequences.

“Please think before picking up the phone when you’re behind the wheel - surely no text or phone call can be so urgent that it’s worth risking lives for.”

During the course of the one-day event, the various agencies from Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Northamptonshire and Nottinghamshire will be at a number of service stations – including Trowell Southbound, Tibshelf Northbound, Newport Pagnell Southbound, Watford Gap Northbound, Leicester Forest East Southbound and Castle Donington.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service’s Prevention and Inclusion Station Manager John Cooke said: “A recent study found that drivers who were texting behind the wheel were 23 times more likely to crash than those who were paying attention to the road. This demonstrates just how big an issue distracted driving is and has prompted Emergency Services to come together in an attempt to raise awareness.

“We’re hoping that by having our road traffic collision reduction teams based at service stations along the M1 corridor, which runs through all four counties, we’ll be able to engage with a wide range of motorists sending them on their way safely as the big bank holiday getaway gets underway.

“Distractions come in many different forms; using a mobile phone, diffusing an argument between children, skipping to the next song on the stereo, or even something as simple as eating an apple can cause you to take your eyes off the road and when you’re travelling at speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour, these are all potentially fatal distractions.”