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Complacent drivers provide massive threat on our roads

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 09, 2013

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OVERCONFIDENCE and complacency is leading to widespread illegal risk-taking on roads, according to road safety charity Brake.

Its report today reveals two thirds of drivers admitted to endangering others by breaking traffic laws.

Brake and insurance company Direct Line are appealing for drivers to pledge to stay safe and legal at the wheel.

Brake is also calling on government help to make the roads safer by taking drivers who repeatedly flout the law off the road, putting more money into specialist roads policing and tightening up the penalty points system so drivers who tot up 12 points or more cannot escape a ban by pleading exceptional hardship.

The report comes as the Echo's RIP 479 campaign to cut the number of deaths on Gloucestershire's roads continues.

There have been 479 killed on the county's roads between 2000 and 2012 – enough to fill eight double decker buses.

A quarter of those (121) were aged between 17 and 24.

Brake spokeswoman Laura Woods said: "Road crashes are the single biggest killer of young people in the UK.

"It's great to see the Echo campaigning to raise awareness of this important issue: even one person dying on our roads is one too many.

"Many drivers are dangerously complacent about taking risks on the roads.

"It doesn't matter how good a driver you think you are: if you take a risk such as speeding, you are endangering yourself and everyone else on the road.

"Road crashes destroy lives, tear families apart and devastate whole communities.

"Brake calls on all drivers to make a pledge to drive safely and legally, abiding by traffic laws that are in place to protect us all."

Gloucestershire County Council's cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure Will Windsor-Clive, a member of the county's Road Safety Partnership, said: "It is every road user's responsibility to not only know the law but keep to it at all times.

"Laws are there for a reason and we know that road collisions can happen when they're bent or broken."

"One casualty is one too many and we will continue to educate drivers and all other road users about their responsibilities on the road."

Chief fire officer Jon Hall, who acts as operations lead for the Road Safety Partnership, said: "Recent tragic crashes on our roads have highlighted just how important it is that we continue to work together with our key partners to make sure such incidents are prevented."

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  • Matt1006  |  October 09 2013, 12:10PM

    ...and to prove my point, I've just been up to my local shop, and whilst waiting to cross the road a Seat Leon sped past, substantially over the 30mph limit, with the driver gobbing away on a hand-held mobile. So apart from the two offences I witnessed from the same driver, I wonder how many others he might have been committing as he drove past me?

  • Matt1006  |  October 09 2013, 10:10AM

    Add arrogance, ignorance, and sheer bl00dy-mindedness to the list, as well. The rules of the road apply to ALL, but there are a small minority who consider this to not apply to them. We've all seen them. As a regular motorist and also pedestrian, I don't have to stray very far from my front door along the public highway before I witness somebody breaking some traffic offence or another. I've lost count of the number of times I've thought to myself "hope that idiot gets pulled over" having seen something wrong going on, but I never do then see it happening a bit further up the road. There are no shortage of drivers who need pulling over and be given a good talking to, and then there are also some who should simply not be on the roads at all (some legally already shouldn't be).

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