Firefighters’ campaign looks to improve safety of van drivers
Two Northamptonshire firefighters have launched a new safety campaign which features a ‘steering wheel tag’ giving safety tips to van drivers, in particular to those renting a van.
The campaign is the brainchild of firefighters Tim Burton and Henry Sleight and is supported by the county’s safer roads team, a collaboration between Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service and Northamptonshire Police.
It was officially launched on 13 December with a visit to a local vehicle rental company Longmarsh, based in Wellingborough.
In addition to the steering wheel tag, a leaflet has been produced giving safety information for van drivers employed by businesses across the county. The campaign materials will be rolled out to rental and van companies throughout Northamptonshire over the coming months.
Figures for 2015 show there were 1,323 recorded injury collisions in Northamptonshire, with 158 of these (12%) involving at least one van.
Tim Burton said: “We became aware of the number of road traffic collisions which involved van drivers in some way so we wanted to put something in place to help raise awareness of the important points to remember when driving a van.
“For example, many people who don’t normally drive a van but who rent one do not realise that the dual carriageway speed limit is 60mph - less than for ordinary cars.
“The campaign is being continuously monitored. A pre and post evaluation form is being completed for the next three months by van drivers, and upon completion we will study both the positive and negative feedback to make amendments to improve the initiative.”
The campaign is based on an initiative previously run in New Zealand, designed to address the tourist industry and van drivers from a variety of countries.