Film shows reality of ‘rural peril’ in Scotland

08.25 | 5 July 2018 | | 3 comments

Road Safety Scotland has launched an ‘immersive’ awareness campaign to encourage young drivers to slow down and give themselves time to anticipate hazards on country roads.

Launched at the end of May, the campaign uses two ‘powerful high-tech’ films with the strapline: ‘Prepare for the unexpected. Slow down on country roads’.

The campaign is running throughout the summer, predominantly on digital channels, supported by radio and petrol station advertising.

More than half of all fatalities on Scotland’s roads occur on country roads. In 2016, 789 people were killed or seriously injured on country roads – and two thirds of them were men.

Figures also show that half of all drivers killed or seriously injured on country roads are aged between 22-49 years.

The Road Safety Management Capacity Review, published earlier this week by the DfT, recommends that the 60mph speed limit should be lowered on thousands of miles of rural roads.

Elizabeth Rockley, senior marketing manager at Safer Scotland, said: “The campaign is aimed at rural drivers aged 22-29 who drive too fast for the conditions and don’t leave enough time to react to hazards.

“Research shows these men take more risks due to over-familiarity with the route and because they enjoy driving fast.

“So working with The Leith Agency, we developed two films, one using 360-degree technology, the other virtual reality.

“On the first, it feels like you’re actually in a car with friends. As you drive round country roads, hazards like sharp bends, parked cars and wildlife appear to show the need to prepare for the unexpected.

“In the virtual reality version, if you look away from the road the film suddenly stops and you have to start again, knowing you need to be more focused this time.

“The audience we’re targeting think they know these roads like the back of their hand. We hope these films will challenge that assumption.”


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    Unfortunately Hugh, I know of several seventy year olds who like to go for an occasional blast on their motorcyclces and have not as yet grown up. Some of them are Advanced Riders and teach others to do exactly the same. One is also a woman though younger, still in her 50’s. Perhaps we should have special training for country roads….. Oh yes, we already have .. its advanced training, isn’t it? Doesn’t seem to work well for some.

    Agree (0) | Disagree (1)

    This video represents a long single track road of which there are mile after mile of in Scotland. The latest figures coming out of Scotland show that some 40% of fatalities are on left hand bends, further that some 21% of fatalities are on overtakes. That makes a total of 62% of deaths on country roads. I presume that the remaining 38% of fatalities were in towns and cities and motorways. This approx. 1/3rd 2/3rd relationship between town and country fatalities has been a steady figure within both Scotland and the rest of the UK for many years now. Again in Scotland only over the last 3 years some 2,271 casualties were recorded and of that some 851 were severe and 87 killed. The greatest danger is at weekends with some 50% of all recorded accidents occurring then.

    I know that Scotland enjoys a lot of motorcyclists and car drivers from Europe and just wondered how many of these riders and drivers would be amongst these statistics?

    M. Worthington.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    Two key, well-observed phrases from Ms Rockley which seem to sum up the problem on our roads everywhere, not just Scotland and not just rural roads: “…who drive too fast for the conditions and don’t leave enough time to react to hazards.” and “..and because they enjoy driving fast”. The latter group should take up motorsport on tracks designed for that purpose… or grow up a bit.

    Hugh Jones
    Agree (1) | Disagree (3)

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