Road safety teams and police forces from across eastern England have joined forces to launch a new campaign targeting young drivers.
The initiative, ‘How fast can you stop?’, is aimed at 17 to 24 year olds and has been designed to show the effect different speeds have on the ability to stop a moving vehicle.
Featuring actor Matthew Wolfenden from Emmerdale, and Chloe Sims from The Only Way is Essex, the key resource is a short film which demonstrates how different people react to cars unexpectedly braking, and the effect on their ability to perform an emergency stop. Both celebrities travelled at speeds of 30mph, 35mph and 60mph to show the impact speed had on their braking distances.
The campaign was produced in partnership by Hertfordshire County Council, Luton Borough Council, Central Bedfordshire Council, Amey and Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Road Safety Partnership alongside Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Road Policing Unit and Cambridgeshire Road Policing Unit.
Matthew Wolfenden, said: “I think the skill is definitely in your personal reactions to what is happening on the road, because there is no skill in driving fast. Anyone can drive fast – you stick the pedal to the floor and go. The skill is in stopping and your reactions to stopping and to the cars around you.”
Chief Inspector Richard Hann, from the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Roads Policing Unit, said: “Driving at speed increases thinking distances and braking distances, and if you are driving too close to the car in front, you may not have enough time to stop.”
The film was shot at Millbrook Proving Ground in Bedfordshire with advice from Chris Beare, Millbrook’s chief marshal, in a new car containing current safety features. Stopping distances could be even further in an older or poorly maintained vehicle.
Dave Charlton, event operations manager at Millbrook, said: “Campaigns, such as ‘How fast can you stop?’, help to educate drivers that driving safely can reduce collisions and save lives. The team at Millbrook Proving Ground is pleased to be able to support these initiatives.”
Click here to watch the celebrities take part in the stopping distance test.
For more information about the campaign contact Michelle Watkins at Amey on 08453 656204.