South of England Show – June 2023
Sussex Safer Roads Partnership attended the South of England Show, from the 9th till the 11th of June. With a non-stop programme of agricultural and equestrian displays, country pursuits, entertainment, rural crafts, and a variety of local opportunities, the South of England Show offers all ages the opportunity to connect with the countryside and enjoy a great day out. This event enables colleagues from SSRP to meet with those living in rural communities to support them with road safety-related support. Alongside SSRPs attendance Sussex Police’s Rural Crime team was on hand to support members of the public further.
Gemma Morton, SSRPs Camera and Ticket Process Team Supervisor supported the event and said:
‘SSRPs attendance at the South of England Show Ardingly was an extremely positive experience. In my current role I only really get to speak to members of the public at the end of the life cycle of a traffic offence – when an offence is at disposal method stage. An individual can be angry and extremely frustrated and feel negatively towards SSRP. By attending the event I was able to engage with members of the public at the face to face. I could encourage people to look at the work we do in a more positive light, highlighting road safety initiatives including ICE Stickers, Biker Down and BikeSafe. As well as reflect with them if they had previous received a traffic offence and their experiences with driver retraining courses.’
An officer from SSRPs Casualty Reduction Team was also in attendance over the weekend, they said:
‘Attending the South of England show offered SSRP the unique opportunity to engage with the widest range possible of road users. Over the three days that the show ran SSRP spoke with a large range of people from young pedestrians, cyclists and equine users, through to new and more experienced drivers of vehicles of all sizes and classes. SSRP were able to promote the importance of road safety messaging amongst the diverse and varied number of people that a show such as the SOE attracts. Equally whilst SSRP had access to such a diverse audience, that same audience had access to a wide variety of SSRP resources and personnel, with SSRP being represented by the Police, Fire, Highways England and County Councils over the three days allowing visitors access to a wealth of resources and knowledge.’
Rural roads pose high risks, accounting for well over half of all fatal crashes. Cyclists, motorcyclists and car drivers are more than three times as likely to be killed per mile travelled on a rural road than an urban road. Speed is often a major factor in rural road crashes. A study of single-carriageway rural roads estimated that a 10% increase in average speed results in a 30% increase in fatal and serious crashes. The most common crash types on rural roads are collisions at intersections, head-on collisions and running off the road.
Many rural roads are narrow, with blind bends and brows and limited safe places to pass. They often don’t have pavements or cycle paths yet are frequently used by some of the most vulnerable road users such as people riding or walking. Many rural roads have poor road surface conditions and limited or no crash protection (such as no crash barriers either at the side or in the middle of the road). Traffic often includes vehicles travelling at a wide variety of speeds, including slow-moving farm vehicles. There may also be animals, spillages or tree branches in the carriageway.
THINK! recent campaign urges drivers to think about the dangers of driving too fast for road conditions. Rural roads were targeted in the new safety campaign to prevent deaths and injuries among young drivers.
- new road safety campaign launched to raise awareness of risks when speeding or driving too fast for road conditions, especially on rural roads
- latest statistics show 60% of all serious and fatal collisions involving young male car drivers happened on rural roads
- the campaign highlights that speed kills and injures 54 young people every week in the UK
We are keen to remind everyone that casualty reduction is a shared responsibility across multiple stakeholders, including road users.
Our album of images taken at the South of England show is now available here on our website over in our gallery!
Check it out👇