Warning for drivers as farmers get busy

DRIVERS racing around country lanes like those near Woodbury are three times more likely to die than on a busy urban street say county highways chiefs.

DRIVERS racing around country lanes like those near Woodbury are three times more likely to die than on a busy urban street say county highways chiefs.

The County Council is highlighting the dangers of rural roads and road safety officers say the problem is not just speeding but driving faster than is suited to the conditions, impatience with farm vehicles and overtaking despite restricted visibility.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, cabinet member for transportation, said: "The County Council's work on the Devon Country Mile project has shown that being familiar with a road does not guarantee your safety.

"It may be tempting to speed up when there's a clear road ahead but we all have to remember that you should only drive according to the characteristics of the road.


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"We all need to be aware that horse riders, cyclists, pedestrians, animals and slow moving farm vehicles could all be on the road. There could also be other hazards such as blind bends, so driving at slower speeds can give more time to react."

The Devon Federation of Young Farmers Clubs backs the campaign and Nick Creasy, said: "A little bit of patience goes a long way.

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"We live in a fast moving world and people are used to having things instantly or getting to places quickly. If you do take that risk to overtake a farm vehicle or machinery without good clear vision and time to do so it could make you more than a little late.

Department for Transport figures show that in 2006, more than 60 per cent of all deaths due to road accidents were in rural areas, and the people most at risk on rural roads are young men, predominantly aged between 17 and 39.

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