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Highways chiefs launch tailgating clampdown

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: May 22, 2014

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HIGHWAYS chiefs are set to launch a crackdown on tailgating after six in 10 drivers in Burton revealed that they regular undertake the risky manoeuvre.

Police officers will be out in force during the bank holiday weekend on busy roads in the area such as the A38 and A444 after 95 per cent of drivers surveyed revealed that they were sometimes concerned about vehicles driving too close behind them.

The Highways Agency and road safety charity Brake, who commissioned a survey into the issue, are urging town drivers to ‘stay safe’ and ‘keep at least a two-second gap from the car in front’.

Simon Sheldon-Wilson, traffic management director for the Highways Agency, said: “Safety is our top priority and we are committed to continuing to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads.

“Congestion on our roads is estimated to cost the economy £3 billion each year, and a quarter of this is caused by the 430,000 incidents we deal with annually.

“A total of 14 per cent of casualties on our roads are caused by people tailgating.

“That’s why we’re reminding people to stay safe and keep at least a two-second gap from the car in front.”

In dry conditions, drivers are advised to keep a two-second gap between themselves and the vehicle in front.

An easy way of doing this is by remembering ‘only a fool breaks the two-second rule’:

As the car in front passes a fixed point, such as a sign or a bridge, start to say ‘only a fool breaks the two-second rule’ at a normal rate.

The phrase takes about two seconds to say, so if a driver passes the same fixed point before they have finished saying it, they are too close and should leave more room.

In wet conditions, this gap should be at least doubled and, in icy conditions, it needs to be increased even further.

If people are being tailgated they should ease their foot off the accelerator and move into the inside lane if it is safe to do so – making sure to apply the two-second rule to any vehicle in front.

Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency chief driving examiner Lesley Young said: “Keeping a big enough stopping distance is crucial to staying safe, particularly in fast-moving traffic when you have less time to react.”

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