M1 safety initiative sees accident rate fall by a third

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Sunset on M1 motorway near Flitwick junction in Milton Keynes UK

The M1 safety week was so successful that Highways England is planning similar schemes elsewhere.

A week-long safety initiative on the M1 cut the motorway‘s accident rate by a third, according to the government-run company responsible for the road.

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Highways England’s M1 safety week ran from Monday, May 13 to Sunday, May 19, and saw emergency services to provide free tyre checks and safety tips to drivers at motorway services, while all three of the organisation’s ‘supercab’ police HGVs take to the road, helping enforce the law among truck drivers. In total, police say nearly 200 “dangerous drivers” were stopped at motorway services, while “hundreds” were given safety advice.

With the help of the supercab trucks (below), police stopped 57 drivers who were using mobile phones, 37 who were not wearing seatbelts and 26 who were driving carelessly or not in proper control of their vehicles. Officers filed 133 traffic offence reports, which usually require drivers to attend a driver education course, and there were also five prosecutions for more serious offences.

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Police Unmarked Supercab HGVs

As a result of this action, Highways England says the number of collisions fell to 64 – down from 90 the previous week.

That meant the week saw the fourth-lowest accident rate of any so far in 2019 and the second-lowest outside school holidays.

And in light of the safety week’s success, the organisation is planning further similar action on other motorways up and down the country. In the meantime, though, Highways England says it is continuing to deliver its safety campaign, which highlights the basic rules of motorway driving, such as keeping left except when overtaking and obeying ‘red X’ signs.

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M1 motorway in UK on a sunny day

Richard Leonard, head of road safety at Highways England, said the government-run company was hoping its safety initiatives would help accident rates continue to fall.

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