POLICE and fire services in Cheshire have joined forces to support a month-long campaign, which urges drivers to take care on country roads.

Running from this week to Sunday, February 18, the ‘Think! Country Roads’ campaign warns motorists of the dangers of blind bends and unexpected hazards.

Research shows that 59 per cent of all road fatalities occur on country roads – that’s three people each day – with one third of crashes occurring on bends.

The campaign advises drivers to slow down before bends, giving themselves more time to react and ultimately stay in control.

PC Eoin Anderson, education officer at Cheshire Constabulary, said: “Cheshire has a lot of country roads and – with the number of incidents we deal with – at Cheshire Police we are all too aware of the enhanced dangers they pose.

“Many see country roads as being the fun part of driving, but motorists need to be particularly vigilant when driving on them, even those they are very familiar with, as you never what hazards lie ahead of a bend.

“Most crashes on country roads are caused by loss of control resulting from poor observation and planning, too high an entry speed into the bend and driving too fast for the conditions.

“The Think! Country Roads campaign urges drivers to reduce their speed on country roads – particularly at bends – and has our full support at Cheshire Police.

“Also we would encourage people to consider advanced driver or rider training. RoSPA, IAM RoadSmart and BikeSafe courses change the way you drive or ride forever and make you a lot safer out on the roads and more conscious of the dangers of country roads.”

With Cheshire’s extensive countryside comes a number of different road users sharing the carriageway, and part of the campaign encourages drivers to respect cyclists, walkers and horse riders by adjusting their speed and being aware of hazards.

Station manager Colin Heyes, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service’s road safety manager, said: “Our firefighters are too often called to free trapped motorists from vehicles following crashes on country roads.

“The number of people killed and seriously injured on this type of road is 10 times higher than that on motorways.

“Drivers need to be more aware of the risks of driving on country roads, take more care and curb their speed, particularly on approach to bends and junctions.

“Remember, brake before the bend, not on it.”

Launched by the Department for Transport in 2015, the campaign is aimed at all drivers but with a particular focus on men aged under 34, as they represent the largest number of killed or seriously injured drivers on country roads.