Sunday, May 11, 2008

Drivers targeted in fuel campaign

Drivers are being urged to avoid putting themselves in danger by running out of fuel on motorways in Gloucester.
Just in time for the school half term break, the Highways Agency has launched a campaign to try to slash the numbers of people breaking down on the county's motorways by simply running out of petrol or diesel.
The latest figures produced by the Highways Agency show that 243 drivers ran out of fuel on motorways in Gloucester between February 2007 and January 2008. In total 1341 drivers ran out of fuel on the motorways in the South West.
Now a major new campaign is hitting the county's roads to raise awareness of the dangers of running out of fuel in the motorway hard shoulder.
The campaign, Check Your Fuel Level, is being run until Friday, 29 February, 2008.
Highways Agency engineers based in the South West have arranged to deploy yellow message signs at key points across the motorway network to remind drivers to top up. Some of the regional motorway network's electronic Variable Message Signs (VMS) will also be used to remind motorists to stop for fuel.
Highways Agency Traffic Officers will also be visiting motorway service areas to talk to drivers about the importance of journey planning, including having enough fuel to complete their travels or being aware of where they can top up once they are out on the motorway network.
Events are being held at:
* Membury Service Area on the M4 on Friday 15, February.
* Exeter Service Area on the M5 on Tuesday, 19 February.
* Michaelwood Service Area on the M5 on 27, February.
Graham Bowskill, Director of the Highways Agency in the South West, said, "The motorway hard shoulder should be used only in genuine emergencies but the number of people breaking down simply because they have run out of fuel is alarming.
"People have been injured in accidents while on hardshoulders of the region's motorways.and there have also been many near-misses. We want to make drivers aware of the dangers and also encourage them to check their fuel levels before they set out, and regularly throughout their journey if they are travelling for long distances."
Mr Bowskill added the timing of this month's campaign was important with the half term holiday period coming up and people planning to embark on long journeys.
"We want people to enjoy their holidays - so they should ensure they and their vehicles are properly prepared for their journeys. It is no fun being stuck on a motorway hard shoulder in the middle of winter just because you have run out of petrol. People should also remember that breaking down can also cause congestion and inconvenience fellow motorway users."
Nationally 14,971 drivers have run out of fuel on the Agency's motorways between February 2007 and January, 2008.

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