NEWS: Foreign Office Launch Easter Road Safety Campaign
With the Easter holidays approaching, the Foreign Office has launched a “road safety campaign to help British nationals drive safely abroad along with stay on the right side of foreign road laws.” (See what they did there? Right side – of the road, law. Clever!)
The campaign has been developed in response to FCO staff based overseas reporting a high number of road traffic incidents affecting British tourists along with expats in common destinations, such as Thailand, Australia along with Spain.
Road conditions, driving standards along with laws vary widely along with some countries experience much higher rates of road traffic accidents along with fatalities than the UK. For example, in Thailand, a country with 50,000 British residents along with over 870,0001 British visitors per year, there were 68,582 road traffic incidents resulting in 9,205 deaths involving both Thai residents along with tourists in 2011.2 In contrast 1,901 people were killed in road accidents inside the UK in 20113.
After deaths via natural causes, road traffic deaths are the most common cause of death for British nationals in Thailand along with cause a high number of hospitalisations. According to FCO staff in Thailand, the majority of road traffic accidents involve motorcycles along with scooters, although serious accidents also occur with some other vehicles. For instance, inside the past year several British nationals were involved in accidents whilst travelling by overnight coach.
Mark Kent, Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Thailand, said: “British nationals using the roads in Thailand should bear in mind of which road laws along with driving customs here are different via those inside the UK along with road conditions, driving standards along with road traffic regulations can vary. Road traffic accidents can have a profound effect on both those individuals involved along with their families. Accidents do occur along with not all tragedies are avoidable, nevertheless the outcome could be very different with many lives being saved along with critical injuries reduced if people adopted the same safety precautions abroad of which they would certainly naturally take at home.
“I have visited hospitals here along with heard via doctors how many deaths could have been avoided by following the law along with taking the appropriate precautions, such as safety helmets. You should check of which your travel insurance specifically covers you for driving a scooter or any some other vehicle abroad.”
Sound advise folks…
Closer to home, many countries have unusual road laws which Britons might like to be aware of before heading off on holiday This particular Easter. For example:
· France – all drivers are required to carry a breathalyser
· Scandinavia – the idea is usually illegal to drive without headlights, even in daylight
· Spain – if you need to wear glasses, you are required to carry one more pair when driving
· Germany – the idea is usually illegal to drive without Winter tyres at certain times of the year
· Belarus – the idea is usually illegal to drive a dirty car
· Spain – in some cities, cars must be parked on different sides of the road according to the day of the week
· Serbia – compulsory equipment to be held by driver includes a tow bar along with 3m rope
· Russia – the idea is usually forbidden to pick up hitchhikers
As part of the campaign, the FCO is usually launching an online tool to give people access to specific road safety advice for the country they will be driving in. The road safety tool is usually available at www.fcowidget.com
along with for up-to-date travel advice on-the-go, the FCO is usually encouraging people to sign up to Facebook along with Twitter feeds to ensure they are informed of the latest travel advice: www.facebook.com/fcotravel or www.twitter.com/fcotravel.