New road safety campaign urges people not to drive like Mr Bean

The road safety department of Mayo County Council has launched a new road safety campaign urging drivers 'Don't drive like Mr Bean — drive safely and focus on your driving.' The road safety office has been given the backing of Tiger Aspect Productions which produced the hit show, by allowing it to use the video clip and Mr Bean's image as part of this new campaign.

With schools and colleges reopening recently after the Christmas break drivers will experience the roads getting busy again and the local authority has organised this campaign, which uses the video clip of fictional character Mr Bean driving, to engage with the public to get a road safety message across. Road safety may be a serious topic, but that does not mean it cannot benefit from a bit of humour from time to time according to the road safety officials.

Noel Gibbons, road safety officer, Mayo County Council, said talking to passengers, eating and drinking, reaching or searching for objects in the vehicle were among hazardous distractions for drivers. "Staying safe on the road requires concentration, so it's important to keep distractions to a minimum. Keeping your eyes on the road and remaining focused on the driving task is something all drivers must do. Friends and family can also help by not distracting drivers — in the car, or on the phone," he said. Other things to avoid being distracted by according to the campaign are:

Texting: One of many things that can distract an unwary driver.

Car mats: If not secured properly, they can become wedged under the pedals. Leaning down and trying to reposition the mats with your hands or pushing them out of the way with your feet while driving is not a clever idea.

Seat position: Trying to manually adjust the seat position while on the move can result in a loss of control.

Mirrors: Make a quick check that their positions have not been altered since your last spell behind the wheel, and readjust as required.

Settings: Tune in the audio system, sort out your iPod/USB connection, set your destination and pair in your phone before the trip begins.

Secure gear: Make sure anything placed in the vehicle is secure and not likely to move. If something has moved and is annoying you, pull over and sort it out.

Food and drink: Be organised. Trying to unravel a sandwich from its wrapper or take a hot pie out of its paper bag is a great way to lose concentration. Make sure the cup holders are free to do their job and are not being used to store loose change and/or keys, creating instability that can cause that hot coffee to spill.

Rubbish: Keep a small rubbish bag handy to dispose of any waste. It avoids the car floor being used as a dumping ground and creating a distraction if items such as bottles roll under the driver's feet.

Children: As best you can, make sure the young ones do not have to ask for something while travelling that is not within their reach. Turning around to find or pass on a favourite toy is a definite no-no.

Footwear: Removing uncomfortable or potentially dangerous footwear before driving is a sensible thing to do. But if kicked off and left to roll around in the driver's footwell, it can easily become a hazard and create problems similar to a loose floor mat.

Headlights and wipers: Worn wiper rubbers and misaligned headlights can cause a driver to misread the conditions, and poorly-aimed headlights can dazzle and distract oncoming drivers.

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