Staying safe by remaining calm on the Island’s roads is the central theme of this year’s Isle of Man Constabulary TT road safety campaign.
Posters and beer mats displaying clear and consistent messages will be seen across the Island prior to and during TT fortnight, urging road users to ‘Keep Calm and Slow Down’, ‘Keep Calm and Ride Safe’ and ‘Keep Calm and Drive Sober’.
The campaign will be drawn to the attention of visitors travelling by ferry, who will again receive important safety information with their booking confirmation, in partnership with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company.
Particular focus is being placed this year on the ‘golden hour’ before roads close prior to racing, when collisions have occurred in previous years as people make their way to spectator points, often mixing with commuter traffic. To minimise the danger posed during this period, visitors are being encouraged to plan their day, consider alternative routes and leave plenty of time.
Away from the Mountain Course, the Douglas to Ramsey coast road will be given special attention to discourage bikers from using it as loop road back to the beginning of the one-way Mountain Road section. Officers patrolling the coastal route using unmarked cars and bikes will be alert to riders undertaking what is known as a ‘hot lap’, and ready to enforce the 50mph limit imposed on the route for the first time this year.
Efforts will be made to promote the campaign before people arrive in the Island by a team of 11 road safety officers who will speak to visitors on a number of Steam Packet sailings. The team will also be active throughout TT fortnight on board a promotional vehicle visiting the Grandstand, Ramsey Sprint, Peel Day, Braddan Church and Castletown.
The Mountain Road’s one-way system will be in place from 4.30pm on Friday 25 May for the entire fortnight. Road users are urged to comply with all diversions and closures, and visitors will be alerted to the dangers of following sat nav directions through signage, safety information leaflets, posters and radio features as such devices may not pick up the one-way system or temporary road closures.
The Isle of Man Constabulary’s social media channels will once again play a key role in helping to keep people safe during the festival. @TweetbeatIOM will update Twitter followers with the most current information on the roads, in addition to providing advice and crime prevention tips.
The annual campaign was launched today (Monday 14 May) by Chief Constable Gary Roberts and Home Affairs Minister Bill Malarkey MHK at an event hosted by the iconic TT landmark Creg-ny-Baa pub.
Mr Roberts said:
‘The TT period is a time for the Island to host and entertain many thousands of people, in addition to their vehicles, and this brings a range of challenges in keeping people safe. Officers will be highly visible throughout the festival - both on the roads and on foot patrol at many events - and look forward to playing their part in ensuring the safety of visitors and residents.’
Mr Malarkey said:
‘The number of people visiting Manx shores during TT always places extra demand on the emergency services, and I urge people to heed the message behind this year’s campaign: to stay calm and think of others. The festival is a great sporting spectacle and it’s vital we are able to minimise the dangers posed by increased volumes of pedestrians and traffic on the Island’s roads.’
The first practice session of the 2018 Isle of Man TT is scheduled to take place from 6pm on Saturday 26 May. Visitors are reminded that while the festival takes centre stage for two weeks, everyday life continues in the Isle of Man, with people commuting to work and commercial heavy goods vehicles out on the roads.