A NEW safety campaign has been launched today urging drivers not to enter flood water.
Called Turn Around Don’t Drown, the initiative is raising awareness of how dangerous floodwater can be, with the shocking message that it takes as little as 60cm of standing water to float a car and under 30cm to push a car off the road.
Campaign coordinator and firefighter Andy Reynolds, said: “Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service saw a 400 per cent increase in flood calls in 2012/13 affecting large parts of Cornwall.
“We hope that this campaign will raise awareness of the dangers encountered when driving or walking in floodwater.”
Drivers are being warned that even if the water does not appear very deep, the road surface below could be damaged.
Flooding often causes damage to the layer below the tarmac resulting in the road collapsing when the weight of a vehicle passes over it.
Tamsin Ferris, a road safety officer for Cornwall Council said: “We are very pleased to be involved in this worthwhile campaign. Surface and flood water can pose a serious road safety risk.
“I would encourage drivers to ensure they adjust their driving according to the conditions, always making sure their lights are on and they slow down in bad weather.”
Des Tidbury, chair of safety partnership, added: “Through this campaign we hope that drivers will become more aware of the dangers of entering flood water when they don’t know the depth of the water, or the condition of the road below. This partnership approach will raise awareness and demonstrate that we are all working together to tackle road safety issues in Cornwall.”