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Stopping distances video: part of new-look NSAC

MEMBERS OF the UKROEd Course Development Unit have been busy in recent months preparing a new programme for the National Speed Awareness Course (NSAC). Among a number of innovative assets to form part of the new course is a short video that focuses on stopping distances.

   The video is the brainchild of Dr Fiona Fylan, who leads the course development unit. Her idea was to present a concept as clearly and simply as possible: the faster you are travelling, the more time and space you will need to stop your vehicle. This is illustrated in four lots of ‘twin-tests’, filmed on a long stretch of disused airfield runway, away from the public road. 

   “We started with a car travelling at 30mph,” she told us. “We saw it drive towards us, and then perform an emergency stop. Using accurate police speed measuring equipment, we saw it do the same thing at 31mph , noting that it was still travelling at at 8mph when it passed the point where – at 30 – it would have stopped. 

   “It’s often difficult to persuade someone that one mile an hour can turn into eight miles an hour, and we have not attempted to lay bare all the science that underpins it. Hitting a stationary car at eight miles an hour and you will have an expensive repair bill, and face the loss of your no claims bonus,” she said. “Hit a child at eight miles an hour and you are sure to cause injury.”

   The video goes on to compare stopping distances at 20 and 25, 50 and 55 and finally 70 and 80, using a range of visual effects to deliver as effective a safety message as possible.

   “We are very happy with the quality and relevance of the video. Having now played it to a few groups of trainers, we are confident that it will assist in delivering a really first-class learning experience,” concluded Fiona.


  1. Filming of the stopping distances video took place at Upper Heyford, a former US Air Force base in Oxfordshire, with an east-west runway of more than 2.5km in length. 
  2. The concepts in the video were brought to life by Jason Holmes, a highly experienced TV director who has many well-known BBC TV credits to his name. 
  3. The driver was Kevin Dell, who is head of driver training for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Fire and Rescue services. 
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