Road safety event to highlight A421 through Bedford as accident blackspot

Fire engine library image
Fire engine library image

Firefighters are holding a special safety event to flag up the dangers of a road that has become an accident hotspot.

The A421 has seen a string of crashes and was the scene of a fatal collision just five weeks ago.

Beds firefighters say the road is becoming an “increasingly regular location” for serious accidents that require their rescue skills.

The crew will be at the Interchange Retail Park at Kempston on Saturday December 9 between 11am and 1pm.

They will be urging drivers not to tailgate on the A421 and to keep a safe distance between themselves and the vehicle in front.

“They should adjust their speed to the road conditions ahead, do not exceed the speed limit, and understand how far their thinking and stopping distance will be. They should always remember Mirror, Signal and then Manoeuvre, look and look again,” said a spokesman.

“Distraction and not paying attention is a major cause of accidents on this road,” he added.

Figures produced by highway maintenance company Amey reveal there has been more than 150 accidents on the A421 in recent years.

The biggest cause – 41 per cent – was failure to look properly.

Other causes included failing to judge the other vehicle’s path or speed, driving too fast, following too close or not spotting cyclists on the road.

The spokesman said: “The firefighters’ message will be “don’t let it happen to you! Stay safe on the A421 this holiday season.”

Thomas Smith, 19, from Kempston, was killed in collision involving a van and a lorry on the A421 on November 1.

Mr Smith was a passenger in the van when it collided with the HGV, which was parked in a layby.