Film ID:
YFA 4632

YOU & YOUR MOTORWAY

1969

Visitor Tabs

Description

This informative safety film, produced by the West Yorkshire Constabulary, explains the correct motorway practices using instructional scenarios taken on Motorways in the Yorkshire area. There are also glimpses of the M.62 motorway, which was under construction at the time.

The film opens with a senior police officer giving a piece to camera with a motorway in the background.

Title - Ronal Gregory, Esq. Chief Constable West Yorkshire Constabulary.

The Chief constable says that despite all the necessary safety precautions on the motorway, accidents still happen, and a cutaway shows the aftermath of a car accident. The Chief constable lists the key qualities needed to be a good motorway driver, which are vigilance, concentration and good sense. He then states that adequate supplies of oil and petrol are essential for motorway journeys, and that over 18,000 calls were made in the last 12 months to the West Yorkshire Constabulary Emergency Centre, with many of these a concerning drivers running out of petrol. The officer then rounds off his piece to camera by saying that this film has been produced to "help you make the motorway even safer".

Title - You and your motorway.

An interior shot from a car shows it driving down a stretch of motorway. The voiceover states that motorways were designed to maximise speed by cutting out gradients and bends, and they can often be tremendous feats of engineering. Shots then capture the M.62 motorways construction site in Pennines, where a hive of activity, including diggers clawing earth away, trucks transporting the earth and builders working on bridges, is taking place. There are shots of bridges under construction, before the voiceover states the urban areas often make building motorways difficult.

The next sequence opens with a shot of a segment of Kinsley viaduct, which, using a multi-tier structure, runs abreast of an industrial area in Sheffield. There is then a brief shot of an opening ceremony for a new stretch of motorway. Two people on horseback ride down a cobbled country path, and the voiceover states that these were the old fashioned road systems (introduced by the Romans), which in some cases are still used today.

A close up shows a road sign for the 'A 638, Wakefield'. There are then shots of smaller roads along the A 638, with the voiceover stating that these roads were not adequate for the capabilities of the internal combustion engine. There is then another close up of a road sign for the 'A 638 Doncaster'. A shot shows quite heavy traffic on a stretch of road, with the voiceover stating that safety measures were introduced, but these had the effect of slowing down traffic. There are then shots of roads signs: 'Give way', 'No entry', 'bend in the road', 'Train crossing - no gates', 'school', 'junction ahead', 'stop'.

The voiceover states that before you set out on your motorway journey, there are a number of measures that can be taken to ensure that it is a safe and uninterrupted one. A car then pulls up to a petrol station and the attendant fills the tank, while the driver checks engine essentials such as water, oil and the fan belt. The tyres, including the spare, are then pumped up. The driver then puts on his seatbelt and drives away from the petrol station.

A shot shows another road sign that says 'M1 London'. The car from the petrol station drives on to a ring road, and shots capture some of the roads sign which detail motorway accepted vehicles and manoeuvres. Shots show the car joining the motorway from a slip road, and the voiceover states that, "Remember there is a speed limit". As the vehicle joins the motorway the voiceover gives advice on how to conduct your motor vehicle appropriately.

The voiceover then talks about vehicle standards on the motorway, and there is a shot of some worn brakes which are not suitable. There are then shots of roadside emergency telephones, and a woman with a broken down car walks over to one and rings the West Yorkshire Police Operation Room to ask for assistance, with the officer arranging a local garage to come and help. A police vehicle pulls up next to a stranded motorist, and the voiceover says these cars have been specially modified for the demands of motorways.

Tyres become the focus. A car drives down the motorway with a punctured tyre, and, as it pulls over, the voiceover gives advice on how to best deal with such a situation. An example of overtaking procedures is next, with a white car performing the correct procedure, working within the correct rules of three lane etiquette.

The voiceover then describes the monotony of driving at a constant speed for long periods of time, and shots show a black car driving down the motorway, with the voiceover advising to vary speed from time to time. The drive then veers across the road and the voiceover remarks that should tiredness occurs then one should wind down the window, turn the radio off, slow down and pull into a service station, with shots showing the driver performing the stated practices. Using headlights appropriately for overtaking is then run through, with a car behind turning their high beams on to inform the driver in front of their intentions.

Driving in wet conditions is next; shots from the interior of a car driving on a motorway on a wet day. A car then drives around a controlled training area, sliding on the damp surface, with the voiceover stating that wet conditions affect braking distances and manoeuvrability. Course winds, as stated by the voiceover, are a natural enemy to motorway traffic, with high sided vehicles being particularly vulnerable. Shots show a lorry driving down a road.

The next sequence highlights the necessity of road works; shot show signs along the motorway informing drivers of works ahead, and new electronic boards informing drivers of changes in the speed limit. Dense traffic is then shown traveling slowly along a motorway, with a lane closed off due to an accident. A close up then shows an electronic board with a symbol that indicates that a lane ahead is closed.

The new stop sign is then introduced which has four flashing red lights at each corner, and the following shot shows a traffic jam stretching a long distance down the motorway; some drivers get out of their cars to have a look. A driver then crosses the central reservation (illegally) in order to get out of the jam, with the voiceover commenting that this was a completely unrehearsed shot.

There are then shots of signs for various intersections, followed by the signs which inform the driver of the distance to the next exit. A white car passes a sign that shows an exit for Wakefield. The car then leaves the motorway properly; indicating at an early time and decelerating at a smooth rate. The voiceover then informs the viewer that care must be taken when returning to standard roads, with driver slowing down to the correct speed.

A close up shows a programme for the 'National British race meeting', before there are shots of the white car arriving at the race track car park. The driver and his companion exit the vehicle and watch as race cars line up on the track before accelerating away. The voiceover says that racing drivers are more aware of the dangers of speed and the necessity of safety precautions, but even some can misjudge time or distance, and there is a shot of a race car missing the corner and shooting across a bank. A car then crosses a finishing line and the filmmaker cuts back to the motorway.

With the shots of the motorway, the voiceover says to remember that the motorway can only be as safe as drivers make it.

Title - Director - Tom Hibbins. Photography - Rex Matthews. Sound - Morris Smith.

Title - Commentary by kind permission of the B.B.C. motoring unit.

Title - Produced by the West Yorkshire Constabulary.

Title - The end.