All country roads lead to ButeFest for safety campaign

Butefest's new home of Ettrick Bay.
Butefest's new home of Ettrick Bay.

Attendees at ButeFest this weekend are invited to take part in a 360 virtual reality (VR) experience to drive home the importance of preparing for the unexpected on Scottish country roads.

As part of the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland Country Roads campaign, the film positions participants as the driver in a car and highlights a number of unexpected hazards on country roads that can turn even the most familiar journey into a fatal one.

Following a successful launch of the 360 film on social media, guests at ButeFest are invited to trial the fully immersive experience using state-of-the-art VR technology. It will then go on tour across Scotland at locations including Knockhill, Party at the Palace and Tartan Heart Festival.

Country roads account for over half of all fatalities on Scotland’s roads (60 per cent) and in 2016 (the latest figures available) 789 people were killed or seriously injured whilst driving on country roads and two thirds of those were men. Half of all drivers killed or seriously injured on country roads are aged 22-49.

Loss of control is the biggest cause of deaths on country roads and the film which is touring seven regions of Scotland aims to encourage drivers aged 22-29 to slow down and drive at appropriate speeds for the road conditions.

Claire MacKenzie is supporting the campaign after her brother Scott (17) died as a result of a tragic country road accident in Wick. He was travelling as a passenger along with four others when the driver, who was driving too fast for the road, lost control and crashed on a bend.

She said: “The driver didn’t intentionally set out to kill my brother, but he did. As we approach the ten-year anniversary of his death, I look at his friends who are now married and have kids and think that Scott should still be here, enjoying his life.

“The 360 video is a stark but effective reminder that travelling too fast for country road conditions does have serious consequences and I’d encourage people to test drive the VR experience rather than risk facing the devastating consequences.”

Find out more and view the film here.

ButeFest is now underway, rocking the island on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. With acts including Dougie MacLean and the Hoosiers. The festival is now at its new home at Ettrick Bay.

For more information click here.