The 1st December Meeting was cancelled due to the adverse weather conditions. We hope that we will be able to stage the talk by Les Tickner later in the programme.
We wish all the people of Cockermouth a Happy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. Whilst the majority of businesses and residents are back in their own premises and houses we are aware that some are still struggling with insurance companies and builders – we hope that your problems will be resolved soon.

At least there is some good news in the way that the appearance of the shop fronts have been improved – a great example is Leslie Clelands. Also there have been some great events this year such as the Georgian Fair, Picnic in Main Street, the Food Fair and Children in Need. Cockermouth is certainly on the map now – let’s hope this translates into bringing visitors and shoppers into the town in the future.

Our November lecture was given by George Cairns from the Institute of Advanced Motorists. George was supported by Ian Goldie. George asked the questions “How safe are our roads?” and “How safe are our drivers?” The first death attributed to the motor car was in 1896 but by 1935 out of a total of 2.3 million drivers there were 7000 deaths – a shocking statistic. However, by 2010, even with 27 million drivers on the roads, the deaths had been reduced to 2500. This improvement has been achieved as a result of better and safer cars, improved roads and better medical treatment. Unfortunately there doesn’t seem to have been any improvement in the drivers!  95% of accidents are attributed to human error and it was noted that 25% of deaths of persons under the age of 30 were due to road traffic accidents.

The aim of the Institute is to reduce the accidents further by promoting skills with responsibility. Competence, knowledge, skill and attitude are fostered and the teaching of being proactive to the situation around a driver encouraged.  Important questions that all drivers should ask themselves are “Can I stop before the vanishing point?” and “Is the car in front more than 2 seconds ahead?” Just applying the answers to these could avoid accidents and also reduce the possibility of road rage.

By driving safely and smoothly, anticipating hazards and acting accordingly has the added bonus of using up to 15% less fuel.