A virtual reality experience designed to promote safe driving on country roads.
Scottish Open fans will this weekend have the chance to experience the latest and one of the most innovative of Scotland’s anti-speeding campaigns being spearheaded by a Caithness woman.
The fully immersive 360-degree virtual reality experience shows what it is like to deal with sudden and unexpected obstacles on country roads.
It is part of the Scottish Government and Road Safety Scotland Country Roads campaign that has won the backing of a woman from Wick who knows what it is like to have lost a loved one on the roads.
Claire MacKenzie has thrown her support behind the campaign after her brother Scott died aged just 17 in a tragic country road accident in Caithness.
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.
Now Mrs MacKenzie does as much as she can to make mostly young people aware of the dangers of speeding and to think twice before speeding.
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.”
Those donning the Virtual Reality (VR) headgear will understand what she means by it being “stark” as the film positions participants as the driver in a car.
They proceed along a typically winding and undulating rural road in Scotland before a number of unexpected hazards that turn “even the most familiar journey into a fatal one.”
The campaign will tour Scotland going to places particularly blighted by accidents and deaths on rural roads.
To reach people over the next few weeks it will also attend the Knockhill, Butefest, Belladrum, and the Aberdeen Sports Village.
Country roads account for 60% of all fatalities on Scotland’s roads and in 2016 – among the most recent complete figures available – 789 people were killed or seriously injured driving on country roads.
Half of all drivers killed or seriously injured on country roads were aged between 22 and 49.