LANCASHIRE drivers are to test new technology that adapts sat nav to warn of speed limits and sharp bends.

The county council has been given £849,000 of Government cash to pilot the system.

It will see a digital map of the county developed, with the help of Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool councils, which will chart speed limits on roads and highlight any potential accident hot spots.

Five hundred and fifty volunteers are then being sought to test the system through modified satellite navigation equipment.

Road chiefs will then assess whether it helps reduce the accident and death toll among motorists.

It is hoped enough volunteers will be in place by April for the 'intelligent speed adaptation experimentation’.

Announcing the pilot, road safety minister Jim Fitzpatrick said: "Britain has some of the safest roads in the world and in 2007 the number of people killed on the roads fell below 3,000 for the first time since records began in 1926.

"But if we are to continue to cut this terrible toll we need to find innovative ways to tackle the road safety problems we face.

"This extra funding will support local authorities using the latest techniques, which in turn will help to spread good practice around the country and make our roads safer for everyone."

Another seven pilot schemes are being given cash elsewhere in the country, which will test other types of new technology.

Other north west authorites to take part in trials include Cheshire East Council, who will get £597,000 to reduce motorcyclist deaths on the A537 'Cat and Fiddle' road and Oldham Council, which will get up to to £480,000 to be spent on educating adults so that they can pass on key road safety messages to children.