Year-long road safety campaign gets into gear

Date: Thursday 6th December 2018

CUMBRIA'S police and crime commissioner Peter McCall and Chief Constable Michelle Skeer have today launched a year-long campaign to help keep the county’s roads safer, in response to what local residents tell them are their main concerns within their community.

Earlier this year, the annual summer survey carried out jointly with Cumbria Constabulary showed that in the last 12 months there has been growing concern about road-safety in the county.

A total of 8 out of every 10 respondents, said that driving-related issues were a problem in their local area. The main concerns identified in all areas across Cumbria were speeding vehicles and drivers using their mobile phones while on the move.

Mr McCall said: “We are committed to improving road safety and promoting safer driving in Cumbria, not least because time and again, the public tell me it is of real concern — as the summer survey results illustrate. Through this campaign we are really keen to get the message out to people that we all have a personal responsibility to help keep our roads safe.

“It is a sad fact that most accidents are caused by our own unsafe behaviours, such as driving at inappropriate speeds, not wearing seatbelts, driving while drunk or on drugs, or by allowing ourselves to be distracted through using mobile phones and other devices while driving.

“Throughout this campaign we will be working with our partners, local communities and agencies to highlight the many aspects of safer driving. We will be raising awareness of the dangers of unsafe behaviours through education and engagement with our communities, with a view to focusing on a different theme each month.

"Given the time of year, with many people enjoying Christmas activities, this month the focus will be on the dangers of driving while under the influence of drink or drugs.

“I would like to reassure the public that this is a key priority of mine, and wish to emphasise that we all need to work together to raise awareness of the catastrophic effect that road accidents can have and make sure that our friends, families and colleagues are all aware of the dangers and the potential consequences.”

Mrs Skeer said: “The constabulary is fully behind this campaign in order to ensure Cumbrian roads are safer for all concerned.

“We run numerous operations, initiatives and awareness campaigns throughout the year to educate road users and reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads. We also work with community groups and a number of partner agencies through the Cumbria Roads Safety Partnership (CRSP) to make the Cumbrian road network as safe as possible.

“Keeping safe on the county’s roads is also the responsibility of the public. In Cumbria we focus on what we call the "Fatal Four", which are the four most likely contributors to a road traffic collision. They are speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, using a mobile phone and incorrect use of seatbelts or child seats. Each one of these on its own has the potential to be a contributory factor in somebody being killed or seriously injured. Importantly they are also behaviours that road users can be directly responsible for and control.

“The best advice for motorists is to simply drive safely and responsibly in accordance with the law. This means no phones, no driving at excess speed, never drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and make sure that you wear your seatbelt at all times, with children using the correct child seat.

“It is also vital that motorists adapt their driving accordingly at this time of year and ensure that vehicles are ready for winter conditions.

“Collisions that result in fatalities or people being seriously injured can impact whole communities. I urge everyone to consider what they can do to help keep people safe on the county’s roads.”