Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service and Cumbria Police are supporting National Road Safety Week (16-22 November) alongside other emergency services throughout the country.
The week aims to raise the profile of the work undertaken by the emergency services: Fire, Police and Ambulance (and partner agencies such as Highways England), as well as reminding motorists to drive safely and ensure their vehicles are road worthy.
Craig Drinkald, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service’s Head of Prevention, said: “Road traffic collisions can be devastating to attend for all the emergency services personnel. Lives are still being destroyed by the failure of drivers to be responsible behind the wheel before and during their travels.
“All the members of the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership (CRSP) work tirelessly to reduce the number of people tragically killed or seriously injured in the county by identifying the causes and types of accidents that happen, and through the delivery of road safety education throughout the year to different age groups and levels of driver experience.
“Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service delivers Road Awareness Training to 17 to 24-year olds as they are at the highest risk of having or being involved in an accident. Due to Covid-19 this year, we’ve adapted our programme and we’re now delivering the training virtually. We feel that education really is working, but we all agree there is much more collaborative work that can be done to reduce the number of incidents even further.”
Inspector Steve Minnikin of Cumbria Police said: “It is ourselves and the other emergency services who are often the first on the scene to serious and fatal road traffic collisions and the results can be devastating.
“So often such collisions are entirely avoidable and are often down to driver error such as driving too fast for the road conditions or over-taking at inappropriate times.
“Dark nights and poor winter weather mean this time of year can be the most dangerous. I would urge all drivers to drive with care to make sure they do not cause a collision over the festive period.”
The following factors are found to be the most common following accident investigations:
- Speed – driving too fast for the road conditions or over the road speed limit.
- Distraction – use of mobile phones whilst driving.
- Impairment – under the influence of drink and/or drugs.
- Tiredness – unfit to drive.
- Peer pressure – showing off inexperienced driving skills.
- No seatbelts – it is compulsory to wear belts for drivers and passengers; they save lives.
- Mechanical failure – vehicle not road worthy.
Some simple steps regularly undertaken by drivers could help to save lives and serious injuries on our roads – not only to drivers and their passengers, but to other road users such as motorcyclists, scooters, cyclists and pedestrians.
Car maintenance is a simple first step.
- When was the last time you checked your tyres for legal tread depth?
- When was the last time you filled your screen wash to clear the windscreen to maximise vision?
- Have your brakes been checked recently?
- Do all your vehicle lights work correctly?
Don’t just wait for an annual MOT to tell you!
CFRS will be promoting a campaign across social media platforms and will continue to deliver road safety awareness training in schools and colleges to target young and new drivers, or those about to start learning to drive. This will be done virtually for the time being until new guidance permits.
We can all play a part in saving lives and injuries on the roads by remembering ‘Speed Down Saves Lives.’
Cumbria Road Safety Partnership includes Highways England, Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, Cumbria Police, Cumbria County Council, Cumbria Safety Camera Unit and Institute of Advanced Motorists.
For more details about the Partnership, visit www.crsp.co.uk