Suffolk Police support week of road safety awareness
Police in Suffolk are supporting a week of road safety initiatives, which aim to highlight the dangers faced by vulnerable road users and reduce fatal and serious collisions.
The week encompasses the following three campaigns:
- The National Police Chiefs’ Council Vulnerable Road Users Operation, which began yesterday, Monday 13 September, and runs until Sunday 19 September
- Project EDWARD (Every Day Without A Road Death), which runs until Friday 17 September
- National Safe Speeds Day, lasting 24-hours from 7am tomorrow, Wednesday 15 September
The Vulnerable Road Users campaign aims to raise awareness of the risks faced on the roads by pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists and horse riders. These groups tend to disproportionately account for those seriously injured or killed in collisions.
Project EDWARD is another UK-wide campaign and is holding a week-long series of events to promote road safety. This year it is managed by RoadSafe in partnership with Driving for Better Business, a government-backed programme to help employers in the private and public sectors reduce work-related road risk, protecting staff who drive or ride for work, and others who they may share the road with.
The initiative is also supported by the emergency services, highways agencies, road safety organisations and British businesses and promotes an evidence-led, ‘safe system’ approach – the long-term objective of which is a road traffic system free from death and serious injury.
National Safe Speeds Day has been created to fall within Project EDWARD week and will aim to encourage compliance with speed limits for the 24-hour period, with the ultimate aspiration that no one dies in a road traffic collision.
In support of these campaigns, officers from the Joint Roads and Armed Policing Team (RAPT) will be conducting high visibility roadside speed checks across the county, educating and informing drivers of the risks posed by speeding and the effects this can have on vulnerable road users.
Officers will target all those motorists who display a distinct disregard for the law, with a particular emphasis on the ‘Fatal Four’ offences of: drink/drug driving; speeding; driving whilst using a mobile phone; driving without wearing a seatbelt.
Both marked and unmarked police vehicles will be used, equipped with speedometers and video recording equipment in order to target reckless or speeding drivers.
Inspector Gary Miller, of the Joint Norfolk and Suffolk RAPT, said: “The ultimate aim of all these three interwoven campaigns, is to promote road safety and reduce the occurrence of serious or fatal collisions.
“Our roads are for everyone to use, but those classed as vulnerable users are at greater risk of coming to harm in a collision, despite only accounting for a relatively small percentage of overall journeys that are made.
“We want all motorists to drive with care, to be on the look-out for vulnerable road users and ensure you pass them at an appropriate speed, allowing sufficient time and space to do so. They have as much right to be on the roads as anyone else.
“Project EDWARD has the noble ambition of eradicating road deaths entirely, which is something we can all get behind. The Safer Speeds Day should be a 365 days of the year campaign, but we hope that for that 24-hour period everyone makes sure they stick to the speed limits and help ensure we don’t have any fatalities on our roads.”
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk, said: “Whether on two wheels, four wheels, two legs or four, we all have to share the road, so we need to be considerate to all road users to keep everyone safe.
“Motorcyclists, cyclists and horse-riders don’t have the same level of protection as drivers such as seat belts or airbags which makes them very vulnerable, so I urge all drivers to please take more care when they are out and about. Giving vulnerable road-users more space and slowing down when passing really will make a huge difference.
“Everyone can play a part in reducing the number of incidents on our county’s roads. If all we show a little more respect and take extra time to look for vulnerable road users, I hope we can make our roads safer for all.”
Motorists caught speeding will be issued with a Traffic Offence Report (TOR) and face a fine, points on their licence or even court action. Some drivers can opt to take part in a speed awareness course.
Further details of activity and events relating to Project EDWARD can be found on the website www.projectedward.org and via #ProjectEDWARD on social media.