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Drivers urged to take extra care as number of fatal accidents double

Year end 2015-16 Performance Summary Image

Image: summary of the Public Performance Report

ROAD USERS are being urged to drive with extra care and attention, as the number of deaths more than doubled during the last financial year, it has been announced.

The number of fatalities across County Durham and Darlington increased to 31 during 2015-16, compared to 14 the previous year.

Ron Hogg, Durham’s Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner (PCVC) is encouraging drivers to take extra care, as he publishes his overall Public Performance Report for 2015-16 on his website at: www.durham-pcc.gov.uk.

Ron said: “I am saddened by the number of deaths on our roads, many of which could potentially have been avoided. Whilst our area is predominantly rural, the police data shows that there has been no clear pattern to the types of fatal accidents during the last financial year.

“Therefore I am calling on all road users to ensure they take plenty of time for their journeys, to avoid making rash decisions when driving, and to pay extra care and attention so that we reduce the number of needless fatalities and injuries. We all want everyone to get home safely.”

In addition to the number of fatalities increasing by 17 people, the overall number of police recorded road traffic collisions, in which people have been killed or seriously injured, has increased by 72 incidents, compared to the year before.

Cllr Joy Allen, Chair of the Durham Police and Crime Panel, said: “Road safety is key priority for the Council and residents alike. Working closely with Ron, the Safe Durham Partnership delivers targeted road safety education and training to vulnerable groups.

“These include the National Drivers Offender Retraining Scheme and Wise Drive which is aimed at year 11 students which aims to positively influence attitudes and behaviours of young drivers focusing on the fatal four most common cause of death and serious injury; drink and drug driving, failing to wear seatbelts, excess speed and distractions such as the use of mobile phones. Last year 25 secondary schools attended this excellent event, unfortunately 17 others did not attend and we will be encouraging all schools to take part this year to help reduce make roads safer and save lives.”

Colin Bage, Deputy Chief Fire Officer for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Many people are travelling across County Durham and Darlington on busy roads leading very busy lives. A lapse in concentration, a risk taken to save a few seconds of time, driving too fast or too close to other cars are all actions which can lead to road traffic collisions altering lives for ever causing death or terrible life-changing injuries.

“As a fire service we are called on to extricate people quickly and safety from their vehicles with state-of-the-art equipment. We see the consequences of collisions on our roads every day and the pain and disruption that they cause. We would urge everyone to slow down and take extra care – many people take risks in their cars that they wouldn’t take in any other areas of their life.”

Other performance data has also been published today. Reported crime overall has increased, including burglary and criminal damage over the winter months.

There were 3,214 fewer victims of anti-social behaviour throughout the force area during 2015-16, which was 11 per cent lower compared to the year before.

Ron said: “It is important to me that, by working with partners, we continue to put victims first across County Durham and Darlington. I’m pleased to hear that 90 per cent of victims were satisfied with the service they received during 2015-16. Victims should be at the heart of what we do, and I will be monitoring this closely to see how we can continue to increase satisfaction with services for victims in the future.”

“I encourage everybody who experiences or witnesses a crime to report it. There is also a lot of advice and guidance available with simple safety measures during the lighter evenings over the summer, to protect yourself, and your property.”

Advice on how to stay safe is available on the Constabulary’s website at: www.durham.police.uk.

Note to Editors:

  • Ron is responsible for scrutinising the performance of the police force.
  • He was the first Police and Crime Commissioner to produce a detailed performance report of this type, to ensure complicated data is accessible to the public in a user-friendly format.
  • The detailed report (and a summary) can be viewed here.
  • Ron supports the work of partners to raise awareness of road safety matters, including the work with pupils showcased at the End of Term Junior Road Safety Officers event by Durham County Council, held at County Hall on Monday (27 June).
  • Durham County Council’s road safety information is available at: www.durham.gov.uk/roadsafety.
  • Darlington Borough Council information can be found at: www.darlington.gov.uk.
Posted on Monday 27th June 2016
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