A number of road safety initiatives in County Durham and Darlington have launched recently to promote safer driving.
This week marks the start of Road Safety Week co-ordinated by Brake which inspires thousands of schools, organisations and communities to take action on road safety.
Project EDWARD launched in September this year in conjunction with partner agencies including Durham Constabulary, Durham County Council, Darlington Borough Council and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service. Project Edward stands for EveryDayWithoutARoadDeath and is a national initiative supported by the local authorities, emergency services and other partners.
On average, five people a day are killed and around 150,000 injured each year on roads in Great Britain, many of which could be avoided.The use of ANPR cameras by the force has complimented tactics to target Organised Criminals as well as serial offenders of drink and drug driving. In addition, Community Speed Watch has been refreshed with updated equipment, that will be available imminently to the force neighbourhood policing teams. Each neighbourhood policing team will be issued with 1 piece of new equipment with a view to purchase additional units through further funding from community groups; local/parish councillors and other community funding opportunities. The new equipment includes speed detection devices which allows volunteers to record the speed of vehicles by the roadside, encouraging drivers to slow down.
Community Speed Watch is a community volunteer scheme operated force-wide, supported by neighbourhood policing teams who work with the police to monitor the speed of vehicles using speed detection devices. All of these initiatives were discussed at the last Executive Board between the PCC and Chief Constable. The PCC is responsible for holding the force to account through these monthly Executive Board meetings where Force progress is reported on against policing priorities set out in the Police and Crime Plan, one being improving road safety. Questions were put to the Force where gave their assessment of how they were performing on issues of road safety. This provided the PCC with assurance that the Force are able to work well in this space and identify areas to progress.
The Commissioner is also Deputy Lead on the APCC National Portfolio for Roads Policing and Road Safety.
Joy Allen, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Improving road safety and increasing visibility of speeding measures across County Durham and Darlington are amongst my top priorities as Police and Crime Commissioner.
“Speeding was one of the most reported concerns for residents following my Police & Crime survey that I conducted last year,with 75% of respondents agreeing that there should be more enforcement of road traffic offences where they lived.
"I will continue to work with the community and local elected members of all parties to tackle road safety concerns in our communities to prevent serious injury and death on our roads.”
The PCC wants to hear from the public on how much they are willing to pay for policing services through their council tax.
Commissioner Allen praises Durham Constabulary for the sweeping progress made against Police and Crime Plan.
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