This Road Safety Week, Torbay Council wants to get local drivers to think about the consequences every time they break the speed limit or drive too fast for the road conditions.
In Torbay, driver behaviour continues to be the biggest cause of road traffic collisions with excessive speed and poor judgement being the main contributing factors.
There are many reasons why road users speed, from not thinking it’s a crime, having the mindset that everyone else is doing it, so why can’t I, thinking a few miles an hour above the limit won’t make a difference, needing to keep to a delivery schedule or not noticing they were going too fast.
Every time the speed limit is broken, or you are driving too fast for the road condition, you increase the risk of a collision and the risk that someone will be killed or injured.
Across Torbay, the Council has been implementing a range of initiatives to encourage drivers to slow down, especially outside schools and in residential areas. Further initiatives will be rolled out and implemented in 2024.
In 2022, there were 229 reported casualties from road traffic collisions on Torbay’s roads. Of these (229) collisions, there were sadly three fatalities, 46 people seriously injured and 180 people slightly injured. Whilst road casualty figures are down in 2022, compared with 2021, too many people are still being injured on Torbay’s roads.
The Department for Transport has calculated that the cost to society (both financial and emotional) for a collision stands at £2,527,520 per fatality, £289,949 per serious injury and £29,127 per slight injury. Meaning in 2022, collisions on Torbay’s roads equated to more than £26million.
During Road Safety Week, Torbay’s communities are encouraged to consider setting up their own Community Speed Watch (CSW) group to help educate drivers and monitor speeding in their local area.
Community Speed Watch is a national volunteer initiative where proactive members of local communities are trained by the police to record details of speeding vehicles using handheld speed detection equipment. Each new group will need at least four volunteers, with one member of the group taking on the role of group coordinator. Anyone interested in finding out more and setting up a CSW group in their local community can do so via: https://roadsafety.devon-cornwall.police.uk/community-speed-watch-csw/
Over the last 14-months, Torbay Council has been engaging and educating all road users about their individual responsibilities when it comes to using the local highway network. Specially designed sessions have been held at South Devon College, awareness events in the high street and lessons in local primary schools.
During Road Safety Week and for the remainder of the year, young drivers and pedestrians will be taking part in Learn 2 Live and classroom-based lessons to help them stay safe on the roads. 280 local primary school children between the ages of 9 and 11 has already benefitted from the classroom-based lesson which got them thinking about their journeys to school, the risks they might face, and what they need to do to become responsible pedestrians and road users now and in the future.
Cllr Adam Billings, Cabinet Member for Pride in Place, Culture, events & Parking for Torbay Council, said; “This Road Safety Week we want all drivers, however, they travel, to think about their speed. Every time you break the speed limit, you are breaking the law and increasing the risk that someone will be killed or injured.
“By all doing our bit, by driving within the speed limit, giving consideration to other road users, being mindful of road conditions, taking part in a learning activity or setting up a Community Speed Watch group in your local neighbourhood we are all helping to ensure Torbay’s roads are safe for all road users.”
Find road safety advice, training and information and details of safety schemes in Torbay via: https://www.torbay.gov.uk/roads/road-safety/
Road Safety Week is organised by Brake, the road safety charity. https://www.brake.org.uk/
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