The number of people killed or seriously injured on Cheshire’s roads has reduced by 38 per cent over the last five years.
The county’s police and crime commissioner, David Keane, says this is down to the work of Cheshire Police and key partners to put in place preventative measures to make Cheshire’s roads safer.
However, PCC David Keane says we shouldn’t become complacent as serious and fatal incidents among vulnerable road users including cyclists and pedestrian children have actually increased.
He discussed the issue at a recent public meeting with Chief Constable Darren Martland focusing on road safety following concerns raised by local residents about speeding and vehicles dangerously overtaking cyclists.
It comes as the commissioner has advocated the use of the ‘close pass’ scheme in Cheshire to protect cyclists and his plans to put in place average speed cameras on high collision routes are progressing.
PCC David Keane: “Road safety has been a priority set out in my Police and Crime plan since 2016 so it’s good to see that less people are losing their lives or becoming seriously injured in road traffic collisions in Cheshire than they were five years ago.
“However, one death on Cheshire’s roads is too many and it’s particularly concerning to see an increase in serious and fatal incidents involving cyclists and children.
“There will be families spending Christmas without a loved one this year and it is a stark reminder that we must double down on efforts to prevent others from experiencing this unimaginable pain.
“More people have taken up cycling during this year’s lockdowns so it’s more important than ever that we encourage both motorists and cyclists to safely share our roads.
“The school run remains a vulnerable time for child pedestrians, with busy roads and distractions often being the catalyst serious road incidents.
“Speeding is an issue that is high on the agenda for concerned Cheshire residents across all of our communities in Cheshire and is also one of the main causes of serious and fatal incidents.
“I am currently working with the Constabulary and partners to consider the potential for further average speed schemes within Cheshire.
“By putting average speed schemes on high collision routes, we could save more lives. This is a proven measure which has been in place on the ‘Cat and Fiddle’ road in Macclesfield for a number of years and has dramatically reduced the number of serious collisions.
“With no fatalities or serious injuries on the former high collision route since 2018, this provides strong evidence that average speed schemes work and that investing in road safety saves lives.”
Chief inspector for the Constabulary’s roads and crime unit, Rob Dickinson, added: “We have been, and will continue the work in making Cheshire’s roads safer for every road user. I am absolutely delighted to see the significant reduction in the number of people being killed or seriously injured on the county’s roads and I want to assure our communities our efforts will continue, as we know there is still more to do.
“We will continue to target those committing one of the fatal 5 offences – careless driving, speeding, drink/drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt and driving while using a mobile phone – and we will continue to work with our partners and the public in the education of the potential consequences of their actions. Everyone has the right to use the roads safely.”
If you have evidence of anyone using Cheshire’s roads dangerously, you can submit dashcam footage via the Cheshire police website: www.cheshire.police.uk
In an emergency always dial 999. You can also make a report anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.