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Lockdown: Plea to drivers after string of fatal and serious crashes

Lockdown: Plea to drivers after string of fatal and serious crashes

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 8:28am 22nd May 2020. (Updated at 8:30am 22nd May 2020)

Cornwall and Devon's crime boss has issued a plea after a string of fatal and serious crashes on our roads.

The Police and Crime Commissioner says the relaxation of Covid-19 restrictions were marred last weekend, by a series of serious injuries and deaths on the region’s highways.

Now partners committed to making Devon and Cornwall’s roads safer are urging motorists to take some practical steps to ensure they have a trouble-free journey and to relieve pressure on the NHS.

South West Peninsular Road Safety Partnership (SWPRSP) members remain very concerned about the number of serious collisions that have taken place in recent weeks and the change in traffic patterns as lockdown regulations are eased.

Over five days immediately after the easing of restrictions there were six people either killed or seriously injured on the roads in Devon and Cornwall.

The partnership has asked road users to do the following:

  • Check your vehicle – your vehicle may not have been used for several weeks. There are a number of simple checks which you can make to avoid a breakdown. The acronym FORCES, which stands for Fuel, Oil, Rubber, Coolant, Electrics and Screenwash, will remind you of the important areas to look out for. For more detailed advice see motoring organisations’ websites.
  • Take your time – if you have been out occasionally then you may have become used to roads that are considerably quieter than usual. Data compiled by the partnership shows that the number of vehicles going 15mph or more above the speed limit has increased when the roads are quietest. Your driving skills might also be rusty.
  • Be more observant – Traffic levels are increasing once again and more people are walking and cycling than usual. Ensure you are not distracted from the task of driving and look out for these vulnerable road users - they are more vulnerable and need your help to remain safe’’

The partnership is made up of a number of organisations, from air ambulance trusts to local authorities and emergency services, who are committed to cutting the number of deaths and serious injuries in half in the next decade.

Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, chairs the partnership and is the national lead for Road Safety for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.

Far too many people are killed and seriously injured on our roads nationally and in Devon and Cornwall. The only way we can tackle this in the long term is by working together across the range of organisations and alongside our community.

“If the trend continues there will be more tragedy on our roads before the next review of the lockdown on June 1. We are asking people to make sure it is not them or their families who are affected.

“Ultimately we need the help of the driving public to solve this problem. In the next few days we can all do our bit to ensure that the easing of restrictions does not go hand in hand with yet more tragedy on our roads.”

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall

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