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Drivers in Cornwall urged to 'slow down and save lives'

Drivers in Cornwall urged to 'slow down and save lives'

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 6:40am 26th May 2020.

Motorists in Cornwall are being urged to slow down and save lives on our roads as the lockdown measures are eased.

Devon and Cornwall Police is reminding people of the 'fatal five' and the importance of travelling safely and within the speed limit.

Officers will be carrying out education and enforcement measures to target those not sticking to the rules, focusing on locations where collisions have occurred in the past, or areas that are of concern to local residents.

While the national campaign is focusing on excess speed, this is just one of the ‘fatal five’ which also includes drink/drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, being distracted at the wheel and careless and inconsiderate behaviour. 

This operation is deliberately timed as travel restrictions start to ease, to keep people safe as the volume of traffic increases.

police officer

“Over the past two months we’ve seen a significant reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads as a result of lockdown measures reducing the number of vehicles travelling.

“However, we have seen examples where some drivers have used the lack of traffic to drive in an unsafe way, or travel at significantly excessive speeds, which can often result in tragedy.

“As the country begins to move out of lockdown and we’re beginning to see more road users on our network, we’re stepping up our education and enforcement to remind drivers of their responsibilities.

“We recognise that some drivers may have not got behind the wheel in several weeks so alongside our enforcement activities, we will also be educating road users on vehicle safety as well as the effects of excess speed.”

Chief Inspector Steve Lenney, Head of Roads Policing across Dorset, Devon and Cornwall

coronavirus police patrols

During 2018, figures show that 1,624 people sadly lost their lives on roads in England and Wales, with 58% of deaths occurring on rural roads. A further 25,000 people were seriously injured in collisions.

At 30mph, vehicles are travelling at 44 feet or about three car lengths each second.  Even in good conditions, the difference in stopping distance between 30 mph and 35 mph is an extra 21 feet or 6.4 metres, more than two car lengths, this could make all the difference in avoiding a collision.

The distance required to stop safely significantly increases at higher speed which could cause greater injury to pedestrians and cyclists involved in collisions.

Alison Hernandez, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is also the national lead for the road safety for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.


“Although there has been a dramatic reduction in traffic levels in England and Wales since the lockdown started I remain very concerned about the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on the roads.”

“I have been working closely with the Government to help develop its programme of education and engagement, and at a local level by leading a road safety partnership of organisations that is committed to a ‘vision zero’ - regarding any injury or death as unacceptable.

"Ultimately this work will save lives and prevent the terrible trauma but in the short term I would urge all those taking advantage of an easing of restrictions to take a few practical steps to ensure their vehicle is roadworthy and to exercise extra caution, bearing in mind that they might not have ventured onto the roads for some time and traffic levels are increasing, with more vulnerable road users such as cyclists sharing the highway.”

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner

police speeding van

“It’s so important that motorists follow the rules of the road as lockdown eases and traffic starts to increase in Cornwall.

"Please take extra care – especially the first time back in your car after a period of not driving.

"We have welcomed the reduction in casualties on our roads during lockdown and we welcome this initiative from the police. Be aware of those around you and stay safe.”

 Geoff Brown, Cornwall Council’s portfolio holder for transport

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