PCC and Wiltshire Police pledges commitment to keep roads safe following fall in fatal collisions
Road safety remains a priority for Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson and Wiltshire Police after a campaign last year which saw the number of fatalities on our roads fall.
In 2022, there were a total of 28 collisions on Wiltshire’s roads which involved at least one fatality.
Following a summer road safety campaign highlighting the Fatal Five offences and the work the Roads Policing Unit is doing to target offending drivers, there were 21 fatal collisions in 2023 – a 25 per cent reduction.
However, any single death or injury on our roads is one too many and we are committed to ensuring Wiltshire’s roads are as safe as possible.
The Roads Policing Unit (RPU) will continue with Project Zero in 2024 – a weekly day of action dedicated to targeting drivers committing any of the Fatal Five offences – these are offences most likely to contribute to death and serious injury on the roads and include drink/drug driving, careless driving, driving at excess speed, driving without a seatbelt or using a mobile phone. As well as this, RPU will continue its work with the Police and Crime Commissioner, Wiltshire Road Safety Partnership, National Highways and council stakeholders to look at road engineering works, increasing funding in road safety officers and speed enforcement officers.
Education also plays a key role in changing driver’s behaviour and reducing risk taking behaviour, including speeding. There are 115 Community Speedwatch Teams across Wiltshire and Swindon, and additional funding from the Police and Crime Commissioner, means that these teams are now often joined by Community Speed Enforcement Officers who are able to enforce the speed limits and prosecute those who excessively speed.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Philip Wilkinson said: “This reduction is a really positive step forward, and it’s clear that positive, proactive policing from the RPU and our community speed watch teams is making Wiltshire’s roads safer.
“By monitoring data from the county’s Speed Indicator Devices, we can see increased enforcement is starting to slow drivers in identified hotspots but we can always do more to reinforce the message that Wiltshire Police will not tolerate drivers being a danger to themselves and others.
“One fatality is one too many, and every death on our roads has a devastating effect on those left behind and those emergency service workers who deal directly with the aftermath, so we must do all we can to try and minimise this with robust policing on our roads.”
A/Insp Will Ayres said: “Whilst it is positive news that fewer fatal collisions have occurred on our roads, it’s really important that we stress that those who have died on Wiltshire’s roads are not just statistics – each fatality is a person who is loved and missed by many – somebody’s mum or dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, grandparent and friend. And that is so important to keep at the forefront of our minds and that is why we feel so passionate about the work we do. We will continue to target those most likely to cause harm on the roads and prevent further families from being devastated by the loss of a loved one.”
Chief Constable Catherine Roper added: “Last summer we made road safety a focus for the entire Force through enforcement and intensive awareness raising, focusing on the fatal five offences. This was as a result of a high number of fatalities on our roads. I recently joined the Roads Policing Unit during a Project Zero day of action and I was impressed with the team’s dedication to dealing robustly with drivers who commit road related offences, and seeking out vehicles that are not roadworthy. It is this ongoing commitment which has contributed to a drop in the number of fatal collisions and injuries in Wiltshire. My officers know all too well the devastation that a single death on our roads can cause and they will continue to work tirelessly to improve road safety in the county.”