Road safety campaign launched following the death of 13 people on Wiltshire's roads so far this year
A total of 13 people have died on the county's roads in 2023 so far
Road safety will be a focus for Wiltshire Police over the summer period
Officers will be targeting drivers committing 'fatal five' offences - excess speed, using a phone whilst driving, not wearing a seatbelt, careless and dangerous driving and drink and drug driving.
Thirteen people have died on Wiltshire’s roads so far this year.
This comes after 29 people lost their lives on roads in our county in 2022. In addition, the Serious Collision Investigation Team (SCIT) has already been called out to 19 of the most serious road traffic collisions since January (where injuries sustained are the most serious) – compared to 20 incidents for the entirety of last year.
In response to this, across the summer, Wiltshire Police are making road safety a force-wide focus in a bid to reduce the number of fatalities on the county’s roads. Most of the fatalities this year have occurred on the M4, A303, A338, A360, A3102 and A4.
This weekend, local officers joined the Road Safety Partnership at the Orbital Retail Park in North Swindon for a Road Safety Education Day. The event used a vehicle which had been involved in a serious collision to highlight the importance of road safety.
Philip Wilkinson, Wiltshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said he welcomed the proactive policing approach and said it would directly contribute to making Wiltshire safer.
He said: “Despite huge improvements in enforcement being delivered by Wiltshire’s Roads Policing Unit, the expanded Speed Enforcement team and our Community SpeedWatch volunteers, it seems the risks and consequences of driving dangerously and at excessive speeds has yet to register with all drivers.
“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.
“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 positive, proactive policing on our roads.”
Chief Supt Phil Staynings said: “A single death on our roads is one too many and it is really important that we don’t look at these numbers as just a statistic. Each of these 13 fatalities is a person, somebody’s child, a brother or sister, a parent or grandparent. Each fatality devastates a family, a friendship group and a community.
“This summer, we are making road safety a focus for the entire Force through enforcement and intensive awareness raising focusing predominantly on the fatal five offences which contribute to serious collisions. These are speeding, drink and drug driving, using a phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt, or careless and dangerous driving.”
Wiltshire Police's Community Speed Enforcement officers have visited more than 340 locations and issued 3,364 tickets, speed awareness courses and court referrals between January 1st and August 4th 2023.
The Roads Policing Unit have issued 6,293 notices for offences which include speeding, mobile phone use and not wearing seatbelts for same time period.
A/Insp Will Ayres of our Roads Policing Unit said: “Every week, alongside our everyday work to keep Wiltshire’s roads as safe as possible, our teams carry out Project Zero patrols which sees the department intensify resources in one of the community policing areas to target drivers failing to abide by the law.
“All too often, we see drivers speeding, or failing to give the road their full attention, whether that is due to mobile phones or other factors. It may seem like minor offences to some, but it is often these momentary lapses of concentration that can lead to collisions. We are dedicated to raising awareness and improving road safety to prevent further deaths as a result of collisions.
“Having worked in Roads Policing for many years, I know all too well the devastation and heartbreak delivering a death message to a family can cause.
“Please help us keep Wiltshire’s roads safe and ensure you give the road your full attention at all times - conditions can change or hazards can present themselves within seconds.”