Officers from Cleveland and Durham will this week take part in a national TISPOL speeding campaign, which has a particular focus on rural roads. The campaign begins on Monday 17th August for seven days, and will focus mainly on rural roads within both counties.
Statistically, rural roads are the most dangerous for all types of road user, accounting for six in ten fatal collisions. Occupants of vehicles and motorcyclists are twice as likely to be killed on a rural road in comparison to an urban road; and cyclists are more than three times as likely.
Within Cleveland and Durham, there were over 3,100 collisions on rural roads between 2012 and 2014, which resulted in 385 people being seriously injured and 69 people being killed.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: “Protecting lives on our road networks is very important and I support any work which goes into reducing casualties and the number of people killed on roads in the area.
“Speeding is an issue across the country and drivers should always be aware that should they choose to ignore the limits imposed, they could be responsible for their own death, the death of a loved one or the death of an innocent road user.”
Ron Hogg, Police and Crime Commissioner for Durham, said: “A key area of focus for me is to improve road safety and tackle dangerous driving, in particular those people who travel too quickly on our roads.
“When I ask people what the issues are that matter to them in their local area, the top answers given are always around road safety issues such as speeding.
“Speeding contributes to road traffic collisions and affects the lives and wellbeing of people in local communities. Road safety campaigns such as this are therefore important to raise awareness of speeding and to help promote road safety.
Inspector Wendy Tinkler, from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit, said: “Speeding is one of the ‘fatal four’ main contributory factors in a collision in which someone is killed, so it is vitally important for us to take part in these campaigns. No officer wants to have to deliver the news to someone that their loved one has been killed due to a collision, particularly if that collision could have been easily avoided - had speed not been a factor.
“We will be paying particular attention to rural roads throughout this campaign. Rural roads may appear ‘empty’ to motorists, but they are full of unpredictable hazards such as narrow and blind bends, hidden dips, animals, farming vehicles and pedestrians or cyclists with no access to pavements or cycle paths. Drivers must anticipate these potential hazards as well as travelling at an appropriate speed in order to stay in control of their vehicle and avoid collisions.
“Speeding is a decision taken by a driver. If a driver chooses to ignore the speed limits on our roads they may well receive a fine and penalty points on their licence, however, there is the real possibility that their speeding may seriously injure or kill somebody and if that happens it will no doubt haunt them for the rest of their life.”
Police will be carrying out additional education and enforcement activity across both force areas during the campaign.
Posted on Monday 17th August 2015