Road deaths in Cumbria reduced by 26.7%

Deaths and serious injuries have reduced on Cumbria’s roads in 2023/24 in comparison to the previous year following a multi-agency approach to target hotspot areas in the county. Road deaths have reduced by 26.7% and very serious injuries by 29.2%.

 

Cumbria Road Safety Partnership (CRSP) launched in April 2023 including partners from Blue light emergency services, Councils, Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency, Institute of Advanced Motorists, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and National Highways. CRSP aims to reduce killed and seriously injured (KSI) figures in the county through evaluation to assess effectiveness and identify improvements using the Cumbria Road Harm Index which identifies the most at risk roads in Cumbria. Vision Zero, an initiative aiming to have zero road deaths in the county by 2040 has also been adopted by the partnership. The Partnership also prioritises public education and awareness raising on road safety.

 

Over the last twelve months, CRSP has been involved in multiple operations and initiatives to make Cumbria’s roads safer. The work ranged from increased Police or partner presence at hotspot areas, road improvement and speed restriction work, to proactive operations to catch dangerous drivers.  This includes a first-of-its-kind trial Harm Prevention Guardianship National Highways on the A66 near Crackenthorpe where Highways deployed vehicles 266 times between September 2023 and April 2024 to reduce road harm.

 

On the A66 East of Penrith, the Safety Camera Van was deployed 643 times between April 2023 and March 2024 in comparison to the 214 deployments in the same period the year before – a 300% increase. On the same stretch of road in the same 2023/24 timeframe, 3,616 Notices of Intended Prosecutions were issued to drivers in comparison to 1,209 in 2022/23 – a 299% increase.

 

Cumbria Constabulary lead on multiple operations across the year proactively targeting speeding, drink/drug driving, mobile phone use, not wearing seatbelts and uninsured drivers. One of these operations took place in April 2024 to tackle the fatal four and take part in Op Tramline with the use of an HGV to catch motorists driving dangerously. Throughout the month, 89 drivers were caught over the legal limit – 57 drug-related, 32 drink-related. Speeding offences say the highest result with 2,672 motorists caught with Safety Camera Vans and by Police Officers. Use of mobile phones and not wearing a seatbelt were also issues spotted with 30 and 14 offences respectively

 

Cumbria Fire and Rescue Service, with funding from the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, took the lead on an innovative virtual reality (VR) education Road Awareness Pack. The VR will allow young people to experience a variety of driving scenarios and outcomes in a fully immersive manner including drink/drug and risky driving. Since the introduction of the VR in January 2024, 533 young people have taken part in the educational pack.

 

Inspector Jack Stabler, Cumbria Constabulary’s Roads Policing Unit, chairs the Cumbria Road Safety Partnership.

 

He said: “Extensive work has been carried out by a number of agencies to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads.

 

“Despite the reduction in the number of collisions resulting in fatality or serious injury, we remain far from complacent. Any death on the county’s roads can have a significant and tragic impact on those involved, their families and the wider community.

 

“This is why we, as a road safety partnership, are committed to achieving our aim of zero road deaths on Cumbria’s road network by 2040 as part of Vision Zero.

 

“We will continue to work together to use our combined expertise and resources to target collision hotspots and make those places safer.”

 

 

If you wish to report to police you can do so online at Report a crime | Cumbria Police. You can also phone on 101. Always phone 999 in an emergency or if a crime is in progress.


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