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Commissioner Thanks Public for their Countywide Response to Safer Roads

This week national road safety charity Brake launches its ‘No Need for Speed’ campaign, which echoes exactly the concerns that local people recently reported to Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall, at his online Safer Roads surgery.

In 2019, our Forensic Collision Investigation Unit who attend incidents where people receive life threatening and life changing injuries, recorded 28 fatalities on our roads in Cumbria.

Peter McCall comments: “Speeding is a very real concern for residents in Cumbria. Time and time again, people explain to me their concerns about speeding in their local communities, around narrow country lanes, local schools and on some of our major roads that dissect the county.

“Just recently, at my Safer Roads online surgery, we had a large number of enquiries regarding speeding and set speed limits in towns and villages e.g. in Wigton, Temple Sowerby, Penrith, Appleby and Carlisle.

“Examples of other concerns raised were regarding inappropriate driving behaviour around schools at drop off times, Police use of public dash cam footage, the condition of some of our roads in Cumbria and legislation around the use of lights for agricultural vehicles and cyclists.

“A major part of my role as Police and Crime Commissioner is to hear the views from people in Cumbria about what they think should be the policing priorities in the areas that they live. I would like to thank the large number of people that contacted me online via email for the Road Safety surgery. This kind of feedback enables me to raise relevant and local dangers that the public of Cumbria are feeling when using our roads, to the Constabulary.

“Making our roads safe is not just a policing issue and our partners play a key role around infrastructure and signage. Whilst speed limits are a County Council issue, I would like to reassure the public that this is one of my key priorities and I will be discussing this point with the leader of the County Council.

“Brake’s statistics that one in five fatal crashes are caused by speed should send a very clear message that such deaths are preventable and that by changing the speed at which we drive, even by a few miles per hour, can make the difference of life and death.”

Inspector Steve Minnikin, Cumbria Constabulary Mobile Support Group, said: “Officers within the Mobile Support Group, conduct numerous operations throughout the year to make the county’s roads a safer place. This includes supporting 12 national operations targeting driver behaviours which contribute towards a person being seriously injured or killed in a road traffic collision. Examples of these operations include the targeting of motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, use mobile phones, travel without wearing a seatbelt or have tyres which are not road worthy.

“We also aim to address the concerns raised by our local communities and in recent months we have targeted antisocial driving in the areas of Devil’s Bridge, Hartside, Penrith and Wigton. We seek to educate and engage with the public to change driver behaviour. We will however, enforce the law where necessary in order to protect all road users.

“Between January and May this year, over 100 arrests were made in connection with people driving whilst under the influence of drugs. This statistic is horrifying, as it shows there are motorists who feel it necessary to endanger themselves and others.

“The majority of collisions are avoidable and are subject to behaviours of which motorists have control over. We must all take extra care and vigilance around our most vulnerable road users, which include pedestrians, young and older drivers and passengers, cyclists and motorcyclists. By everyone driving responsibly, patiently and observantly we can all contribute to making Cumbria’s road network a safer place.”

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