Working in partnership for safer roads

Posted on: 5 June 2019

Organisations across Devon, including emergency services, local authorities and the NHS, have pledged to work together to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on Devon and Cornwall’s roads.

The inaugural Peninsula Road Safety Meeting on Tuesday, June 4, at St Mellion, was organised by the Peninsula Road Safety Partnership on behalf of the Police and Crime Commissioner and the Director of Public Health for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

This initial meeting brought together all the organisations with a role to play in reducing the number and severity of road collisions, and sought their agreement on how best to improve road safety

Delegates representing highway authorities, Highways England, police, fire and rescue, public health and NHS were in broad agreement that a partnership comprising of these agencies would benefit the road safety effort in Devon and Cornwall.

This followed detailed presentations examining the road safety challenges faced on the roads and what a partnership approach could look like to address those challenges.

The latest figures show that 58 people were killed in the Devon and Cornwall Police force area in the 12 months to March 2019 and there were 837 serious casualties.

The meeting heard from Kevin Brown, of the Safer Essex Roads Partnership, which deployed a number of innovative approaches to enforcement that have gone hand in hand with a noticeable reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured on Essex’s roads.

Partners in Essex have signed up to a “Vision Zero” strategy in recognition that a single road death is one too many.

Delegates also heard from David Davies, Executive Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety.

He, along with other specialists, advocated an evidence led approach to road safety that delivered safe roads, safe vehicles, safe people and safe speeds – to be achieved by combining the activities of a broad range of stakeholders.

Professor Virginia Pearson, Director of Public Health Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly said: “The road toll is a significant public health issue on the peninsula and we need to tackle the twin challenges of increasing populations of our most vulnerable road users and economic growth, both of which we know are linked to collision risk.

“There is a strong tradition of partnership working on road safety issues in the south west and we look forward to expanding the number of partners, and the breadth of their work, after this summit.

“By combining the skills, experience and resources of public health, front line clinical care, highway authorities, police, fire and rescue, the ambulance service and other stakeholders I am confident we can make sustained improvements in collision and casualty reduction on our roads. “

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Councillor Stuart Hughes

Highways Management said: “It was a productive first meeting and there was a broad consensus that casualty rates could be improved.

“Every organisation that attended this event shares the same vision, safer roads on the peninsula for all and with the expertise we have at our disposal this can be achieved.”

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