Fatal 5 road safety campaign sees “alarming” results
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Between November 2021 and March 2022, the Road Policing Group at North Yorkshire Police (NYP), along with colleagues from Response, Neighbourhood Policing Teams and specialist departments, conducted targeted activity focussing on each of the “Fatal 5” – the five main causes of fatal collisions.
The “fatal 5” are careless driving, drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt, excessive speed and distracted driving, including mobile phone use.
At the beginning of the campaign in November, the focus on careless driving resulted in 286 offences being recorded.
December’s Drink and Drug Drive campaign saw a significant increase in Drink Drive arrests on previous years. Between 1 December 2021 and 1 January 2022, officers made 137 arrests. Of these, 97 arrests were for drink driving and 40 were drug related.
We recorded almost 120 offences in January for people not wearing a seatbelt.
Excess speed was the focus in February and throughout the month there were almost 5,200 speeding violations. Of those violations, recorded both by officers patrolling the roads and the Safety Camera Van, more than 4,000 qualified for a Speed Awareness Course, more than 500 resulted in a Fixed Penalty Notice, and nearly 50 ended up in court. The Safety Camera Van visited more than 300 sites in February, totalling more than 1,000 hours of deployment.
The new legislation around mobile phones and driving came into effect in March, which tied in with our distracted driving campaign. Roads Policing Officers conducted an operation which included use of an HGV cab along a stretch of the A1 in the county. This targeted activity saw 69 vehicles stopped and 64 offences being recorded. The highest number of offences were for not wearing seatbelts, use of a mobile phone and not being in proper control of a vehicle.
NYP’s Road Safety Officers also undertook engagement and enforcement activity to target distracted drivers during March.
In Scarborough on 22 March, officers issued 20 Traffic Offence Reports for offences such as using a mobile phone whilst driving, and not being in proper control of a vehicle. Eight warnings were given for other offences and one vehicle was seized for having no insurance.
In Harrogate on 25 March, officers teamed up with the safety camera van resulting in 222 traffic offences being identified during the safety operation.
In the five months prior to the start of the Fatal 5 campaign (1 June 2021 – 31 October 2021), there were 20 fatal collisions on our roads.
Between 1 November 2021 and 31 March 2022, there were 18 fatal collisions – a 10% reduction on the previous five months.
Roads Policing Inspector Mick Roffe, said:
“Road Safety is one of North Yorkshire Police’s strategic priorities and we are absolutely committed to reducing the number of serious injury and fatal collisions across our road network.
“The fatal 5 campaign is just part of our targeted activity which aims to make sure all road users are as safe as possible.
“We engage with different road users to educate them about the dangers on the roads and about the critical importance of vehicle safety and driving laws.
“The enforcement activity is to take action against those users who disregard the responsibility of driving safely.
“The figures from the campaign are alarming because it shows just how many people are willing to take serious risks on our roads and break the laws that are there to protect them.
“As police officers, we see too much devastation on our roads first-hand. That’s why we do what we do – we want to prevent road users losing their lives or costing the life of someone else.”
The Fatal 5 campaign is a significant part of the York and North Yorkshire’s Road Safety Partnership’s Safer Roads strategy. The joint strategy, launched at the end of last year, brings together key organisations from across the city and the county to focus on four areas – safer road users, safer vehicles, safer roads and learning lessons post-crashes.
The aim of the strategy is to identify those most at risk and ensure everyone works together to do everything possible to keep those vulnerable road users as safe as possible.