3 August 2020
This month we remember those killed and injured in collisions on our roads – National Road Victim Month is an annual event organised by the charity RoadPeace. Roads Policing Lead Gemma Fox discusses how we can ensure fewer deaths and injuries on our roads:
Last year 25,975 serious injuries in road traffic collisions were reported. The trend since 2010 demonstrates a plateau in these statistics. But we need to see these numbers come down and to do that, investment in roads policing is essential.
We cannot accept the current number of deaths and crashes on our roads – one death is one too many, and the failure to reduce deaths and collisions is not down to a failure to enforce - it’s down to a failure to resource.
The recent HMICFRS report revealed severe underfunding in roads policing units across the country. We continue to call for more funding and resources to ensure that we are doing all we can to significantly reduce the number of people killed or injured. You can play your part by submitting evidence to the Department for Transport.
A recent report from the Home Office demonstrated beyond doubt that chronic underfunding has severely damaged the ability of most forces to deliver effective roads policing: for example, the number of breath tests was cut by 25 per cent between 2015 and 2018. The proportion of people killed or seriously injured by drink drivers rose by a similar amount over the same period. This led to several critical recommendations that we must implement if we want to see a reduction in road deaths and injuries.
It is therefore absolutely vital that officers take part in the Department for Transport’s call for evidence ahead of their inspection into roads policing. We can speak up and make a difference - not only for policing, but for everyone who is injured or killed on our roads.