New ‘Fatal 4 flying squad’ for Lincolnshire is launched
A new and specially-trained team tasked with tackling the main causes of crashes on Lincolnshire’s roads is to be rolled out across the county.
The introduction of a Lincolnshire Safer Roads Team, from next month, comes as new figures show a rise of nearly 29 per cent in the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) in South Holland and the rest of the county.
Department of Transport figures showed that 49 people died and 519 were seriously injured on the county’s roads in 2017, compared to 59 deaths and 382 serious injuries in 2016, the highest since 2003.
Meanwhile, the number of actual collisions in 2017 jumped by 32 per cent from 380 in 2016 to 502 last year, the highest in 15 years.
The launch of the Safer Roads Team was confirmed by Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones during the official opening of a new Lincolnshire Road Victims Memorial at Westgate Woods, Wyberton, on Saturday (see page 3).
Mr Jones said: “It’s an issue close to my heart and the reality is that crashes are happening every day to real families.
“We wouldn’t accept any other types of KSIs in this county and even if we had only one, we’d all be moving heaven and earth to stop it.”
Mr Jones explained that the impetus to form the Safer Roads Team to tackle the “Fatal 4” of drink/drug driving, mobile phone use, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt, followed Lincolnshire’s first-ever Road Safety Summit in Grantham last November.
He said: “The idea to form a trained unit of Special Constables, with traffic policing capabilities, emerged as a result of the many meetings I have around the county, and from the response to my recent public opinion survey,
“It is clear that road safety is an important issue. The new unit will support the Tactical Roads Policing Team that we already share with Leicestershire and Northamptonshire because it is clear that road safety is an important issue for residents.
It’s an issue close to my heart and the reality is that crashes are happening every day to real families
“I think this will be an important step in tackling the injury and death toll on our roads because every incident has a terrible, and sometimes tragic, impact on those involved.”
The new unit is a first for Lincolnshire, but one has been operating since 2011 in Northamptonshire where the number of KSIs fell from 517 in 2005 to 322 in 2016.
Craig Naylor, Lincolnshire Police’s deputy chief constable, said: “We provide a roads policing function through the East Midlands Operational Support Service (EMOpSS), with staff stationed around the county who police the roads.
“Staff deal with both the enforcement and education of drivers and motorcyclists, especially around misuse of speed, not wearing seatbelts, driving whilst on their phones or under the influence of drink or drugs.
“We are committed, along with EMOpSS and Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, to making the roads of Lincolnshire a safer place through education, enforcement and engineering.
“However, we have to remember that the public has a role to play here too and whether they walk, cycle, drive tractors, cars or large goods vehicles, we are all road users and should adhere to the standards set by law and within the Highway Code so that everyone can enjoy the use of our roads safely.”