Scheme to help reduce accidents on Warwickshire roads welcomed but there are calls for more to be done
A fire service scheme to help reduce the number of accidents on Warwickshire’s roads has been welcomed by councillors.
But there was criticism of a group set up to tackle the problem after it was revealed that there had been just one meeting over the last 12 months.
Cllr Dave Reilly (Con Coleshill North and Water Orton) raised the matter of road safety during Wednesday's (December 18) meeting of the resources and fire and rescue overview and scrutiny committee at Warwickshire County Council.
He said: “I have been campaigning about deaths on our roads for going on four years and the statistics are dreadful - 312 people on average are killed or seriously injured on the roads in Warwickshire. That’s not just the motorway as a significant number of those happen off the motorway network.
“To my understanding I think the Road Safety Partnership has only met once in the last 12 months.
“I would be really grateful if this committee could review an action plan or delivery plan for the Road Safety Partnership because while it has only met once, there doesn’t seem to be anything coming out and that’s not good enough.”
Chief Fire Officer Kieron Amos admitted that extra work needed to be done.
“The figures aren’t acceptable for us and we recognise that,” he said. “This is about changing behaviours but also trying to engage some of those individuals who are identified as taking high risks with their driving.
“It is important that we attract those to take part in our prevention initiatives. So where individuals are caught taking part in unsafe road practices or speeding, rather than just being offered a road safety course - and we find that those in that age bracket are more inclined to take the fine and points - this is where the fire service might have a different offer.
"We can engage without being quite so intimidating.”
Cllr Andy Crump (Con Southam, Stockton and Napton), the portfolio holder for fire and rescue and community safety, explained another initiative that was soon to be introduced.
He said: “Reducing the number of collisions will have a positive effect in two ways. One, it will obviously get rid of all the suffering of friends and family of those involved and secondly, it will also free up resources from our fire and rescue service to respond to other incidents.
“The Road Safety Partnership has just been reinvigorated and we will be putting in four average speed cameras in the north and south of the county. Average speed cameras that were introduced in Coventry not too long ago have really had a significant impact on the number of accidents.”