Police commissioner challenges BBC Panorama statistics

The DEVON Police and Crime Commissioner is appalled by BBC Panorama reports which suggest a 5% national rise in death rates could be attributed to lack of investment in road policing.

“Britain’s Killer Roads?” from Panorama aired on BBC One on Monday.

Commissioner Alison Hernandez, pictured right, is the APCC’s National Officer for Traffic Policing and Safety, as well as the Chair of the Vision Zero South West Road Safety Partnership and has made road safety the one of the four main priorities of its new police and crime plan. .

She said: “In Devon and Cornwall the number of people killed on our roads in 2020 has actually increased from 48 in 2019 to 44 in 2020 – but every death on our roads is one too many.

“We regularly hear locals worrying about speed and road safety.

“Some commissioners are still in the process of finalizing their police and crime plans for 2022, but all plans published so far mention road safety specifically. This sends a clear message to police services that we will hold police chiefs to account to ensure they are addressing public priorities.

“While we know that police enforcement has a significant effect on driver behavior, road safety is not and should not become the sole responsibility of police officers – it is everyone’s responsibility. those who use the roads.

“In Devon and Cornwall we are using a joint and innovative approach through the creation of the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership which includes all emergency services, councils, road authorities, NHS Trusts and many more. ‘others.

“We use the data to target problem areas, focus on our vulnerable road user groups and work with communities to identify areas of concern. Recently we spent £153,000 to fund 34 community-led road safety projects, donated 170 dashcams to high-risk route users and even used data to predict collision risk at a local event , allowing us to ensure enforcement and education to avoid any potential mishaps.

“Our vision is to reduce all fatal and serious road traffic collisions to zero in Devon and Cornwall by 2040. We can only achieve this ambitious goal by working closely with agencies, organizations and communities. “

The Department for Transport released its official annual road accident statistics in October last year which showed that in Devon and Cornwall 44 people were killed and 624 seriously injured.

Although this is a reduction from 2019 – when there were 48 people killed and 768 seriously injured – 2020 also saw a 21% reduction in vehicle traffic across Britain due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

The Department for Transport says that the decrease in the number of fatalities in 2020 is associated with this reduction in road traffic, which means that the fatality rate has actually increased in 2020.

= Of those killed or seriously injured on the roads of Devon and Cornwall:

270 were car occupants; 196 were motorcyclists; 96 were pedestrians; 78 were cyclists; 18 were occupants of vans/light commercial vehicles; two were heavy goods vehicle occupants; one was a bus or coach occupant.

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