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West Mercia Police and Shropshire Council have teamed up to launch a new campaign to improve road safety across the county, including a chance to attend a free driver awareness class.
The Road Focus campaign launches on 8th July and will run until the 12th of July 2019
Drop in sessions will be held in Ludlow, Market Drayton, Oswestry and Bridgnorth. This will give participants the chance to put forward comments, raise concerns and questions about road safety issues to Shropshire Council, Safer Roads Partnership, the PCC, the police and local or parish town council.
Shropshire Council will have a road safety education team on hand to talk about road safety issues and cycle training available to schools.
There will also be a chance for people to find out more about work being done across the county to improve road safety.
Driver Awareness Course
Are you a little rusty on remembering what every sign means and not sure if you can tell what the speed limit is without signs?
Shropshire Council and TTC will be holding a driver awareness course to help motorists brush up on their driver knowledge. An officer from West Mercia Roads Policing team will also give a talk with insight on how you can prevent yourself from becoming another statistic in West Mercia’s road traffic collisions.
Police and Crime Commissioner John Campion said:
“Both Shropshire Council and I have a shared aim to make our county’s roads safer, and Roads Focus enables communities to have a say on the issues that matter most to them. It is vital that we give them the forum to do this, and with those that have the power to make changes.
“I’m pleased that as part of our week of action we are also able to offer a road safety course free of charge. This comes as a result of feedback from those who have attended courses out of necessity and found them to be useful. We hope that by opening this up to anybody, we can improve road safety across the county.”
“Ahead of the drop-in sessions taking place in July we want to give as many people as possible the opportunity to share their concerns. My team will aim to answer as many questions as possible at the Shropshire County Show, however we might also need to pass them on to the police, council or Safer Roads Partnership team to look into further.”
Keeping Shropshire Roads Safe
Road safety statistics for Shropshire show that there were 141 people killed or seriously injured on the roads in 2018.
Steve Davenport, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways said the focus must be on keeping the roads safe:
“According to latest figures 141 people were killed or seriously injured on our roads in 2018.
"Keeping the county’s roads safe for all of our road users is therefore a top priority. Much of our roads network is made up of country lanes that take traffic through our villages and small towns.
"It is really important for us to work with communities to help to make those roads as safe as they can be.”
Road Safety Measures for Minsterley Residents
Residents of Minsterley will benefit from road safety measures after expressing their concerns regarding speeding.
A meeting was held with Minsterley Parish Councillor Susan Lockwood and Parish Council Chair Geoff Rogers and following this the PPC agreed to fund road safety measures with the aim of reducing the number of road safety issues which have affected the village for years.
It has been agreed that a speed-activated sign would be installed and white gates placed at the entrances to the village. The Community Speedwatch group is based in Pontesbury and new sites have been identified for the group. It is hoped that more people will be encouraged to volunteer to set up a group in Minsterley.
John Campion has also requested that West Mercia Safer Roads Partnership looks into enforcement, specifically in Minsterley, with a view of reducing speeding.
They are also hoping to introduce ‘mini officers’ outside the village’s primary school which have proved a success across other areas of Shropshire.
The PCC said: “Minsterley sits on the busy A488, where it changes from 60mph to 30mph. Unfortunately, on roads like this, many drivers will choose to remain at a much higher speed than indicated as they enter the village. It is simply unacceptable and I hope that, with these measures in place, it will lessen the number of drivers speeding.
“I want people to feel safe where they live, which is why I’m committed to resolving issues like this for communities.”
Parish Councillor Susan Lockwood said: “We are really pleased to have the support of the Police and Crime Commissioner in resolving this problem, and we are looking forward to residents volunteering to help us with the Speedwatch scheme.”
Police Use HGVs to Help Change Driver Behaviour
Hundreds of motorists have been caught dangerous driving after being caught by a patrol HGV in the area in the last year.
West Mercia Police employed the use of an HGV in a bid to change driver behaviour. Operation Tramline is in place to help reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on Highways England road network which comprise of motorways and major trunk roads.
The cabs are funded by Highways England and have travelled thousands of miles since they first took the road over a year ago. Police officers inside the vehicles have since recorded over 3,500 offences, including over 450 in the Midlands.
The elevated cab position allows police officers to film unsafe driving behaviour within passing vehicles and deal with these offences appropriately.
Anthony Thorpe, Highways England Commercial Vehicle Incident Prevention Advisor said: "The HGV cab project, which is funded by Highways England, has been patrolling motorways and major A roads over the past couple of years with the aim of improving road safety.
“It provides an ideal viewing platform for police officers to identify dangerous driving behaviour that can be difficult to spot from standard police patrol vehicles - for example driving without wearing a seatbelt.
“Highways England is committed to working collaboratively with our partners in the police to improve road safety and we will continue to use the HGV cab to tackle deaths and serious injuries and to encourage people to improve how they drive. We would like to take this opportunity to thank West Mercia Police for their continued support of the project.”
Inspector Gavin Williams of West Mercia Police added; "It's concerning that there are still motorists using our road network that are willing to risk their own and others safety by concentrating on things other than driving. During this Operation we have witnessed drivers of heavy goods vehicles texting, watching films and using social media sites.
“There are education campaigns that highlight various road safety issues, such as seatbelt use and using a mobile phone so there is no excuse for people not to know what the law states or the penalties they can receive when they are caught. This Operation is a great demonstration of joint partnership working with Highways England where the ultimate aim is to improve road safety for all and reduce the amount of people that are killed or seriously injured on our roads".
Driver Awareness Course Date
A driver awareness course will run in conjunction with TTC and will be held on Friday 12th July from 2pm to 4pm at The Latern in Shrewsbury.
Drop in sessions will be held as follows:
· Monday 8 July – Ludlow, Mascall Centre: 5pm to 7pm
· Tuesday 9 July – Market Drayton, Festival Drayton Centre: 3pm to 5pm
· Wednesday 10 July – Oswestry, The Qube: 2.30pm to 4.30pm
· Thursday 11 July – Bridgnorth, Castle Hall: 5pm to 7pm
To register your interest, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the West Mercia PCC Facebook page.