Cash reward for cutting road deaths

Norfolk is set for a £1.6m reward over the next two years after cutting the number of road deaths and casualties last year.

Norfolk is set for a £1.6m reward over the next two years after cutting the number of road deaths and casualties last year.

Figures, which will be finalised in late February, show that 498 people were killed or seriously injured on Norfolk roads in 2006 - 70 fewer than in 2005 and less than half the number for the same period in the mid-1990s.

They also show a significant cut in the number of people killed and seriously injured in accidents involving young drivers, which had previously been a rising trend in Norfolk.

This age group was specifically targeted last year through the Don't Be a Loser - THINK road safety campaign.

And latest figures show a 17pc reduction in the number of young drivers and passengers killed or seriously injured across the county, with a 26pc decrease in King's Lynn and west Norfolk.

The overall reduction figure means the county council is in line for a financial reward of as much as £1.6m from the government for helping to reduce the figure to below a target the authority had been tasked to reach by 2010, as part of the authority's Local Public Service Agreement (LPSA).

Most Read

County council members will decide how the money will be spent at a later date.

Adrian Gunson, the county council's cabinet member for planning and transportation, said: “I am delighted the declining trend of people being killed or seriously injured on the county's roads is continuing. A variety of strategies has been used to bring about this reduction, including education, road safety improvements and enforcement action, to name but a few.

“It is particularly encouraging to see that the number of young people losing their lives, injuring themselves, or injuring or killing other young people travelling with them, has also seen a significant fall and I hope this will continue.”

Last year saw the county council's road safety unit and fire and rescue service work closer than ever with Norfolk police, the Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership, the local NHS, and other partners to try and counter the problem of deaths and serious injuries.

The council became the first in the country to sign a full new LPSA, on March 24, 2005. The agreement with central government could bring in more than £20m if challenging service improvement goals are met.

Last year, the council's road safety team and fire and rescue service visited hundreds of schools and colleges to educate pupils on the importance of road safety.