New campaign aims to stop deaths on Norfolk’s roads


- Credit: Archant � 2009

A major campaign is launched today urging motorists not to gamble with their lives - and those of others - when they drive on Norfolk's roads.

Drinking and driving, not wearing a seat belt, using a mobile phone when driving and speeding have all been identified as the four key behaviours that frequently cause casualties and deaths on Norfolk's roads.

And the Think! Norfolk partnership hopes the new campaign, launched at The Forum in Norwich today. will challenge drivers not to risk death and injury by behaving recklessly while behind the wheel.

The campaign, the latest launched by the road safety partnership of Norfolk County Council, Norfolk Fire & Rescue Service, Norfolk Constabulary, Norfolk Safety Camera Partnership, East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust and the Highways Agency, poses the question 'Why wouldn't you… Drive sober? Belt up? Ignore it? Slow down?'

Alec Byrne, Norfolk county councillor and chairman of the Norfolk Casualty Reduction Partnership Group, said: 'Every driver in Norfolk can keep our roads safer by asking themselves this simple question each and every time they make a journey.

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'Along with the immeasurable pain and suffering experienced by families who lose someone, the cost to the community of road traffic casualties is very high.

'I appeal to every motorist to please, think about the way you drive and the decisions you make. These four key behaviours are completely unacceptable and utterly reckless but we continue to see them played out every day on Norfolk's roads.

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'In behaving in this way, drivers are not only risking their own lives but also those of innocent people; their passengers, pedestrians and other road users.

'By taking responsibility for our own driving and, if necessary, making very simple changes such as refusing to answer your phone when you're driving or slowing down to a safer speed, we can all make a difference, an important difference and keep people safe.'

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, Head of the Norfolk and Suffolk Roads Policing Unit, said: 'Wearing your seatbelt, not drinking and driving, driving at an appropriate speed and not using your mobile whilst driving are things we all have control over, and we want every driver to think about their behaviour behind the wheel and make the right choice.

'Roads policing officers stop drivers every day who are doing one of these four things and have heard all the excuses. Whatever your reason, it's not worth the risk.'

More than 4,660 drivers were stopped by Norfolk Constabulary last year for not wearing a seat belt, mobile phone offences or jumping a red light.

Police also dealt with 35,961 motorists in Norfolk for speeding last year, with 14,413 people attending a speed awareness course.

Figures for this year show that there have been 36,703 speeding offences in Norfolk in 2013 and to date and 17,183 people have also completed a speed awareness course.

Calculations based on information provided by the Department for Transport indicate the cost of road crashes in Norfolk in 2010 was more than £200m, based on the costs to the emergency services, health service, loss of income and crash damage.

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