Police unit is launched to combat Norfolk road deaths - and will be funded by speeding drivers

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, right, head of roads policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, with two police

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, right, head of roads policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, with two police motorcyclists, PC Andy Lawer, left, and PC Mark Carter, part of the new Road Casualty Reduction Team, aiming to engage with motorcyclists and motorists. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2015

A new policing unit aimed at reducing the number of casualties on Norfolk's roads has been launched in the week of three deaths on the county's roads.

The Road Casualty Reduction Team (RCRT) has been funded by a £213,000 contribution from the Safety Camera Partnership and has seen four new posts created.

Officers will carry out additional proactive patrols at collision hotspots and target their safety messages at vulnerable road users, especially motorcyclists.

Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of roads policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: 'The creation of this new team will see officers being much more proactive in their ability to target hard-to-reach groups such as motorcyclists and carry out patrols in problem areas, all with the aim of helping improve road safety.'

In the past week there have been three fatalities on Norfolk's roads, and the Road Casualty Reduction Team is in response to a recent rise in the number of people being killed or seriously injured. So far this year there have been 215 serious collisions and 22 fatal collisions, compared to 306 and 34 respectively in 2014.

Ch Insp Spinks added: 'We already do a lot of work to engage with motorists as part of our routine patrols while also attending specialist events; the real benefit is this team allows us to enhance this work as we are able to dedicate these officers for specific tasks and events. These patrols are above and beyond our normal capability which means they can concentrate on casualty reduction work without the need to respond to routine calls.'

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The new unit will be paid for with revenue from speed awareness courses, and funding will be reviewed after the first year.

The launch at police HQ at Wymondham today came one year on from the release of a hard-hitting video of the fatal collision which killed motorcyclist David Holmes in June 2013.

Entitled David's Story, it showed the final ride recorded by his helmet-mounted camera before he died in a crash on the A47 at Honingham.

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In the past 12 months it has been watched more than 17.2 million times online, has won awards and recognition around the world, and been credited with saving lives by encouraging drivers and riders to change their behaviour on the road.

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