Chief Supt Kevin Purcell: Drive safely as you enjoy your days out
As people make the most of the warmer weather, it is vital they pay attention to road safety, write Chief Supt Kevin Purcell
One of our priorities is making our roads even safer and reducing the number of serious collisions where someone is killed or suffers serious injuries.
Every police officer who has knocked on the door of the family of someone who has been killed or seriously injured in a collision and had to deliver the horrific news will tell you it is undoubtedly one of the most difficult aspects of being a police officer.
No-one wants to be on the receiving end of such awful news and you can never predict how someone is going to react when you tell them a loved one has been tragically killed.
That’s why it’s so important we do more to keep our roads safer for all road users and we want everyone to play a part to help us to do this.
Shropshire has some lovely picturesque routes and we know motorists like to make the most of these, especially with the onset of the nicer weather.
However, sadly, with this we have recently seen a number of incredibly serious and even fatal collisions on roads in the county and while it would be wrong to speculate on the cause of these collisions it’s important we all consider road safety.
Known as the fatal four, there are four main causes of a collision. These are driving while using a mobile phone, speeding, drink- or drug-driving and not wearing a seatbelt. If you do any one of these four things you are more likely to be involved in a collision that results in death or serious injury. Clearly they’re illegal for a very good reason.
Of course, the cause of a serious collision is not just limited to the fatal four and we know that motorbike riders are also at greater risk of being involved in a collision than any other motorist on the road. We want to do all we can to reduce this and make sure motorbike riders are not putting their own safety, or the safety of other road users, at risk by riding recklessly.
We recently launched the 2019 Think Bike campaign which aims to increase awareness of the hazards faced by motorbike riders, but we also want to make sure riders are not unnecessarily putting their own lives at risk.
Throughout the county there have been cases where motorbike riders have been riding at excessive speeds or even overtaking on double lines, this is not only putting the motorbike rider at risk it is also posing a considerable danger to other road users. Road signs and restrictions including speed limits are in place for a very good reason and should be adhered to.
Throughout the summer months will be carrying out proactive operations on key routes, utilising all sorts of different tactics to target irresponsible and reckless road users.
We know a lot of people rely on their driving licence and the flexibility, as well as work prospects, it gives them and would ask them to consider if driving recklessly is worth the risk of not just losing their licence but quite possibly a life.
We want to make sure everyone makes it home to their loved ones after a day out. Please as you enjoy a day out, or drive through the county, please make sure you do so safely and are considerate to other road users.
For more information on how to safe on our roads, including some very useful information for motorbike riders, you can visit the West Mercia Police website www.westmercia.police.uk/article/1954/Road-and-Vehicle-Safety