Essex: There’s no excuse during road safety week

FIGURES released this week by Essex County Council, to mark the start of National Road Safety Week (November 19-25), highlight the number of drivers and passengers who continue to put themselves and other road users at risk.

The figures are from a number of Surround a Town (SAT) events which have taken place across the county. These are an integral part of the ‘no excuse’ for poor driving campaign which targets routes and towns where crashes and casualties occur.

Key statistics from SAT events, running between January 11 and November 13, include;

• 3,847 vehicles stopped

• 5,111 people spoken to by road safety officers

• 648 drivers stopped when seen using a mobile phone at the wheel

• 1,496 drivers and passengers were stopped for not wearing seatbelts, of which 62 per cebt (922) opted to attend an education course and after successful completion had their fixed penalty notice of �60 withdrawn.

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• 90 drivers had no insurance

• Over 400 vehicles were found to have expired MoTs

• 19 arrests for a variety of offences

During the events, the council and its partners in the Essex Casualty Reduction Board, including Essex Police and Essex County Fire and Rescue Service, are involved in education and enforcement activities targeting poor driving behaviours such as speeding, drink driving, the use of handheld mobile phones whilst driving and drivers and passengers who do not wear seatbelts.

Activities that take place during these events include speedwatch events at schools, community speedwatch groups, pedestrian training and road safety plays in schools, re-education for offenders and child car seat checks.

Councillor Derrick Louis, cabinet member for Highways and Transportation, said: “It’s shocking that such a high number of drivers and passenger don’t wear their seatbelts, given that it is a legal requirement and could save their life.

“I hope that those people who attend our education courses have reassessed their driver behaviour and realise that there is no excuse for driving without a seatbelt.

“We will be continuing with these events which provide us with the opportunity to talk to drivers about the most common causes of accidents and make them aware of their driving behaviour. However, road safety is an issue that everyone needs to be aware of and I hope that we can count on the support of road users across Essex.”