PCC announces major new road safety initiative

Police and Crime Commissioner, Adam Simmonds, announced to the Northamptonshire Police and Crime Panel on Tuesday (2nd February) that Northamptonshire Police are set to begin a major new initiative to improve safety on the county’s roads after meeting with residents from across Northamptonshire.

In setting out his 2016/17 budget, Commissioner Simmonds has agreed with the Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, Simon Edens, to invest in a new wide-ranging scheme to help curb the number of injuries and fatalities experienced on the county’s road network, which rose for the first time in four years during 2015.

The move will see the force invest in new technology such as mobile average speed camera systems and new camera vans equipped with night-time enforcement systems whilst working more closely with parish councils to address the dangers caused by speeding and inconsiderate drivers.

The initiative is the latest in a line of activities by the Police and Crime Commissioner to reduce the number of road casualties and support victims of road crime. The PCC is working with Northamptonshire County Council to explore options to make rural roads safer and to combat the dangers posed by speeding motorists with priority schemes that could be in place by April.

The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner also launched Voice: Road Harm in December, a new and extensive support service for victims of road-related trauma.

Adam Simmonds, Northamptonshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said:

“In the summer of 2015 I visited 100 different villages and parishes across Northamptonshire and the number one concern raised throughout my conversations with residents was the problem of speeding on our roads.

“It is clear to me that fixed speed camera sites have not worked, and were dismissed as ‘cash cows’ for the police. It is important therefore that new solutions are found to protect local communities and enforce speed limits. This new initiative will employ new technologies such as mobile average speed cameras and will see Northamptonshire Police work closely with local communities to clamp down on those motorists who ignore speed limits and put themselves and others at risk.

“Speeding kills – it is as simple as that. We need to ensure that drivers stick to speed limits in order to keep motorists and pedestrians safe. Speed limits are set for precisely this reason, to preserve lives in the event of an accident and to ensure the safety of the people of Northamptonshire. 

 “The fact that so many residents have identified speeding motorists as a major concern shows we must take action to ensure people are feeling safe in their communities and having listened to what they have told me, this is exactly what we will deliver.”

Rachel Swann, Assistant Chief Constable of Northamptonshire Police, added:

“This new initiative will allow us to better patrol the roads of Northamptonshire to ensure that speed limits are observed in order to make our roads as safe as possible.

“We will evaluate the use of different locations and static speed measures versus average speed measures to ensure we are being as effective as possible at preventing road trauma and enforcing speed limits.

“We hope to work closely with residents to assess progress and ensure we are successfully reducing speeding and improving quality of life.”