Crowborough Town Council and neighbouring Withyham Parish Council have joined forces to planning a series of events and initiatives, culminating in Road Safety Week in November.
Making the announcement on their Facebook page the Town Council said:
Road safety is a critical issue for all communities, and is of particular concern in the Wealden area which has one of the highest incident rates in the country.
The councils are keen to encourage a long term change in road users’ behaviour and reduce the number of serious incidents involving local residents.
In 2016 there were 10 fatalities on roads in Wealden and 133 people were seriously injured.
Today you may notice an increase in police presence on the county’s roads. The 21st September is Project EDWARD – European Day Without A Road Death. This project is being supported by the Surrey and Sussex Roads Policing Unit, Sussex Safer Roads Partnership and Chief Officers of Surrey and Sussex Police Force. Roads Policing will be out and about in marked and unmarked patrols, focusing on priority groups and the ‘Fatal Four’- the four biggest dangers whilst driving:
- Drink and Drugs
- Mobile Phones
- No Seatbelts
To support this, Casualty Reduction Officers and the Camera Team from Sussex Safer Roads Partnership will have a visible presence on the county’s roads, as well as extra work from local Road Safety Action Groups and Community Speed Watch.
Crowborough and Withyham Campaign
Crowborough Town Council have said the focus on the campaign will be on speed awareness, with Speedwatch groups being involved in recording details of speeding vehicles at key locations across Crowborough, Groombridge and Withyham. Key messages will be communicated via a co-ordinated social media campaign and roadside posters reinforcing the message across the area.
The councils have benefited from a grant from the Safer Wealden Partnership of £1,500 which will be used to fund promotional material and prizes for the competition winners.
The campaign is being supported by East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, and includes the opportunity for an Education Officer to visit local schools and speak directly to students about promoting road safety. The councils are planning a poster competition in schools, with the winning entries made into posters and displayed outside the schools during Road Safety Week.
In 2014 Wealden District Council undertook a review of road safety. They discovered that most crashes occur within 10 miles of home. Although they concluded that this may partly be explained because most driving / riding is within this zone, it may also have something to do with familiarity, habit and lack of concentration.
They said the main contributory factors for crashes are:
- failing to look properly;
- failing to judge the other persons path or speed;
- careless / reckless / in a hurry;
- loss of control; and
- poor turn or manoeuvre.
You can read their findings in full on their website: www.wealden.gov.uk.