Improving safety on our roads
Emergency services are helping developers to create safer road systems in Essex.
As part of the Safer Essex Roads Partnership mission to reduce the number of those killed or seriously injured on the roads to zero by 2040 – Vision Zero – Essex Police is working with planners to make roads safer.
During 2021/2022, 846 people were killed or seriously injured on Essex roads – a number that continues to drop.
Along with local planning authorities and Essex County Council Highways, the force is promoting the inclusion of technology in new infrastructure developments to enforce speed limits on new housing developments and infrastructure projects.
The use of average speed systems is promoted within the design and build stage of projects as a way of reducing the risk of collisions.
The force, along with Essex County Fire and Rescue Service and the East of England Ambulance Service, has been included within the Essex Design Guide.
It is the first time the emergency services have been represented in the guide and provides early guidance to developers on designing safer communities.
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) has also been working with other Police and Crime Commissioners across the country to influence government policy, so that emergency services are included as statutory consultees on all new building projects.
The change would increase the ability for emergency services to shape road networks, removing risk and preventing deaths and serious injuries.
It is hoped the developments will lead to a shift across Essex in driver behaviour.
Targeted enforcement at speed hotspots, through mobile speed cameras, permanent cameras or Community Speed Watch, continues to be successful in addressing behaviour.
But, work continues to raise awareness of dangerous driving and educating high risk drivers.
One initiative – Vision Zero days – sees single towns or areas with a high rate of bad behaviour focused on with all vehicles entering being stopped and provided with advice.
With 49 per cent of road deaths happening on rural roads, the 102 Community Speed Watch Groups across Essex carry out targeted enforcement.
As a result of the data collected by the 950 volunteers, an average of 1,265 warning letters are sent out to motorists each month.