Dyfed-Powys Police Call for Drivers and Riders to Heed Rules of the Road
Whilst the number of casualties on the roads in Dyfed Powys has fallen over the last few years police officers are reminding drivers and riders to take care when they are on the road and to drive safely and not put themselves or other road users in danger.
Between 1st January and 20th August 2015 there have been 22 fatal road traffic collisions which have resulted in 26 fatalities. Unfortunately these figures are very similar for the same period in 2014 when there were 23 fatal road traffic collisions which resulted in 27 fatalities.
The number of fatal casualties can be broken down for each county: Carmarthenshire five, Ceredigion five, Pembrokeshire six and Powys ten.
Supt Huw Meredith, Head of Specialist Operations said, “Every fatal collision is a tragic incident and has a massive impact on the families of the deceased and ruins the lives of those involved.
“It is likely that these fatal collisions could be prevented if all road users consider the Fatal 5 messages i.e. the 5 actions that are most likely to cause a fatal road traffic collision:
• Whist driving “under the influence” of drink or drugs you could kill or seriously injure yourself or others
• Kill your speed and slow down. You’re twice as likely to kill someone you hit at 35mph than you are at 30mph
• A vehicle can become a lethal weapon when driven carelessly
• Belt up, you’re twice as likely to die if you don’t
• Switch off your mobile phone before you drive off and do not use it when driving.
“Dyfed-Powys Police uses a combination of education and enforcement to try and get road users to understand the impact of their actions. Throughout the year there are numerous road traffic campaigns which will focus on the causation factors of road traffic collisions. These are in addition to routine patrols and adhoc operations that take place.
“In March we took part in the All Wales seatbelt campaign where officers stopped and reported drivers and passengers who were not wearing a seatbelt. Over the two week campaign a total of 724 persons were reported for failing to wear a seatbelt. When you are driving or a passenger in a vehicle on a road, you must wear a seatbelt. If officers see that you are not wearing it they will stop you.
“In April, Dyfed-Powys Police worked in partnership with GoSafe and other police forces throughout the UK and spent a week focussing on targeting people who speed on our roads. A total of 881 drivers were reported for exceeding the speed limit during the week. Our message is clear - people need to drive within the speed limit of the roads. One of the main concerns of people living in our rural communities is the speed of road users driving or riding through their villages.
“Each summer Dyfed-Powys Police take part in the All Wales anti drink and drug campaign. In June this year we stopped 4951 drivers and asked them to take a breathalyser test. In total 127 (2.6%) of the tests administered were either positive or the drivers failed or refused to provide a test. Whilst this number is relatively low, it is still 127 people too many who are getting behind the wheel after drinking alcohol. There were also 8 persons arrested for driving a vehicle whilst under the influence of controlled drugs or prescribed medication.
“Enforcement is just one part of the work that we do to change the behaviour of road users. We also have a series of campaigns to educate the general public and in particular the groups at highest risk of being involved in a fatal collision namely young people and motorcyclists.
“During the last week of February we visited a number of schools, colleges and universities in our force area to speak to young drivers about their driving skills and the impact driving without care and attention can have on them, those in the vehicle with them and their families should they be involved in a collision. Our officers spoke with nearly 200 people and took enforcement action against 77 drivers and passengers for a variety of offences that included speeding and not having insurance.
“Each year at the Royal Welsh Show we work with Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Authority, Powys County Council, domestic abuse officers and school nurses in the Young Persons Village. This year we spoke to around 2,000 young people about the impact of drink and drug driving how it changes their perception and ability behind the wheel. We also shared with them how we enforce safe road use and detect when people are over the limit.
“Due to the nature of our roads and our rural location we attract a high number of motorcyclists. From March to November our roads policing teams run Operation Darwen most weekends. This includes officers visiting places where riders meet and stop for breaks to speak to them about their bikes, routine maintenance and safe use of the roads. We also encourage riders to take part in BikeSafe events.
“The aim of Operation Darwen is to save people’s lives and to reduce the number of casualties on our roads so there is also an enforcement part to the operation. This year so far, officers have stopped and spoken with 440 riders. 123 offences have been detected, with one motorcyclist riding at 120mph on the A40 from Llandovery to Brecon. We have also issued 73 warnings to riders.
“We don’t just target motorcyclists, we want all drivers and riders to be safe. In addition to the motorcyclists we stopped 151 other vehicles, detected 122 offences and issued 32 warnings.
“Every road user can contribute to making our roads safer by driving or riding their vehicles responsibly, complying with the various road traffic legislation such as speed limits which are there in order to prevent road traffic collisions.
“If individuals choose not to obey the law then Dyfed-Powys Police will take enforcement action in order to influence driver and rider behaviour.
“Our message is clear – we want people to stay safe and not be involved in collisions on our roads. Please - be safe and be careful on the road.”