Campaign to drive down road deaths

Motorbike safety sign.

Motorbike safety sign.

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Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service (NFRS) is reminding people to stay safe on the county’s roads as part of a national week of action.

Coordinated by the Chief Fire Officers Association, UK Road Safety Week is aimed at everyone who uses the roads – from drivers to pedestrians and even horse riders.

NFRS is working with partners to drive down the number of crashes on Northumberland’s roads, after fire crews attended over 180 crashes last year which resulted in 11 fatalities and 38 people being seriously injured.

So far this year crews have gone to 51 collisions but fortunately there has been no-one killed in the county in 2014.

Nationally road collisions are the leading cause of death for young adults aged between 15 and 24.

Northumberland’s spectacular scenery and winding roads also make it a big attraction for motorcyclists and NFRS is involved in an annual campaign with partners in the police and the county council to install around 200 high-viz signs on key roads, reminding bikers to take care.

Chief fire officer Alex Bennett said: “Deaths and injuries on the road affect not just the individual – the lives of families can be destroyed by losing a loved one, or changed forever by having to care for a family member with life-changing injuries.

“We want people to come and remember Northumberland for all the right reasons but a brief lapse in concentration, whether you’re a pedestrian, car driver or biker can have catastrophic consequences.

“Everyone has their part to play in keeping our county safe, that’s why we work with our colleagues in other parts of the council, such as road safety officers and highways experts, alongside the police, health agencies and other key partners to minimise casualties on our roads.”

Councillor Dave Ledger, deputy leader of Northumberland County Council, added: “We know our fire and rescue service has already helped to improve road safety through education and awareness raising and are leaders in casualty care and extrication techniques after Road Traffic Collisions.

“However it would be perfect if they never had to put these skills into practice and we could work towards everyone’s goal of cutting out all deaths on our roads.”

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