The Bedfordshire and Luton Fire and Rescue Service recognise the importance of road safety in saving lives. Therefore, we will contribute, and when appropriate lead a multi-agency approach to reducing the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on the roads.
We have identified five priority areas for activity based on an analysis of the casualties in our area.
Tackling speeding is a priority area because speed is one of the key factors that determines whether people are able to observe and respond to hazards and also determines the severity of injuries sustained in the event of a collision. Speeding not only presents a road safety hazard but also affects people's quality of life. We aim to change drivers' attitudes towards speed and driver behaviour through education, publicity and enforcement. Engineering measures to help keep traffic at safe speeds include a review of speed limits, speed limit signs and the use of vehicle-activated signs to name just a few.
2. High Casualty Routes and Sites
We are implementing a range of safety schemes that include engineering, education and enforcement interventions to address problem locations.
Motorcyclists in the UK are 50 times more likely to be injured in a road traffic collision than other riders. They account for less than 2% of the traffic but nearly one quarter of all serious and fatal casualties. We are tackling this with a programme of motorcycle safety schemes, Think Bike publicity and a project to enhance rider training in our area.
4. In-Car Safety
In the UK, 4 out of 10 people killed in road traffic collisions in our area between 2005 and 2007 were not wearing seatbelts. Use of hand-held mobile phones and other distractions are also a source of casualties. We are raising awareness of the issues and hazards through a programme of education, publicity and law enforcement.
5. Young Drivers
Young drivers are more likely to be involved in a road traffic collision due to inexperience. We aim to reduce this risk by offering a range of educational programmes to help develop skills and hazard awareness amongst young drivers.
We will work in partnership to educate road users and engage vulnerable groups, initially with a particular focus on potential and actual vehicle users, but also to contribute to the wider road safety agenda. Specifically we will focus on:
a. Prevention - Raising awareness of road safety issues and work with our partners to design and develop prevention interventions. These programmes are aimed at specific target groups - young and new drivers, company car drivers, Long Goods Vehicles and other offending drivers. The aim is to deliver education and awareness campaigns with partners.
b. Protection - Contribute to developing a safer environment both on the road and within the vehicle. To develop post incident intelligence and data sharing within the Service and with our partners to influence future design of delivery interventions.
c. Intervention and Delivery - Ensure through partnership working and providing a competent workforce we develop and deliver an effective casualty centred emergency response.
d. Inter-agency Working and Partnerships - Establish and develop relationships with existing and new partnerships at local, regional, national and international level, to ensure the Service is best placed to deliver against our and our partners visions, missions and aims.
Increasing levels of fatalities and serious deaths