Motorists warned of surge in serious and fatal crashes since lockdown lift

Stuart Hughes. Ref shs 22 18TI 4996. Picture: Terry Ife

Stuart Hughes. Ref shs 22 18TI 4996. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Since lockdown restrictions have been lifted there has been a rise in the number of serious and fatal crashes in Devon and Cornwall.

Motorists are now being urged to take some practical steps to ensure they have a trouble-free journey and to relieve pressure on the NHS.

South West Peninsular Road Safety Partnership (SWPRSP) members remain very concerned about the number of serious collisions that have taken place in recent weeks and the change in traffic patterns as lockdown regulations are eased.

Over five days immediately after the easing of restrictions there were six people either killed or seriously injured on the roads in Devon and Cornwall.

The partnership has asked road users to do the following:

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Check your vehicle – your vehicle may not have been used for several weeks. The acronym FORCES, which stands for Fuel, Oil, Rubber, Coolant, Electrics and Screenwash, will remind you of the important areas to look out for.

Take your time – if you have been out occasionally then you may have become used to roads that are considerably quieter than usual.

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Data compiled by the partnership shows that the number of vehicles going 15mph or more above the speed limit has increased when the roads are quietest. Your driving skills might also be rusty.

Be more observant – traffic levels are increasing once again and more people are walking and cycling than usual.

Ensure you are not distracted from the task of driving and look out for these vulnerable road users - they are more at risk and need your help to remain safe.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for highway management, said: “ “We’re reminding everyone to think about whether you need to make your journey, but if you do need to drive, please slow down, drive safely and consider other road users.

“There are more walkers and cyclists around and we’re trying to improve road space to support people who are choosing active travel on their return to work as well as for daily exercise.

“If you slow down, drive safely and take extra care you can protect the NHS and save lives.”

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