Cheshire Constabulary is taking part in a national crackdown on speeding motorists.
The three-week long 'Speed Enforcement' campaign is being co-ordinated by the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC).
Held across the UK from Monday January 7 to Sunday January 27, the campaign aims to:
- Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads
- Tackle irresponsible and dangerous drivers committing speeding offences
- Increase awareness of the dangers – both to offenders and to other road users – of speeding
- Encourage motorists to drive at speeds that are safe for the road environment and to always adhere to speed limits.
Cheshire Constabulary and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service are both supporting the national campaign.
The police force will be undertaking enforcement and educational activities over the course of the three weeks as it continues to tackle a recent spike in road deaths in Cheshire.
Inspector Steve Griffiths, from Cheshire’s Roads Policing Team, said: “Speeding can have fatal consequences – driving at an unsafe speed has been shown to be a contributory factor in nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of road deaths.
“Inappropriate speed is one of the fatal four offences that Cheshire Constabulary actively tackles all year round, with the others being drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt while driving and using a handheld mobile device while driving.
“We are placing extra emphasis on tackling speeding this month as we try to reduce the number of casualties and fatalities on Cheshire’s roads and motorways.
“More than twice as many people (41) died on the county’s roads and motorways last year than they did in 2017, and this year there has already been five fatal collisions in just nine days in Cheshire, which is clearly a big concern for us.
“While enquiries into the causes of many of these incidents are ongoing, they act as a reminder of the importance of road safety, which is a critical issue for all communities.
“Most people have been affected at some point by injury or death caused by a collision and it is essential that we do everything we can to reduce the number of incidents by educating drivers and enforcing speed limits.
“We will do this with support from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and our other partners.”
Drivers and riders travelling at unsafe speeds – whether that be in excess of the speed limit or too fast for the conditions, for example bad weather, poor visibility or high pedestrian activity – take longer to stop and are more likely to crash.
Inappropriate speed also magnifies other driver errors, such as driving too close to other vehicles or driving when tired or distracted, multiplying the chances of causing an accident.
Insp Griffiths added: “One of the comments we often hear is that we should be doing more important things with our time like catching burglars rather than catching speeding motorists. My response is that speed kills and preventing somebody from dying on the road has to be one of our priorities.
“It is important that everyone realises that speed limits are in place for a reason.
“Travelling at excess speeds on public roads does not allow a driver or rider to travel safely with time to deal with things like changes in driving conditions and actions taken by other road users.
“You may want to make up time when running late, but travelling at excess speed could be the difference between a safe journey and one that ends in a fatality.
“It doesn’t matter how experienced a driver you are, it’s just not worth the risk.
“These are the messages that we will be giving motorists as we support the NPCC’s national campaign with local activities and increased enforcement.
“Local policing units, including Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), will be conducting initiatives on their beats on roads that communities have raised concerns about.
“Cheshire’s Roads Policing Unit will be supporting these initiatives as well as proactively tackling speeding on roads which have a history of serious collisions.”
If prosecuted for speeding, the minimum penalty is a £100 fine and three penalty points.
You could be disqualified from driving if you build up 12 or more penalty points within a period of three years.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire David Keane said: “Road safety is one of my key priorities and I am committed to working with partners to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Cheshire roads and motorways.
“With an increased number of serious incidents and fatalities on our roads in recent times, it’s more important than ever that the police are educating motorists about the dangers their careless actions could have.
“One death is too many and it is pleasing to see the work that Cheshire Constabulary is undertaking to help make the county’s roads safer.
“But it is important that people across Cheshire support this work and campaigns like 'Speed Enforcement' as all drivers and riders have a part to play in road safety.”