2016’s festive season saw 220 collisions on Cheshire’s roads during the period of 1 December to 1 January. Two of these collisions sadly resulted in a fatality and 38 with serious injuries.
This Christmas, Police & Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, along with Cheshire’s emergency services, are teaming up to educate motorists of the consequences the ‘fatal four’ - inappropriate speed, using a mobile phone while driving, not wearing a seatbelt and drink or drug driving - can have, not only to themselves but other road users.
Police & Crime Commissioner, David Keane said: “It is really important that the Cheshire public is aware of the fatal four and the consequences they can have not just for themselves but, ultimately, for other innocent road users.
“It would be really pleasing to see the number of collisions on our roads reduce this year because the safety of people on and around our roads is so incredibly important.
“I am urging residents to stick to the speed limit, wait until you get home before you make that phone call, put your seatbelt on, and don’t get behind the wheel under the influence. Why risk it?”
Colin Heyes, Cheshire Fire and Rescue Services Road Safety Manager said: “Christmas can be a stressful time which can see us rushing around trying to get everything in order for the big day.
“This can lead to excess speed as people drive around trying to bag a bargain, forgetting to put seatbelts on as they try and remember what’s on their ‘to do’ list, using their mobile phone while driving as they let their partner know they are on their way home, and getting behind the wheel after Christmas party celebrations. But, what good is all of that if you don’t make it to Christmas because you, or your passengers, are seriously injured or worse in a road traffic collision? Unfortunately, the staff of all three emergency services are there to deal with the awful aftermath of these tragedies on the road. Our involvement lasts only for a matter of hours, but the effect on the families involved lasts for a lifetime."
Superintendent Paul Beauchamp, who heads up Cheshire police’s taskforce said: “One death on our roads is one too many and we are committed to doing everything we can to make our roads safer. However, this is not something that the police and fire service can tackle alone - everyone has a role to play.
“We are often seen as the ‘bad guys’ or ‘doing it for the sake of it’ for prosecuting people for road traffic offences, and I want to assure you that this is just simply not the case. There is a fundamental reason that we stop people for committing road traffic offences, as it can ultimately be the difference between life and death – they’re not called the fatal four for no reason.
“There is always an element of risk when getting behind the wheel, why increase the risk by committing one of the fatal four? Officers are regularly out and about keeping an eye out for anyone committing road traffic offences, and this Christmas we will be doing all we can to stop motorists from ruining Christmas for anyone else, and ultimately, keep our roads safe.”