Sussex PCC's video log: Police boss pledges to cut Sussex roads deaths

Sussex PCC, Katy Bourne
Sussex PCC, Katy Bourne

There were 1,003 people killed or seriously injured on the county's roads in 2018.

Residents from around the county were able to question Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne about how the Force and partner agencies planned to reduce the numbers and tackle other issues around dangerous driving at the county’s first Road Safety Summit on November 27th.

Mrs Bourne commented: "We talk about a fear of crime, but there's also a fear around road safety, particularly for the elderly and more vulnerable.

“Today allowed me to hear the concerns of the public which will help me set the roads policing priorities for next year.

"I know from today and other conversation with residents, that they want to see more enforcement and preventative education.

“Their concerns were heard by all members of the panel and will be acted upon.”

The meeting, at the Chichester Park Hotel, covered everything from the 'fatal four' - drink/drug driving, driving while distracted, driving without wearing a seatbelt and speeding - to issues around routes in rural villages and provisions for cyclists, pedestrians and equestrians.

There was also a chance to learn more about the volunteer Community Speedwatch schemes that have been set up to patrol speeding drivers. In Sussex, there are 263 schemes ran by over 1,500 volunteers. In 2018 they sent out 36,193 warning letters to speeding drivers and only 10% have been caught speeding again.

District Commander for Chichester and Arun District, Jon Carter, revealed that 50,990 people were prosecuted due to speeding offences in the county in 2018 with over 20,000 attending speed awareness courses.

Mr Carter commented: "I'm particularly aware of some of the more remote communities where we will be focusing extra attention around drink driving. It’s a significant threat to road safety.

"The nights are darker earlier, there's a risk of ice on the roads.

"My message is simple: treat the roads with respect and treat your fellow road users with respect."

The overriding theme from the event was partnership working. The Sussex Safer Roads Partnership brings together teams from Sussex Police, East and West Sussex County Councils, East and West Sussex Fire and Rescue Services, Brighton and Hove City Council and Highways England.

Neil Honnor, Operations Manager of the partnership, has pledged to act on the recommendations made in the meeting.

"Sussex is a really safe place to live, work and visit. But understandably people have concerns.

"One of the demographic things about Sussex are the villages and more remote, beautiful places.

"But people forget that main roads snake between and through these areas. This creates traffic, noise pollution and a enticement for those who wish to use our roads irresponsibly.

"You don't always need to see the police to be aware that they are active and enforcing the law.

"There's a lot going on out there that they [the community] may not always see and hopefully we have made some assurances around that today.”