Safest year ever on Dorset’s roads

Since 2012, the number of people killed and seriously injured on Dorset’s roads has shown a sustained fall.

In 2012 it was 355, in 2018 with figures to be confirmed, it was 239, a reduction of slightly more than 32. Slight or minor collisions have shown a similar reduction of a little over 30%.

An average of 378 people were killed or seriously injured on Dorset’s roads in the preceding 13 years (1999 – 2011), again showing a steady reduction to the present.

Chief Constable James Vaughan, Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill and Head of Roads Policing Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk have put the positive change down to active and intelligence-led roads policing, investment of funds and resources and close partnership working.

Chief Constable Vaughan said: “While neither Dorset Police nor our partners will be complacent, this is an excellent result and vindication of the planning, targeted intelligence-led policing and effective allocation of resources and funding that goes into roads policing every year.

“We would like to invest more and not only continue but accelerate this trend, and an increase to police funding by way of a small rise in the police precept would certainly help with that.

“It is also a suitable reflection of the hard work and professionalism of the officers in our No Excuse and Alliance Roads Policing teams, and of our partner organisations.”

The No Excuse approach was launched in 2010 followed by the introduction of a dedicated police officer led enforcement team in 2014 and since that time has carried out its own proactive roads policing operations and supported other police units with localised operations. It concentrates on the Fatal Five top contributory factors to death and serious injuries on the roads.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: “I am optimistic that our Dorset Partnership has managed to achieve a sustained reduction in deaths and serious injuries on our roads. The No Excuse campaign, coupled with the No Excuse Team, Op Dragoon, Op Allied Wolf and other such initiatives have clearly been instrumental, coupled with consistent messaging through print, social media and local media about the Fatal Five.

“This is also a timely moment to reflect that we have two safety centres in our county, helping change the attitude to risk amongst our younger generation.

“Our growing community speed watch teams have also empowered local communities to help reduce casualties, and working with the Dorset Road Safe partnership in the area of driver education and safety cameras has been a key element in achieving this excellent outcome.”

“None of this has happened without significant financial investment and I would be keen to see this reduction in casualties on our roads sustained.

Roads policing is part of the Devon & Cornwall Police and Dorset Police Alliance Operations Department.

Chief Inspector Adrian Leisk, Head of roads policing for the Alliance, said: “This is an impressive result and testimony to the innovation and investment that Dorset Police has applied to roads policing, as well as to the professionalism and hard work of all those officers and staff working in this complex area of policing.”