West Yorkshire Road Safety Campaign

A major event was held this week aimed at kick-starting work to eradicate all deaths and serious injuries on West Yorkshire’s roads by 2040.

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority organised the event bringing together emergency services, road user groups and local councillors to get ideas on how the ambitious goal could be achieved.

It also saw passionate inputs from Dr Ian Greenwood, who suffered the tragedy of losing his 12 year old daughter Alice in an road traffic collision.

West Yorkshire Police’s Paul Jeffrey, Head of Department, Prosecutions and Casualty Prevention Unit, spoke about the importance in working together to prevent such tragedies.

The event will feed into data being used to create the West Yorkshire Vision Zero Strategy 2040, due to be released in early 2024.

This strategy will set out what needs to change to eliminate all traffic fatalities and severe injuries, while increasing safe, healthy, equitable mobility for all in West Yorkshire by the year 2040.

In 2022, 66 people were killed in West Yorkshire following road traffic collisions, and a further 1,345 people were seriously injured.

Tracy Brabin, Mayor of West Yorkshire, said: “Every death on the road is one death too many. Road safety is a top concern and a key part of our work to create a safer, fairer region.

“We are committed to Vision Zero and this partnership event was a key stop on our road to achieving this goal.”

Early priorities identified for the strategy include a focus on the safe systems approach (safe roads, safe speeds, safe vehicles, safe road users and response after collisions) as well as reducing anti-social driving behaviours, suitable punishment for dangerous driving and improving road maintenance.

Paul Jeffrey, Head of Department, Prosecutions and Casualty Prevention Unit, said: “Many collisions involving death and serious injury are avoidable. By working together with communities, local safer roads partnerships are delivering interventions that address the risk factors which we know lead to collisions.

“The development of the West Yorkshire Vision Zero Strategy provides a significant opportunity to prevent those tragedies that affect so many people across West Yorkshire every year.

“West Yorkshire Police remains committed to working with other stakeholders to prevent casualties and will continue to encourage safe driver behaviour through its enforcement activities, which include the provision of training as an alternative to prosecution in eligible cases. Prosecution in the magistrate’s court remains an option for serious and/or repeat offenders. “

Dr Ian Greenwood, said: “I know from the sudden and traumatic death of my forever 12 year old daughter, Alice, in a totally avoidable car crash, the devastation caused to my family, and to thousands of others too, is something impossible to recover from. So, with the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on West Yorkshire’s roads on the increase, I am supporting Vision Zero.

“For me, it is simple, we should all be able to travel on our roads without the risk of being killed or disabled, and I believe with political leadership and the support of the travelling public, we can achieve safe roads for all of us – whether we ride, drive, walk, cycle or wheel. Road deaths are avoidable.”

To find out more about Vision Zero in West Yorkshire www.visionzerowy.co.uk.

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