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Police commissioner’s sadness at spate of Suffolk road tragedies

13:00 01 February 2016

Orford Road in Bromeswell which was the scene of the fatal collision.

Orford Road in Bromeswell which was the scene of the fatal collision.

One month into 2016 and six people have already lost their lives on Suffolk roads, in what the police and crime commissioner called “absolutely devastating tragedies”.

Andrew Keep, 22, from Great Bealings, became the sixth person to lose his life on the county’s highways in January alone after a collision on the B1084 at Bromeswell on Friday evening.

After he was named by police, friends took to social media last night to pay tribute to “such a lovely guy”.

“Such a top bloke taken at such a young age. Always up for a laugh and always made me laugh,” wrote Scott Moore.

Eloise Morris wrote: “Still don’t believe this, in complete shock. Thank you for being one of the kindest, caring and genuinely one of best people I ever had the pleasure of meeting. I’ll miss you so much.”

Across Suffolk, the average rate of road deaths this year is already double that of 2015, which saw 35 people lose their lives throughout the year in traffic collisions – the highest figure since 2009.

“I was really shocked to hear the news of Suffolk’s sixth road fatality this month,” said Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore.

“This has not got 2016 off to a good start in any way. These tragedies are absolutely devastating for the victims and their families and friends and as always our thoughts and prayers are with them at this very traumatic time.”

Mr Keep died in a crash at 8.20pm, just hours after another man died in a single-vehicle crash at Brandon. He has not yet been named by police but they believe he may have had a medical episode at the wheel.

The current rate of six deaths a month would result in 72 deaths for 2016 – more than double 2015’s 35.

Suffolk Constabulary is working to improve road safety, with Mr Passmore saying he would do whatever he could help make the region’s road network safer.

“Anything I can do to bring forward the constabulary’s plans for improving road safety across the county will be done,” he said, adding that part of this would be improving the enforcement against drivers committing one of the so-called “fatal four” offences while driving: drink and drugs, mobile phones, speeding, not wearing a seatbelt.

“The extra road policing unit that we have agreed in the local policing review will be launched as soon as possible,” he said.

The five other fatalities so far in 2016 occurred on January 8 near Bungay, January 11 near Bury St Edmunds, January 23 in Ipswich, January 26 near Great Finborough and January 29 in Brandon.

Mr Passmore added: “While not being in a position to comment on individual actions, it is the case that unfortunately many collisions are due to driver error so please take extra care.

“Allow more time, don’t take risks and always be mindful that driving on our roads can be hazardous so be prepared for the unexpected.”

Any witnesses to the crash involving Mr Keep were asked to contact the serious collision investigation team at Suffolk Constabulary on 101, quoting reference CAD 357 of Friday 29 January.

7 comments

  • @ Emily Hull, you have just described women drivers perfectly!

    Report this comment

    David White

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • So sad more loss of life with these dreadful accidents. I have written here many times in the hope Mr Passmore may just take the time, possibly, to read positive comments from me and many others, in an attempt to try and highlight many of the issues which continuously get ignored. Reduction in road policing is obvious as others also have mentioned- I mainly see traffic police with the blue lights going, presumably to attend an emergency. No patrols, no apparent unmarked cars, only the occasional cash cow speed camera vans. No action already suggested many times re the hazards on our difficult roads- junctions, hedge cutting, huge artic lorries on tiny roads, slippery mud, tractors on major roads etc. You can't have your cake and eat it Mr Passmore. Accidents, sadly continue, due in part due to lack of action on your part, so no more blaming just drivers.

    Report this comment

    Seahawk

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • The Traffic department of Suffolk Constabulary has been winding down for years. A Once Gold medal holder has now been reduced to a third rate bronze. Introducing 25 ANPR cameras will reduce that department even more. The trouble with cameras is that they don't spot drunk drivers...disqualified drivers...cars that should not be on the road. Still...mustn't grumble hey?

    Report this comment

    waspie

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • Agree with the comments about the lack of Traffic Officers, from what Mr. Passmore keeps saying they're all dealing with cyber-crime, whatever that is. GET UNIFORMS BACK ON THE STREETS.

    Report this comment

    oldwhinger

    Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • Maybe Mr PASSMORE should re consider how many Uniformed patrols are on duty these days then, many years ago as a youngster the deterrent for me when I was on my motorcycle was the thought of a traffic car around the corner. I cannot recall the last time I saw a patrol car especially on the A14 or rural locations. I would like to know how many uniformed Police Officers we have in Suffolk and of that total how many are on patrol and more importantly how many fully operational Warranted Police Officers are performing back office rolls

    Report this comment

    Norfolkboy

    Monday, February 1, 2016

  • I think part of this is probably due to the funny weather conditions we've had compared to normal conditions - I lost control of my car the other day while going around a roundabout that I've been round tonnes of times. I wasn't driving too fast or turning tighter than usual, but it had just started raining ever so slightly and the road had previously been dry, so I think it was a bit of aquaplaning. Thankfully there was nobody else around and I gained control of my car, but even if you know what you're doing, you cannot change weather conditions, and the only way to get used to them is by driving in them, but a lot of conditions don't happily regularly in the UK. Another huge issue on the roads is drivers, but I don't mean just the ones that cut people up. Every time I go out for a drive, I see people who apparently don't have a clue what they're doing - people not going on roundabouts when they should, people switching lanes, slowly and unexpectedly without looking, people driving very slowly in areas with higher speed limits, people not going at green traffic lights, pulling to the other side of the road to park with oncoming cars, ect. A lot of these people don't get called up on it because they're not technically breaking any laws, but these things can and do cause crashes.

    Report this comment

    Emily Hull

    Monday, February 1, 2016

  • Stop cutting down on Roads Policing Officers then !

    Report this comment

    Poppys Dad

    Monday, February 1, 2016

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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