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Suffolk’s 2015 road death toll was worst for six years.

PUBLISHED: 06:00 01 January 2016 | UPDATED: 23:20 03 January 2016

The road is blocked in both directions.

The road is blocked in both directions.

Archant

The death toll on Suffolk’s roads in 2015 was the worst for six years, according to police figures.

In total 35 people died in 30 collisions throughout the county, prompting Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore to reaffirm his force’s commitment to make Suffolk’s roads safer.

Last year’s tragedies included four people dying in a crash in Worlington, near Mildenhall, in July, and two double-fatals in three days in November at Frostenden, near Southwold, and on the A140 at Yaxley.

In 2009 there were 42 deaths.

Mr Passmore said: “This is a very serious matter for all road users in Suffolk.

“Each fatality or serious injury is devastating or life-changing for those involved and their relatives and friends.

“Let us be clear the responsibility to improve matters lays with every single one of us because the Constabulary can not be everywhere all the time.

“In addition the financial cost of a fatal accident investigation runs into millions of pounds.

“We have an enormous network in Suffolk, but a vast majority of it was not built for the current traffic volumes we have.

“Road safety is a really big priority in our Police and Crime Plan and that’s why we are one of the only two forces which have increased resources for roads policing since I was elected.

“I despair of people, particularly those who speed or use mobile phones when driving.

“I’m completely sick and tired of these mindless idiots who think they are above the law – they are not.”

Mr Passmore said in the coming weeks there will be announcements about further strategies to make Suffolk’s roads safer.

The PCC also implored motorists to do all they can including allowing sufficient time for journeys, respecting others on the road, and using common sense by driving carefully.

Making sure vehicles are properly maintained is another essential aspect of road safety.

Officers acknowledge there was an unwanted increase in fatalities in 2015 and say they will be working hard to bring about an improvement.

However, Superintendent Jon Dodman, Head of Specialist Operations for Suffolk and Norfolk, said figures for killed or serious injury (KSI) incidents dropped year-on-year between April to November 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.

Supt Dodman said: “As far as killed and serious injury figures go they are less than last year with 126 as opposed to 156 for the same period last year.

“Officers concentrate on what are called the ‘fatal four’ – drink-driving, not wearing seatbelts, using of mobile phones and excess speed.

“These have been shown as making a major contribution to deaths on the road.”

The police strategy revolves around enforcement, educating motorists, road design at accident blackspots and working in partnership with other agencies.

Supt Dodman added: “The number of road users is always increasing. The more road users and the more congested the traffic is, the more likely someone is going to make an error.

“It’s absolutely crucial we continue to police our road networks.

“Where drivers are not complying with the law it is about bringing them to justice.”

The Orwell Bridge has reopened this morning after 80mph winds battered Suffolk and brought its closure.

Several schools in Suffolk are to remain closed or open later this morning amid high winds.

Across Suffolk, dozens of bands, singers, solo acts, choirs and orchestras ply their trade on evenings and weekends as part of the county’s eclectic night time economy.

High winds have led to rail service cancellations including on the mainline from Suffolk and Essex to London and local routes between Sudbury and Marks Tey.

High winds have brought down overhead power cables leaving homes in many Suffolk and Essex communities without electricity.

A well known west Suffolk pub has suddenly closed its doors after the district council received a licence review application from police, stating the premises was ‘associated with serious crimes and disorder’.

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