County's road deaths at six-year low
By Danielle NuttallTHE number of people killed on Suffolk's roads during the past 12 months was the lowest for six years, it has been revealed.A total of 43 people died in road traffic accidents last year, compared to 60 in 2003 - the lowest figure since 1998 in which 24 people were killed.
By Danielle Nuttall
THE number of people killed on Suffolk's roads during the past 12 months was the lowest for six years, it has been revealed.
A total of 43 people died in road traffic accidents last year, compared to 60 in 2003 - the lowest figure since 1998 in which 24 people were killed.
The figures were revealed yesterday as members of Suffolk Police Authority consider a proposal to extend the Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership, which manages the county's speed cameras, until 2007 to further reduce accidents.
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Police and road safety bosses said they were pleased with the reduction in road deaths, but warned motorists not to become complacent.
A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “The figure for last year is less than the year before, but we have to remember more than 40 people lost their lives on Suffolk's roads.
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“In the year ahead our aim will be to continue to improve road safety by working with our partners to reduce road traffic collisions which result in death or serious injury.
“The motoring public has obviously got its part to play by obeying speed limits, not drinking and driving, ensuring vehicles are road worthy and staying alert on the roads of the county.”
Peter Monk, county councillor and portfolio holder for public protection, added: “It's good news, but 43 is 43 too many. I'm disappointed we did see a marked increase at the end of the year as we came up to the Christmas holiday.
“My message to everybody going into the New Year is to be vigilant. The county council has done all it could in the last year and I aim to ensure it does so in 2005.
“The biggest contributory factor to accidents is inappropriate speed. Inappropriate speed does kill and injure. I don't want anybody to be part of those statistics.”
Mr Monk said accidents involving drivers who were under the influence of drugs was also a growing problem.
“During the course of the year, across the country, drugs have been a contributory factor to accidents and are beginning to rival drink-driving,” he warned.
The Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership was set up in conjunction with the county council at the beginning of 2003 for an initial period of two years.
It was formed in an effort to reduce the number of road accidents and during 2003/04 saw a 42% reduction in all injury collisions at camera sites, while collisions involving people killed or seriously injured fell by 68%.
Suffolk Police Authority has been asked to consider extending the existing project until March 31, 2007, and will meet on January 7 to discuss the proposal.