Essex road death figures down by 30% but drink drive arrests increase

One of Essex's major roads the A12, between East Bergholt and Stratford St Mary. Picture: GREGG BROW

One of Essex's major roads the A12, between East Bergholt and Stratford St Mary. Picture: GREGG BROWN - Credit: Gregg Brown

The number of people who died or were seriously injured on Essex fell in 2017 but drink driving arrests increased according to figures from Essex Police.

In 2016 64 people died and 970 were seriously injured in collisions on the county’s roads.

This was down from 2017 the figures were 46 and 861 respectively.

Casualty reduction manager at Essex Police, Adam Pipe, said “It’s obviously really positive that fewer people are being hurt or killed on our roads but the number is still far too high and we will continue to work with our partner agencies to make Essex even safer.

“Our most vulnerable road users are drivers and passengers aged between 17 and 25, motorcyclists, older drivers, and pedestrians and we will be focussing our engagement, enforcement and education work towards them.

“The M11 is still the route where we see the highest number of collisions and, alongside our partners, we’ll keep working to make it safer.”

Despite road deaths falling the number of those who were arrested for drink driving has increased by 6.74%.

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“We also continue to see people drink driving with 1,061 people arrested for it last year - a rise from 2016. This is unacceptable and will again be a focus for us in the coming 12 months.”

148 were arrested in Essex Police’s Christmas campaign in the month between December 1 and January 1

Essex Police have a number of new intiatives planned to help cut road death numbers further this year.

Mr Pipe said: “Information, intelligence and footage from the public is critical to identify people flouting the rules of the road and ensuring we can bring them to justice – this work will continue.

“2018 will also see the introduction of a Close Pass Scheme to help protect cyclists and identify drivers putting cyclists in danger.”

Nicola Foster, chairman of the Safer Essex Roads Partnership, said: “It’s wonderful to see fewer deaths on Essex roads but we are still a long way from achieving the vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on the roads.

“We need everyone to encourage their family and friends to take a little more care of themselves and others so that everyone makes their journey safely.”

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