Greater Manchester Police has launched a campaign urging people not to dice with death on the roads following an increase in road fatalities last year.
Recent statistics show that 75 people lost their lives on the roads of Greater Manchester in 2011 compared to 53 in the previous year, an increase of 42 per cent.
The increase comes against a background trend of decreasing road deaths that has seen fatalities drop from 90 in 2006 to 53 in 2010 a decrease of more than 40 per cent.
Officers say that though there are many factors contributing to the loss of these lives they believe that speeding, drivers and passengers not wearing seatbelts and drivers using mobile phones have played a significant role in many of these deaths.
Operation Dice has been set up to tackle drivers putting their own lives and that of passengers and other road users at risk through driving dangerously and flouting speeding, seat belt and mobile phone laws.
Enforcements against dangerous driving are taking place around the clock and across the county and are being supported by a hard-hitting awareness campaign featuring blood spattered furry dice urging drivers not to dice with death and informing them of the 75 road deaths in 2011.
The campaign asks drivers to slow down, belt up and switch off their mobiles and will be featured on poster, bus side and road side advertising.
Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Peter Fahy said: “The real cost of road collisions is the loss of precious lives and the devastation it causes to the family and friends of the deceased. Their pain and loss can be felt for decades and most people never really get over it.
“It can also profoundly affect people who have caused the deaths and can leave them physically and emotionally scarred.
“Speed is a major factor in pedestrian fatalities with research showing that those involved in a 30mph collision generally survive while those hit at 40mph do not. I urge drivers to consider this when they get behind the wheel and drive with due care and consideration to weather and road conditions.
“Mobile phones, Sat Navs and car stereos distract drivers preventing them paying full attention to driving safely and are a major cause of many collisions. Using the phone while driving, whether hands-free or not is a serious distraction and the safest option is to switch it off before you start the car.
“Drivers should also ensure that they and everyone in their vehicle is wearing a seat belt however short the journey.
“The increase in road fatalities in 2011 is of real concern to me and my officers and we are committed to reducing deaths and injuries on our roads in the coming years.
“The penalties to dangerous and careless drivers include fines, penalty points, disqualification and up to 14 years imprisonment for causing a death. These are nothing however compared to the lifelong suffering and anguish that the family and friends of people killed in car collisions are sentenced to by dangerous drivers.
“People can help us reduce road deaths by providing us with information on dangerous drivers, those driving while disqualified, or while under the influence of alcohol or drugs either directly on 101 the new single non-emergency number or anonymously through Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Chief Inspector Rachel Buckle from Greater Manchester Police talks about the Dicing with Death Campaign and what drivers can do to keep themselves and other road users safe.
Greater Manchester Police supports the work of RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims.
Greater Manchester Police works in partnership with Drivesafe, the Greater Manchester Casualty Reduction Partnership.