Police in Greater Manchester attended an annual service of remembrance in memory of those killed on our roads.
It coincided with the Force releasing its latest figures as part of the Dicing with Death road safety campaign that show that 56 people were killed on Greater Manchester’s roads between July 2011 and June 2012 compared to 71 people between July 2010 and June 2011.
The campaign, launched in April this year asks drivers to slow down, belt up and switch off their mobiles. Officers have increased the number of roadside enforcement checks, which include breath tests, speed enforcement and fixed roadside cameras. Motorists have also been issued penalties for seatbelt offences and using a mobile phone while driving.
As part of the latest stage of the campaign, GMP will unveil a roll of honour in memory of those men, women and children that have lost their lives on our roads in 2011. Victims are aged up to 82 and are a combination of drivers, passengers, riders and pedestrians.
Greater Manchester Police Deputy Chief Constable, Ian Hopkins, said: “While the figures are an encouraging sign following the start of our campaign in April this year, the number of casualties is still too high. Just one life lost is one too many. We will continue to carry out enforcement activities such as those already carried out to further bring down the number of those injured and killed on our roads.
“The roll of honour identifies the victims as men, women, boys and girls. This brings home to drivers and members of the public the real cost of these collisions and that is precious life.
“In addition, we will continue to promote how drivers can keep themselves and others safe through our Dicing with Death campaign as well as raise awareness of the life threatening and life changing consequences their actions can have.”
Since the campaign’s launch various enforcement tactics have been used which includes 304 fixed penalties in Chadderton earlier this month as part of a clampdown on motorists not wearing seatbelts. Sixty one of those were given to motorists directly outside schools.
In June a joint operation was run across South Manchester which saw 21 vehicles being taken off the road.
Fourteen were deemed unsafe and seven were uninsured.
The Force’s latest summer drink clampdown saw officers breath 7,236 drivers in a month-long campaign compared to 5,420 last year.
Joint operations have also been carried out with partners such as the fire service, VOSA (Vehicle and Operating Services Agency) and HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) in addition to educational presentations on seatbelt use.
June Webb, chair of Manchester’s branch of Road Peace, said: “While it is great to see the number of road fatalities reduced, we want this campaign to send a clear message to motorists, stop and think about your actions. This impacts not only on the life that has been lost but also of those families that have been left behind.
“Twelve years ago the heart of our family was ripped out following Jodie’s death. My daughter did not really get a 21st birthday. She lost her most precious years. No parent should have to go through that and see their child die before them.
“If my daughter’s death can save a life then she has not died in vain.”
DCC Hopkins, added: “Today’s motorists face a number of distractions on our roads. These include; mobile phones and Sat Navs. These can cause a loss of concentration while driving. Our advice is simple turn off your phone and all electronic devices, you could be saving a life.
“Speed limits must also be adhered to as this plays a large part in the number of pedestrian fatalities. Research shows that those involved in a 30mph collision are more likely to survive when compared to those hit at 40mph. Drivers should also be mindful of the weather and road conditions when getting behind the wheel of a car.”
Members of the public can provide 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.