27 Apr Safe and social driving
Although we are privileged to live in a rural county, we must acknowledge the higher road safety risk that exists and that is why I will continue to make Safe & social driving a priority. 60% of all road fatalities occur on rural roads and around the UK 3 people die on country roads each and every day. However, road deaths and injuries are not inevitable.
The past few decades have demonstrated how effectively a comprehensive road safety strategy can reduce the numbers of people killed and injured on the roads.
The Commissioner’s Fund has supported many successful programmes and initiatives and will continue to do so but the core work of the Road Safety Partnership must and will be protected. Drive for Life events must be available to all secondary schools, rural road safety campaigns must continue and to do so the Road Safety Partnership will be refreshed with a new operating model supported by a new business plan.
I understand the County Council must seek to get the most out of every pound spent on its services and will be making very difficult decisions on where to reduce spending. Road safety cannot be immune to these financial realities but there are many reasons to protect road safety spending as much as possible. It is an ethically, socially and economically sound policy area that delivers real cost savings and improves peoples’ lives and I call upon the County Council to protect this funding.
Experience of working with voluntary disability groups has shown me the difficulty for people using wheel chairs or pushing prams who often find the pavement blocked by inconsiderate parking. Whilst parking issues clearly sit within the remit of local authorities the police will work with them to reduce danger and ensure the free rite of passage for pedestrians, parents with prams & pushchairs and in particular those with mobility needs.
Equally, Gloucestershire’s motorists and cyclists cannot enjoy or move along our roads in safety unless and until the plague of potholes blighting our county is finally resolved. I will call upon Gloucestershire County Council and Highways England to set out its plan to eradicate potholes from our county.
Everyone – whether on foot, bicycle, horse, motorcycle or car – must be able to share our roads in safety.
I do not propose anything I cannot achieve, unlike my opponents who make promises they are powerless to keep because they relate to decisions that rest solely with the Chief Constable. As your Police & Crime Commissioner I will prioritise safe and social driving and protect the funding that is under my control.
All of the priorities in my Police and Crime Plan are aimed not only at making Gloucestershire a good place to live, work and visit but also about ensuring a society that is fair, just and compassionate.