MOTORISTS in Staffordshire are now enjoying some of the safest roads in the country thanks to an innovative 17-year long partnership.
Set up in 2001, the Staffordshire Safer Roads Partnership works to improve road safety in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent, and since created has seen the number of collisions resulting in injury almost halve (down 44%).
With 27% fewer fatal and serious injuries on the roads in 2016 compared to 2001, Staffordshire is currently ranked 8th best out of 46 police force areas for road safety. This has been achieved through a combination of education and training programmes, enforcement, road engineering and community initiatives.
The Partnership brings together Staffordshire County Council, Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and Highways England.
Speaking on behalf of the Partnership, Helen Fisher, cabinet member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council, said: “Keeping our roads safe remains one of our top priorities and we have seen a considerable long term reduction in the number of injuries on our roads.
“The number of vehicles on the road has risen significantly over the last two decades and we continue to move with the times as new challenges arise. This includes using a wide range of activities to improve road safety such as education, road engineering, enforcement and awareness raising.
“We still believe that any death or injury on our roads is one too many and we will continue to work hard with our partners and local communities to make our roads even safer for all road users.”
Initiatives helping to keep the county’s roads safe include mobile enforcement, driver education programmes, Community Speed Watch schemes and road safety education in schools. A new community grant scheme has also allowed local communities to run their own road safety projects.
Specific campaigns targeting young drivers, motorcyclists, young bikers and new drivers are also helping to improve road safety in the county.
To ensure the Partnership remains effective, fit for purpose and is able to meet future challenges a new operating model and ‘Road Safety Plan 2018’ have been developed. An update will go before the Prosperous Staffordshire Select Committee on Friday, January 18 to be scrutinised by members.