Safety campaign 'very powerful'

SUFFOLK'S roads are now safer thanks to a ten-week intensive campaign to reduce the numbers of serious or fatal accidents.

Naomi Cassidy

SUFFOLK'S roads are now safer thanks to a ten-week intensive campaign to reduce the numbers of serious or fatal accidents.

That is the hope of all the agencies involved in the Save A Life campaign, which was launched by the Evening Star together with Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Safecam, the Highways Agency and the East of England Ambulance Service.

The campaign, which officially finishes today, aimed to raise awareness of the shocking statistics surrounding the amount of accidents on the county's roads, which could be so easily avoided by just thinking before getting behind the wheel.

Suffolk Roadsafe Partnership Board was also due to meet today to discuss how the campaign went and the next course of action to be taken.

Guy McGregor, chairman of the board and portfolio holder for environment and transport at Suffolk County Council, said: “It has been a very powerful campaign. What is interesting is the leadership shown by The Evening Star in drawing in the general public to understand the road safety issues.

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“This input by the Evening Star has been most welcome in running this serious campaign.”

More than 2,500 motorists have been caught committing offences behind the wheel since Suffolk Police began their enforcement campaign in September.

Although the campaign is finishing today, both the Star and Suffolk Police are launching a Christmas drink drive campaign to target those who insist on taking the law into their own hands.

Today is also the fifth anniversary since a law was introduced to ban the use of mobile phones while driving. This was one of the core areas tackled during the campaign along with speeding, drink and drug driving and not wearing seatbelts.

Figures from last year show that there were 25 fatal accidents, 64 serious accidents and 259 slight accidents on Britain's roads in which a driver using a mobile phone was recorded as a contributory factor.

Kevin Clinton, The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents' head of road safety, said: “It is disappointing that people are still being killed and injured on our roads because telephone calls or text messages are deemed more important than someone's life. Our advice to drivers is clear: switch off your phone when you get behind the wheel and let voicemail do its job, and we urge employers to make this part of their road risk policy.”

- How has this campaign affected you? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.