Road accidents fall dramatically during Covid crisis
- Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2010
The number of crashes on Suffolk's roads have dropped by nearly a third since the Covid-19 pandemic began, new figures have revealed.
Between March 2020 and February 2021, there were 2,891 accidents on the county's roads, compared with 4,199 from March 2019 to February 2020 - a drop of 31.2%.
The figures, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information request by LeaseLoco, saw Suffolk ranked 10th across the UK for the biggest reductions in crashes since the pandemic began.
Scotland was ranked number one, with crashes on Scottish roads falling 45.5% in the same time frame.
With fewer vehicles on Suffolk's roads due to coronavirus restrictions, the number of fatalities also dropped considerably.
From March 2020 to February 2021, deaths on Suffolk's roads fell by 60% compared to the previous 12 months.
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In total, 11 collisions led to 11 fatalities in Suffolk in 2020, compared to 26 deaths in 2019.
Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner, said while it was "good news" that figures had dropped, it was important drivers remembered the 'Fatal Four' when traffic levels get back to normal.
“While it’s very good to hear there has been a reduction in collisions over the past year, we all know the reason why," he said.
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"It is completely understandable that a reduction in traffic volume has resulted in fewer collisions, but it’s good news all the same.
“Going forward, as Covid restrictions are eased and more drivers take to the road, I hope all road users will commit to driving more carefully and remember the fatal four – the four main reasons people are killed on our roads.
"Making sure we are fit to drive before getting behind the wheel, keeping within the speed limit, wearing a seat belt and not using a phone will help us to keep the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads to a minimum.”
Speaking in January about the reduction in fatal crashes in the 2020 calendar year, a spokesman for Suffolk police said: "While it is reassuring to see this significant reduction in fatal road traffic collisions this year compared to last year, the case remains that one death on Suffolk’s roads is one too many.
"The pandemic may have been a contributory factor, bearing in mind at times this year there will have been fewer motorists on the roads.
"However, there is no room for complacency when dealing with road safety, and we will continue to work with our partners in 2021 to tackle the causes of death and injury on our roads, and will continue to prosecute anyone who puts other road users' lives at risk.”