Death toll on Suffolk roads worst for six years, police figures show

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The death toll on Suffolk's roads in 2015 was the worst for six years, according to police figures.

In total 35 people died in 30 collisions throughout the county, prompting police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore to reaffirm his force's commitment to make Suffolk's roads safer.

Last year's tragedies included

a double fatal collision in

November at Frostenden, near Southwold, and the deaths of pedestrian Scott Smith and moped rider Tony Carter in Tom Crisp Way, Lowestoft.

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In 2009 there were 42 deaths across the county.

Mr Passmore said: 'This is a very serious matter for all road users in Suffolk. Each fatality or serious injury is devastating or life-changing for those involved and their relatives and friends.

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'Let us be clear - the responsibility to improve matters lays with every single one of us, because

the constabulary can not be everywhere all the time. In addition, the financial cost of a fatal accident investigation runs into millions of pounds.

'We have an enormous network in Suffolk, but a vast majority of it was not built for the current traffic volumes we have.

'Road safety is a really big priority in our Police and Crime Plan and that's why we are one of the only two forces which have increased resources for roads policing since I was elected.

'I despair of some people, particularly those who speed or use mobile phones when driving.

'I'm completely sick and tired of these mindless idiots who think they are above the law – they are not.'

Mr Passmore said in the coming weeks there will be announcements about further strategies to make Suffolk's roads safer.

The PCC also implored motorists to do all they can including allowing sufficient time for journeys, respecting others on the road, and using common sense by driving carefully.

Making sure vehicles are properly maintained is another essential aspect of road safety.

Officers acknowledge there was

an unwanted increase in fatalities

in 2015 and say they will be

working hard to bring about an improvement.

However, Superintendent Jon Dodman, head of specialist operations for Suffolk and Norfolk police, said figures for killed or serious injury incidents dropped year-on-year between April to November 2015, compared to the same period in 2014.

Supt Dodman said: 'As far as killed and serious injury figures go they

are less than last year with 126, as opposed to 156 for the same period last year.

'Officers concentrate on what

are called the 'fatal four' – drink-driving, not wearing seatbelts,

using of mobile phones and excess speed.These have been shown as making a major contribution to deaths on the road.' The police strategy revolves around enforcement, educating motorists, road design at accident blackspots and working in partnership with other agencies.

Supt Dodman added: 'The

number of road users is always increasing.

'The more road users and the more congested the traffic is, the more likely someone is going to make an error.'

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