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'Don't be a statistic' warning issued

PUBLISHED: 10:41 14 November 2008 | UPDATED: 21:47 05 July 2010

A WARNING to motorists to "not become a statistic" has this week been issued following a worrying trend of drivers who continue to flout the law.

As part of Road Safety Week, new figures have been released as part of a countywide crackdown.

A WARNING to motorists to “not become a statistic” has this week been issued following a worrying trend of drivers who continue to flout the law.

As part of Road Safety Week, new figures have been released as part of a countywide crackdown. And tying in with The Journal's Save A Life campaign - which is driving towards a safer Suffolk - motorists have committed more than 2,100 offences on the county's roads.

The stark message was sent out by the Suffolk Roadsafe Board - consisting of police chiefs, the county council and emergency services - this week after 2,165 traffic offences were committed in Suffolk in the space of just over nine weeks.

Since September 1, police officers have been positioned at various hotspots throughout the county, clamping down on motorists who have not been wearing their seatbelts, have been using their mobile phones, were speeding or drink driving.

Between the start of September and November 5, those caught in the Lowestoft area have all committed the following offences: 221 people weren't wearing their seatbelts (up from 181 people caught on October 21), 63 drivers were using their mobile phones (up from 49 drivers), 135 motorists were caught speeding (up from 115 people) and 111 fixed penalty notices have been issued for other motoring offences, such as vehicle defects (which is up from 96 notices).

There were also 14 notices issued for no insurance (up from four), one arrest for drink/disqualified driving and seven other arrests (wanted on warrant/drugs offences).

With the campaign being introduced to reduce casualties by targeting inappropriate behaviour on the county's roads, the number of people killed or seriously injured on roads in Suffolk has increased compared to last year.

Latest figures show that between January 1 and November 7, there were 329 people killed or seriously injured on Suffolk's roads. In the same period in 2007, there were 247 people killed or seriously injured. This is 82 more casualties (an increase of 33pc) in 2008 compared to 2007.

In particular, it is the number of people being seriously injured that has increased this year compared to 2007. In all 219 people were seriously injured between January 1 and November 7, 2007, compared to 303 during the same period in 2008.

The number of people killed on Suffolk's roads during this period has actually decreased from 28 in 2007 to 26 in 2008 (a decrease of 7.7pc).

So far, as part of the campaign across the county, officers have caught 1,176 people without a seatbelt, 328 drivers using their mobile phones, and 661 motorists speeding. 353 fixed penalty notices have also been issued for other motoring offences, such as vehicle defects.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Disappointingly there are still motorists and passengers who continue to put their own lives and the lives of others at risk. Please don't become a statistic. Please, belt up, switch off the mobile, slow down, and don't drink and drive.”

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