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Drivers continue to risk lives

PUBLISHED: 15:12 19 September 2008 | UPDATED: 21:19 05 July 2010

MOTORISTS are continuing to put their own lives and the lives of others at risk.

That was the stark warning from police chiefs this week after shocking new figures revealed a rise in the number of people who had been killed or seriously injured on Suffolk's roads this year.

MOTORISTS are continuing to put their own lives and the lives of others at risk.

That was the stark warning from police chiefs this week after shocking new figures revealed a rise in the number of people who had been killed or seriously injured on Suffolk's roads this year.

Between January and May 2008, 157 people were killed or seriously injured on the county's roads. And comparing this to the same period last year, there have been 37 more casualties - an increase of 30.8pc.

Already this year, 19 people have already died and 199 people have been seriously injured in crashes on the county roads compared to 39 deaths in 2007 and 265 people being injured.

Between July 2007 and July 2008 the worst collision site in Suffolk, which has recorded the highest number of accidents, has been the A12 - with three deaths and 19 people suffering serious injuries during this period.

The Suffolk Roadsafe Board - which comprises representatives from Suffolk County Council, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, Suffolk Constabulary, Suffolk Safecam, the Highways Agency and the East of England Ambulance Service - have highlighted a “worrying” trend among these statistics, with speeding, using mobile phones, drink and drug driving, and not wearing seatbelts high on the key areas they are looking to crackdown on.

And with this in mind, police launched a new campaign on September 1 across the county. Already this month, officers have handed out fixed penalty notices for 514 seatbelt offences, 81 mobile phone offences and 76 for speeding offences. There have also been nine vehicles seized for drivers with either no insurance or driving without a licence. There were also 79 fixed penalty notices for other traffic offences, which includes vehicle defects, and there have also been three arrests for drink drivers.

From these Suffolk-wide figures, there have been 104 fixed penalty notices handed out in Lowestoft, with eight other incidents also dealt with.

Locally, fixed penalty notices were handed out for 48 seat belt offences, six mobile phone offences and 23 for speeding offences. One vehicle was seized for drivers with either no insurance or driving without a licence. There were also 27 fixed penalty notices distributed for other traffic offences, which includes vehicle defects, one arrest on warrant and six vehicles that weren't roadworthy.

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