Road safety


Road safety is a concern for many residents in our communities and the common request is for greater enforcement and a police presence to deal with a specific location or concern. However, we have found that the short-term presence of a police officer does not have a long-term impact on behaviour and the use of double yellow lines often moves a parking problem elsewhere in the community and could create a speeding problem where parking has been removed. Often, the answer to these chronic issues lies within the community itself and community engagement becomes the key to more holistic and lasting solutions.

Evidence has shown that more is required than enforcement alone to improve road safety effectively. There are four factors which are known to help improve safety on the roads, these are known as the four E’s: Education, Enforcement, Engineering and Engagement. Education and Engagement comes in the form of driver training, public education through media and safety campaigns and public engagement through community safety events. Enforcement is largely carried out by the police and tends to focus on speed restrictions, drugs and alcohol and driving safely within the law. Engineering focuses on how the roads and pavements are designed so that motorists, pedestrians and cyclists can use the roads safely, residents are encouraged to walk or cycle and cars can navigate the roads as safely as possible.

Cornwall Council collate, analyse and monitor information supplied by Devon & Cornwall Police relating to injury collisions that occur on Cornwall roads; this informs the Council’s annual road safety engineering programme. After a national change in collision reporting in 2015/16, damage only collisions are no longer recorded, therefore the Council no longer receive information relating to such collisions.

Cornwall Council also maintain the vast majority of roads. More information about the work undertaken to maintain road safety can be found here.

Nationally we know that there are five contributory factors that feature strongly in fatal and serious collisions. Education campaigns tend to focus on these factors to improve driver behaviour, they are:

For information about the latest collisions in Cornwall visit the Vision South West Partnership road casualty summary dashboard. The website also provides mapping software that allows users to view ‘high harm routes’ within Cornwall.

Ideas for you

All drivers must ensure that their car is roadworthy and safe to drive even with an MoT certificate. You can be fined up to £2,500, be banned from driving and get three penalty points for driving a vehicle in a dangerous condition. You can find advice on how to make sure your vehicle is roadworthy here.

Electric bikes can be ridden on private and public property providing they meet certain safety requirements and providing the rider is at least 14 years old. The Government’s advice for using an electric bike can be found here

One an electric bike has become de-restricted and no-longer complies with UK regulations it is considered a motorcycle and needs to be registered, insured and taxed. 

Electric scooter or ‘powered transporters’ can be used on private land but not on public pavements, footpaths or roads. The Government is trialling the use of e-scooters in some areas and further advice can be found here.

It is important to make sure you can still drive safely with a dog in the car. Here is a link to some information about what you need to do when driving with a dog in the car. Rule 57 of the highway code states: “When in a vehicle make sure dogs or other animals are suitably restrained so they cannot distract you while you are driving or injure you, or themselves if you stop quickly. A seat belt harness, pet carrier, dog cage or dog guard are ways of restraining animals in cars.”

Advice on the law relating to car seats can be found here as well as advice on how to choose the correct one.

Picture showing traffic calming measures

If you would like to report a pothole on the roads you can do this online here.

It is illegal to modify your car so that it no-longer meets UK safety requirements. Further information about what is and isn’t legal can be found here.

Other things that might help

As a qualified driver or rider you can improve your skills and confidence through advanced driver and rider training. Here are some links to advanced driver training: