The newly convened South West Peninsula Road Safety Partnership undertakes a ‘Day of Action’ on the A38.

25 February 2020 Posted by
On the 14th January 2020 a pro-active multi-agency ‘Day of Action’ took place on the A38, designed to enhance the safety of Cornwall’s residents and visitors travelling on the A38 corridor in East Cornwall. The selection of this route targeted one of Highways England’s worst performing routes from Bodmin to Saltash, with the number of people killed or seriously injured on some sections being nearly 3.5 times the national average for those killed or seriously injured. The Operation contained several dimensions in order to target as many users of this network as possible.

Alliance Operations Roads Policing Officers provided a high impact, high profile enforcement initiative focussing on the ‘Fatal Five’ (inappropriate or excessive speed, not wearing a seatbelt, driver distractions including using mobile phones, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and careless or inconsiderate driving), working alongside the Alliance Armed Response Team, Local Policing staff, Safety Camera Partnership, Driving and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and Road Fuels (HMRC).

Despite the poor weather the team achieved some fantastic results as detailed below:

·        8 drivers dealt with at the roadside for no insurance or MOT

·        2 number plate offences

·        2 lighting offences

·        1 mobile phone offence

·        1 window tint offence

·        1 illegal tyre offence

·        1 vehicle excess weight offence

·        29 excess speed offences (combination of Safety Camera Partnership and officers on patrol)

·        12 vehicles clamped and a further 6 warning notices issued for no tax

·        11 prohibitions and 4 advisory notices issued by DVSA for vehicle defects

By way of comparison, the Safety Camera Partnership had 200 activations the day before the operation and 150 the day after, on the day of action itself only having 27.   It was acknowledged that the weather was likely to be a factor in slowing people down and that drivers were also reacting to the volume of police presence on the road.

The enforcement initiative was supported by a range of educational engagement activities that took place at a local supermarket in Liskeard, which saw resources from a variety of key road safety partners such as, Cornwall Council/Cornwall Fire & Rescue Service, The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Devon & Cornwall Police, Highways England and Safe38 in attendance to promote knowledge of safe and appropriate speeds, Operation Snap, Operation Close Pass and Driving for Better Business, where various liveried vehicles were also on display. This opportunity facilitated proactive discussions with members of the public that proved productive in delivering wider confidence with what we were aiming to achieve.  Some concerns were also alleviated on the day through being able to connect with the right officers to explain and describe in detail, what plans are progressing to tackle road safety. 61 people were engaged in active conversations with the education team about rural road safety, where various road safety advice leaflets were provided for those people to take away. These conversations and engagements concluded with a short knowledge check via survey, which revealed the following results:

·        95% of people were more likely to reduce their speed on rural roads

·        93% of people were more aware of the importance of braking before the bend and not on it (a 1% increase on awareness prior to the engagement)

·        72% of people were aware that the national speed limit on a single carriageway road is 60mph unless indicated otherwise (28% were not aware of this prior to the engagement)

A range of road safety proposals have been submitted to the Secretary of State for Transport to lobby for funding support through the next Roads Investment Strategy 2020-2025.  Education and enforcement provides a key supporting role to encourage road user respect and compliance but investment is essential to address the safety issues along this route. We are looking to Government to make a favourable announcement so that these critical improvements can progress.

About the Author

Research & Information Officer, Amethyst, Community Safety Team

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