A serious authorities assessment into how the UK’s roads are policed has been introduced, with motorway bosses and the Residence Workplace becoming a member of the police to launch a two-year Highway Security Motion Plan in a bid to enhance street security.
Latest figures have revealed the variety of fatalities brought on by drink drivers just lately reached an eight-year excessive, whereas the variety of pedestrians killed on the UK’s roads reached a nine-year excessive in 2017, and total accident charges haven’t fallen considerably since 2012.
There has additionally been a extreme drop in the kind of offences roads police would usually resolve lately, with the variety of drivers cited for careless or harmful driving falling from 276,000 in 2011, to 179,000 in 2016.
These tendencies come within the wake of cuts which have seen the variety of devoted police visitors officers fall by 24 per cent between 2012 and 2018, as funding cuts see visitors enforcement growing left to hurry cameras. The autumn in visitors officers has been felt so sharply that one senior police officer just lately described the UK’s roads as being like “Wacky Races”.
The variety of seatbelt offences logged throughout the identical interval fell from 137,000 to only 19,600, although one in 4 car occupants killed in 2017 (the final yr for which figures can be found) wasn’t carrying a seatbelt.
The variety of roadside breathalyser checks carried out by police, in the meantime, fell from virtually half one million in 2013 to only 147,000 in 2017, whereas the proportion of optimistic breath samples offered by examined drivers growing from 9.four per cent to 12.four per cent over the identical interval. Drug driving offences have been additionally up by 90 per cent in 2018 in comparison with 2017, although this rise could also be linked to the mass adoption of roadside DrugWipe checks by police.
The Highway Security Motion Plan
The primary-of-its-kind assessment into street policing, funded by the Division for Transport and Highways England, will “have a look at how roads policing at present works, its effectiveness, and the place enhancements may very well be made”.
Whereas particulars of the assessment are skinny on the bottom, latest initiatives have seen long-range pace cameras that may detect offences from a kilometre away trialled, whereas MPs have known as on native councils to be given powers to challenge visitors penalties to make up for police shortages.
Police have additionally been trialling roadside alcohol breathalysers that present evidential readings, negating the necessity for officers to hold out a second check on the police station, and eradicating the potential for offenders to sober up sufficient to move this second check as they’re taken to the station.
Edmund King, president of the AA, welcomed the investigation, however cautioned: “The most important deterrent to somebody drink-driving, selecting up their telephone behind the wheel or driving with out insurance coverage, is to have a really robust and really seen police presence. Lowering the variety of specialist visitors police by a 3rd over a decade has meant that some drivers really feel they’ll often drive or act dangerously of their vehicles and get away with it.”
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