Number of fatalities on Cheshire roads doubles in 2018

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Cheshire Constabulary is taking part in a national crackdown on speeding motorists as it continues to tackle a recent spike in road deaths in Cheshire.

In 2018 41 people died on the roads and motorways in Cheshire, which is more double the number of fatalities in 2017 and in the first nine days of 2019 five fatal collisions occurred in Cheshire.

The police force will be undertaking enforcement and educational activities over the course of the three week 'Speed Enforcement' campaign as it continues to tackle a recent spike in road deaths in Cheshire.

Held across the UK from Monday January 7th to Sunday January 27th, the campaign aims to:

  • Reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on UK roads
  • Tackle irresponsible and dangerous drivers committing speeding offences
  • Increase awareness of the dangers – both to offenders and to other road users – of speeding
  • Encourage motorists to drive at speeds that are safe for the road environment and to always adhere to speed limits.

Inspector Steve Griffiths, from Cheshire's Roads Policing Team, said: "Speeding can have fatal consequences – driving at an unsafe speed has been shown to be a contributory factor in nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of road deaths.

"Inappropriate speed is one of the fatal four offences that Cheshire Constabulary actively tackles all year round, with the others being drink and drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt while driving and using a handheld mobile device while driving.

"We are placing extra emphasis on tackling speeding this month as we try to reduce the number of casualties and fatalities on Cheshire's roads and motorways.

"More than twice as many people (41) died on the county's roads and motorways last year than they did in 2017, and this year there has already been five fatal collisions in just nine days in Cheshire, which is clearly a big concern for us.

"While enquiries into the causes of many of these incidents are ongoing, they act as a reminder of the importance of road safety, which is a critical issue for all communities.

"Most people have been affected at some point by injury or death caused by a collision and it is essential that we do everything we can to reduce the number of incidents by educating drivers and enforcing speed limits.

"We will do this with support from Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and our other partners."

Insp Griffiths added: "One of the comments we often hear is that we should be doing more important things with our time like catching burglars rather than catching speeding motorists. My response is that speed kills and preventing somebody from dying on the road has to be one of our priorities.

"It is important that everyone realises that speed limits are in place for a reason.

"Travelling at excess speeds on public roads does not allow a driver or rider to travel safely with time to deal with things like changes in driving conditions and actions taken by other road users.

"You may want to make up time when running late, but travelling at excess speed could be the difference between a safe journey and one that ends in a fatality.

"It doesn't matter how experienced a driver you are, it's just not worth the risk.

"These are the messages that we will be giving motorists as we support the NPCC's national campaign with local activities and increased enforcement.

"Local policing units, including Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs), will be conducting initiatives on their beats on roads that communities have raised concerns about.

"Cheshire's Roads Policing Unit will be supporting these initiatives as well as proactively tackling speeding on roads which have a history of serious collisions."

If prosecuted for speeding, the minimum penalty is a £100 fine and three penalty points and you could be disqualified from driving if you build up 12 or more penalty points within a period of three years.

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire David Keane said: "Road safety is one of my key priorities and I am committed to working with partners to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on Cheshire roads and motorways.

"With an increased number of serious incidents and fatalities on our roads in recent times, it's more important than ever that the police are educating motorists about the dangers their careless actions could have.

"One death is too many and it is pleasing to see the work that Cheshire Constabulary is undertaking to help make the county's roads safer.

"But it is important that people across Cheshire support this work and campaigns like 'Speed Enforcement' as all drivers and riders have a part to play in road safety."



Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Verity Williams
Saturday 12th January 2019 at 12:58 pm
Focusing on speeding alone will not make our roads sufficiently safer, as this article states, speeding contributes to fewer than 1 in 4 accidents. And when accidents are recorded, there are normally 2-4 contributing factors. So those 24% of accidents where speeding was recorded as a contributing factor will likely have other contributing factors, too.

What is being done to bring awareness to those other causes of accidents? 76% of the causes of accidents are not speeding. Therefore, 76% of the causes of accidents occur when people are driving within speed limits.

I don't know for Wilmslow, but in Alderley Edge, in the three years to September 2018, of 27 accidents, only one of 56 contributory causes was speeding. The people crashing are not the people speeding. But nothing is done to acknowledge that.

The most prominent cause of accidents nationally, as well as locally, is people failing to look properly. Nothing is being done to improve driver standards to prevent the accidents causes by people who pay insufficient attention to their environment while driving.

Speeding, as ever, is a scapegoat that the police can easily target and monetise. Targeting speeders might look like the police are making road safety progress, but until the police acknowledge and focus on the real cause of the majority of accidents - namely people failing to look properly / paying insufficient attention - they're not.
Terry Roeves
Saturday 12th January 2019 at 2:58 pm
I was shunted by Polo, last year, in Handforth, which had been shunted by a Toyota pickup.
My speed zero, Polo almost zero, Toyota 25mph approx. Polo driver taken to hospital. Combined damage £10k+
Toyota driver admitted that he wasn’t looking properly, both to me and to police.
QED Verity.
Stuart Redgard
Sunday 13th January 2019 at 12:10 am
# Verity

if "Nothing is being done to improve driver standards to prevent the accidents causes by people who pay insufficient attention to their environment while driving" what would you suggest should be done?
Dave Cash
Sunday 13th January 2019 at 3:04 am
On what roads in Cheshire did these 41 deaths occur? In how many was speed determined as a contributory factor?
How many drivers were convicted of speeding on Cheshire East roads in same period?
Mark Russell
Monday 14th January 2019 at 8:16 am
Hi Dave, I would imagine most were on the m6, where it is impossible to speed due to the roadworks. Said roadworks will have contributed to the accident rate, as its not been this high in years. But yet 3rd party contractors are allowed to put restrictions on over 20 miles of motorway with impunity, while its the road users who pay their wages who suffer.
Richard Bullock
Monday 14th January 2019 at 11:37 am
It's unlikely to be all the M6 unless there was a huge increase. In 2017 there were (as far as I can see) 21 fatal accidents in Cheshire Police's area (but could involve more than one casualty). Of these, 13 were in Cheshire East, 6 in Cheshire West, and 1 each in Warrington and Halton. Just two in total were on Cheshire's motorways - both on the M6. The previous year there was only one fatal accident on the M6. Info from CrashMap.
Laurie Atterbury
Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 5:07 pm
Stuart Redgard raised a good question to Verity. Instead of catching out drivers that do 32mph in a 30mph area I’d like to see the police actually performing the following, not in any order of importance:-
Pull over drivers with only one sidelight, headlight, tail light, or various combinations, etc.
Pull over drivers that fail to indicate on roundabouts.
Pull over drivers that incorrectly position themselves in the wrong lane on roundabouts (Handorth Dean, Total fitness roundabout is a good example; drivers routinely position themselves in the nearside lane on leaving the Dean, to turn right towards Wilmslow).
Pull over drivers that weave in and out of traffic on Cheshire Motorways, undertaking as they impatiently want to pass traffic.Many of these culprits are high powered cars.
Pull over drivers that cut in front when turning right at crossroads instead of passing the oncoming traffic on the nearside, as set out in the highway code.
When I see the police actively performing these duties I confirm I will be less cynical that speed traps are there for our safety, I promise.
Gary Chaplin
Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 5:30 pm
Cash and stats. That is all this initiative is centred around.

Over the last 3yrs, only one fatality on Cheshire's roads was attributed to excess speed and of the 4 attributed to speed since 2010, only one was by a car travelling above the posted speed limit.

Sitting on residential roads, trapping motorists at 6am doing 33 in a 30, will not stop fatalities on the M6 or on the regions dual carriageways. Lazy policing once again.
Laurie Atterbury
Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 6:48 pm
In my earlier post I should have referred to “offside” not “near side”, sorry.
Wendy Falk
Wednesday 16th January 2019 at 11:31 pm
This makes my blood boil!

Forget speed guns, get bobbies on the road or PCSOs filming and catching ‘criminals’ driving badly. Too expensive? I’m sure there is oodles of dashcam footage available, just from locals!

Every morning on my journey to work I’m sure there are drivers under the influence of drugs or drink, as I watch them veer across lanes, jump red lights, cut corners on country lanes, overtake cyclists on blind bends and even cut across roundabouts, squeezing the other drivers out of the way. These ‘drivers’ are seemingly totally unaware of anything or anyone around them. They are not speeding, but I’m sure they will cause near misses or even actual accidents during their journeys.

On the way home, travelling down the A34 towards Alderley Edge EVERY NIGHT I cringe as drivers overtake me (and I don’t drive slowly), only to then cut in front of me nearer the roundabout or, worse, they stay in the right lane (the Wilmslow, right turn only lane) only to then speed across the roundabout to zoom onto the new Alderley Bypass trying to miss out the queuing traffic - bonkers, when you consider the deaths already caused on that road!!!

An easy fix to prevent accidents would be to re-paint white lines on the minor roads and make them clearly visible (travelling home from Prestbury Village centre towards Wilmslow is treacherous in the dark!) and another would be to make lane arrows clearly marked earlier (e.g. Alderley roundabout).

Planned roadworks should be notified so people can avoid and not speed to catch up time after being stuck in tailbacks (regularly on Bonis Hall Lane, Prestbury and never seen anyone actually working - but that’s a rant for another time).

All it takes is some common sense designing Cheshire road markings logically, monitoring traffic incidents and changing priorities to suit and getting bodies out there to enforce/educate, NOT just with a speed gun!

When I see a young police officer holding a speed gun at motorists travelling along Moor Lane in Wilmslow in the middle of the day, I just sigh in disbelief...

Today’s rant over :-/
Laurie Atterbury
Thursday 17th January 2019 at 8:49 am
The other night at about 9.30 pm I was following a car that was completely blacked out. At some lights I tapped the window of the young female driver and told her all her lights were out. “ Yes, I know” was the response “a fuse has gone or something, I’m going to have it checked soon”. When I told her that she should not be on the road a bit of verbal abuse followed. There was a mature lady passenger, which could have been Mother , who just shrugged her shoulders. There was a time when she would have been done by the police, sadly those days have long passed, as too busy watching for speeding motorists to raise funds.
Robert Farr
Thursday 17th January 2019 at 12:26 pm
There seems to be an excessive number of very large cars in and around Wilmslow, SUVs I believe they are called. The driver sits high up, his headlights dazzle oncoming vehicles whilst the driver is oblivious of the effect to oncoming drivers and also the speed they themselves are travelling at. Outcome is traffic incidents and injury or worse.
Simon Worthington
Friday 18th January 2019 at 11:14 am
Some years ago when investigating the claims made by a councillor (still spouting rubbish at our expense) in the local rag I discovered that out of 20 accidents in the centre of Wilmslow 7 involved pedestrians walking into stationary vehicles!!!!!
Plod and headlines eh!!