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Number of deaths on Surrey roads falls again
12:56pm Monday 21st October 2013 in Local News
The number of deaths on Surrey roads has fallen by more than half since the launch of the high-profile Drive SMART safety campaign.
Surrey County Council, which launched the initiative with Surrey Police in 2009, this week flagged up the figures for fatalities on the county's highways, and the areas which had seen the biggest falls in deaths.
Last year, there were 18 deaths on Surrey’s roads, compared to 45 in 2008, and 41 in 2009.
A Surrey County Council spokesman said: “The death rate has also dropped consistently in each intervening year. “Up to August this year, the latest data available, there were 11 deaths in 2013.”
And the good news was also borne out by the figures for the three districts in the Life area.
In Mole Valley, there were eight deaths on the roads in 2008, compared to one death in 2012.
In Tandridge, where five people died on the roads in 2008, there were two fatalities last year.
And in Reigate and Banstead, which saw three deaths in 2008, there were none in 2012.
John Furey, chairman of Drive SMART and Surrey County Council’s cabinet member for highways, said: “The drop in road deaths is good news, and our Drive SMART campaign will continue to focus on keeping our residents safe through education.”
But he added: “However, there is a lot still to do.
“For example, this summer we launched our Cycle SMART campaign, reminding all road-users to respect the rules of the road and each other.” Drive SMART focuses on reducing road casualties, tackling anti-social driving and making the county’s roads safer. The campaign’s focus includes speeding, motorists driving under the influence of drink or drugs, and the use of mobile phones while driving.
Road safety initiatives set up as part of the Drive SMART campaign include driver rehabilitation courses, school crossing patrols, BikeSafe advanced motorcyclist training, poster and publicity campaigns and Safe Drive Stay Alive theatre performances.
Superintendent Chris Moon of Surrey Police, said: ““Drive SMART is all about changing the behaviours and attitudes of road-users to reduce the unacceptable level of road casualties on Surrey’s roads.”
Supt Moon said: “We would prefer drivers and riders to realise the risks of their actions and the devastating results should they lose control of their vehicle or motorcycle, injuring themselves or others.
“But we will enforce the law robustly to keep casualties down and people in Surrey safe.
“We will continue to work with the county council and Surrey Fire and Rescue Service to protect the public through this valuable initiative.”