Putting speed in the spotlight

Speeding drivers are being steered in the right direction as a national road safety campaign comes to Middlesbrough this month.

Cleveland’s Strategic Road Safety Partnership welcomed the Project EDWARD team to Middlesbrough Community Fire Station on Tuesday 14 September as they stop off on their nationwide road trip to witness local road safety initiatives.

Project EDWARD (Every Day Without a Road Death) is an annual UK wide road safety campaign backed by government, emergency services, highways agencies, road safety organisations and British business. This year’s theme is ‘Fit for the Road’, which is underpinned by the ‘Safe System’ which takes a holistic approach to reducing incidents of road traffic collisions and their severity.

The event provides a platform for the launch of Cleveland’s new Community Speed Watch initiative. Community Speed Watch is a way for members of the public to address their concerns about vehicles they feel are exceeding speed limits in their area. 

It provides volunteers with an opportunity to monitor the speed of passing vehicles. Details of vehicles exceeding speed limit by 10% or more are passed to the police who will issue a letter to drivers reminding them of the law and educating them on the dangers of speeding.  Volunteers must be in plain view of drivers and wear high visibility jackets.

Nicola Bowman, Road Safety Co-ordinator, Cleveland Police said, “The safety of all road users is paramount and addressing speeding concerns will help to reduce incidents on our roads.   We encourage our communities to share any concerns regarding speeding vehicles to their local neighbourhood teams.  If anyone would like to become a volunteer –our neighbourhood police teams can assist.” 

At the event Cleveland Fire Brigade demonstrated a car crash rescue simulation, highlighting the consequences of driving too fast and profiling the brigade’s role in post-crash care.

Andy Corcoran, Chair of Cleveland Strategic Road Safety Partnership said: “The Partnership is giving a real focus on speed reduction as casualty statistics across the Cleveland area continues to show that speed is the most common contributing factor to injuries on our roads.  By getting involved in fantastic events like Project Edward and implementing a strategy of speed reducing initiatives like Community Speed Watch we are committed to drawing attention to the need to reduce speed for many motorists.”

Between 2016 and 2020, there were 512 people injured across Cleveland where a speeding vehicle was involved.  382 of these people were slightly injured, 115 were seriously injured and 15 were killed in the collision.

For more information on Project Edward see www.projectedward.org