New ‘Fatal Four’ squad launched to combat road crashes
A new and specially trained team will be out on Lincolnshire’s roads today, tasked with tackling some of the main causes of crashes in the county.
The new Safer Roads Team (SRT) has been established to focus on Fatal Four enforcement, which has long been identified as including four of the main reasons why collisions can happen. These are: drink/drug driving, mobile phone use, excess speed, and not wearing a seatbelt.
The SRT consists of a trained unit of 10 Special Constables and two Special Sergeants, who will work alongside EMOpSS colleagues from the Boston and HQ RAPT (Roads Armed Policing Teams).
The team is a first for Lincolnshire and its officers will operate in unmarked vehicles to target any drivers who commit Fatal Four offences.
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said: “The idea to form a trained unit of specials, with traffic policing capabilities, emerged following the Road Safety Summit in Grantham last year.
“As a result of the many meetings I have around the county, and from the response to my recent public opinion survey, it is clear that road safety is an important issue and high priority for the residents of the county.
“The new unit will support the TRPT (Tactical Roads Policing Team) that we already share with Leicestershire and Northamptonshire.
“I think this will be an important step in tackling the injury and death toll on our roads. Every incident has a terrible, and sometimes tragic, impact on those involved and we must do everything in our power to reduce this problem.”
Inspector Jason Baxter said: “Anyone who lives in this county will know that there have so far this year been a number of collisions on Lincolnshire’s roads that have resulted in serious injury or, even more tragically, a death. The sad fact is that many of these accidents can be prevented if some drivers altered their behaviours. Many are in fact completely law-abiding when they are behind the wheel, but there is a minority who are not. Unfortunately, they are the ones who can injure themselves and others as a result of the way in which they drive.
“Our communities have told us that road safety is an incredibly concerning and important issue to them and we hope that the introduction of the SRT will go some way in reducing some of those numbers of collisions that are happening on Lincolnshire’s roads.”
Since the start of 2018 there have been 14 deaths on Lincolnshire’s roads which have resulted from 12 collisions, compared with 14 deaths from 13 collisions at this time last year.
Last year there were also over 3,300 road traffic collisions on the county’s roads resulting in 2,577 people being injured, of which 519 people were seriously injured and 49 sadly lost their life. The majority of the casualties were not at fault or to blame for the collision but an innocent victim.
Assistant Chief Constable Shaun West said: “We have staff stationed around the county who police the roads but the introduction of this team will give us more capacity and certainly more opportunity to stop people from driving a vehicle who are not doing so in a safe and responsible manner. That will include both educating drivers and, where necessary, penalising drivers.
“I’m thrilled that the force, along with the Police and Crime Commissioner, and the Road Safety Partnership, have been able to make the introduction of this unit happen and hope we quickly see some positive differences on our roads.”