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Devon and Cornwall road deaths spike

Recent years have seen many initiatives across the UK to improve road safety to reduce deaths and serious injury, which makes the figures for Devon and Cornwall for August particularly surprising.

Authorities have said that in August 2021 more than 20 people died on Cornwall’s roads, where the average is usually more like four.

Of course traffic volumes have increased with the reduction in COVID restrictions and the rise of staycations this year, but 20 deaths in a single month is far greater than comparable periods in recent times, and there is no obvious explanation for this tragic number of fatalities.

The response in the counties has been a road safety campaign to try to address the issue. Vision South West is a group which includes the police, fire service and air ambulance, the group aims to eradicate all serious and fatal road collisions, and they have been giving out 170 dashcams. Targeted to business which use the road network regularly. The Devon and Cornwall Police Crime Commissioner described this as being “170 extra pairs of eyes on our roads. The hope is there will be a greater chance of catching bad drivers in action, leading to prosecutions and making drivers think about the way they drive.”

One of our road traffic claims experts, Philip Edwards, said:

“Throughout my career I have represented the families and loved ones of people who have died as a result of road traffic accidents, every single case is a personal tragedy, and to hear that there have been more than 20 deaths in a single month in Devon and Cornwall is a moment for reflection and indeed action. It is pleasing to see the response from Vision Zero South West, but in addition to these local initiatives we do need the government to redouble their efforts in improving all aspects of road safety and driver education. In my experience, all the cases I have handled involved accidents that were avoidable if more care had been taken – and taking a bit more care to save lives is something that we can all play our part in.”


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