A fall in the number of people killed on the county’s roads last year has not lessened the ongoing concern police have with the number of drivers who continue to endanger the lives of others.
The reduction in the overall number of road deaths is encouraging but with 61 people killed, road policing officers know that they and others “cannot afford to rest on their laurels”.
Road policing Sergeant Mick Green said: “Last year saw too many people needlessly die on Essex roads. The overall figures are encouraging and hopefully our road safety messages are hitting home.”
Figures show that 15 motorcyclists were killed in road crashes during 2009, with 19 drivers, 11 passengers, 15 pedestrians and one cyclist also dying on the county’s roads. During 2008, 73 people were killed in 69 fatal crashes (17 were motorcyclists).
Throughout the year, the force, county and borough councils have worked together on a host of proactive initiatives designed to reduce the number of casualties on the roads.
Road Policing Inspector Cat Barrie added: “There were 61 people killed on our roads in 2009. Many of these deaths were avoidable. If we can encourage drivers to act in a more responsible manner then we may just see these figures fall in 2010.
“There are still far too many people who think that driving or riding are a way of getting a thrill, but it’s a sad fact that these motorists and motorcyclists are a menace to themselves and other road users, and we will continue to take positive action against them.
“A large percentage of these crashes involving death and serious injury are attributable to three main reasons: Driving too fast for the conditions or signed limit, failure to wear seat belts and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Essex Police will continue to rigorously enforce these offences throughout the next twelve months.”
In addition, a decrease was experienced in the number of fatal collisions with 57 accounting for the 61 people killed this year as opposed to the 69 which killed 73 last year.
The total number of collisions in 2009 in which people were injured was 4,200, with 880 seriously injured. The comparative figure for 2008 stood at 5,434 collisions, with 740 people seriously injured.