A tragic Christmas on Norfolk’s roads, with crashes claiming nine lives during the last month, has prompted a renewed recruitment drive for highway safety volunteers.
Vicims aged from seven to 87 have died in six accidents around the county since December 14, with three deaths in West Norfolk alone.
Norfolk County Council’s road safety team is now urging more people to sign up to help deliver road safety training in their communities to prevent further tragedies.
The volunteer drive, which is part of the wider road safety campaign Keep Your Mind On The Road, was launched in November and has so far seen 57 people offer their services.
Alec Byrne, chairman of the Norfolk Casualty Reduction Partnership, said he hoped more would now be inspired to follow them.
He said: “This has been one of the worst Christmases on Norfolk’s roads in living memory and we are stressing the need for further volunteers to pass on the road safety message.
“Our current team of volunteers do an excellent job but with the assistance of more people signing up to deliver road safety advice, we can help prevent the kind of accidents that have happened recently.
“The support volunteers give can make all the difference and the work they do complements the valued road safety work that the council delivers right across Norfolk.”
The scheme’s current advertising campaign uses existing road safety volunteers to promote the message, such as Brancaster mum-of-two Sophie de Winton, who delivers about 15 hours of cycle training each year around her village.
All new volunteers will be trained and accompanied on the training sessions, which includes child car seat checking, workshops for younger drivers and teaching cycling and pedestrian safety to children.
The overall aim is to encourage communities in Norfolk to take collective action to help make their roads safer, by helping to educate fellow residents.
The youngest victims to have their lives claimed on the region’s roads were sisters Jessica, 7, and Tamzin, 10, Porter, from Sutton Bridge. They died in a crash on the A47 near Walsoken on December 27, in which their 12-year-old brother Liam and 38-year-old father Allan Portor were also injured along with the 43-year-old woman driving the car.
Among the other victims was a woman, thought to be in her 70s, who died following a three-vehicle crash on Lynn Road, Ingoldisthorpe, last Sunday.
Road safety volunteers can register their interest by visiting www.norfolk.gov.uk/mindroad or calling 0344 800 8020. Volunteering can be shaped around an individual’s lifestyle and commitments.