A senior doctor at Lynn’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital has pleaded with drivers to stay safe following a string of fatal accidents on Norfolk’s roads.
Dr Alistair Steel, the hospital’s lead consultant for major trauma, has thrown his weight behind a new initiative by Norfolk County Council road safety officials which aims to cut the toll.
He said this week: “If there’s anything at all we can do, we must do it whatever it takes.”
Dr Steel spoke out after a total of seven people died in accidents on Norfolk’s roads last week.
The victims included PCSO Sandra Greenacre, who suffered fatal injuries in a collision on the A149 at Sandringham last Monday.
A total of 34 people were killed on Norfolk’s roads last year and, of 131 people admitted to the QEH with serious trauma injuries in 2012, around a third were the result of traffic accidents.
Dr Steel said staff were often deeply affected by the aftermath of traffic accidents, particularly those involving younger people.
“Our Emergency Department sees the outcome of these incidents.
“The patients are very often young people at the start of their adult lives, on top of the world and with everything before them.
“The next moment they are brought in very badly injured or, in some cases they have been killed. Despite our very best efforts to do anything they just can’t be saved.
“The commonest cause of death in the under 40s in the UK is trauma related to traffic accidents.
“You only have to drive a few miles in any direction from King’s Lynn and you will see roadside flowers where someone has lost their life.”
He added: “You can’t go home from a day here, having tried to resuscitate someone who’s been injured, and not think about them and the effect their injury or death can have on their family. We are all human.
“But it just brings home that a moment’s inattention while driving can change someone’s life dramatically. “Anything we can do to reduce the number of accidents has got to be a move in the right direction.”