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Norfolk Police taking part in ‘2 Wheels’ campaign and Child Safety Week in bid to reduce road deaths

Two police campaigns launched today are aiming to reduce the number of road deaths and serious injuries across the county.

Norfolk Police is supporting the national road safety initiatives that are taking place this month.

The ‘2 Wheels’ campaign is taking place over two weeks, beginning today and running until Sunday, June 16.

Norfolk Police are taking part in the ‘2 Wheels’ campaign and Child Safety Week. Picture: iStock
Norfolk Police are taking part in the ‘2 Wheels’ campaign and Child Safety Week. Picture: iStock

Taking place alongside this for the first seven days is Child Safety Week, which also begins today and runs until Sunday.

Both campaigns are organised by the National Police Chiefs’ Council and aim to highlight the dangers faced by these vulnerable groups and how to improve driver and rider behaviour to enhance road safety.

The ‘2 Wheels’ campaign places a focus on those road users who are disproportionately harmed in ‘killed or serious injury collisions’ (KSIs).

Motorcyclists make up just 1% of the motoring population, yet are 16 times more likely to be injured in a KSI collision as opposed to car drivers. They therefore remain some of the most vulnerable road users, alongside cyclists.

Officers will be placing an additional focus on the safety of road users on two wheels during the campaign, where possible by educating riders about the dangers of not having the correct skills and knowledge and lacking personal protection equipment.

However, compliance with road traffic regulations will be enforced where appropriate.

The campaign is also an opportunity to make all road users think about the safety of those on two wheels and improving driver behaviour. Many collisions involving cyclists are as a result of vehicles passing them too closely or not being aware of them at junctions.

Meanwhile, Child Safety Week is about getting people to consider all the aspects of road safety where children are involved.

For younger children, this will be ensuring they are using the correct car seat or making sure they are wearing their seat belt.

Children find it difficult to judge the speed and distance of traffic until they are at least eight-years-old, and accidents peak at around 12-years-old when they start making independent journeys.

They depend on adults teaching them the basics of walking a route to school, crossing roads in a safe place and looking for hazards. They should also be encouraged to not be distracted by their mobile phone or listening to music.

When it comes to cycling, police are urging parents to make sure their children are in the habit of wearing a helmet and look out for any cycle safety courses they can attend.

Children are 3.5 times more likely to die if hit by a car driving between 30mph and 40mph.

Throughout the campaigns, officers are reminding drivers to stick to the speed limits, as well as to take particular care around schools, nurseries, or any other location where there may be higher numbers of children present.

Chief Inspector Vicky McParland, head of the joint Norfolk and Suffolk Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “These campaigns carry important messages regarding the safety of those who use our roads on two wheels and also the responsibilities we all share in protecting children from coming to harm on the roads.

“Vulnerable groups such as these make up a small percentage of total road users but are disproportionately affected in collisions.

“We use these campaigns to focus on education – and that means education for both those on two wheels, other road users and parents/guardians.

“While unfortunately many collisions are caused as a result of poor riding, in many cases – especially in respect of cyclists – collisions are caused by impatient and careless driving.

“It is incumbent on all road users to consider their own safety as well as the safety of others. Motorcyclists and cyclists should ensure they are wearing all the necessary safety equipment to protect themselves and to ride considerately and responsibly.

“We have a shared responsibility when it comes to ensuring the safety of children in cars or when they are out and about. It is not limited to just parents or guardians strapping them in their vehicle properly or teaching them good habits when out walking or cycling.

“Motorists should always be scanning for risks – whether that is spotting a child up ahead cycling, or looking like they are about to cross the road – you need to be alert to react and ensure you are driving to the speed limit.”

Norfolk’s newly-elected Police and Crime Commissioner, Sarah Taylor, said: “I very much welcome safety campaigns such as these.

“Having previously worked as an engineer in road safety, I am keen for a more proactive approach to be taken to preventing road deaths and serious injuries, and campaigns such as these also play an important part.

“If we truly want to achieve zero deaths or serious injuries on our roads, then we need to continually educate and remind Norfolk residents to practise safer behaviours, and to work with partners to make our roads safer.

“Together, we all have a shared responsibility for road safety which considers other road users, whether that be other vehicle users, motorcyclists, cyclists, horse riders or pedestrians.”

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