How many lives must be ruined before something is done about the safety of our Hampshire roads?
We recently started working with a young male cyclist who was left seriously injured following an accident with a lorry. He is lucky to have survived.
As this, yet another serious road accident, comes to light it seems clear that despite moves to tackle the issue there is still much more which can be done.
As long standing supporters of road safety groups, we strongly back the Hampshire Road Safety initiative, which is working to highlight and educate people. But the figures for this area remain alarming.
A reported 3177 accidents took place on Hampshire roads in 2010, including 598 serious injuries and 34 fatalities – and that’s before taking into account those happening in the main city centers.
Figures also show that for cyclists in certain areas, over one incident a week is taking place. Fareham saw the most accidents in 2010 with 61, followed by Gosport and Havant both with 49, and the New Forest with 47.
Whether people are cycling to improve their health, to save money, simply to avoid traffic queues, or to take advantage of a cycle to work initiative tied to an incentive scheme, it is an activity which we should be encouraged. However, not at the risk of personal safety.
Two London surgeons who are regularly faced with fatally injured cyclists have called these injuries ‘a public health issue’ that needs urgent attention, and we couldn’t agree more. They have called for a complete review of London’s road network and we just hope their warning is heard.
It is hoped that new laws may help discourage some. At present the offence of dangerous driving is punishable with up to two years in prison, whilst causing death by dangerous driving with a maximum 14-year sentence. Plus a new penalty introduced last year now means that those behaving recklessly on the road could face up to five years in jail.
For Hampshire, tackling road safety is something the whole community needs to come together on, if we are to reduce its devastating impact.
Moore Blatch Resolve road traffic accident specialist