For this blog I want to focus on a truly unsung road safety hero, one who could be overlooked, but who above all others has the power to reduce the truly devastating loss of life and serious injury we unfortunately see on our roads every day. This road safety hero is you, the public.
There are very few occasions where policing is the single answer, and the reality is this is the same with road safety. All of us, in one way or another, police our roads, and we can help to prevent harm occurring if we follow the lead of the public hero who already takes care, considers others, and sets an example to their friends and family, on how to use our roads safely every day.
Many drivers, riders, pedal cyclists, horse riders, scooter users, and pedestrians use our busy roads every day, in a thoughtful, careful, and lawful way, but unfortunately there are a small but significant minority who choose not to.
The laws of our roads are designed first and foremost to protect life. From speeding to failing to wear a seat belt, from distracted driving to drink or drug driving, abiding by these laws reduces the chances of being killed or seriously injured in a collision or causing one.
No one can prepare you for the loss of a loved one in a road traffic collision. It is always unexpected, utterly devastating and deeply tragic. But we also know that very many, if not all collisions are preventable, either by compliance with the law or by simply taking more care.
For now, we need our roads policing professionals to ensure we offer the very best service we can to those involved in and bereaved by serious and fatal road traffic collisions. But if I had one wish, it would be that I never have to deploy any of these services again, because I do not want families, friends and communities, to experience the loss of a loved one from a preventable collision on our roads.
I want to thank everyone who uses our roads lawfully, with care and with tolerance for all other road users. Together, we can prevent harm on our roads. Thank you.
This blog is published for Road Safety Week 2021 in celebration of the road safety heroes who help us make safe and healthy journeys and support people after road crashes. Click here to find out more and sign up to take part.
Chief Constable of Sussex Police and NPCC lead for Roads Policing