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Family tragedies that lie behind accident statistics

Posted: Friday 20th September 2013
Blog: Blogs

I hear a lot of statistics in this job and some weeks there are some really tragic ones. In the past seven weeks there have been eleven serious incidents involving motorcyclists and mopeds, six of which resulted in deaths and four resulting in serious injuries.

Behind these statistics is a family who’ve lost a loved one. One minute they were there, they stepped out the door to go to work or out for a ride and never returned.

It’s a worry that there’s been this many increased incidents and while there may be a number of reasons for that, it’s clear that we need to more to raise awareness and educate riders. Motorcycle and moped riders are vulnerable on our roads, they may only be one per-cent of total road traffic they account for 19% of all road user deaths.

So the police will be doing more over the coming weeks and I have already seen first-hand Op Torque a joint operation between the police Roads Policing Unit and VOSA. I know from talking to the police motorcyclists that the increased skills that they have learnt in advanced training has been invaluable and any rider or driver can seek advanced motoring. Equally, we as road users can all do more to be ‘bike aware,’ for both motorbikes and cyclists across our roads, particularly as the darker nights draw in.

As we approach the winter period and dare I say the festive season, many public services are aware of the massive strain, sometimes unnecessary that is put on services. This week’s there’s been a lot of discussion about an idea from police chiefs to introduce ‘drunk tanks,’ or ‘welfare centres.’

At this stage this is only an idea and not one that is going to be piloted in Avon and Somerset until the police know if it’s successful. I am all for ideas to solve the cultural problem of alcohol fuelled crime in our cities. We know that nearly 50% of violent crime is alcohol related and 70% of emergency departments night-time attendances were caused by alcohol. We have a problem and we have to look at ways to tackle it. I’m all for schemes where the polluter pays. I am fed up with taxpayers having to pick up the tab when for many people they have chosen to get drunk. If you insist on drinking until you are incapable, then as a society I believe we should insist that it is your responsibility to pick up the costs incurred.

If you choose to become unruly as a result of alcohol consumption, surely you should pay the price. The police needed to be freed up to reduce the crime which affects us all.

The first Business Crime Forum this week was attended by many business leaders from across Avon and Somerset. CCTV was one of the most interesting discussions. Having been a business owner in the past, ensuring that your cameras are located effectively and that are functioning are the key elements of any business security. However it’s shocking how many cameras do no carry any function at all. I know that the feedback businesses, charities or organisations receive on security matters provided by Avon and Somerset Architectural Liaison Officers has been greatly effective. This advice is both free and links with other local businesses but can advise on links with other CCTV recordings around the shops and businesses in your location. It just shows how the police work to support our communities and businesses.


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