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South West

The road safety partnership working hard to stop ALL fatal and serious collisions in Devon and Cornwall by 2040

Driver disqualified and others re-trained after shocking driving captured on dashcam

One motorist has been disqualified and a further two must attend driver training courses after their ‘really poor’ driving was captured on dashcam.

Video footage of the drivers was submitted to Devon and Cornwall Police’s Op Snap initiative which encourages driver’s with dashcams to submit video evidence of any poor driving they witness.

The videos have been released by the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership as an example of what is not acceptable on the roads of Devon and Cornwall.

One of the incidents dealt with this month involved a car overtaking a horse rider too close and too fast.

Superintendent Adrian Leisk, Alliance strategic lead for roads policing, said: “The examples captured on camera this month show some really poor driving which, in one case, resulted in a motorist losing their licence.

“I am really keen to highlight a submission from the horse-riding community this month. Dashcams are not the sole reserve of vehicle users – we can accept video footage from vulnerable road users including pedestrians, horse riders, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Dashcam footage submitted to Devon and Cornwall Police as part of Op Snap

“Horse riders, like cyclists, have a right to be free of the dangers posed by road users such as these. I’d like to remind drivers that when overtaking cyclists or horses you must give them at least 1.5m of space and reduce your speed significantly when doing so, as the animals may react to danger and behave unpredictably, placing the rider at increased risk.

“If it isn’t safe to overtake, please wait. Is it worth risking another human life to save a few seconds? If you place someone’s life in danger, there’s a strong chance you will end up being reported to us and facing the consequences.”

Since Op Snap was founded in 2019, Devon and Cornwall Police have issued almost 1,500 notices of Intended Prosecutions and more than 600 warnings to motorists across the two counties.

For more information visit dc.police.uk/opsnap

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is also chairman of Vision Zero South West and the national APCC lead for road safety.

Commissioner Hernandez said: “All road users must learn to share our public highways and treat each other with respect – there’s no excuse for anything less.

“Together with National Highways, my office has recently funded 170 dashcams to be distributed to companies across Devon and Cornwall that regularly travel around the region.

“This gives us 170 extra pairs of eyes on our roads to capture dangerous drivers and take action against them through Devon and Cornwall Police’s Op Snap initiative.

“With more people watching, the chances of bad drivers getting caught will increase.  I hope this makes motorists more alert and, in turn, will make our roads safer for everyone.”

The Department for Transport recently released its official annual road casualty statistics which showed that in Devon and Cornwall 44 people were killed and 624 people were seriously injured.

While this is a reduction compared to 2019 – when there were 48 people killed and 768 seriously injured – 2020 also saw a 21% reduction in vehicle traffic across Great Britain due to the Covid-19 lockdowns.

The Department for Transport say the decrease in fatalities in 2020 is associated with this reduction in road traffic, meaning the rate of fatalities actually increased in 2020.

Of those killed or seriously injured on Devon and Cornwall’s roads:

  • 270 were car occupants
  • 196 were motorcyclists
  • 96 were pedestrians
  • 78 were cyclists
  • 18 were van/light goods vehicle occupants
  • 2 were HGV occupants
  • 1 was a bus or coach occupant

There were also four reported casualties of incidents involving e-scooters in Devon and Cornwall during 2020.

Commissioner Hernandez said: “When dealing with figures like these it’s important to remember that every single one represents a person who has suffered dramatically as a result of a collision on our roads.

“Whether it’s someone who dies, sustains a brain injury, loses a limb or suffers from the harrowing mental effects of a road traffic collision, the effect this incident has on them – as well as their friends and family – cannot be underestimated.

“The whole purpose of Vision Zero South West is to cut road traffic deaths to zero.  All our partners will admit this is an extremely ambitious target but one which needs to be at the forefront of all of our minds. “

There’s just under one week left to submit your application to the Vision Zero South West ‘Call For Ideas’ for a chance to receive a share of £100,000.

We’re offering communities the chance to bid for funding to make road safety improvements in their neighbourhoods.

The ‘Call For Ideas’ is looking for projects that require relatively small amounts of money but offer ‘big wins’ when it comes to preventing death and serious injury on our roads. Driving down serious collisions is something we simply can’t do without your help.

If your ideas include projects that are deliverable, cost effective and help improve road safety among our vulnerable road user groups – Young Drivers, Older Drivers, Cyclists, Motorcyclists, Pedestrians and Business Drivers – then we want to hear them.

Projects should be accurately costed and ideally also have the support of your local council, whether it’s parish, town, city, county or unitary. 

You can submit your ideas on the Vision Zero South West website at https://visionzerosouthwest.co.uk/call-for-ideas/

Entries close on November 1, 2021 and will be scrutinised by a panel of judges made up of road safety experts on the Vision Zero South West board.  Successful applications will be announced on the week of November 21.