A new policing team aimed reducing the number of casualties on the county’s roads has been launched in Norfolk.
The Road Casualty Reduction Team (RCRT) sees officers carry out pro-active patrols targeting vulnerable road users and collision hotspots.
The team, made up of four police motorcyclists, is funded by the Road Safety Camera Partnership and provides additional support to routine patrol deployment.
Chief Inspector Chris Spinks, head of Roads Policing in Norfolk and Suffolk, said: “The creation of this new team will see officers being much more pro-active in their ability to target hard-to-reach groups such as motorcyclists and carry out patrols in problem areas, all with the aim of helping improve road safety.
“We already do a lot of work to engage with motorists as part of our routine patrols while also attending specialist events; the real benefit of this team allows us to enhance this work as we are able to dedicate these officers for specific tasks and events. These patrols are above and beyond our normal capability which means they can concentrate on casualty reduction work without the need to respond to routine calls.”
The launch comes exactly a year after a hard-hitting video featuring footage of a fatal collision involving a car and motorcycle was released. David’s story attracted worldwide attention and has been viewed more than 17.2 million times.
The video, which features film captured on the headcam of Norwich motorcyclist David Holmes, killed on the A47 at Honingham in June 2013, was released with the aim of getting riders and drivers to think about road safety and ultimately save lives.
Commenting on the campaign, David’s mother Brenda said it had been ‘successful’ and ‘worthwhile’.
She added: “This campaign has been worth the time and effort that everyone involved has put in. I’m grateful for the support it’s received and I really hope people who have seen the video keep it in the forefront of their minds and that it changes their driving or riding behaviour for the better.”
Motorcyclists are disproportionately represented in collision statistics; nationally they make up for just one per cent of all traffic but account for 19 per cent of all road user deaths.
Chief Insp Spinks added: “Motorcyclists traditionally have always been a hard-to-reach group in terms of road safety and for me, there’s no better way to improve this than having police bikers at the forefront of our efforts to educate and enforce.”
Jenny McKibben, Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner for Norfolk, said: “This is a positive use of the Road Safety Camera Partnership funding to increase police enforcement of Norfolk’s roads. Too many people are still being killed or seriously injured. When you look at the casualty figures it is clear that the highest number of those killed or seriously injured are younger and older drivers, motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians. This new team will help make Norfolk’s road safer by targeting vulnerable groups of road users.”
The team has been active for approximately one month and in this time have issued the following:
Speeding - 59 verbal warnings and 41 Traffic Offence Reports
Not wearing a seatbelt - 11 verbal warnings and 57 Traffic Offence Reports
Driving while using a mobile phone - 58 Traffic Offence Reports
One person arrested for drink-driving after providing a positive breath test