West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) have joined forces to support the ‘European Day Without A Road Death’ campaign today.
Whilst the emergency services want every day to be without a road related fatality, the first ever ‘Project Edward’ initiative provides an opportunity for road safety partners across Europe to join in promoting safe and responsible driving.
The initiative belongs to TISPOL who are the European Traffic Police Network.
Police and the Fire Service have been hosting a string of events across West Yorkshire to deliver hard-hitting awareness messages to the public.
Outside Trinity Walk Shopping Centre in Wakefield, fire crews are with a wrecked vehicle and fire engine, giving advice from the Road Show Vehicle.
Cormac Hamilton, Trinity Walk’s centre manager, said: “We were delighted to support this great international day of road safety awareness. The fire and police teams have been great with the public, really interactive, which has meant there’s been a lot of interest.”
A West Yorkshire Police patrol car from Safer Roads and Neighbourhood Support has also been at the scene.
West Yorkshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Mark Milsom said; “There were 48 road users fatally injured on West Yorkshire’s roads in 2015, which is a reduction in the county from the previous two years however it is still nearly one per week and a figure we are keen to try and reduce further.
“Any police officer will agree it is the hardest part of the job when having to make that knock on the door and devastate a family by telling them their loved one has died and in many cases, often these tragic circumstances could have been prevented.
“We all want everyone to drive safely and to consider the consequences of their actions when using the roads.
“Project Edward aims to get all road users to ‘take the pledge’ to change their driving, improving the safety of roads for everyone who uses them, whether that be motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and other road users. In making subtle changes we can continue to reduce the number of deaths on the roads of West Yorkshire.”
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service have also released a collection of striking posters highlighting the dangers of the fatal four – drink or drug driving, distractions while driving, speeding and not wearing a seatbelt.
WYFRS Area Manager for Fire Safety Ian Bitcon said: “This is an excellent project and we hope that we achieve a day without a road death in Europe.
“Firefighters attend a significant number of fatal road traffic collisions each year and these are traumatic for staff but also have a devastating effect on the friends and family of the victims. Every single one of these deaths is a needless tragedy.
“We have identified four main factors that cause road deaths and we refer to these as the Fatal Four.
“These factors are drugs and alcohol, being distracted, speeding, and not wearing a seatbelt and so our campaign focuses on these risks.
“Sadly many of the people who die are in their teens and twenties and so these are the groups we are particularly targeting.”
To find out more about TISPOL visit www.tispol.org/edward.
You can also follow #ProjectEdward via @TISPOLorg.