Merseyside Police and Merseyside Road Safety Partnership are working together as part of this year’s 2020 ‘Project EDWARD’ (Every Day Without a Road Death). Nationally, there will be a programme of activities to highlight the issues that cause road casualties and a national policing initiative, “One Road, One Week” which aims to tackle collision hotspots.
Project EDWARD runs from the 14 – 18 September, and aims to reduce road casualties right across Europe. Across those five days, Merseyside Police officers will be attending sites, speaking with drivers and carrying out enforcement activity in Knowsley, Wirral, Sefton, Liverpool and St Helens. Each site has been chosen based on a mixture of community feedback and collision data.
Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy has made working in partnership to improve road safety one of her policing priorities and is giving her full support to the week-long campaign.
Jane said: “Road crashes can shatter lives. They can bring injury and suffering to those involved, as well as to their families and loved ones.
“Ensuring our roads are as safe as possible is a priority for me, for Merseyside Police and the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership. We are working hard, all year round, to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads, making them safer for everyone to use.
“Crashes generally happen on our roads because people make mistakes. It might be poor judgement, a lapse of concentration, complacency, a poor decision or ignorance of road safety and the law. Project Edward is a great opportunity to educate and engage with road users to reduce the risks and to ensure that when these mistakes happen, they do not result in someone dying or suffering life-changing injures.
“Our ultimate goal is that no-one loses their life on our roads and to achieve that we need all road users to pledge to use our roads more safely.”
Acting Inspector Gavin Dick of Merseyside Roads Policing Unit said: “We know that the sites we’ve chosen are ones that local communities have concerns about, and the collision data we’ve analysed reflects that.
“This isn’t only about speeding drivers – this week is about all the risk factors that can lead to people being killed and seriously injured: mobile phones, not wearing seatbelts, alcohol and drug driving. We want to see everyone using these roads – pedestrians and cyclists included, safely. We recognise that different types of road users faces different challenges, and this week is much about engaging with, and educating people, as anything else.”
In 2018, 499 people were killed or seriously injured on the roads of Merseyside. Merseyside Road Safety Partnership will be encouraging all road users to go online and sign The Pledge at www.merseysideroadsafety.org. The Pledge asks drivers to always consider the safety of others when they drive, walk or cycle, to drive at appropriate speeds in Merseyside, and to respect the presence of other vulnerable road users.
Casualty Reduction Officer, Paul Mountford, of Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said: “The Merseyside Road Safety Partnership recognises that road safety is everyone’s responsibility, not just that of the police and other emergency services. We welcome the opportunity that Project EDWARD provides to conduct focussed enforcement and engagement with road users to address those issues that cause collisions and casualties such as speeding and illegal mobile phone use by drivers. If we are to continue to ‘drive down’ our casualty figures in Merseyside, we need the continued support of the public and that is why I would urge everyone to sign up to our road safety pledge. The Pledge is just the first step to learning about how we can all make our roads safer”.