David outlined his vision for road safety at the event held at Cheshire Police’s headquarters in Winsford on Thursday (29 June 2017).
Over 70 partner organisations attended the summit which focused on how best to respond to incidents and issues on Cheshire’s roads. Attendees included equestrian organisations, cycling groups, local councils, highways departments, youth groups and police officers.
Representatives were given the opportunity to swap ideas and solutions as well as discover some of the developing technology and kit currently being employed by Cheshire Police, such as virtual reality headsets, the yellow van, ANPR and the new portal on the Constabulary website which enables people to submit their dash cam footage to support criminal investigations.
The delegates also heard moving testimony from the family of a victim of a fatal collision. The Wilson family, who lost their son in a collision in 2010, spoke candidly about the horrors of having an officer knocking at their door to deliver a message which changed their lives forever.
Matthew Wilson was just 21 when he collided with a tree on the A51 near Nantwich. He was just above the drink drive limit and had a small amount of drugs in his system, believed to have been taken a few days earlier. The family donated his crashed car to help police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service spread the road safety message to young people across the county in an effort to prevent further tragedies.
The summit looked at not only drink and drug driving for which there have been 520 arrests this year to April, but also speeding and the safety of cyclists, pedestrians, bikers and equestrians - topics important to the community.
David added: “The public told me that road safety mattered to them and my plan for today was to have the key people round the table having the right kind of conversations. The question I wanted to ask people was ‘How can we work together as a team to make Cheshire’s roads safer?’ - and we certainly got that important conversation started today.
“A key theme from the day was ‘culture change’. We need to make road safety everyone’s responsibility and one of my plans is to ‘mainstream’ road safety- providing the right training and kit to empower all officers within local policing to make our roads safer.
“I’m committed to working with partners to bring the number of deaths and serious injuries down. Whether it’s speeding, drink driving, or being distracted at the wheel, we need to work together to tackle it. Every single resident in Cheshire has the right to use our roads safely. This is why road safety is one of my priorities.”
Chief Constable Simon Byrne said: “The conference gave us the opportunity to talk about what we are doing in Cheshire to support the Commissioner’s Police and Crime Plan priority on road safety - for instance we are stepping up local enforcement on our roads and are training more PCSOs to use speed devices so they can tackle the hotspot roads that are causing their residents concern. We are also promoting and developing the Community Speedwatch Scheme so that you too can get involved in tackling speeding in your village or town.”
The summit was the first in a series of thematic conferences to be hosted by Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane, each focusing on the Policing Priorities of the Cheshire Public. Over the coming months, other issues identified by the public will take centre stage.