Funding For Road Safety
The recent increase in road fatalities in Lincolnshire has understandably caused horror and dismay across the county. But Lincolnshire is not alone in experiencing road tragedies: according to recent national figures, there was a 4% increase in road fatalities across the whole country in 2014, with the number of people incurring serious injuries rising 5%.
Amid the gloom it's worth remembering that road safety has come on a long way in the past couple of decades. Many readers will remember the days when few people wore a seatbelt and when drinking and driving was seen as acceptable. Education around driving has doubtless saved many lives and will continue to do so; equally, technology has developed so much that it is now much safer to drive a vehicle, with people surviving accidents that years ago would have killed them.
But another tool in the fight against road fatalities is clearly law enforcement. The recent House of Commons Transport Committee report on road traffic enforcement recommended that ' . . . the Government aim to tackle the overall number of offences committed by taking measures to support police forces in maintaining the number of specialist road traffic officers'.
In order to support police in maintaining specialist road traffic officers they need to be funded properly. Since the Conservative Government came to power in 2010, there has been a 10% cut in police officers across the country. This is appalling. As Lincolnshire's Police and Crime Commissioner I would fight for better funding for our force. Law enforcement is one of a number of tools that can be used to cut road accidents and should be adequately funded.
Lucinda Preston is Labour's candidate for Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner in the 2016 elections.
This letter was written in response to a LincsMag article on road policing.