We have launched our road safety campaign at South Devon College.

“Well timed as I’ve just started driving lessons, shocked by the high statistics of people that have accidents on our roads and many drivers forget the Highway Code is there” – just some of the feedback from South Devon College students who attended the launch event.

Organised in partnership with Vision Zero South West, the event was also supported by Devon & Cornwall Constabulary, Devon & Somerset Fire and Rescue Service and Devon Air Ambulance.

More than 350 students and staff attended the specially organised event throughout the day. Not only did students and staff get to meet and talk to road safety experts, test their reactive times, and discover what it’s like to be in an accident, they also got to share their own experiences of Torbay’s roads.

In 2021, 229 collisions involving both two and four wheeled vehicles took place on Torbay’s roads, causing 2 fatalities and injuring a further 244 people, 49 of which were seriously injured. The main cause of collisions on Torbay’s roads – driver behaviour, whether that be through speeding or carless and dangerous driving.

The aim of the campaign is to educate and remind all road users of their responsibilities when it comes to using the highway network – in the hope of reducing the number of collisions on Torbay’s roads to zero.

Cllr Darren Cowell, Deputy Leader of Torbay Council said; “Road safety is complex but of the upmost importance to both the council and the residents of Torbay. Ultimately, we want to reduce the number of road casualties and fatal incidents on Torbay’s roads to zero. It’s a huge target to meet, which is why it is so important that we all do our bit to make Torbay’s roads safer. By working with our road safety and emergency service partners we are showing we are all committed to reducing road casualties not only here in Torbay but across the South West.”

Cllr Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Service at Torbay Council said; “The launch event is just the start of our road safety campaign to make Torbay’s roads safer for all users. We want all our young people to have thriving futures, sadly 16–24-year-olds whether they are drivers of two or four wheeled vehicles, pedestrians, or passengers are identified as one of the high-risk road user groups in Torbay. By engaging and interacting with young people at the college we hope that they share their learning with their peers and family members.”

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is also chairman of the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership. Commissioner Hernandez said: “Devon and Cornwall have some of the safest roads in the UK – but still far too many people are dying or being seriously injured as a result of collisions.

“Last year 47 people were killed and 647 seriously injured on our roads. That number must come down. Every one of these collisions has a devastating impact on those involved, their families, friends and the wider community. I’m aware of some of the tragic deaths this year in Torbay which are particularly heart wrenching for all affected.

“Working collaboratively with Vision Zero South West partners such as Torbay Council, the police, fire and ambulance services is crucial to achieving our ambitious goal.

“Through innovative thinking and a shared goal to relentlessly pursue saving lives, we are already starting to make good progress - but we also need the help of our communities who can call out poor driving, make it socially unacceptable and also submit evidence of any dangerous or illegal driving to the police through initiatives like Op Snap.”

Laurence Frewin, Principal and CEO at South Devon College, said; “Our mission is to ‘Inspire our community through learning for all’ whether that be through a formal education route, or through real life experiences such as events like this. We are delighted to support the launch of Torbay’s road safety campaign with our young people. It’s been fantastic to see many of our students interacting with road safety experts and learn first hand how taking a risk on the road can have fatal consequences.”

Over the coming darker months, we will be further engaging, educating, and involving the community on how we can all work together to make Torbay’s roads safer. Find more about road safety in Torbay.  

More information about Vision Zero can be found via: https://visionzerosouthwest.co.uk/

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