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Operation underway to protect vulnerable road users in Derbyshire as part of national campaign.

The number of people getting killed or seriously injured on UK roads is rising and drivers are being urged to take extra care around pedestrians, motorcyclists, cyclists and horse riders.

Vulnerable road users don’t have the same level of protection as a driver within a vehicle, and even minor contact could cause serious injuries or worse.

Over the past 18 months in Derbyshire, there has been 359 collisions with cyclists, inflicting 61 people with serious injuries and 4 people lost their life. There were also 348 motorcycle casualties on our roads, with 120 riders being seriously injured and 6 collisions leading to fatalities. 350 of Derbyshire’s pedestrians also received injuries during this timeframe, 68 of which were seriously hurt and, sadly, resulted in 6 people never being able to take to our streets again.

Between 13-19 September, police forces from across the country will be focussing their efforts on the National Police Chiefs’ Council Vulnerable Road User Campaign, urging road users to #ShareTheRoad. This operation runs within one of the peak months where two-wheeled riders enjoy taking to our great county’s roads and also coincides with children returning to school after the summer break, so it’s imperative that we do all we can in protecting the vulnerable from becoming a further statistic.

Alongside this campaign, we will also be uniting with the Project EDWARD initiative, which strives to achieve ‘Every Day Without A Road Death’ – by focusing on vehicle safety, safe road use, speeding and aftercare for collision victims.

During these operations, our Roads Policing Unit will be setting up check-sites around the county and engaging with the public to both educate and positively influence attitudes and road user behaviour. You will also see a number of safety messages throughout the week that may be of assistance in keeping both yourself and other road users from harm.

Sergeant Scott Riley, Roads Policing Unit’s operational lead, said: “Before we know it, winter nights will be drawing in and weather conditions will gradually start to worsen over the next few months, therefore, there’s a growing need to focus on protecting our vulnerable road users.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve seen more people taking to our roads on two-wheels, sadly, we’ve also seen a rise in the number of those getting killed or seriously injured in Derbyshire.

“We all have a shared responsibility in using our roads respectfully, no matter what form of transport you use. Everyone has their part to play in keeping Derbyshire’s road users safe and the only way we can achieve zero road deaths is by doing so together.”

Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Angelique Foster, said: “Too many people are injured or killed on our roads.  That’s why local residents regularly tell me that improved road safety is a priority for them and my forthcoming Police and Crime Plan will reflect their concerns.  This isn’t just about motorists.  The roads need to be safe for all road users such as those on foot, motorbike, horse or bicycle. I am determined to do everything I can to help improve road safety for all and that includes promoting more enforcement and education.  I expect to see more Speedwatch schemes in our communities, supported by the roads policing team and camera safety partnership.  It’s important that all agencies work together effectively to make the roads safer for everyone.”