Surrey is home to some of the busiest stretches of motorway in the UK with significant numbers of vehicles using the county’s road network every day. Road safety is understandably a significant concern for Surrey residents, and a key focus of my Police and Crime Plan.
Key progress during 2022/23:
- National role: In early 2023, I was appointed as the national lead for roads policing and transport by the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners, encompassing rail and maritime travel, and road safety. I am committed to pursuing greater penalties for those who endanger lives while operating vehicles, bicycles or e-scooters, and will be focussing on improving the safety of transport across the country.
- New team: I have been very pleased with Surrey’s new Vanguard Road Safety Team, a newly formed unit dedicated to lowering the number of serious and fatal collisions on Surrey’s roads. This team comprises two sergeants and ten PCs who utilise a combination of visible policing and unmarked vehicles to target motorists committing the ‘Fatal 5’ offences, which include driving under the influence of drink or drugs, distracted driving, such as using a mobile phone, careless driving, inappropriate speed, and not wearing a seatbelt. Ultimately, the emphasis is to change drivers’ behaviours and reduce the number of road accidents.
- Safe Drive Stay Alive: In November I pledged over £100,000 in funding for the Safe Drive Stay Alive initiative, to support delivery until 2025. The initiative, aimed at safeguarding young drivers in the county, recently held its first live performance in three years at Dorking Halls. Since its inception in 2005, the performance has reached over 190,000 teenagers aged 16 to 19, emphasising the perils of drink and drug-driving, speeding, and distracted driving. The program features testimonies from frontline personnel of Surrey Police, Surrey Fire and Rescue Service, and the South Central Ambulance Service, as well as individuals who have lost loved ones or been involved in fatal road accidents. By focusing on newer drivers who face a higher risk of accidents, Safe Drive Stay Alive aims to reduce collisions among young motorists in Surrey.
- Combatting Drink and Drug Driving: A total of 145 arrests were made in Surrey in just four weeks as part of Surrey Police’s annual drink and drug drive campaign, with my Deputy undertaking an attachment with the Roads Policing team to see the work in action. Out of these, 136 arrests were made on suspicion of drink and drug driving, with the remaining 9 being for other offences such as drug possession, theft and failure to stop at the scene of a road traffic collision.
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