SURREY’S Police and Crime Commissioner has celebrated the anniversary of a team of officers who are dedicated to saving lives on the county’s roads.
Lisa Townsend visited the Vanguard Road Safety Team at their HQ near Guildford to mark a year of successes.
Vanguard officers specifically target motorists who commit ‘Fatal 5’ offences of inappropriate speed, not wearing a seat belt, driving under the influence of drink or drugs, distracted driving and careless driving.
Between 2020 and 2022, 33 per cent of all serious injury and fatal collisions on Surrey’s roads involved speed, and 24 per cent involved careless driving.
In just 12 months, the Vanguard team made 930 interventions to prevent Fatal 5 offences, arrested 204 people, and seized 283 vehicles.
They were also the best-performing team in the South East during Operation Tramline, a national initiative which involves the deployment of a Highways England heavy goods vehicle to spot drivers committing offences on major roads.
The Commissioner said: “Fatal 5 offences are crucially important issues to tackle.
“But Vanguard’s officers don’t just focus on enforcement. Their aim is to change drivers’ behaviour, now and into the future, so the roads are safer for all who use them.
“Anyone who lives in Surrey will be well aware of how busy our roads are.
“Our motorways are some of the most highly-used in the country, which is why road safety is a key priority in my Police and Crime Plan, and why I’ve taken on a role as the national lead for transport safety for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners.
‘It ruins lives’
“Distracted and dangerous driving ruins lives, and behind every victim is a family, friends and a community.
“And for drivers out there now committing Fatal 5 offences, be warned – our officers can’t be everywhere, but they could be anywhere.”
Sergeant Dan Pascoe of the Vanguard Road Safety Team said: “We know that statistically, most serious injury and fatal collisions result from the commission of the Fatal 5.
“It’s so important to deal with these offences so the roads are safer for everyone.”
Commissioner Lisa Townsend with members of the Vanguard Road Safety Team