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29 October 2014
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Crash on dual carriageway
A crash closes a busy dual carriageway

Safety plea on Norfolk roads

New road safety statistics have revealed that one family in Norfolk suffers a bereavement each week. The figures have reignited the calls for improvements to the county's roads and for drivers to take more care.


In 2001 there were nearly 600 serious crashes on Norfolk's roads killing 83 people.

Things had only slightly improved by the time the latest figures were collated for the year to the end of September 2005.

"I can remember the very first time I saw people dead in a car. It made me think that I didn't want to get inside a car ever again."
- Graham Joy, Norfolk Fire Service

The Norfolk Police statistics show 55 people died in road crashes. In September alone there were 335 casualties. Seven of those died, 43 had major injuries and 285 were slightly injured.

The quality of the roads is not the only factor in the equation for creating a safer county.

"You can't blame the roads, ever. So let's make it clear it's driver behaviour first and foremost for which we all take responsibility," said Kate Coulson of planning and transportation at Norfolk County Council, speaking on BBC Radio Norfolk.

"The A47 should be dualled. The county council's been fighting for more than 10 years to get the whole of the A47 dualled," she added.

RoadPeace

The charity RoadPeace was set up by people who'd lost relatives in car crashes and campaigns to cut the number of accidents, deaths and injuries on our roads each year. It says the number of deaths in Norfolk is unacceptable.

The charity is warning that all drivers need to make certain they're safe while behind the wheel.

"Dualling might be one answer but sometimes it's just an excise for people to drive even faster," said Simon Wilson from RoadPeace.

"It's about anything you can do to actually get people to concentrate on what they're driving to slow down and to sense the danger of the road ahead," he added.

Fatal accidents

Graham Joy has worked for Norfolk Fire Service for more than 20 years. He's seen hundreds of road accidents, many of them fatal.

Fire fighters cut into the wreckage of a car
Fire fighters cut into the wreckage of a car

"I can remember the very first time I saw people dead in a car. It made me think that I didn't want to get inside a car ever again," he said.

"It made me realise just how vulnerable people are inside a car and it makes you think more carefully and it does slow you down.

"Cars are becoming a lot safer and I think people think they are protected more than they possibly are and they are oblivious to what might happen.

"If people just took the time to calculate the risks they're taking, then they almost certainly would say 'that risk is unacceptable I won't do it. I won't overtake that lorry on the Acle straight' for instance," he added.

last updated: 21/10/05
Have Your Say
Who is to blame for the high number of road accidents in Norfolk? What should be done to make the roads safer?
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Ray Hart
I drive with a carefully considered balance between caution and progress. I am an ex biker, so understand defensive driving and appropriate road positioning. I drive with my lights on if the visibility is even slightly compromised, yet on some days it seems that my car is invisible.........
Fri Jan 19 10:03:43 2007

Angela Westall
As a newly passed driver which due to danger of driving i have delayed untill i was 38 i have noticed i would say about 70% of people do not adhere to speed rules and 50-60% do tend to intimidate other road users who do adhere by tail gating or blinding you with headlights as they are so close! I know it can get a bit annoying when you have an over cautious driver ahead of you who does go a bit slower or tap their breaks often but i dont believe you can be to over causious not when you are risking not only your life but many others too. SPEED KILLS!!!!
Sat Sep 23 23:04:28 2006

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