John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation, has warned about the impact of reducing the number of traffic patrols.
Speaking at the National Roads Policing Conference, he said: “It’s like the Wacky Races out there with some of the stuff we see. A lack of a visible deterrent for motorists will mean that their behaviour is not moderated.
“And those who wish to drive in an anti-social dangerous way, without fear of being caught, will do so.
“On journeys now, you’ll see motorists regularly driving in an anti-social dangerous and aggressive way. They’re just not being caught. They’re driving without a care.”
“What we need are police officers on the ground, the visible deterrent. We need the drink, drug, aggressive, dangerous driver to be fearful of being caught.”
He added: “The motorway is a hostile environment to be on out of the vehicle. Tragically, we see more people killed who have been involved in a relatively minor collision who get out of their vehicle on the hard shoulder and are hit.
“We have police officers who have been killed or have been seriously injured when they stop on the hard shoulder. Smart motorways must take all of that into account as it does cause a greater risk.”
Chief Constable Anthony Bangham, roads policing lead for the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), echoed Apter’s call for more officers.
He said five preventable deaths occur on the nation’s road network every day. Those figures have reduced from 2,946 in 2007 to 1,1793 a decade later, but since 2011 they have started to plateau.
He said: “Working together, we want safe, secure and efficient roads. Police officers play a vital role in disrupting criminality and reducing death and serious injury on our network.
“If we look at the data, it shows a 39% reduction in deaths since 2007. But from 2011 onwards, you start to see a flattening out. After many years of decline, you can see for yourselves that all the signs are that this is going to get worse, it is getting worse and if we don’t address the problem, we are going to see all those declines reversed.”
Anthony Bangham said his focus for 2019 will be to work towards the goal of safer roads, safer speeds, safer road users and vehicles and post-crash response. He will also be seeking to encourage more forces to prioritise roads policing and to join him in calling for the investment that is starting to happen, to filter through to roads policing.
Source: ADI News
Why not share this post?