More than £300,000 of funding has been confirmed by Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe as part of his serious bid to reduce the numbers of people killed and seriously injured on the county’s highways.
The Commissioner’s Road Safety Fund will initially support 11 projects across the county, all carefully selected to support some of the most vulnerable road users. Among them are some pioneering national organisations, with leading road safety charities being awarded alongside local road safety partners.
Dozens of applications were received when the Road Safety Fund opened in June and the successful projects include schemes aimed at drivers, young people, cyclists, horse riders and motorcyclists. A mix of prevention, education and enforcement activities are being supported, building upon established best practice in Warwickshire and elsewhere.
Thanks to the Commissioner’s funding, Warwickshire is also set to be one of the few areas of the country to provide dedicated, one-to-one, specialist support for the families of road death victims, to help them cope and recover from the devastating effects of the loss of a loved one.
Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said: “Far too many people are killed or seriously injured on our roads in Warwickshire and we need to encourage a major shift in attitudes among all of our road users to bring these numbers down. The scale of the issue is stark; last year there were 35 people killed on Warwickshire’s roads and another 320 people were seriously injured.
“I am determined to find new ways of ensuring that our county is as safe as it can be for all road users and pedestrians and that’s why I have committed to making significant funds available to really champion the cause of road safety.
“The schemes I am supporting are all innovative and help to enhance the work that is already ongoing within the county. I’m really excited to see how they begin to make a real difference over the coming months, helping to raise the profile of road safety much more widely across Warwickshire.
“In the meantime I am also continuing to ensure that the response of the police, local authorities and other road safety partners is joined up and effective, so that there is a full package of measures on offer across the county including enforcement, education and engineering.
“I want Warwickshire to really lead the way nationally on road safety, so I have been pleased by the positive way our partners have responded to the launch of the Road Safety Fund. This is just the start of the journey to make our highways and byways truly safe, however, and I will be continuing to champion the cause strongly.”
In total, bids worth £329,252 are being awarded in this first tranche of funding released through the Road Safety Fund. The 11 projects are:
- Brake – Youth for Brake Project (£19,690): National road safety charity Brake will work with secondary school students from years 8, 9 and 10 (aged 12-15), to help them become inspiring leaders in road safety.
- Brake – Independent Road Bereavement Advocate Project (£71,907): The advocate will provide local, specialist, one-to-one support in Warwickshire for families bereaved by a collision. The award also will provide a contribution for Brake’s National Helpline.
- Video Biker (£50,000): An innovative and unique motorcycle safety/training collaboration that empowers learner motorcycle riders to enhance their training by utilising ‘free-of-charge’ modern, online educational resources to boost the effectiveness of their Compulsory Basic Training.
- The Honest Truth and First Car (£77,660): Providing targeted road safety information for 17 – 24-year-old learner drivers during their lessons with their Approved Driving Instructors. Includes a wide-scale road safety campaign, targeting other drivers and road users.
- Under 17 Car Club – Pathfinder Initiative (£10,810): To part fund the teaching of 50-60 under-17s to drive in a safe, constructive and steady environments before receipt of their provisional licences, thereby encouraging their future safe and responsible driving.
- Warwickshire Police – Child Car Seat Safety Scheme (£1,980): To train 12 Warwickshire Police Staff to nationally accredited standards in the checking, engaging and educating the public on child car seat safety.
- Warwickshire County Council – Bike “Recycle” Scheme (£8,913): A scheme which allows selected young people to “upcycle” an old bicycle in structured youth work sessions. Once roadworthy, the young person uses the bike to take part in a series of road safety courses. The scheme will run upcycling projects in Atherstone and Lillington.
- RoSPA – Become a Safer Rider Courses (£7,000): Expansion of existing rider safety training initiatives to encourage safe road use by motorcyclists.
- North Warwickshire Borough Council – Community Speed Watch (£20,872): To contribute towards the provision of additional speed monitoring devices and signage for local community speed watch groups.
- Warwickshire Police – TruCam (£20,000): For the purchase of new hand-held speed detection and recording equipment, which is effective for enforcement activity against motorcycles and other vehicles where engagement and education activities have proved unsuccessful.
- British Horse Society – Interactive Video (£40,420): The creation of an interactive road safety feature video aimed at young people in schools, which would involve viewers making choices to influence the outcome of the film. Suitable for use on phones, tablets and other digital platforms.
All of the schemes are anticipated to come on stream across the autumn. Further awards from the Commissioner’s Road Safety Fund are also anticipated, with additional projects being subject to consideration in the future.