Tuesday, 01 December 2015

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Special report: The shocking death toll on Cumbria's roads

The appalling human cost of serious road accidents in Cumbria is revealed today after one of the deadliest months on the county’s roads.

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Tragedies: Over the last four years and nine months, 967 people have been seriously hurt in crashes

Just days after two accidents in the space of 48 hours claimed four lives, the county’s accident death toll for the year now stands at 19 – many of them young people. 151 were seriously injured.

Over the last four years and nine months, the number seriously hurt in road accidents reached 967, with 132 were killed.

The first fatalities came last Wednesday when an early morning crash on the A596 at Crosby Villa near Maryport left three dead.

They were 47-year-old father-of-two Michael Harrison, from Aspatria; and friends Jamie Lee Edmondson, 22, and 18-year-old Todd Ridley, both from Maryport.

In a separate accident the following day, 22-year-old pub manager Dominic Matthew Loftus died when the BMW he was a passenger in crashed on the B5288 between Motherby and Greystoke.

As police officers continue their investigation into how the two accidents happened, the grieving families are struggling to come to terms with the human cost.

Senior officers, along with the county’s police and crime commissioner, say the county’s grim road accident statistics, covering the last four years and nine months, serve only to underline their determination to do everything they can to target road safety as a top priority.

  • For our full special report see Thursday's News & Star
  • Result of vote, now closed, below



Have your say

I agree with all of the suggestions in curbing the amount of deaths on Cumbrian roads, but it is down to each individual driver and speed plays a major fact. I have this month avoided two collisions both drivers came straight for me, one was a vehicle overtaking a large amount of traffic and could not pull back in in time and the other was not able to take a corner at speed and ended up on my side of the road. When are people going to realise speed kills.

Posted by Kim on 11 October 2013 at 07:00

I moved to the area just over a month ago from the South, I'm over forty so have a few years of driving experience and was a local Councillor who had to vote on implementing speeding controls in Aylesbury where I've lived for the past 20 years. In Beds and Bucks there has been a massive almost intrusive investment in speed cameras both Gatso and mobile. I'm not a fan of them as there are times when common sense should be allowed to prevail and yet they are almost ubiquitous in both counties, I happily drove at 20mph past our local infant and junior school and yet there were others who could not understand that children have an inability to judge traffic danger and speeds. I wish everyone would learn to understand road conditions and the damage a vehicle can do in a head or side on collision or by colliding with a child or adult unprotected by a vehicle..... and yet since living in the area, I've been almost run off the road by white vans who ignore the priority signs and roundabouts in and around Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven and yet not all van drivers can be tarred with the same brush for there are also many who are extremely courteous to other drivers. I've been overtaken by cars and lorries on blind summits and corners and on double white lines and seen some of the worst driving attitudes to giving way, overtaking and general driving that I've ever experienced. The highway code applies wherever you are in the UK and I'm genuinely really sad that so many people have died in the area... but from an outsiders point of view there seems to be a really poor attitude to road rules in the county that needs to be tackled. So sincerely 'rest in peace' all those that have been involved in accidents recently and as I'm planning to stay local for a few years yet I'd love to see some more local action by the town, district and county councils in the entirety of West Cumbria as well as the Police. Regardless, however much local authorities become embroiled in the fight to keep drivers safe, a little personal responsibility would go a long way to reducing casualties on Cumbrian roads?

Posted by Desmond on 11 October 2013 at 00:21

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How can we cut the appalling numbers of deaths on Cumbria's roads?

Cut speed limits on country roads (23%)
Beef up policing of all our roads, with stiffer penalties for bad driving (45%)
Introduce compulsory education programmes for traffic offenders (18%)
Improve lighting on rural roads (14%)

Total Vote Count 326


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