FOURTEEN people have died in crashes on Gloucestershire’s roads so far this year prompting civic leaders to pledge to improve road safety.
There have also been 96 serious injuries involving motor vehicles in the county in 2022.
The county’s road safety record has actually worsened over the last decade, with Gloucestershire now in the bottom 5 per cent of local authorities in Britain for reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured between 2011 and 2019.
But Gloucestershire County Council agreed on May 18 that road safety needs to be proactively managed, with an emphasis on preventing deaths and serious injuries, and it should not wait until tragedy strikes for changes to be made.
Councillors agreed to ask officers to provide a thorough briefing on recent accidents and their causes.
They also call on council leaders to ensure that communities and all levels of governance in Gloucestershire are thoroughly consulted on a refreshed road safety policy.
And that they should work to develop a policy of ongoing dialogue with local residents.
Councillor Paul Hodgkinson (LD, Bourton-on-the-Water and Northleach), who put forward the motion, said it was sad that so many people were losing their lives on county roads.
He raised concerns about the road safety forum which he felt was a closed forum between the cabinet member, police and crime commissioner and officers.
He said: “Many lives are being lost on our roads and hundreds of other lives will never be the same again because of their injuries or the tragic loss of loved ones. Something has to change.
“We feel that rather than centralising this work and coming up with the same answers again, we need to go out to the communities, we need to ask them for their issues and help them. Because for too long this council has a policy of simply reacting to data.”
Public protection, parking and libraries cabinet member Dave Norman (C, Grange and Kingsway), who proposed a successful amendment, said the Gloucestershire rural community council will be establishing public meetings across the county.
He said: “It’s of great concern to read of a worsening position from the data on killed and seriously injured statistics within Gloucestershire over the past decade.”
Councillor Graham Morgan (L, Cinderford) said drivers are getting faster and faster with every generation.
He said: “People tailgating other people, impatient to get past them, and unbelievable speeds. This county council needs to do something different.
“We don’t want to go back to a situation in earlier years when we had horrific deaths of young people in the Forest.”