SUSSEX Police are urging road users to pledge their support towards September’s campaign to save lives and reduce death and injury on roads across the county.

The force will once again be supporting Project EDWARD (Every Day Without A Road Death), which aims to bring casualty reduction and road safety to the forefront of people’s minds.

In Sussex, a total of 5,250 injury collisions were reported to police. Of these, 42 were fatal and a further 1107 resulted in serious injuries.

Project Edward, set to take place on Wednesday (16 September) and championed by ROADPOL (European Traffic Police Network), aims to raise long term awareness of road safety and better driving.

Around 1,700 people lose their lives on British roads each year, many of which could have been avoided with a small change in how people use and share the roads

Chief Inspector Michael Hodder, of the Roads Policing Unit for Surrey Police and Sussex Police, said: “It is shocking to think of the number of fatal crashes across Surrey and Sussex last year. The victims are all someone’s family, someone’s friend, and the preventable loss of life significantly impacts those close to the individual and the wider community.

“Many collisions could easily have been avoided by having a proper knowledge and understanding of basic rules of the roads. The ‘Fatal Five’ – drink or drug driving, mobile phone use, not wearing a seatbelt, inconsiderate driving along with speeding are the five common causes of serious and fatal collisions, and it is these offences in particular that we focus on to create change across our road network.

Even one fatality is one too many, which is why we continue to support Project Edward’s mission.”

Roads policing officers will provide high-visibility patrols across Surrey and Sussex on the week beginning Monday 14 September, with particular focus on the Fatal Five, supported by road safety colleagues – DriveSMART Surrey and Sussex Safer Roads Partnership.

The ultimate goal, however, is to improve road safety for the longer term; not just one day. Officers and colleagues will continue to respond to roads policing matters as party of their duties 365 days a year.

Chief Insp Hodder added: “We need to continue to build upon our expertise and experience in road safety to reduce deaths and serious injury, improve the knowledge and awareness of road safety, and encourage others to do the same. Even if you do not drive, we are all road users of one type or another, and unfortunately, we probably all know someone who has been in a collision.”

Across the week, there will be road safety educational messaging being delivered across Surrey and Sussex, with enforcement carried out by dedicated patrols throughout the road network of the counties.

The Sussex and Police Crime Commissioner, Katy Bourne, further supported the activity due to take place across Sussex: “I’m pleased to see our partners working together and pledging their continued commitment to road safety.

“One road death is one too many. By pledging today to use our roads responsibly, whether as a driver, cyclist or pedestrian, we can start to make a collective effort to minimise the risk of a collision that can have life-changing consequences.”

To support this day and the work carried out by Surrey Police and Sussex Police, members of the public can follow @ProjectEdward on Twitter, put Wednesday 16 September in their diaries and pledge to make a positive change for road safety!