Steps are being taken by Cumbria Police to make the county's roads safer with a new roads policing unit known as RPU.
The dedicated team of officers, including an additional 20, came into force on Monday 3 October and marks the constabulary moving away from officers operating in the dual roles of police and firearms officers.
The new unit's launch coincides with the Roads Policing Week of Action with officers from across the force focusing on the Fatal Four - speeding, drink/drug driving, not wearing seat belts, and using mobile phones while driving.
Chief Constable, Rob Carden, said: “Too many people are killed or seriously injured on our roads and too often it is as a result of poor driving behaviour, including people drink or drug driving, people being distracted at the wheel and people driving too fast for the road or the conditions.
"Cumbria Police is committed to leading the way on targeting those who are making our roads unsafe for all. We have been taking innovative approaches to making our roads safer, including through the use of data analytics and working with partners to target poor driving habits.“
"But we have no greater resource than our officers, which is why we are making this commitment to a dedicated Roads Policing Unit, with dedicated officers who will work day-in and day-out to make our county’s roads safer.”
The uplift in resources to roads policing comes as Cumbria pursues its Cumbria Vision Zero by 2040 goal. Vision Zero is a multi-national traffic safety initiative supported by Cumbria Police and its partner agencies, with the goal of no one being killed or seriously injured within the road transport network.
Cumbria’s Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “This is another tangible benefit of the additional officers we’ve recruited over the last three years.
"Dangerous antisocial driving is a concern that is continuously raised with me as PFCC, and is one of my key priorities for the Police to tackle.
"I would urge the public to always drive to the conditions of the road, adhere to the speed limit, never drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs and keep any distractions, such as phones, out of reach and sight.”
Cumbria Police is just one agency among many which is working together to make the county's roads safer for all.
Inspector Jack Stabler added:"We have already re-launched the Road Safety Partnership with our colleagues in other agencies coming together regularly to look at where the danger hotspots are in Cumbria and how we can make a difference – from targeted enforcement to looking at the road itself and whether safety improvements can be made.“
Mark Parish, the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency's Traffic Enforcement Manager for Carlisle, said: “DVSA’s priority is to protect everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles. Working closely with Cumbria Police and other partners is an efficient use of public resources. By sharing intelligence and working on operations together, we’ll help keep Cumbria’s roads safer.”
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