London Metropolitan Police report a threefold rise in deaths on the streets of London in the opening weeks of 2015, compared with the same time last year. 29 people have died since the start of the year, three of them were cyclists.
February sees the launch of the second phase of the road safety initiative Operation Safeway.
Metropolitan Police launched Operation Safeway in 2013 after six cyclists were killed in fatal accidents in two weeks. The recent figures see the start of the next phase of the operation in the Capital as over 600 officers from the Roads and Transport Policing Command (RTPC) will be at key junctions throughout London.
This second phase of the operation will last six weeks and will target motorists and cyclists, focusing on mobile phone usage, speeding, seat belts, red lights, stop signs, vehicle defects and insurance.
The first operation was heralded a success as nearly 14,000 fixed penalty notices or reports for summons were issued in just six weeks, not all of them to motor vehicle drivers. 3 in 10 penalties were issued to cyclists, the majority for not having lights on their bike or ignoring traffic signals. Most drivers were penalised for using their mobile phone.
Metropolitan Police are hoping that the operation will raise awareness for road safety, educate people on the rules of the road, and reduce the number of cycling accident injuries in London.
The increase in fatal road accidents in London so far in 2015 is disappointing following a reduction in 2014 and must be a concern to all road users whether they be car drivers, HGV drivers, bus drivers, cyclists or pedestrians.
A road traffic accident often involves serious injury, or in this instance death, and has a profound impact on the bereaved family of the deceased. It’s in the public’s interest that we all reflect on this worrying trend and do our own part to be more aware of what is going on around us whether as a driver, cyclist or pedestrian.
The family of the deceased will go through a complex legal process after a death in a road traffic accident often involving a criminal prosecution against the driver alleged to be at fault, a formal Inquest to determine cause of death and the need to pursue a civil compensation claim to recover funeral costs as well as other consequential losses to enable the bereaved family to meet household expenses.
There are a number of national road safety charities whom we support such as Brake who are now in their 20th year and RoadPeace who tirelessly campaign for safer roads. The proactive response by the Metropolitan Police in extending Operation Safeway can only be welcomed.
Whilst the police operation is a positive step toward raising awareness it must be backed up by a robust deterrent system administered by the criminal courts that send out a clear message that avoidable fatalities on our roads will not be accepted by the public.
If you or a member or your family has been injured in a road traffic accident call our Personal Injury Lawyers 24/7 for a free consultation on freephone 0800 916 9046 or contact us online.
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