Warning to stop road carnage

TOO many people are dying on dangerous roads in the Sedgemoor area, the Government has warned. Somerset County Council has been told by Whitehall officials to sort out the problem and lower the number of fatalities. Over the last five years 38 people have

TOO many people are dying on dangerous roads in the Sedgemoor area, the Government has warned.Somerset County Council has been told by Whitehall officials to sort out the problem and lower the number of fatalities.Over the last five years 38 people have died on Sedgemoor's roads, and 329 people have been seriously injured. On average, there are eight road deaths per year, and five serious injuries every month.Rural roads are the main blackspots, with 55 per cent of casualties being injured on a road with a speed limit of more than 40mph.The council will now be working with the police, the NHS and fire services to come up with ideas on how to improve road safety. The council's strategic planning group manager, Mike O'Dowd-Jones, said: "When you compare us to other authorities we are not hitting our targets set out by the Government."We are now trying to collect data to decide which areas need improvement."Contributing factors recorded by the police show most road accidents are caused by driver error.A report has now been published, at the request of a council scrutiny committee, in order to analyse information about the people who have been killed and injured in road accidents.Mr O'Dowd-Jones believes the solution involves making the public more aware of the dangers. The report also highlights certain groups of people who are more likely to be in an accident. Mr O'Dowd-Jones said: "We have got a problem with young people riding low powered motorcycles and mopeds. We need to make them more aware of the dangers and perhaps send out information to schools."Of the total number of people killed or seriously injured on Somerset's roads, 27 per cent were aged 16-24. In 2005 there were 30 road fatalities in Somerset. Of these, four victims were under 15 and eight were aged 16-24.


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