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Road safety takes pole position in Ely

THE CITY of Ely became a hub for road safety yesterday (Monday 13th September 2021) with interactive road safety exhibitions, increased police vehicle checks and inputs at local schools as part of an annual, international road safety campaign.

Project EDWARD (Every Day Without a Road Death) is an Europe-wide road safety campaign backed by government, the emergency services, highways agencies, road safety organisations and British businesses.

The day kicked off with an international live stream with Police and Crime Commissioner, Darryl Preston, Vision Zero Partnership Delivery Manager, Matt Staton and CEO of the Road Victim’s Trust, Mark Turner.

“The police cannot tackle road safety alone – we all have a part to play from those of us who use the roads, whether driving, cycling or walking, to those that design, build and manage them,” Darryl Preston said.

“It was fantastic to see so many organisations reaching out to the public to provide interactive and engaging road safety advice. My personal favourite exhibition was the cycle powered Scalextric set.”

As the winter approaches and brings dangerous driving conditions it is important that people make sure their vehicle is fit for the road to prevent road casualties and the event also offered free tyre and car seat checks to members of the public throughout the day, supported by National Highways, Council staff and Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service Community Champion Volunteers.

Cambridgeshire Constabulary Specials joined Project EDWARD with a focus on educating drivers and robust enforcement where necessary. More than 50 vehicles were stopped throughout the day to

inform the drivers of vehicle defects, 12 Traffic Offence reports were issued; 4 for no seatbelts, 6 for speeding, and 1 for driving through a no entry and one individual was caught driving without a license and had their vehicle seized.

“Project EDWARD was a great opportunity to speak to so many people in Ely especially about their concerns regarding speeding and anti-social driving in the area,” Inspector Matt Snow said. “In response I will be asking the Safer Speeds team to carry out checks in the area over the next weeks and months.”

Local Speedwatch teams were also deployed throughout the area.

Pupils at Ely College, St. Mary Primary, Spring Meadow Primary and Highfields Special School also received road safety sessions throughout the day, from Police, Fire and Rescue and Council officers, including demonstrations about where vehicle blind spots are to help keep them safe when walking to and from school.

 “The devastating effects of a road death ripples out across entire communities,” Mark Turner, CEO of the Road Victims Trust said.

“The reduction of casualties can only occur with a genuine partnership approach and it was inspiring to see so many partners come together to demonstrate this commitment.”

The events were brought to the city by the county’s Vision Zero Partnership. It forms part of the county’s new approach to road safety, increasing engagement with communities and working across multiple sectors to promote road safety from all angles – not just focusing on driver behaviour.

“I’d like to thank everyone involved in the event in Ely yesterday for their support in creating a fantastic event that really created a positive buzz around road safety, in particular to East Cambs District Council and Ely Markets for providing the facilities on Ely Market Place,” Matt Staton said.

“The event demonstrated the value of each organisation in the Vision Zero Partnership’s work towards zero deaths and severe injuries on our roads and I’m so pleased the Partnership had the opportunity to showcase these efforts as part of the Project EDWARD national roadshow.”

The Vision Zero Partnership hopes to hold similar events around the county in the future.