Project Edward highlights the importance of traffic policing

Thursday 26 September is 2019’s day of action for Project EDWARD – European Day Without A Road Death.

A Europe-wide initiative, Project EDWARD strives every year for a day without a road death. Seventy people are reported killed on average every day across Europe – a death toll which is unacceptably high.

In Great Britain alone, five people are reported killed every day on average.

RoadPeace supports Project EDWARD’s focus on traffic law enforcement. RoadPeace trustee, Pauline Fielding, collaborated with the team to discuss the importance of roads policing.

 

We are a long way off from achieving a day without a road death. And RoadPeace’s briefing on traffic police numbers suggests that traffic law enforcement has not been given the priority required to achieve it.

Traffic police continue to suffer disproportionately under budget cuts. 

According to the Home Office statistics (July 2019), traffic police officers outside of London:

  • continued to fall in the last year, whereas total police numbers increased marginally
  • currently account for only 3.1% of total police in England and Wales
  • have fallen by 47% since 2010, compared to 14% drop in police overall
  • fell by at least five times as much as total police in twelve police services (Kent, North Yorkshire, Dyfed-Powys, Cumbria, Suffolk, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire, Humberside, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Surrey)

Traffic units must be spared further cuts, and investment allocated to strengthening them, as done in London. Our roads will not be made safer or feel safer until more traffic officers are seen enforcing traffic laws. And whilst initiatives such as Project EDWARD are admirable, achieving a day without a road death will require significant investment and priority given to traffic police.

 

Read the full briefing on traffic police numbers