West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner reaffirms that road safety is a key priority (30 Sept 2016)

West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson has reaffirmed his commitment to keeping West Yorkshire's roads safe.

The commitment comes after recent news stories and social media contact around the amount of people using their mobile phones whilst driving and driving anti-socially.

The government recently announced more severe penalties for people caught using a mobile phone whilst driving with both the points and fine to double.

Mark Burns-Williamson said "I have seen the recent incidents reported in the press and I have listened to comments from members of the public and I want to be very clear in my response. Myself and West Yorkshire Police are determined to make sure our roads are safer.

"Road Safety will feature prominently in the new Police and Crime Plan and a number of initiatives have already been put in place to try and address the concerns around road safety and crime on our roads in general.

"I have invested in Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) technology across our county with some impressive convictions and outcomes.

"Operation Steerside is currently operating in Bradford and is a concerted effort to target those that are committing multiple road safety and traffic offences, including using a mobile phone whilst driving. So far nearly 5000 people have been caught since it launched in February. A similar operation has also been launched in Calderdale today.

"I have representation on the Safer Roads Partnership which is a partnership of all 5 districts working together to tackle road safety. I have supported and funded various road safety initiatives such as a road safety DVD 'It'll End in Tears', baby safety campaign 'Strap Me Not Wrap Me', 'Safer Travel West Yorkshire' with Metro, road safety charity 'BRAKE' and Project EDWARD (European Day Without A Road Death).

"The consequences of losing control of your vehicle can be truly devastating and have a wide impact upon the community. I believe that changing attitudes towards driving whilst on a mobile phone needs to be done with a combination of education and enforcement. I welcome the government plans to increase the penalties for driving whilst using a mobile phone but also the awareness this will give to the potential life changing or fatal consequences that can be caused by not paying attention when driving.

"I have also seen West Midlands Police's scheme around tackling cars passing cyclists at dangerously close distances. I will be in touch with West Midlands to get updates and will speak to the Chief Officer Team of West Yorkshire Police to look into whether it would be something we can replicate here in West Yorkshire.

"I have listened and will continue to listen and act on what the public tell me is important to them and myself and West Yorkshire Police will continue to do all we can to keep our roads safe for everyone."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2018