New road safety operation for Wirral

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Being distracted whilst driving can contribute to road traffic collisions Pic © Merseyside Police

Being distracted whilst driving can contribute to road traffic collisions. Pic © Merseyside Police

A new road safety operation has been launched with the support of a local mother whose daughter was tragically killed following an accident nearly eight years ago.

‘Operation Parkstone’ will see officers from the Roads Policing Unit working with Wirral Borough Council throughout February to curb the upward trend in road casualties. The operation will then be expanded across the rest of Merseyside.

Emma Worsley, 23, died from serious head injuries in hospital after being hit in Toxteth whilst crossing a pelican crossing on Princes Avenue in May 2007.

Her mother Sue, who is backing the new initiative, said: “It is coming up to eight years ago since I lost my precious daughter. This month I should have been celebrating her 31st birthday.

“If, by telling my story I can have an impact on driver behaviour, make people stop and think about the way they use our roads, particularly those who continue to show a complete disregard for the law, then maybe, just maybe, I can begin to feel that Emma’s death has not been in vain, which I can only hope will help to ease the indescribable pain I’ve carried with since she was killed,” she added.

Wirral has seen a 5.6 per cent increase in the number of people either killed or seriously injured on roads in the area in 2014, compared to the previous year.

In 2014 there were a total of 601 road casualties, with 29 people killed on the roads across Merseyside, an 8 per cent rise, compared to the same period in 2013.

Multiple causes contribute to road traffic collisions including speed, not wearing seatbelts and distracted driving.

Sergeant Paul Mountford of Merseyside Police’s Roads Policing Department said: “These behaviours are inherently dangerous, not only for the driver, but their passengers, other drivers on the road as well as pedestrians.”

The operation will see police patrols stepped up on roads that experience a high number of collisions and see officers encouraging motorists to drive more safely. Static speed checks will also be in operation.

Lead Road Safety Officer for Wirral, Dave Rees said: “Police officers will be patrolling during peak times, in the morning and afternoon, where we have collisions.

“We hope that by working with Merseyside Police in this way, that we can not only detect those who flout the law, but with an increased police presence patrolling these roads, will have an influence on how the wider public use them.”

Drivers caught committing road traffic offences will be given the option to attend an offender rehabilitation course to educate them and prevent re-offending.

About Angharad Millington, JMU Journalism