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Are you putting lives at risk on Gloucestershire’s roads?


This road safety week, a local crash survivor has bravely stepped forward to share how his speeding caused a near-fatal collision and broke around 30 bones in his body.

Michael* almost lost his life in the crash outside Cirencester last year, which cost him over £25,000. He is sharing his story to help raise awareness for BRAKE national road safety week, 20th to 26th November.

Michael said: By speeding you have little control over your vehicle, which is a powerful and dangerous machine. You have less time to think, let alone react, and neither do other drivers who are impacted by your actions. Speed definitely kills. I know because I knocked on death's door.”

Speed is one of the main factors in fatal road collisions, yet each year in Gloucestershire there are around 170 speeding collisions, and 25,000 motorists are caught breaking the limit.

This year GFRS is working to raise awareness of the very real dangers of speeding, and encourage people to drive at a safe speed on every journey. Michael’s collision is a stark reminder of the importance of this campaign.

Michael added: “If I had just continued carefully and patiently along the last stretch of my daily commute, the collision and its repercussions would never have occurred”.

Local statistics

  • an average of 170 speed related collisions in Gloucestershire each year.
  • 66% of fatal collisions in Gloucestershire are on ‘A’ roads
  • 47% of all collisions are on ‘A’ roads
  • 25,000 motorists caught speeding each year
  • in just one week last year, 501 motorists were caught speeding

National statistics

  • speed is one of the main factors in fatal road collisions
  • the number of people killed on country roads is nearly 10 times higher than on motorways
  • in 2013, 3,064 people were killed or seriously injured in crashes where speed was a factor
  • the risk of death is approximately four times higher when a pedestrian is hit at 40mph than at 30mph
  • fatal accidents are four times as likely on rural “A” roads as urban “A” roads

Stewart Edgar, chief fire officer at Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue said: “We want to take this opportunity to thank drivers for driving in a safe and social way. Those who drive above the speed limit are not only committing a criminal offence, but they’re also being totally irresponsible and putting lives at risk.

“Speeding remains a significant cause of many avoidable road collisions. You can’t turn the clock back, but you can reduce your speed – ‘speed down, save lives’ is the clear slogan for Brake’s Road Safety Week”.

Cllr Nigel Moore, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure said: “I hope this campaign sends a clear message to Gloucestershire’s drivers to think about their speed, not just for this week but on every journey they make.

“By keeping your speed down you really can save lives.”

Superintendent Tony Godwin of Gloucestershire Police, said: “Last year around 25,000 drivers were detected speeding in Gloucestershire, that’s about 70 drivers every day putting themselves and others at risk.

“Speed limits are always there for a reason. In addition, speed limits are not targets and even driving at the speed limit may not be appropriate for the conditions on a road on any given day, perhaps because of adverse weather, temporary obstructions or even the type of vehicles using that particular road.

“Please think about your speed on every journey you make, not just because it’s an offence to exceed the limit, but because speeding or inappropriate speed causes needless crashes, untold suffering and stops people living safe and healthy lives.”

*Name has been changed.