As the weather warms and restrictions begin to ease The Safer Roads Taskforce and Sussex Police are planning for the return of motorcyclists and anti-social drivers into the area. Last year significant work began with the Parish Council led taskforce which brings together, District and County Councillors and the areas two MPs Gillian Keegan and Andrew Griffith.
At the most recent meeting of the Taskforce, the group discussed future enforcement and engagement plans moving forward, by both the police and community speedwatch groups.
The police have been carrying out operations since February, and have already stopped 187 vehicles as part of this work. Over the summer months, many large scale operations are planned throughout the local area. Chichester’s MP Gillian Keegan is expected to join the police on one of these days.
In Parliament, Gillian recently supported Government legislation to introduce tougher sanctions via the ‘Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill’, which will expand the powers of the courts to deal with those who cause death by dangerous driving and create a new offence of ‘causing serious injury by careless driving’ that will close a gap in the present law.
A key part of the work being undertaken locally is engagement to encourage road users to drive more slowly, respectfully, and safely. Statistics show that in Sussex from January 2018 to December 2020, 3103 people were killed or seriously injured with over a fifth of those involving motorbike riders despite being 3.5% of the road users. Gillian has written to Sussex Police, to see how they can work more closely together on a road safety campaign and offered her full support with this work.
Both the MPs are working closely together and with their respective communities to tackle these issues, and have extended their support to Parish Councils within their constituency's to support traffic calming installations when submissions are made to the county council.
Gillian Keegan said, “Living in the South Downs, I know first hand how noisy and dangerous motorbikes and pleasure drivers can be. The Taskforce has been an effective community-led body to bring together all of the key decision-makers and our communities. We’ve already made progress with real engagement from motorbike groups, the police and every level of Government. I fully encourage people to reach out to their Parish Councils to see how they can support this work.”