DRIVERS need to take more care behind the wheel - that’s the message from road safety bosses after figures indicated that the final death toll on Somerset’s roads in 2012 was due to be higher than in 2011.
Overall figures for the year are still being confirmed, but statistics from Somerset Road Safety show there had been 34 fatalities by the end of November – 17 more than all of 2011.
Among those to lose their lives in 2012 were Sophie Lack, 19, and Luke Porter, 22, who died when their car struck a tree near Thurloxton in September.
As well as the fatalities there were 135 serious injuries and 978 slight injury casualties on Somerset roads from January to September in 2012.
Terry Beale, the county council’s road safety manager, said despite the increase 2012 will not go down as the worst year ever and 2011 was an exceptionally good year on the roads.
He said: “Every fatal collision is a tragedy and affects so many people, but the figures are cause for concern.
“There are often a number of reasons why figures will vary year on year, and weather can play a part – it has been a particularly wet year so far – but what’s clear is that in 95% of cases the major cause is driver error.
“The main causes this year have been where people have made bad decisions or rash choices, whether overtaking, driving too fast or not concentrating.
“All our roads are safe if they’re driven correctly, and people drive within the speed limit and their own capabilities.”
Mr Beale hopes one New Year resolution for everybody will be to have a strong look at their driving and help cut deaths on our roads.
He said: “We hope everyone thinks about what they’re doing. Don’t drink and drive, concentrate at all times and try to avoid distractions. A motor vehicle can’t think for itself – it can only do what you tell it to.”
Dave Adams, of the Avon and Somerset Road Police Unit, said he hoped people try to make themselves an example of a good driver.
He said: “People will have received gifts like sat-navs, radios, CDs and phones but we don’t want them to be distracted, they need to be used appropriately.”
Somerset Road Safety offers courses and presentations on all aspects of driving and riding, and can give advice and guidance.
Call SRS on 01823-423430 or see Facebook, Twitter or www.roadsafetysomerset.org.uk