Vision Zero day – Epping Forest

A SERP stand, featuring pens and tote bags, on display during the Vision Zero day in Epping Forest

Tuesday the 22nd of November was a Vision Zero day for the Safer Essex Partnership with our efforts focused on the roads through Epping Forest district, an area that had 114 people recorded killed or seriously injured in 2021.

On Sewardstone Road Waltham Abbey, Essex Police were stopping motorists risking the safety of themselves and others by focussing on the Fatal Four offences; not wearing seatbelts, drink driving, using a mobile phone and exceeding the speed limit.

The results from the enforcement site were: 33 people not wearing a seatbelt, 6 mobile phone offences, 3 vehicle seizures, 1 drug drive arrest and 9 other offences enforced such as vehicle defects.

One driver of a vehicle seen to be carrying a small child without a child seat or seatbelt was also identified as not holding a valid driving licence or insurance. His vehicle was seized and he was reported for the offences.

Year 6 Children from Coopersale and Theydon Garnon Primary school took part in a school speed watch session
Year 6 Children from Coopersale and Theydon Garnon Primary School taking part in a School Speed Watch session

Year 6 Children from Coopersale and Theydon Garnon Primary school took part in a school speed watch session. Motorists exceeding the speed limit through the small village of Coopersale, Epping, were given the opportunity to receive a ticket or to speak to the children. Drivers were asked by the children about their driving habits and whether they thought about the possible consequences of their actions. Four drivers were stopped for travelling at speeds of: 37, 38, 39 and 42mph.

In Epping High Street the Fire Service and SERP technicians were speaking to the passing public about Vision Zero and offering advice around the increased dangers associated with this time of the year as the nights draw in earlier.

Our Trucam operator performed speed checks on roads with a 30mph limit in Ongar, Theydon Bois and Stanford Rivers, recording 192 speeding motorists for prosecution with high speeds of 51mph in Ongar and 48mph in Theydon Bois.

One driver who stopped was asked how fast they thought they were driving into the village and said “I don’t know because when travelling downhill it’s deceiving”. Use of the speedometer is recommended when driving on roads like hills, especially when entering residential areas.

Community speed watch volunteers from Abridge, Epping, Thornwood and Buckhurst Hill were out and reported 83 drivers who will be receiving warning letters.

A common theme in the responses from drivers stopped for not wearing a seatbelt or for speeding on the day was that they knew the area or road, lived nearby or that the road was at fault for having a 30mph limit. Our message is do not let familiarity lead to carelessness. Even if you know a road very well, you cannot know what other road users may be about to do – give yourself time and space to react to unexpected hazards and never take avoidable risks.

24 November 2022

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