Op Dragoon - Keeping our roads safe

23 Dec 2015 10:46 AM

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Northumbria Police and the Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner are welcoming the government's announcement to invest in road safety in 2016.

This week it was announced that the Department for Transport (DFT) plans to build on Britain's excellent road safety record by investing millions of pounds into research into driver education and giving money to police forces to build drug-driving capabilities.

The proposals will ensure learner drivers are properly prepared before their test, including the chance to gain motorway experience with an approved driving instructor. This follows plans announced last month to introduce a deposit which is returned to the learner driver if they pass, encouraging them to take their test when they are ready.

Other measures to take priority in the government’s plan for road safety include funding to train the next generation of cyclists and extra money for police forces to crackdown on drug drivers.

DFT's ultimate aim is to reduce the number of people killed and injured on our roads and the Chief Inspector who oversees Northumbria Police's road safety Operation Dragoon is welcoming the investment.

Chief Inspector John Heckels said: "This announcement is great news for road safety and as a force we fully support what the DFT are trying to achieve.

"Everyone wants to to improve road safety, any life lost on our roads is one too many, and the measures that the DFT are planning on introducing enhance and build on what we have already been doing here in the Northumbria force area with Operation Dragoon.

"Op Dragoon is at the forefront of road safety policing in this country. We've had representatives from other forces across England come up to the area to speak to us and look at the work we are doing as it's being so well recieved and is really making a difference on our roads.

" We are extremely proud of the operation and the hard work out on the roads will continue into 2016."

Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird, said: "I fully support these measures to help improve the safety of our roads and am pleased in Northumbria we've been successful in our bids to secure police innovation funding to improve the skills of young drivers and tackle drug driving in the region.

"While these measures are welcomed - we must remember- the best deterrent is a greater police presence on our roads - something constantly under threat due to budget cuts. What's important is the officers on the ground, fully trained to enforce the laws and crackdown on what is irresponsible behaviour, threatening the safety of others.

"I will continue to ensure our officers in Northumbria promote the message to not drive after consuming drugs or any amount of alcohol. We have officers fully trained in taking action to ensure we get drink and drug drivers off the roads to improve safety for all."