Police catch nearly 7,000 drivers speeding in Burnley - but charity Road Peace warns there could be much more
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Officers reported 6,811 cases of excess speeding in Burnley from 2020 to 2022.
There were 2,413 offences in 2022 – a nearly 10% increase on the year before when there were 2,194. And in 2020, there were 2,204.
Road Peace, the National Charity For Road Crash Victims, believes the stats are “only a small part of the picture” and that the true number of people driving too fast each year could be much bigger.
Rebecca Morris, the charity’s head of communications, said: "It’s disappointing that people speed and have been caught speeding but this is not necessarily the true extent of the problem because these are the people who have been caught and punished. But there are many people sadly speeding, some excessively, some marginally, every day who aren’t detected.
“There are far too many people speeding, and many have lost their loved ones because of it.
"We live such busy lives, and sadly, people don’t think [a crash] will happen to them. They don’t see the risk and don’t think they will be killed in a crash or kill someone else. They think they are good drivers and careful but we’re all human and people do make mistakes.”
Some 32 people lost their lives in car accidents in Lancashire in 2021 – and 717 were critically hurt.
The charity is campaigning to bring those numbers down to zero by highlighting the need for safe roads, speeds, vehicles, road use and better post-crash care to minimise risk.
"There’s only one number we are happy with and that’s zero. People think it’s unrealistic but if one person dies then a whole family and community is torn apart.
"People can feel helpless in communities where people regularly risk the lives of others but we need, as a society, to accept that each and everyone person who uses the road, however they use it, has a responsibility to do it safely. It’s easy to victim-blame and finger-point but we all need to take more care.”
Court cases in the media of someone who has caused a death or injury can be a “deterrent”, she says, but the effects are “short-term” as “sentencing is disproportionately low compared to other offences like knife and gun crime.”
Yet, Rebecca added: “You are actually far more likely to be killed or seriously injured by a car crash. People don’t realise that because we, as a society, have been led to largely believe that it’s just one of those things [that happen]. But somebody being killed is the ultimate cost.”
And the victims who are often forgotten are the people left traumatised by a collision.
"What if a person sees a horrific scene? They are a victim of the crash but they are not counted as one and will be haunted for the rest of their life.”
If you need help and support following a crash, please contact Road Peace on 0800 1601 069 or [email protected]