Casualty Reduction

The Casualty Reduction Team is part of the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit (CDSOU). It co-ordinates and supports  road safety activities throughout County Durham and Darlington, working with partner agencies, neighbourhoods, educational establishments and businesses with the aim of making the region’s roads safer.
Partners include 
Photo shows casualty reduction manager, Ruth Thompson and Sgt Phil Grieve delivering road safety messages to under-21 players at Middlesbrough FC.
If there is a specific request from an organisation for a road safety initiative which falls under out remit, casualty reduction can liaise with the organisation to arrange an event/presentation.
They have an established team of officers who are dedicated to improving road safety on the region’s roads.
Statistics identify that the 4 main causes of serious or fatal injuries following a road collision are:
  • Speeding
  • Drink/Driving
  • Seatbelts, ie not wearing one
  • Distraction in vehicles (eg mobile phones, loud music)
These are known as the ‘Fatal Four’ and are the main areas we have chosen to concentrate on during 2016. Throughout the year the Roads Policing Unit has a calendar of campaigns  designed to educate and raise public awareness and deliver a safe and secure environment for all road users.
Casualty Reduction also co-ordinate any Community Speed Watch activity that has been raised as a PACT (Police and Communities Together) priority 
Community Speed Watch

Durham Constabulary holds regular neighbourhood PACT (Police and Communities Together) meetings to involve local residents in agreeing what priorities they would wish the force to concentrate on in their local area. During the PACT meeting up to three local issues are agreed that the public wish police and partners to tackle, with community support.
One of the regular priorities raised is speeding vehicles and ‘Community Speed Watch’ (CSW)has  been developed to allow communities to work with the police and other agencies in monitoring and addressing speeding issues.
While CSW is an education tool for the community and drivers who contravene the speed limit, if CSW identifies a significant speeding problem then Neighbourhood Policing Teams can call upon assistance from the Cleveland and Durham Specialist Operations Unit for further intervention through a more detailed problem analysis, directed enforcement action and consideration of longer term resolutions.
Wise Drive

Wise Drive is an annual road safety educational event aimed at Year 11 pupils within County Durham & Darlington who will soon reach the age where they can attain a driving licence.
Statistics show the most vulnerable group of road users are aged 17-24, ie those who have just attained their driving licence or may have limited driving experience.  The event is a multi-agency initiative involving emergency services, local authorities and businesses in the region. Wise Drive has been developed to provide practical skills and improve knowledge, behaviour and attitudes in relation to all aspects of road safety and the law in relation to this.
In addition to donations from local businesses, the event is partially funded by NDORS (National Driver Offender Retraining Schemes), meaning that cash raised through educating drivers who have been caught speeding is used to educate and inform a new generation of young drivers.
Safety (speed) Cameras
Durham Constabulary does not use fixed safety cameras and has no plans to change this stance.  Instead the force deploys mobile safety cameras as the preferred option, with the emphasis on encouraging and educating drivers to reduce their speed to acceptable levels. At the same time, rigorous enforcement can take place where necessary.
From April 2016 the safety camera unit attached to CDSOU started to use cameras which can operate in conditions of almost total darkness, which the previous models were unable to. 
This means the unit can deploy a safety camera van to any location in the Durham or Cleveland police areas at any time of day or night.
The flexibility of using mobile cameras means many areas can be targeted rather than a few fixed locations, enabling police to better address community speed concerns (many raised at PACT meetings).
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Advice for Driving in Fog
The Highway Code advises that headlights must be used when visibility is seriously reduced – generally when you cannot see for more than 100 metres (328 feet), or the length of a football pitch. 

If you do use fog lights they must be switched off when visibility improves (this applies equally to front and rear fog lights. 
When there’s fog around visibility can seriously deteriorate in a matter of seconds.  Be extra vigilant and drive only as fast as conditions allow and maintain a greater distance between you and the car in front.