Police officers across Cumbria will be engaging in a week of action to improve road safety in the county.

Cumbria Police officers from three units: the mobile support group, the road safety team and the serious collision investigation unit will be working in partnership to support two road safety initiatives this week.

The first is "One Road, One Week", a national operation from the National Police Chiefs Council (NPCC), which aims to target road collision hotspots.

This week, officers across Cumbria will be paying particular attention to locations identified as more likely to see a collision.

The second is "Project EDWARD" - Every Day Without A Road Death.

This international project works with police forces, road safety groups and other organisations in order to save lives on the roads.

Across the week Project EDWARD will be running virtual online events to educate road users.

Inspector Steve Minnikin, from Cumbria’s Road Policing team said: “We continue to work all year round to enforce and educate road users to reduce the number of fatal, or life changing collisions which have a devastating impact on those involved and their family.

“We all have a responsibility when behind the wheel to take steps to reduce the risk to ourselves and other road users.

“Many collisions are made by poor judgement and decisions, a lapse of concentration or ignorance of the risks.

“We will be targeting roads identified by our collision reduction officers as collision hotspots throughout the week of action.”

Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Peter McCall, said: “Antisocial driving is one of the biggest concerns raised with me by the public.

“This is why am I so pleased to see Cumbria Constabulary focussing in on problem areas around the county as part of 'One Road, One Week'.

“It is a community effort that is needed to stop road deaths – we all play a part.

“The rules of the road are in place to keep us all safe so I would urge the public to drive within the speed limit, wear seatbelts at all times, avoid distractions such as alcohol, drugs and phone use when driving and always be aware of the conditions around you.

“Together we can reduce road deaths in Cumbria.”

Simon Turner, campaign manager at Driving for Better Business which has responsibility for this year’s Project EDWARD commented: “The odds of winning the National Lottery are one in 45 million, and every week millions of people excitedly think it might be them. The odds of being involved in an injury collision while driving for work are one in 500, yet millions refuse to believe it might be them.

“Government figures show that in 2018 there were approximately 42,000 road deaths and injuries involving someone who was driving for work at the time. However, it is rarely the driver who is the casualty. 82 per cent of those deaths and injuries were other road users, often vulnerable road users such as pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

“The Project EDWARD week of action seeks to show that we are all more vulnerable than we think, but that anyone with the right approach, access to good training, a commitment to regular vehicle checks and appropriate employer support can significantly reduce the likelihood of being hurt on the road.

“Our Project Edward Road Trip – largely virtual this year to comply with Covid-19 restrictions - will be stopping at multiple locations each day to share exciting content, knowledge, interviews and stories all linked to keeping those who drive for work safe.

“We will be looking at Safer Drivers, Safer Vehicles, Safer Journeys and Driver Wellbeing as well as how best to manage those who drive for work in order to reduce risk, control costs and improve efficiency.”