The number of people killed on the roads in Essex fell again last year, but police and highways officials say more work still needs to be done to make the county safer.

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In 2013, 41 people were killed in road crashes – 16 drivers, six passengers, five motorcyclists, 11 pedestrians and three cyclists – compared with 43 people killed in 2012.

Roads policing officers and road safety officers have vowed to continue with their efforts to further reduce road crashes and said last year’s total was “still too many”.

Essex Police and Essex County Council made concerted efforts throughout 2013 to further reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured in collisions, with a record number of multi-agency operations conducted across the county.

Head of roads policing for Essex, Chief Insp Rachel Nolan said: “We are continuing to apply this joined-up approach to reducing road deaths and the signs are encouraging, especially if you look back at the figures a decade ago in Essex when we were dealing with 80 to 100 people dying in the county after being involved in a collision.

“A large number, if not all, road deaths are avoidable so my roads policing officers and the council’s road safety officers encourage everyone from drivers to cyclists and from pedestrians to motorcyclists to act in a more responsible manner.

“The running of dedicated town-based operations to target careless driving, mobile telephone abuse, drink-driving, seatbelt offending driver tiredness is paying off through both enforcement and education.

“Our efforts to educate motorcyclists and other road users paid off last year with a significant and pleasing reduction in rider fatalities. We will continue with our work, but also need to focus on car and lorry drivers as well as pedestrians, and we will do so not only with the county council but also with the DVLA, VOSA and Highways Agency.”

Three main reasons are said to be behind the number of people killed or seriously injured in crashes – driving too fast for the conditions or signed limit, failure to wear seat belts, and driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Cabinet member for highways and transportation at Essex County Council and chairman of the Essex Casualty Reduction Board, Rodney Bass said: “This reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads is testament to the level of activity, support and dedication from all of the partners in the Essex Casualty Reduction Board.

“No fatality is acceptable, and Essex County Council and its partners are committed to working hard to bring this figure down further through a combination of education and enforcement.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and while some drivers continue to put themselves and others at risk we will continue to promote our ‘No Excuse’ road safety campaign targeting those who speed, drink drive, use mobile phones and drivers and passengers who do not wear seatbelts.”

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