Published: 09:00, 06 June 2014 |
Updated: 12:21, 06 June 2014
New figures have revealed a big rise in the number of people killed or seriously injured on the roads in Kent and Medway.
There were as many as 650 casualties in the county last year, compared to 575 in 2012 – a 13% increase.
County transport bosses are blaming the huge Sheppey Crossing crash – a pile-up involving 130 vehicles in thick fog last September – for the hike.
They are also claiming a rise in serious motorbike crashes is partly down to a long, hot summer that enticed more riders out onto Kent's roads.
Kent's Casualty Reduction Group – made up of emergency services, local authorities and highways bosses – said the number of people killed or seriously injured in the decade to 2010 has halved.
David Brazier, Kent County Council's cabinet member for transport, said: "We work hard to make sure our roads are as safe as they can be. Supporting healthy living and keeping the Kent economy moving are key priorities for the county council.
"While the long-term trend for killed and seriously-injured crashes is downward we are concerned about the increase recorded last year.
"Research shows that education and enforcement are the two areas that have the biggest impact in reducing these life-changing events.
"We have recently reviewed and developed our approach to further reduce crashes over the next six years – with the aim of lowering KSI crashes in Kent by 33% and a 40% reduction in child crashes by 2020.
"It is essential that we all recognise the way we drive, ride or walk plays a huge part in avoiding us or our dependents becoming a road casualty."
Meanwhile, Kent Police is enforcing a summertime crackdown on drink-driving.
Sgt Hannah Brown said: "The largest increase this year has been in incidents where drivers or riders or pedestrians have failed to look or judge another person’s speed correctly, or made a poor manoeuvre.
"Watch your speed, and drive to the conditions. Whether you are behind the wheel, on your bike or crossing the road on foot, ensure you stay alert and don't be distracted."
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating! PLUS, register for free!.
Find out what's going on in the garden, with Kent expert Lucy Hewett's weekly update.
Buy pictures that you've seen in a KM newspaper, or send in a picture and we will place it on our photo sales website so that you can purchase a super, unique gift.