The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “My thoughts are with the victims and their families, who have recently been tragically and avoidably killed and seriously injured in road traffic collisions.
“As Police and Crime Commissioner and as Chair of the West Midlands Road Safety Strategic Group, preventing and tackling crime and anti-social behaviour on our roads, promoting road harm reduction and reducing the number of people tragically and avoidably killed and seriously injured on our roads are top priorities.
“We need a range of collaborative action by partners locally, regionally and nationally. That includes West Midlands Police, the West Midlands Combined Authority, the Metro Mayor, local authorities, National Highways and central government, if we are to reduce the number of people tragically and avoidably killed and seriously injured on our roads.
“That includes improved public transport, more active travel, lower traffic neighbourhoods, an improved regulatory environment and all of us being mindful of the duty of care that we all owe to other road users.
“Unfortunately, the reckless financial cuts imposed by central government on West Midlands Police over the past 12 years and the consequential loss of police officers and staff, have made it significantly more difficult to prevent and tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on our roads. That was a big mistake and it has undoubtedly contributed to a rise in crime and anti-social behaviour on our roads.
“The action I am taking and will continue to take as Police and Crime Commissioner includes:
- Holding West Midlands Police to account to prevent, tackle and reduce crime and anti-social behaviour on our roads;
- Rebuilding community policing, because we need preventative, proactive and visible policing, including enforcement and community Speed Watch schemes;
- Supporting the roll out of average speed enforcement cameras;
- Funding and supporting action to prevent and tackle anti-social and dangerous car cruising and street racing;
- Delivering a review of the West Midlands Road Safety Strategy in 2023;
- Supporting police operations to prevent dangerous, drink and drug driving;
- Campaigning for government to allow the West Midlands to retain fixed penalty fines from average speed enforcement cameras, to invest in road safety;
- Recognising the opportunities for third party reporting and understanding the pressing need to ensure improvement of this method of enforcement;
- Working with local authorities to take on responsibility for moving road traffic contraventions and to ensure a region wide approach;
- Supporting the UK’s first dedicated Family Liaison Unit and a Road Collision Project, to ensure that the rights and welfare of victims are safeguarded; and
- Committing to Vision Zero, to reduce the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads by at least 50% by 2030 and for all deaths and serious injuries to be eliminated from the West Midlands by 2041.