ANOTHER life has been lost on Dorset’s roads taking the number of people killed in the county so far this year to 14.
The crash happened early evening on Thursday at Warmwell near Dorchester when a motorcycle was in collision with two cars.
The 49-year-old rider from Weymouth died at the scene following the accident involving his Kawasaki ZX900 bike, a Toyota and a Land Rover Discovery on the B3390.
Last week the Daily Echo revealed the shocking toll of the number of people killed in road accidents in Dorset this year.
Now 14 people have died on our roads – six of which were riding bikes or motorcycles – and this figure is already edging closer to last year’s final figure of 18.
Dorset’s No Excuse team have released tips to help ensure road users stay safe on the roads.
Project manager Brian Austin said: “Expect the unexpected and concentrate. Many of the driving public like to drive on rural roads due to the beauty of the countryside and pretty locations.
“Drivers on rural roads face single lanes and limited areas to overtake. They face high hedges, blind bends, farm machinery, other drivers braking suddenly when approaching reduced speed limits and drivers coming in the opposite direction.
“When tackling rural roads it is important to be aware of your surroundings and look for potential hazards.”
1,000 sign road petition
MORE than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for a stretch of one of the area’s busiest roads to be made safer following a spate of crashes.
Highway chiefs are being urged to tackle the “appalling” accident rate on the A31 by imposing a 50mph speed limit and deploying more signs to prevent sudden lane changes.
The current 70mph limit even applies to an exit slip road with a pedestrian crossing half way along a downhill section.
Critics say many of the problems on the A31 occur on the Picket Post to Ashley Heath stretch, which is notorious for the large number of junctions and the absence of a crawler lane for HGVs struggling up Poulner Hill.
Earlier this year an elderly motorist was killed in a four-car pile-up on the Ringwood flyover. Two months later seven people were injured when three cars collided on the A31 near its junction with the Ringwood to Fordingbridge road.
Now Ringwood Town Council has launched a petition that will be presented to the Highways Agency at the beginning of October. The signatures will be accompanied by a list of proposals that aim to cut congestion as well as reduce accidents.
One of the leading campaigners, Councillor Michael Thierry, said: “It’s not just a petition – it’s a document with ideas for the agency to consider. Better signage would hopefully result in drivers getting into the correct lane earlier and staying there instead of weaving from one lane to another – possibly because they’re not certain which one they should be in.
“The public response to the initiative has been absolutely brilliant. We have given people the option of saying whether they support the petition or not – and only one person has ticked ‘no’.”
Town clerk Terry Simpson added: “Everyone says we’ve got to do something about the A31. It’s often chock-a-block – Fridays in the summer are horrendous.”
- THE number of fatal or serious injury collisions in Bournemouth has risen over the last seven years by just over six per cent.
The Institute of Advance Motorists compared the averages of such road accidents in 2006 and 2007 with those in 2010 and 2011 to reveal a 6.38 per cent rise, from 70.5 to 75.
Such accidents fell in Poole by 1.77 per cent, from 56.5 to 55.5 and in Dorset by 20.57 per cent from 262.5 to 208.5.
This information was drawn from recent Department for Transport figures which showed that the number of people killed and seriously injured in Britain increased by two per cent in 2011.
Don’t become a victim
The No Excuse team are urging motorists to be safe on the roads by:
- Checking the weather.
- Plan your journey so you don’t have to rush.
- Check the vehicle.
- Be considerate and patient, and don’t speed.
- Be aware of your surroundings.
- Don't drive under influence of drugs or drink.
- Don't drive if you are tired or taking prescription drugs.
- Expect the unexpected.