AWARENESS is being raised of the support available across the region to people affected by road traffic accidents.

Information is being shared on social media throughout this month – National Road Victim Month.

The campaign is backed by West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Mark Burns-Williamson.

He says road safety has long been a priority within his Police and Crime Plan and is an issue “consistently” raised by communities.

“Over the years I have heard first-hand about the devastating impact road collisions can have on people’s lives and how important safety initiatives are to people,” said Mr Burns-Williamson.

“It is from these valuable conversations and feedback that road safety has always been fully recognised in my plan.”

He praises the work of the West Yorkshire-based road safety charity, Brake.

“As well as its campaigning work to raise awareness it also provides the National Road Victims Service,” he said.

“It is a crucial service which works alongside police family liaison officers to support victims, including those tragically bereaved by serious road traffic collisions and incidents.

“We routinely work in conjunction with Brake, as well as local authorities, to highlight the various issues and proactive strategies.”

As part of the month of activities, the spotlight is also being shone on projects being carried out to help prevent road accidents.

Initiatives include Operation Safeway, launched last month by West Yorkshire Police to educate drivers about all aspects of road safety.

In its first deployment, two people were arrested, seven traffic offences reported and three vehicles seized.

“Operation Safeway is a great example of the emphasis we have placed on preventing deaths and serious injury on our roads through awareness initiatives,” said Mr Burns-Williamson.

“We have also just introduced a significant new digital media tool that allows West Yorkshire Police to receive and capture dash-cam footage via a portal on their website –

“It will help to ensure victims and witnesses have important additional support when reporting an incident.

“I will be sharing at a national level the lessons being learned, having recently attended a road safety round-table discussion involving other police and crime commissioners, politicians and key figures within the road safety arena.”

Chief Inspector Lisa Kirkland, head of the West Yorkshire Police roads policing unit, says Operation Safeway is among a number of measures being implemented to spread the road safety message.

She added: “Our officers unfortunately have to deal with the aftermath of road traffic collisions on a daily basis and see the real-life impact on offenders, victims and families when road users are seriously injured as a result of people driving dangerously on our roads.

“We are committed through education and enforcement to make the roads of West Yorkshire safer.

“Our #WYPTheCost campaign targets the ‘fatal four’– speeding, drink/drug driving, using a mobile phone and not wearing a seatbelt. The campaign highlights the potential cost of what can happen to you if you are caught committing these offences. It could be a fine or driving ban to prison time, in addition to the devastating emotional impact on those involved and their families and loved ones if someone is injured or killed. This year, we have more dedicated roads policing officers working in West Yorkshire to prevent the devastation the ‘fatal four’ can cause. We will not tolerate people risking their own and other road users’ lives.”