COMMENT: We can all play a part to make our roads safer

The scene of a car accident on Sheffield Road in Chesterfeld (Photo: Kris Cheney).
The scene of a car accident on Sheffield Road in Chesterfeld (Photo: Kris Cheney).

Our front page today (Thursday) has a series of dramatic photographs of badly damaged vehicles involved in two serious car crashes on Chesterfield’s roads over the past week.

To look at the photos and the tangled wreckage of the vehicles involved, it really is amazing no one was killed.

Six people were injured, one badly, in a crash involving two cars and a bus on Brimington Road, Chesterfield, Thursday, March 3.

Six people were injured, one badly, in a crash involving two cars and a bus on Brimington Road, Chesterfield, Thursday, March 3.

And while investigations are continuing into both crashes, they have understandably brought back into sharp focus the subject of safety on our roads. Residents living in the neighbourhoods where they happened say more should be done to make them safer and that it’s only a matter of time before someone is killed.

On the other hand, highways bosses at County Hall say the accident rates -particularly on Brimington Road where seven people were injured, including one seriously, in a crash involving a bus and two cars - are ‘relatively low’ to justify introducing some form of traffic calming measures.

Cynics will argue that this basically translates into someone having to die before something is done - an argument reinforced because the ‘relatively low’ rate is based on the number of reported accidents.

Some will also highlight finance as an argument for a reluctance to get something done.

So, when we get into our vehicles this morning let’s remember it’s perhaps better to be five minutes late in this world, rather than five minutes early the next

In our office we see for ourselves on a daily basis crashes and near-misses on the Horns Bridge roundabout.

And when there is a collision, the emergency services are very rarely called upon - therefore in the eyes of those in power, the roundabout has very few reported accidents. That said, we can lobby authority all day long, but we drivers also have a duty to make sure our roads are safer.

Whatever the cause of the two near-tragedies last week and whatever authority can or cannot do, every driver has a responsibility to make sure they get from A to B in the safest way possible.

Many collisions are not accidents, there is a party to blame. This maybe a naive and simplistic take on it, but it is also true.

So, when we get into our vehicles this morning let’s remember it’s perhaps better to be five minutes late in this world, rather than five minutes early the next.

Do you really want to be THAT ‘statistic’ that the council is waiting for? Stay safe . . .