News and Events
Here you’ll find the latest news on all the work Merseyside Road Safety Partnership and partners are doing to increase road safety across Merseyside. For details of our community road safety initiatives click here.
As Merseyside begins to gear up for the festive season Merseyside Police have started things off with its own seasonal tradition: Op Limit.
Op Limit is the national Christmas drink and drug driving operation that all forces are expected to support and will run continuously until 1st of January. The operation’s primary aim is to prevent deaths and serious injuries caused by people choosing to drive while under the influence.
Officers will be conducting roadside checks in locations right across the region, deploying breathalysers, Field Impairment Tests and drug wipes.
Roads Policing Inspector, Gavin Dixon, stressed the force’s commitment to taking a preventative approach: “We believe in shared and proportionate responsibility and are committed to making roads safer. A key part of our role is to educate those who demonstrate a lack of road safety awareness, so wherever possible and appropriate, we will aim to educate and advise.
“However, where drugs and alcohol are concerned, not only will we be unapologetically taking a zero-tolerance approach, but proactively employing breathalysers and drug wipes at the roadside for immediate results. It’s important that people understand that they can be unfit to drive through drink and drugs even if the levels are under the legal limit. These can include prescription drugs that do not have a limit but affect your ability to drive safely.
“If you injure, or even worse, kill another person after drinking alcohol or taking drugs, believe me, whatever excuses you made to yourself before you got behind the wheel will crumble. There just isn’t a justification when you’re standing in front of your victim’s family – or your own family who’ve had to come to watch you get sentenced. Phases like ‘I thought one more couldn’t hurt’ or ‘but I felt fine’ don’t mean anything in the face of all that heartbreak and shame.
“Merseyside Police are committed to targeting not only motorists who drink or take drugs and then drive at night, but also to carrying out spot checks in the mornings to identify those still over the limit.”
Custody Inspector Dave Hedges has seen many suspected ‘morning after’ drink drivers come into custody across the festive season over the years:
“I hope that this year will be different, but having worked many December shifts in custody, I can almost guarantee that someone, who may never have dreamed of drink/drug driving, will be brought into custody for being over the limit the morning after. This can be a devastating and life-changing experience.
“Perhaps they were pulled over on the school run, or on their way to work and actually unaware they were over the limit to drive. It’s sad, because often they’re horrified, but over the limit is over the limit – whether it’s the night before or the morning after, and the fact that you didn’t mean to doesn’t make any difference to the family of someone you seriously injure or kill.
“In my 11 years working within custody, dealing with people over the limit, I have never heard anyone say that their night out was worth it. No night out is worth it, so I urge the public to think about whether it is safe to drive and challenge those they suspect are in no fit state to drive.”
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “It is completely unacceptable to get behind the wheel while under the influence of drink or drugs. Those who do so not only put themselves at risk, but also endanger the lives of other innocent road users and can cause anguish and heartbreak that lasts a lifetime.
“As we approach Christmas, I welcome this police operation focused on cracking down on those selfish individuals who take drink or drugs and get behind the wheel.
“It’s vital we also work with the public to educate them on the dangers and risks of such behaviour and encourage people to think very carefully about their actions and, in particular, get them to think carefully about driving the morning after a night out. Safe Behaviour is a key theme in our Vision Zero strategy because we know genuine behaviour change is pivotal to reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on our region’s roads.”
Paul Fletcher from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership, stressed that drug driving could be a crime many were unwittingly at risk of committing: “Consuming alcohol or drugs before driving can be fatal, hence it being labelled as a ‘fatal four offence’ and while most people understand this, some may think they’re fit to drive, but I’d urge people to check their medication, read the labels and warnings.
“When we talk about drug driving we don’t just mean the conventional; cannabis or cocaine, but any drug that may impair your ability to drive including those prescribed or bought over the counter. Of course, as we go into the Christmas period we can expect more parties and social gatherings, I’d encourage people to plan their journey home before heading out and never be tempted to drink and drive, no matter how far or how short the journey. It only takes seconds to ruin a life.”
Merseyside Police would urge anyone who is concerned about someone driving under the influence to contact 999 directly as soon as it is safe to do so.
Sunday 19th November marks the launch of Road Safety Week.
Partners will kickstart the week by remembering those who have lost their lives on our roads in a memorial service at St Georges Hall, as night falls St Helens Council will be lighting up the Steve Prescott Bridge in yellow in memory of all who have been killed on Merseyside’s Roads.
The week will see activity across the partnership including school visits, kids speed checks and local business engagement.
Road Safety Week coincides with the launch of the LCR Road Safety Strategy: Annual Report. The report maintains partners accountability to work within the guidance set out by the strategy. It highlights the partnerships work towards Vision Zero, demonstrating how we have worked to improve road safety since the launch of the strategy in October 2022.
Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, said: “In Vision Zero strategy, we’ve set a bold target to reduce the number and severity of road traffic collisions. It’s our ambition that, by 2040, no one will be killed or seriously injured on our roads.
While a big part of that relies on people’s road safety awareness, there are lots of practical steps we’re taking to encourage long-term behaviour change in how people choose to travel.
“At present nearly two thirds of all journeys in the region are less than 5km, but half of them are taken by car. It’s clear that the only way we can change this is by providing people with a genuine alternative.
“That’s why since I was elected Mayor, I’ve been working to build an integrated London-style public transport system that’s faster, cheaper, cleaner and better connected – and we’ve already taken huge steps towards that goal.
“We’ve invested massively in our public transport network, from the historic decision to take back control of our buses to our brand-new publicly owned £500m trains to the more than £70m we’re spending on new walking and cycling infrastructure.
By giving people a reason to ditch the car, we can drastically reduce traffic and congestion on our roads, improve the quality of air we all breathe and make our roads safer for everyone.
The report demonstrates the shift in working practices to a Safe Systems approach and highlights events such as road safety week encompassing delivery details.
Historically, the partnership has worked through areas of responsibility dedicated to specific authorities or agencies. The Safe Systems approach, however, empowers all partners to work freely across the 5 pillars, adapting their work to their priorities to improve road safety and ensuring a proportionate approach.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “Everyone deserves to feel safe on Merseyside’s roads. Deaths and injuries are neither acceptable nor inevitable – they are preventable.”
“Through Vision Zero we set out our ambition to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in avoidable road collisions to zero. It’s a bold aspiration, but it’s what we must be focussed on delivering if we want to ensure fewer families suffer the devastation and heartache caused by road collisions.”
“As we mark Road Safety Week, the release of our first annual report provides a snapshot of the progress that’s been made over the last year. From engagement and education to enforcement and infrastructure, there’s been lots of progress, but we know there is much more still to do.”
“There are no quick fixes or instant answers to reducing fatalities and casualties on our region’s roads, but that’s why it’s essential we work as a collective and remain committed to delivering long-term behaviour change. For it only by working in partnership, that we can create a region that is cleaner, greener and most importantly, safer, for all.”
You can read the Annual Road Safety Report and the strategy itself on the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership website.
This Road Safety Week partners will be working to improve road safety, putting particular emphasis on ‘Safe Speeds’.
Throughout Road Safety Week, Safer Roads Watch teams will be deployed on local roads, Merseyside Police will be dedicating resources to speed enforcement and schools will be asked to support campaigns and share the message.
Paul Fletcher from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said: “This Road Safety Week let’s talk about speed. As one of the Fatal Four offences speed is a regular contributing factor in road traffic collisions resulting in a death. In 2021, a quarter of all fatal collisions on Merseyside included speed as a contributing factor. This partnership is dedicated to Vision Zero but we can only get there by working together, we must all accept responsibility for our behaviour and make choices based on Road Safety.”
Want to support future Road Safety campaigns?
Sign up as a Safer Roads Watch Volunteer on the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership website.
You can tell us about local road safety issues on the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership website, we will collate information you share with us and ensure it reaches the appropriate policing team, as well as sharing with local authorities and other partners where necessary.
This week Merseyside Police has welcomed the introduction in the latest technology to support road safety enforcement with the implementation of a mobile device that utilises artificial intelligence to identify individuals using their mobile phone or traveling without a seatbelt.
Acusensus ‘Heads Up’ technology delivered by AECOM is fitted to a van to allow for mobile enforcement meaning the technology can be deployed across Merseyside to target the two, fatal four offences.
Sergeant Berry from Merseyside Police Said: ‘Last year 19 people died on our roads and 440 were seriously injured in road traffic collisions in Merseyside. Road safety teams across the country put emphasis on the fatal four in an attempt to drive down collisions and achieve Vision Zero.’
He went on to explain: ‘We want people to understand we’re using this technology and will continue to use it to make our roads safer, the new process isn’t about giving tickets, its about improving road safety and encouraging people to stop using their phones and start wearing seatbelt’s.
Sergeant Berry concluded with: “Hopefully now everyone knows we’re using this technology, it will prevent them from using their phone and encourage them to wear seatbelts”.
The device supports two infrared cameras which utilise AI to detect potential offences, this data is then sent to an operator who verifies the reading and marks offences for progression. Offences are then sent to Merseyside Police to process.
Paul Fletcher from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said:
‘We’re hoping the technology will bring about a change in behaviour. The vast majority of the public recognise the dangers of using a mobile phone while driving and understand the seriousness of not wearing a seatbelt. For those who don’t appreciate the risks associated with both, we’re hoping this device will be enough to prevent them from continuing to put themselves and other at risk of harm’
NPCC Speed Campaign was launched today, Monday 09th October 2023.
The campaign will run for two weeks and will be inclusive of activity across the Merseyside area in order to ensure compliance with Safe Speeds as per the Safe Systems approach.
Local councils will be aiding Safer Roads Watch Volunteers in their deployments, the Safer Roads Unit will be increasing enforcement across the local authorities and officers from Merseyside Police are committing to speed operations regularly throughout the period.
Merseyside Police’s Matrix Roads Policing Unit are launching the Forces Speed Campaign, a thought-provoking initiative aimed at addressing the critical issue of speeding on our roadways
Chief Inspector Stuart McIver from Merseyside Police Said: “In a collective effort to foster safer roads and communities in line with our aspiration to achieve vision zero by 2040, Merseyside Police’s Matrix Roads Policing Unit are launching the Forces Speed Campaign, a thought-provoking initiative aimed at addressing the critical issue of speeding on our roadways.
In a society that values social responsibility, the campaign underscores the undeniable impact of excess speed on road safety. Startling statistics reveal that in 2021, one-quarter of fatal collisions involve speeding as a contributing factor. This harrowing reality compels us to confront the consequences of our driving habits and prioritise the well-being of ourselves and others.
The Force’s Speed Campaign serves as a reminder of our shared responsibility to create a culture where speeding is socially unacceptable. By encouraging mindful driving practices, we strive to reduce the devastating toll that speed-related incidents take on lives and families.
As we embark on this campaign, we invite every member of our community to reflect on the pivotal role they play in shaping the safety of our roads. Through collective consciousness and responsible choices behind the wheel, we can contribute to building a society where our streets are not just pathways but sanctuaries for all.
Join us in making a commitment to responsible driving and Vision Zero, ensuring a safer and more harmonious environment for everyone.”
The campaign coincides with the one year anniversary since the launch of the Liverpool City Region Road Safety Strategy. The strategy holds partners accountable for improving road safety and working towards the joint goal of Vision Zero. The safe systems approach set out within the strategy accentuates Safe Speeds, Safe Roads, Safe Vehicles, Safe Behaviours and Post Collision Response.
Paul Fletcher from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said: “Since the relaunch of intelligence submissions through our website, we have been able to collate, record and share community information in relation to road safety, particularly excess speed. For this operation we have shared community raised concerns with police and safer roads watch to deploy to these areas during this Safe Speeds Campaign. We regularly share this information with partners, however, the campaign will allow an intensification period where we can tackle speeds based on information directly from the public”
Speed is one of the fatal four which are driving offences that contribute to serious injuries or fatalities in road traffic collisions, they consist of: excessive speed, mobile phone use, failing to wear a seatbelt and alcohol and drugs use. Police forces across the country work to tackle the fatal four in the pursuit of Vision Zero. We have imbedded the fatal four into our safe systems approach and highlight the Safe Speeds Pillar independently due to its prevalent appearance in post collision reports.
You can keep up with the latest updates for the campaign on our social media channels by looking out for #SafeSpeeds
MRSP Post Collision Response demonstration being held at Williamson Square, Liverpool on Friday 25th August 2023.
As part of the LCR Road Safety Strategy the MRSP have dedicated resources, time and work to maintain effective post collision response. The event on Friday is a public demonstration on how partners manage serious Road Traffic Collisions and prioritise saving life post collision.
This Friday partners from Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service, Merseyside Police and Liverpool City Council will be hosting a post collision response demonstration whereby emergency services will attend a dummy collision and highlight the work that goes into saving a life.
The event will be hosted by Merseyside Fire & Rescue Service between 11:00 – 12:00 Friday 25th August 2023 at Williamson Square, Liverpool.
Liverpool City Council’s Cabinet Member for Transport and Connectivity, Councillor Dan Barrington, said:
“Road safety – whether you’re behind the wheel or a pedestrian – is paramount, and we’re proud to work in partnership on this event which highlights the importance of responsibility when it comes to being on our roads. It is also a key event to raise awareness and applaud the collaborative, life-saving efforts which take place after a collision – which so many of us take for granted. Working together, we can make our roads as safe as possible, driving change together.”
The input isn’t only driver based but is aimed at all road users, we utilise vehicles for the event itself however in the real world road traffic collisions can be anywhere, at any time, involving anyone. We ensure the input is inclusive and informative, we will be engaging with people before, during and following the event, come and speak to us, we may have some great advice for you depending on how you use the road.
Sergeant Garreth Berry from Merseyside Police Said:
“the event demonstrating post collision response comes during our annual summer drink and drug drive campaign; Operation Limit. We see numerous arrests for drink and drug driving every year and as one of the fatal four contributing factors we want to highlight the dangers and risks associated with drink and drug driving. Taking drugs or drinking alcohol before driving is reckless and far too often ends in collisions like the one you will see at Fridays event. As per the LCR Road Safety Strategy, road safety is everyone’s responsibility, make the right choice, don’t drink and drive, don’t drug drive.”
The fatal four are driving offences that contribute to serious injuries or fatalities in road traffic collisions, they consist of: excessive speed, mobile phone use, failing to wear a seatbelt and alcohol and drugs use.
Police forces across the country work to tackle the fatal four in the pursuit of Vision Zero.
Merseyside Police have launched their annual summer drink and drug drive campaign, Operation Limit.
The campaign will see an enhanced policing operation across Merseyside targeting drink and drug drivers in support of Vision Zero. Drink and drug driving is one of the ‘Fatal 4’ offences targeted by Merseyside Police to drive down the number of people killed or serious injured on our roads.
Inspector Gavin Dixon from the Matrix Roads Policing Department said: “Last year 2315 people were injured in road traffic collisions in Merseyside. Of these, 471 people were seriously injured and sadly 23 people lost their lives. The vast majority of these collisions are avoidable, and Merseyside Police continue to work with partners towards achieving Vision Zero.
“In 2022, we arrested 3712 drink and drug drivers which is a 7% increase on the previous year. We hope this is due to our commitment towards catching these drivers and our continued use of the latest technology. This summer, as part of Operation Limit, we will use a whole host of tactics to catch drivers who selfishly choose to drink or take drugs and then get behind the wheel, putting themselves and others at risk of serious harm.”
Inspector Dixon added: “Our summer campaign may be launching today but we remain committed to tackling drink and drug drivers all year round.” Paul Fletcher, from Merseyside Road Safety Partnership said: “Operation Limit will see an increase in dedicated operational activity to target drink and drug drivers from Merseyside Police.
“Road safety is the responsibility of all of us and to achieve our 2040 ‘Vision Zero’ of avoidable road deaths we must all play our part. Individuals who choose to drink or drug drive face a twelve-month driving ban and a fine of up to £5000. This is nothing compared to the pain and heartbreak of taking a life. If drinking, leave the car at home and completely remove temptation.
“Everyone’s limit is different and the ability to drive can be affected by even a small amount of alcohol. Drivers who are below the legal limit can still be prosecuted for being unfit to drive. Medication can also contribute to driving offences and individuals should always read the labels and be mindful of the effects that medication can have on them.”
Mr. Fletcher added: “August also marks National Road Victim Month, to remember those that have been killed or injured on our roads. We’re calling on drivers to make our roads safer and do their part by hanging up their keys and finding other means of travel if going out for a drink.”
Cllr Tony Brennan, Knowsley Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration and Economic Development, commented: “Drink or drug driving at any time of the year is unacceptable and driving while under the influence can have a devastating impact on families. People may be more tempted in the summer months to have a drink and then get behind the wheel, but we’re reminding people that there is no such thing as a safe limit. If you’re planning to drink any alcohol, don’t take the risk of getting behind the wheel and ensure you make alternative travel arrangements.”
Matrix Roads Policing Team have already run a number of operations during the weekend of the 29th of July in preparation for the campaign with a total of 19 drink and drug drivers arrested already.
If you know or suspect someone is driving whilst under the influence of alcohol or drugs, then please contact @MerPolCC, 101, the Roads Policing Unit on 0151 777 5747 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
NPCC Seatbelt Operation
The NPCC’s Seatbelt Operation was launched Monday 05th June 2023 and will run over three weeks. The partnership will see a range of activity from school inputs to enforcement.
The operation coincides with Child Safety Week, advice on booster seats, child seats and baby seats will be communicated via social media channels and inputs will be carried out in schools by local authorities to ensure both responsible adults and children have the best advice for being road safe.
Enforcement Operations will be conducted by Merseyside Police Roads Policing Unit across the county.
The campaign has direct links to Safe Behaviours, one of the 5 pillars of road safety as outlined by the LCR Road Safety Strategy where we recognise all road users have a part to play in road safety.
Seatbelts can be the difference between life and death, the Partnership is proud to support this national campaign. The use of seatbelts takes us one step closer to Vision Zero where we aspire to have zero avoidable deaths on our roads.
Community Bike Marking Event
Merseyside Police in partnership with St Helens Council are holding a community bike marking event at Billinge Police Station on Tuesday 30th May 2023.
Keep your bike safe by registering it with the Bike Register. Simply register the bike by adding it to the national database, mark and protect your bike with a security marking kit and apply a warning label to deter theft.
Tuesday 30th May 2023 between 13:30 – 16:00 Merseyside Police in partnership with St Helens Council will be holding a community bike marking event where you can register your bike for free.
The event will be held at Billinge Police Station, Main Street, WN5 7HA.
Officers will mark your bike and register it with the national database, you can bring your new or old cycles. Children must be accompanied by an adult and all you will need to register is an email address.
Registering your bike is free and once imported onto the database will stay there, you will receive a registration logbook to be used as proof of ownership and login details for the bike register to access and manage your online account and details.
Not all bike frames are equipped with a unique reference number so registering your bike and having it marked with Bike Register will supply your bike with its own unique details ensuring if it is stolen it’s easier to identify and recover.
Pop along to the event at Billinge Police Station, if you have any questions get in touch via our contact us page.
Project EDWARD & Global Road Safety Week
This week the Merseyside Road Safety Partnership will be working across multiple initiatives in line with UN Global Road Safety Week 2023. The week of action also runs alongside Project EDWARD, where a road trip has been planned across the country.
The Road Trip is expected to visit Merseyside on Tuesday 16th May 2023 and will aim to showcase the work being done in pursuit of Vision Zero.
The trip comes as we approach 6 months following the launch of the Liverpool City Region Road Safety Strategy and will give partners the opportunity to provide updates on their contributions to the 5 pillars of road safety: Safe Speeds, Safe Behaviour, Safe Vehicles, Safe Roads, Post Collision Response.
Rethinking Mobility will be the voice of Global Road Safety Week, where the international aim is to encourage walking, cycling and the use of public transport. The week of action is reflective of the goal to reduce Road Traffic Collisions with fatalities or serious injuries by 50% by 2030 as per the UNs Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety.
Here in Merseyside, work will be committed across the county in pursuit of Vision Zero. Deployments are expected from various partners over the week and activity will be shared via social media channels.
Safer Roads Watch Volunteers will be deployed daily throughout the campaign monitoring speeds and sending drivers educational letters, Merseyside Police will be conducting regular enforcement activity and Wirral Council with support from a local school will be running a Kids Court, for an educational experience for drivers committing offences.
Knowsley council will be working on the Walk to School Week initiative supporting Global Road Safety Weeks agenda by motivating children to walk to school.
Our partners work year-round to improve road safety and work towards Vision Zero, this week’s action is a snippet of that hard work, we welcome the visit from Project EDWARD to showcase the exceptional work done by our local teams.
Look out for updates for:
People have the right to travel safely throughout our region, without the fear of being killed or seriously injured.
The sad truth is that our region continues to see far too many people killed or suffer serious, life-changing injury on our roads. These road collisions devastate lives, families, and communities.
Deaths and serious injuries on the road are neither acceptable nor inevitable – they are preventable.
As a result, too many people still feel that cycling on our roads or travelling on foot poses an unacceptable risk to their safety.
The strategy covers:
- VISION AND AIMS
- THE MERSEYSIDE ROAD SAFETY PARTNERSHIP
- FUNDING AND DELIVERY
- VISION ZERO
To read the strategy in full, click here LCR Road Safety Strategy