East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Wealden District Council, Sussex Police and East Sussex County Council – all members of the Safer Wealden Partnership – are taking part in an initiative called ‘We’re Keeping an Eye on You’.
The idea is to bring to together district, county and expertise from across Sussex in the ’3 Es’ of road safety, engineering, education and enforcement, supported by community engagement.
There were six deaths in 91 collisions on Wealden roads from January to September 2015 and road users’ behaviours are said to be the main cause of all the collisions.
A report on the East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service website says “Failed to Look” meaning someone was not concentrating, or was distracted, is the most common cause in serious and fatal incidents.
The report says behavoural insights work carried out in Wealden indicate that if drivers believe they are being watched then they will drive more carefully and the aim of the campaign is to do that.
Assistant director of Safer Communities for East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service, Andy Reynolds said: “We are proud to be a key contributor of this campaign, as it is vital that everyone using the roads adopts safer habits and that careless and anti-social driving are publicly recognised as being very high risk and unacceptable.
“I have personally attended too many serious road traffic collisions in Wealden and it is hoped that this initiative, which involves all partners working together, will drive down the number of serious incidents in Wealden.”
Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Improving road safety is one of the most common issues that residents raise with me.
“This new campaign, with its thought-provoking posters aimed at changing driver behaviour, has my full support.”
Cabinet member for public health and community safety on Wealden Council, Cllr Claire Dowling said: “When it comes to road safety, Wealden has some of the worst statistics in the South East.
“Much of this is due to geography and the type of roads in Wealden. But we must never foget that behind each statistic is a life or lives that have been changed forever.”
Cllr Dowling said the We’re Keeping an Eye on You campaign was the start of a new approach involving behavioural sciences pioneered at Wealden District Council.
She added: “The key point is people behave differently when they think they are being watched. We want to capitalise on this to help save lives.”
Chief Inspector Rob Leet, district commander for Lewes and Wealden said: “We continually need to refresh the way we inform people of the risks to them and this campaign reflects the innovative work we do with our colleagues on the Safer Wealden partnership.”