Road safety champions have given their backing to calls for highways chiefs to carry out an investigation into collisions on the A19.
Our Safe A19 campaign is asking the Department for Transport to launch an inquiry to look at the causes of collisions on the major route and how they could be prevented.
It has already begun to win the backing of the region’s MPs after their colleague, Easington MP Grahame Morris, spearheaded the demand for action in Parliament.
Now safety organisations have added their voice to the call for the statistics and details of crashes to be analysed.
It is hoped measures can then be taken to help drivers and their passengers stay safe on the trunk road.
RoSPA campaigns for action to change legislation and attitudes surrounding accidents, which leave more than 14,000 people dead across the UK each year and millions more hurt.
It’s essential to understand why crashes and casualties are happening in order to identify the causes, and what new measures are likely to be effective in preventing them from continuing to happen.Kevin Clinton
In addition to preventing fatalities and injury, it also warns of the impact on businesses, families and children left growing up without parents.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety RoSPA, said: “We support the campaign to improve road safety on the A19.
“It’s essential to understand why crashes and casualties are happening in order to identify the causes, and what new measures are likely to be effective in preventing them from continuing to happen.”
Brake, the road safety charity, has also said it “fully support this campaign”.
Our campaign focuses on the section of road which takes traffic between Wolviston to Boldon, with Mr Morris particularly concerned about the stretch between Seaham and Testo’s.
The finalised figures for incidents which look at fatal, serious and slight injury accidents for last year are still to be issued.
However, initial statistics show that between the those two furthest points, 36 crashes happened, involving a total of 88 vehicles.
Those collisions left 71 people injured, with six of the smashes classed as serious.
Figures for the year before there were three deaths on the road, 41 serious crashes and 275 slight, with six of the serious collisions on the section between Boldon and Seaham.
A petition has been launched to gather support, with more than 150 people backing it so far.
People can also lobby the Government by tweeting @transportgovuk calling for action using the hashtags #A19 #RoadSafety #InvestInTheNorth and #SafeA19.
The petition can be found by searching ‘A19’ on Change.org or via https://goo.gl/ubdhzF
Your suggestions to improve A19 safety
Average speed cameras or a drop in speed limit could be the solution to the dangers posed on the A19.
Readers have been having a say after we launched our call for action from the Government.
Darren Barrass said: “Make it 50mph along the whole stretch, backed up with average speed cameras between every junction.
“The road’s a busted flush now.
“It was meant to serve a 70s and 80s Britain.
“The whole of the UK road network is feeling the strain.
“More people just makes things worse for everyone, except the minority exploiting it, who happen to live nowhere near it.
“A speed limit of 50mph or 40mph won’t solve the problem of crowded roads, but it will reduce the injury/fatality risk when collisions occur.
“Until IQ becomes a qualifying factor in the driving test, more traffic calming measures will be needed as the roads become woefully overcrowded.”
John Chick agreed: “A 50mph zone with speed cameras - simple.”
Bill Walton commented: “People say it’s not the road it’s the idiot drivers, but the only way to slow them down is to reduce the speed.
“Worked for the A690.”
Steve Hall suggested: “It doesn’t need an expensive safety campaign, what it needs is more police and the installation or average speed camera between the Tyne Tunnel and Middlesbrough.”
Others have argued that people who do not stick to the 70mph limit as it stands would not adhere to a 50mph limit.
Joe Ashton added; “Haway then, if 50mph limit is answer explain all the crashes on the A66 in Middlesbrough and Stockton?
“That stretch is full of unmarked cop cars as well as night vision camera van, yet there’s at least one pile up or crash a week.”
Dave Giles said: “All average speed cameras do is make people concentrate on speedometer rather than road.
“No need to reduce speed limit, in fact nationwide it needs to be increased to 90mph.”
Andrew Hope said: “The most common thing I’d say what actually causes a crash is people driving bumper to bumper.
“If people simply followed the two-second rule you’d reduce most of the crashes on the A19 in my opinion.”
He added ‘rubber necking’, keeping to lanes, correct use of mirrors and indicators, keeping to the road and weather conditions and proper use of the slip roads, such as building up or slowing down to match the speed of the traffic would help.