Calls are being made today to make our roads safe after it was revealed 293 people were killed or seriously injured as a result of crashes in Dorset last year.

The findings have been published to mark today’s launch of national Road Safety Week, which is focusing on campaigners who are “Stepping Up for Safe Streets”.

Analysis from road safety charity Brake has revealed that on average six people are killed or seriously injured on roads in the south west every day.

In Dorset, 16 were killed and 277 were seriously injured.

Campaigners believe that crashes and near misses have a big impact on people’s perceptions of safety, making streets feel less welcoming and holding people back from choosing to walk and cycle, modes of transport which reduce the danger for others.

This week, schoolchildren, community groups and employees will be supporting the campaign by learning about, and celebrating, the safe systems solutions which can eliminate death and serious injury from the roads – from 20mph limits in urban areas, to technology which can prevent vehicles from speeding.

Dorset Police is supporting the week with a number of events.

Today, Weymouth Pavilion will host Safe Drive Stay Alive, attended by students from three local colleges. Now in its 14th year, the partnership sees emergency services personnel tell their stories of dealing with the results of road traffic collisions. These emotive and hard-hitting presentations reach out to new and 'pre-drivers', influencing behaviour and attitude on the roads.

Dorset Driver Awareness Scheme tutors will be attending primary and pre-schools in places including Wareham, Sherborne, and Crossways and educating children of all ages on road safety.

Road Safety Week 2019 partners, Kwik-Fit and Specsavers, are also backing the campaign for safe streets, with Kwik-Fit offering free vehicle safety checks and Specsavers touring a virtual reality driving experience to encourage people to make sure their eyesight is good enough for driving.

Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for Brake said: “These findings paint an alarming picture of the danger on the south west’s roads and yet it’s what we’re all exposed to, every day, when getting about. We shouldn’t have to accept this level of risk as part of our daily lives and so we are calling on everyone to “Step Up” for Road Safety Week and shout out for the solutions that we know can make our roads safe.

“Across the region, people are working tirelessly to campaign for safe streets, organising petitions, meeting with MPs and councillors and raising money and awareness. This Road Safety Week we want everyone to think about how they can do their bit and step up for safe streets. Can you join or start a local campaign? Do you need to take the car on your next journey, or could you walk, cycle or get the bus? If you are travelling by car, will you pledge to always keep within speed limits and never drive after drinking alcohol or taking drugs? Let’s all Step Up for Safe Streets."

Figures in this article have been updated as a result of information from Dorset Police.