70 injured and one dead in crashes involving Derbyshire police vehicle since 2014

Derbyshire Constabulary says any accident, particularly one that causes injury, is unfortunate and regrettable.
Derbyshire Constabulary says any accident, particularly one that causes injury, is unfortunate and regrettable.

Seventy people have been injured and one person has died in collisions involving Derbyshire police vehicles since the start of 2014, it has emerged.

According to data obtained by the Derbyshire Times under the Freedom of Information Act, the force's cars and vans have been caught up in 1,005 crashes between January 1, 2014, and the present date.

Following the collisions, £849,436 has been spent on repairs to damaged vehicles. The force says this figure is inclusive of any third party payments for damage or other costs.

Commenting on the statistics, Terry Hitchcock, fleet facilities manager at Derbyshire Constabulary, said: "Any accident, particularly one that causes injury, is unfortunate and regrettable.

"However, the force operates over 500 vehicles and covers in excess of eight million miles-per-year in the course of our policing duties.

"It should also be noted that many of the accidents and instances of damage to vehicles were minor, such as a damaged wing mirror or a small scrape.

"Many, also, did not involve a third party."

A spokesman for road safety charity Brake said: "We urge all police forces to follow best practice by making road safety an issue to champion right from the top."

Investigations continue after fatal crash

Investigations are continuing after a 91-year-old widower died when he was hit by a police car in Derbyshire.

Dennis Wilson was struck by the vehicle on Loundsley Green Road, Chesterfield, shortly before 8.30am on on September 4.

Mr Wilson, who lived locally and was on his regular morning walk when the collision occurred, sadly died at the scene.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the crash.

A spokesman for the watchdog said: "The single-crewed police car is understood to have been responding to an emergency call at the time and the IPCC is independently investigating the circumstances following a referral from Derbyshire Constabulary."

Several independent witnesses have been identified, the spokesman added.

Anyone who saw the incident but hasn’t yet come forward should call the IPCC on 0800 096 9071 or send an email to loundsleygreenroad@ipcc.gsi.gov.uk

'Look and listen'

According to the College of Policing, the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 and the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2016 exempt emergency vehicles from:

► Observing speed limits

► Observing keep left/right signs

► Complying with traffic lights (including pedestrian controlled crossings)

Rule 219 of the Highway Code states: "You should look and listen for ambulances, fire engines, police, doctors or other emergency vehicles using flashing blue, red or green lights and sirens or flashing headlights, or traffic officer and incident support vehicles using flashing amber lights. When one approaches do not panic. Consider the route of such a vehicle and take appropriate action to let it pass, while complying with all traffic signs. If necessary, pull to the side of the road and stop, but try to avoid stopping before the brow of a hill, a bend or narrow section of road. Do not endanger yourself, other road users or pedestrians and avoid mounting the kerb. Do not brake harshly on approach to a junction or roundabout, as a following vehicle may not have the same view as you."

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