A plea to motorists after nine people died on Devon and Cornwall’s roads in one month

Drivers in Devon have received an urgent message after nine people died in road collisions in just over a month. Devon and Cornwall Police have appealed to drivers in the region after 17 serious crashes were reported on the two counties’ roads between April 1 and May 6.

Of these 17 collisions, located in both Devon and Cornwall, nine people died and another nine suffered serious injuries. Chief Inspector Simon Jenkinson, from Devon and Cornwall Police’s Road Policing Team, said the past few weeks had been “truly tragic” and urged motorists to adapt their driving to road conditions.

Several of these tragic collisions have taken place in Devon and include the death of Lee Craven, 43, a motorcyclist who died in a motorbike accident on Teignmouth Road in Torquay last month.

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CI Jenkinson said: “Each of these collisions is a tragedy and will be devastating to the family and friends of those involved. I urge all drivers – whether they live locally or go on holiday – to adjust their driving to road conditions; keep a safe speed and give yourself more time to look out for other road users.

“The last few weeks have been truly tragic and the last thing our officers want to do is knock on doors to tell someone that a loved one is not coming home. Whether you’re driving, riding or walking, please take extra care when walking on our roads.”

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Lee was pronounced dead at the scene of the collision in Torquay on April 16. What followed was a series of tragedies in Devon and Cornwall, including the death of a man in his 30s on the A3122 in Totnes on 26 April and the death of a man in his 50s on the A38 in Cornwall on 28 April .

Recent weeks have been equally heartbreaking in Cornwall, with the death of 5-year-old Dexter on the A390 in St Austell and, most recently, the death of a pedestrian in St Ives. Not included in the Devon and Cornwall Police timeline is the devastating case of a mother and young daughter who died in a car crash in Plymouth at the end of March.

Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is chair of the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership. Commissioner Hernandez said: “Each of these tragic collisions will have a devastating impact on the friends and families of those involved.

“Through Vision Zero South West, we are working hard with our partners to reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads and end this senseless and avoidable loss of life. Consequently, road safety remains one of my top priorities as I begin a new mandate.

“All road users can play a part in creating a safer road network and for the sake of our families and friends we all have an interest in doing so. For this reason, I would call on all road users to take extra care, allow more time for journeys and be especially aware of the most vulnerable on our roads, such as cyclists, horse riders, pedestrians and motorcyclists. “

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