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KFRS firefighters report dramatic rise in road accidents

Published on 11 November 2009

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) is urging drivers to take special care while driving

KFRS advise comes after a spate of road traffic collisions in October across Kent 

A series of crashes has prompted Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) to urge drivers and passengers to take care while driving.

The message follows a dramatic rise in the number of road traffic collisions (RTCs) attended by firefighters across Kent. In October fire crews were sent to 112 incidents, compared with 76 in September - a rise of 47.4 per cent, resulting in three deaths and 39 people injured.

Incidents on 5 November included a single car collision at 12.44pm in Highfield Road, High Brooms, Southborough, where fire crews released a woman stuck in her car.

Elsewhere, firefighters from Headcorn, Marden and Cranbrook were called to a RTC in Marden Road, Staplehurst, at 6.43pm where the driver was cut-free from his vehicle. Soon after, paramedics took the man to hospital.

Later the same evening, crews from Medway used cutting tools to free a man and a woman who became trapped following a collision with another car in Walderslade Woods, Chatham. The pair, thought to be in their teens, were later taken to hospital by the ambulance service.

In October fire crews were sent to 112 incidents, compared with 76 in September - a rise of 47.4 per cent

Elsewhere, a pensioner had to be freed from her car by firefighters after she crashed with another vehicle in London Road, Southborough at 12.36pm today.

Stuart Skilton, Head of Community Safety at KFRS said: "We now attend more road traffic collisions than house fires - around 1,200 crashes each year. If our fire crews are called out then it generally means that it's a serious incident and someone needs to be freed from the wreckage of their vehicle. We urge all drivers to be responsible for their own and others' safety while driving."

Stuart added: "Most drivers realise the dangers of snow, sleet and ice as the colder weather approaches over the winter, but few recognise the even more hazardous effects of rain and darkness.

"Bad weather can strike suddenly and when it affects visibility or road conditions, drivers need to take special care and be aware of the risks associated with driving in poor conditions."

As part of its commitment to making the county a safer place to live and work, Kent Fire and Rescue Service's resources are increasingly focussed on educating people of all ages, particularly the 17-24 year old age group, about road safety issues. KFRS is involved, along with partners, in a number of initiatives to reduce the number of deaths and casualties on Kent's roads.

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