Better Streets For Birmingham welcomes the commitment of our city leaders to work together to tackle dangerous driving and road safety in Birmingham, after a spate of deaths and serious injuries on the city’s roads.
Four people were killed, including two children, and 5 seriously injured between May and June in Birmingham. Hundreds of people came together to protest at three separate Better Streets for Birmingham demonstrations in the city.
According to government statistics, 390 people were killed or seriously injured on Birmingham’s roads in 2021.
We welcome the aim of “Operation Triton” to crack down on dangerous driving through intelligence-led operations and hot spot enforcement, but we are also conscious of the vast scale of lawless driving across the city and understand that for this operation to succeed it must be sustained and adequately resourced.
We have campaigned for improvements to West Midlands Police’s system of third-party reporting which we believe is a key to cracking down on dangerous driving. Third-party reporting is where members of the public can submit evidence of potential lawless driving to the police. We are delighted to see that West Midlands Police are putting more resources into this, as there is little public confidence in the existing system, and urge the Police to provide feedback for every report to improve this.
Better Streets for Birmingham has highlighted illegal driving such as red light jumping, speeding, and driving whilst using a mobile phone, at locations across the city including Belgrave Middleway where 45 year old father, Hussein Nur Teklise, was killed on 16th May 2023 and the A45 where 12 year old Azaan Khan was killed on 8th June. We hope that Transport for West Midlands’ road safety campaign will highlight poor and illegal driver behaviour and work towards making it socially unacceptable. At a national level, we would like to see more targeted campaigns focusing on eradicating dangerous driving.
While we welcome Birmingham City Council’s “commitment to spades in the ground for the A45 cycle lane”, we again refer to the urgent and growing backlog of road design schemes that will enable people to walk and cycle more safely in the city. The city council has already received funding for these schemes, but some are years behind schedule.
In May 2023, Liz Clements, Cabinet Member for Transport on Birmingham City Council stated “we must transform our existing public spaces so that they prioritise people rather than vehicles – that is how we can achieve a change in behaviour”. We welcome this sentiment, but would like to see more urgent action from the Council.
We now need assurance that the Council’s current spending freeze will not impact their urgency to deliver funded schemes that keep vulnerable road users safe.
“We welcome today’s commitments that begin to deliver on the demands made in June. We never again want to see four deaths and five serious injuries on our roads in a single month.
Police operations demonstrate the sheer scale of the challenge. It regrettably continues to be a matter of when, not if, somebody’s life is taken as a result of thoughtless driving.
We are relieved to see our authorities working in partnership, as residents rightly expect, to ensure that every Brummie gets home safely. This is crucial to communities across the city.
While we welcome a commitment to spades in the ground for the A45 cycle lane, we again refer to the urgent and growing backlog of funded schemes that need building. We know that the Council can work at pace and now is the time to demonstrate it.
The impact of today’s announcement remains to be seen. We will continue to press politicians and officers on their commitments and delivery.”Martin Price, Co-chair of Better Streets for Birmingham