A fall in the number of specialist road traffic officers in the North East has sparked road safety concerns amongst politicians and motoring body, the RAC.

Between 2010 and 2015, the number of traffic police in the Durham area fell from 96 to 69, while Northumbria Police saw a 24 percent reduction in their specialist road police. Traffic police in the Cleveland force area fell from 115 to 88.

In total, the number of traffic police employed in the North East region fell by 99 during five years.

Labour’s shadow police minister, Jack Dromey, expressed concerns about cuts to traffic police and urged the government to prioritise road safety to tackle serious road traffic accidents.

Earlier this year, the Commons Transport Committee published a report suggesting that the falling number of detected motoring offences is due to less drivers being caught rather than a reduction in criminal activity.

Nicky Jackson, serious injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors, said:
“Traffic police play a vital role in deterring dangerous behaviour on the roads, yet with falling numbers of road police across the North East and UK-wide, reckless drivers will continue to put lives at risk with less chance of being apprehended.

“Government cuts to police forces are jeopardising the safety of road users and the government must bring an end to funding cutbacks or else risk more devastating and serious road traffic collisions on the roads.”