SHOCKING figures reveal there were more than 2,000 collisions on rural roads in Cleveland and Durham between 2011 and 2013.
Police say that 51 people were killed as result of these collisions.
The Cleveland and Durham forces’ Specialist Operations Unit is now launching a campaign aimed at saving lives on rural roads across the area.
Data from THINK! shows that men aged 17 to 35 who drive on a single carriage rural road with a national speed limit are most likely to be involved in a speed-related collision.
Drivers are being reminded that the speed limit is not a target – it’s a limit.
Police say that while most motorists drive within the speed limit – the average speed on a 60mph single carriageway rural road is 48mph – there are those that are over-confident and feel the need to exceed it.
Officers say going a fraction too fast on a bend can force your vehicle off course, exposing it to oncoming traffic or sending it off the road.
Last year 11,935 drivers were caught speeding on Cleveland’s roads and 7,597 in the Durham area.
During the campaign, running all next week and co-ordinated by the European Traffic Police Network, educational activity will be carried out as well as enforcement action on the rural roads within both force areas.
Acting Superintendent Alison Jackson, head of the unit, said: “You’re twice as likely to be involved in a fatal collision on a rural road, however, most drivers underestimate the dangers.
“You might think that you know a road like the back of your hand, but conditions are constantly changing and you won’t know if there’s a hazard around the corner, such as a cyclist or a horse rider.
“Speeding is one of the four major contributory factors in fatal road collisions.
“We cannot stress enough how important it is to drive at the appropriate speed for the road that you are travelling on.
“Speed limits are put in place for a reason and they can save your life, the lives of your passengers, and the lives of other innocent road users.”