Number of car crashes in Croydon highest in London

The result of a collision between a car and an HGV     Pic: London Fire Brigade

Fire-fighters from London Fire Brigade attended 267 road traffic collisions (RTCs) in Croydon last year, the highest number recorded for any London borough.

The figures, which were released last week, revealed the second borough on the list was Enfield with 239 incidents, and third was Bromley with 220.

In total there was a 12 per cent increase in the number of accidents on the capital’s roads in 2016 with 4,541 RTCs attended by the brigade.

In a statement, London Fire Brigade said: “Crews use specialist cutting and spreading gear, and vehicle stabilising equipment to rescue casualties from their trapped vehicles so that injuries can be treated and lives saved.

“Vehicles can be found crushed up against other cars and street furniture and even flipped onto their side or roof, which can make rescues more challenging for fire-fighters and delay those involved getting the urgent life saving medical care they need.”

The figures coincide with the new initiative THINK, launched by the Department of Transport. This is aimed to target the use of mobile phones by drivers to try to curb the increasing number of call outs to accidents.

The campaign started on March 1 and will see penalties double from three to six points and £100 to £200 fines for people caught using phones while driving.

Mark Hazelton, group manager for Community Safety, said: “There are many things that can cause collisions including speeding and drivers falling asleep at the wheel, but we know that distractions coming from inside people’s cars are also a major cause of accidents.

“Drivers who use their mobiles while at the wheel are taking a real risk to themselves, their passengers cyclists and pedestrians, and need to start realising how dangerous this is. It is not just their lives they are putting at risk.

“Hopefully this new legislation will make people think a little bit more before picking up their mobile phone to answer a call, read a text or change their music.”

Over the past five years, the London Fire Brigade has been called to nearly 20,000 road collisions in the capital – the highest number in five years.

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