IN the past year, the lives of more than 350 families have been changed as a result of a serious crash in Cheshire.

According to figures released by Cheshire Police, 343 people across the county are living with serious injuries which may affect them for the rest of their lives and 28 families have lost loved ones.

Superintendent Paul Beauchamp, who leads the Roads Policing Team, said: “While some incidents are accidental, there are others where people needlessly die or suffer serious injuries because another person decided they were above the law.

“It is well known that driving while under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs increases your chances of being involved in a collision. It is also known that driving at 35mph in a 30mph zone doubles the risk of killing a child in a collision.

“Despite this, there are hundreds of motorists who flout the laws on our roads every. I am urging residents to think about how they would feel if it were one of their loved ones who was killed and what they could do to make a difference.”

During National Road Victims Month (August), Cheshire Constabulary is urging the public to take time to think about all those who have been affected by serious collisions when using the county’s roads, whether as a motorist, cyclist or pedestrian.

Sup Beauchamp added: “Whether it is making sure that you stick to the speed limit, waiting until you get home before you answer your mobile or getting the train to work following a night out, everyone has a role to play to help make our roads safer.”

David Keane, PCC for Cheshire, said: “Since I became commissioner I have invested in new mobile speed cameras for our PCSO’s to use on roads where residents have raised concerns. I’ve also been lobbying the government to make improvements to the strategic road network across Cheshire, including the M56.

“However, this is not something that I can achieve alone. It’s a sad fact that many of the tragedies that occur in Cheshire could be avoided if road users paid more attention to the road and obeyed all of the laws that are in place.

“That is why I’m encouraging all road users to play their part. By working together we can all help to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on Cheshire’s roads.”