CUTTING CREW CALL-OUTS AT HIGHEST IN BOROUGH
CRASH CALL-OUTS TO LONDON BRIGADE UP BY 12%
Drivers who use their mobile phones while at the wheel are taking a real risk Mark Hazleton LFB group manager
FOOTAGE has been released showing firefighters rescue a person from the wreckage of a car crash, as the London Fire Brigade records its highest number of callouts in five years.
The clip shows a demonstration of the emergency service freeing a casualty from a vehicle as figures reveal fire crews attended more than 4,500 road traffic collisions in the capital last year, up 12% from 2012, when the figure was 3,729.
On average, this means fire crews cut six people from their vehicles every week in London, the service said. Crews use specialist cutting and spreading gear, as well as vehicle stabilising equipment, to rescue casualties trapped in their vehicles.
Serious challenges lie in rescuing people from vehicles found crushed up against other cars and street furniture, or flipped on their side or roof.
Hillingdon recorded the highest number of road traffic collisions attended by the London Fire Brigade (LFB) last year in west London, and the fifth highest overall in the capital.
A total of 218 incidents were attended in the borough by fire service crews in 2016 – only four other areas reported more than 200 incidents.
These were Croydon with 267, Enfield with 239, Barnet with 224 and Bromley with 220.
In other parts of west London, Ealing recorded 174 callouts, Hounslow 156, Brent 152, Westminster 142 and Harrow 111. Only two boroughs reported fewer than 100 crashes attended by the brigade, with Hammersmith and Fulham recording 68 and in neighbouring Kensington and Chelsea there were 57.
The latest figures coincided with the launch of the Department for Transport’s THINK! campaign, on Wednesday March 1, which tackles use of mobile phones while driving.
Under the new legislation, penalties double for using your phone while driving from three to six points and from a £100 to £200 fine. Mark Hazelton, LFB 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 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.”
In the past five years, firefighters have attended a total of 19,625 road traffic collisions in London.
The remains of a vehicle that collided with a lorry