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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 February 2006, 12:44 GMT
County's roads 'create problems'
By James Clarke
BBC News, England

Aftermath of the crash in Lincolnshire on Tuesday
A senior police officer said the crash was the worst he had ever seen
Lincolnshire, where six people have died in a crash between two lorries and a minibus, has one of the worst records for road deaths in the UK.

In 2005, 69 people were killed in crashes on the county's roads, while in 2003 the death toll was more than 100.

Tuesday's incident is not the first multiple death collision this year - three people died when their car was crushed between two lorries last month.

Police said the county's low amount of dual carriageways was a factor.

It is believed the crash on Tuesday, on the A52 near Grantham, happened when a minibus was overtaking an oil tanker and a lorry in the same manoeuvre and collided head on with another HGV travelling in the opposite direction.

'Scene of carnage'

Ch Supt Dave Wheeler said: "I've got to say from my perspective, with the number of years in Lincolnshire Police, this is probably the worst traffic collision scene that I have ever attended.

2005 - 69 deaths
2004 - 77 deaths
2003 - 104 deaths
2002 - 93 deaths
Source: Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership

"It's a very difficult scene as you can imagine, a scene of carnage."

Dick Holmes, of Lincolnshire Police, said the nature of the county's roads arguably made crashes more likely than in other parts of the country.

He said: "One of the main things that seems to be a problem is that we have no motorways and very few miles of dual carriageway, that's part of the reason.

"Statistically dual carriageways and motorways are safer roads to travel on - following that logic, logic dictates if there were more dual carriageways there would be fewer serious collisions.

"You can't say that for certain, but all the indications elsewhere in the country suggest that.

Scene of fatal crash in Lincolnshire in January
A couple and their son, 11, died in a crash on the A17 in January

"Also, the roads of Lincolnshire are not as busy as some - if you are stuck in traffic on the M25 you are not going to die, but there are still roads in Lincolnshire where you can get up to quite a high speed.

"Some people don't drive according to their skills and the conditions."

Mr Holmes said a series of initiatives from the police and the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership had made people realise the dangers of irresponsible driving and had cut the number of deaths from the high of 104 during 2003.

Mary Williams, chief executive of national road safety charity Brake, said: "Crashes caused when overtaking on Britain's fast, rural A-roads are shockingly common, yet frequently result in multiple fatalities due to the speed of impact.

"Yet there is no government advertising campaign about the dangers of overtaking, despite the fact that many of our roads are bendy, narrow, and often wet, with a limit of 60mph, only 10mph slower than a motorway."

Six killed in head-on collision
14 Feb 06 |  Lincolnshire
Three people die in lorry crash
05 Jan 06 |  Lincolnshire
Third minibus crash victim dies
30 Dec 05 |  Lincolnshire
Bus driver jailed for five deaths
09 Nov 05 |  Lincolnshire
Raise speed to cut crashes claim
09 Jun 05 |  Lincolnshire

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