6,000 West Midlands emergency vehicles crash in two years

More than five emergency vehicles crashed a day on average in the West Midlands in the past three years, new figures have revealed.

6,000 West Midlands emergency vehicles crash in two years

The statistics obtained under Freedom of Information laws showed there were 5,992 crashes were recorded between 2012 and 2014.

West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire Service recorded 2,728 and 281 crashes respectively.

The police force had 64 cars written off as a result of accidents during the period.

West Midlands Police spokeswoman Joanne Hunt said: "Responding to emergency incidents does come with some risk and, on occasion, our vehicles have been involved in collisions with other road users during the course of our daily business.

"Thankfully, cases where people ? be it officers or members of the public ? have been injured are relatively rare.

"The vast majority of collisions result in minor damage, however each collision is fully investigated and where collisions are deemed serious we will refer them to the Independent Police Complaints Commission if appropriate."

She added: "Police officers spend a lot of time behind the wheel of a car, which is why our driver training is comprehensive and robust, with a focus on safety and proportionality.

"Drivers are trained to a very high standard and any collision involving a police vehicle is thoroughly investigated and the appropriate action taken."

West Midlands Ambulance service recorded 81 crashes over the three year period and has recently been working to raise awareness for drivers.

Spokesman Chris Kowalik said: "Our crews are highly trained in blue-light driving to respond to life and death situations where every seconds counts, but they rely on the help of other road users.

"The majority of collisions are down to drivers either panicking when they hear a siren or see a blue light, or not being aware of blue-light vehicles using the road."

The service has posted a video called Blue Light Aware on YouTube. It provides training to motorists on how to avoid blue sirened vehicle.

Staffordshire Police recorded 912 crashes while Staffordshire Fire and Rescue recorded 120 during the time period.

West Mercia Police recorded 1,143 crashes while Shropshire Fire and Rescue recorded 68.

Last week a man who crashed into a police van while escaping pursuing officers was locked up for a year.

David Flavell, 32, of Coppice Avenue in Stourbridge, narrowly missed pedestrians – including children – while driving across an area of grass to get away in a stolen BMW convertible.

He eventually crashed into a police van before being caught during the incident on April 3.

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