LINCOLNSHIRE'S Red Route project – including roadside signs showing the number of traffic deaths each year – has almost halved the number of casualties, according to new figures.
The data reveals a 44.5 per cent drop in fatal and serious accidents on roads identified as dangerous and designated as Red Routes since the initiative was launched by Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership (LRSP) in August 2003..
The figures show that, in the three years before the scheme began, 318 people a year were involved in serious accidents on Red Routes.
In the eight years since, the average annual figure on the same roads has been 176.
John Siddle, communications manager for LRSP, said the initiative worked by offering advice to drivers and by placing large red signs along the county's 12 Red Routes, updating the number of deaths.
Mr Siddle, right, said: "The figures are very encouraging and, to us, show that drivers are paying attention to what we tell them.
"Last year, 45 people sadly lost their lives on roads in the county. But that figure is the lowest we have ever had.
"The success has to be largely attributed to partnership working with police, highways, the county council and fire and rescue."
The figures, revealed in a Lincolnshire County Council agenda, show an average of 30 people a year have been killed or injured on the A52 since the project started, compared with 58 a year between August 2000 and July 2003.
And injuries and deaths on the A16 have gone from 44 to 25 a year.
The only road that bucked the trend was the B1188, where the number of casualties increased – from an average of eight casualties per year between 2000 and 2003 to nine per year between 2003 and 2010. As reported in the Echo, just days ago a motorcyclist lost his life on the same stretch near Nocton after smashing into a sign.
Andrew Howard, Head of road safety at The AA, called the A15 in Lincolnshire a "nasty road" and said it was important to advise motorists to be careful.
He said: "I'm pretty sure Red Route signs do have an effect as an awful lot of people don't understand what is and isn't a dangerous road.
"Things such as the signs get the message across that they are not dealing with a road that is safe."
The Red Route scheme is up for review this year, when it will be decided if the annual budget of £20,000 a year can be maintained.
The possibility of downgrading some routes that have shown a marked improvement will also be examined.
Damien Childs, 28, of Monks Road, Lincoln, regularly travels on the A57 out of Lincoln. He said: "As a driver, it does make you stop and think when you see the red signs.
"That said, I am always being overtaken by people driving in a cavalier fashion, so not every one has a regard for safety."
The findings will be discussed at the council's highways, transport and technology scrutiny committee on Monday.