"Stop this senseless tragedy" was the plea sent out by the 95 Alive road safety partnership this week, following the release of figures that reveal 81 people were killed and 727 seriously injured on North Yorkshire's roads last year.
The appeal to motorists was echoed by North Yorkshire Police who are currently running Operation Helical Two, a tough road safety enforcement campaign. But both the 95 Alive partnership and North Yorkshire Police warned they couldn't put an end to the fatalities alone - and needed the support of motorists and the wider North Yorkshire community to help make the roads safer.
The death toll is up by 12 compared to the previous year, although slightly below the average over the past five years. The number of people seriously injured is slightly down on 2006, with 69 fewer cases. The 95 Alive Road Safety Partnership is currently still on track to meet its self-imposed target to save an additional 95 Lives in North Yorkshire and York by 2010.
Chris Anderson, Deputy Chief Fire Officer and Chairman of the 95 Alive partnership, said: "Deaths and serious injuries on our county's roads are reducing overall - but progress is frustratingly slow.
"…we can't make a sustained difference without the support of motorists, who have the power to transform this death toll by driving sensibly and safely on our roads. If drivers would adjust their speed to suit the layout of the road they are on and the conditions - weather, darkness - that alone would make a significant difference."
North Yorkshire Police's Deputy Chief Constable Adam Briggs added: "Just one person killed or seriously injured is one too many. Safer roads are one of North Yorkshire Police's top priorities and will continue to be so until these tragic, senseless deaths end.
"We've used a number of initiatives over the past 12 months to keep the pressure up on dangerous drivers. But there remains a persistent minority that thinks it can get away with flouting the laws, putting their lives and those of other motorists at risk. We'll be targeting such individuals through our tough enforcement campaigns, such as Operation Helical, our currently-running roads policing operation, and Operation Halter which targets motorcyclists.
"I'd also appeal to all motorists to do their bit by taking care when they're behind the wheel. The law is there for a reason and our aim is to save lives, but we can't do it without your help."
North Yorkshire Police's Operation Helical 2 is one of the methods being used to tackle dangerous driving. It follows the success of Operation Helical 1 last summer, when over 11,400 vehicles were stopped during the enforcement operation. Among those caught were over 3,000 speeding offenders, over 300 document offenders, 550 mobile phone offenders and over 1,700 seat belt offenders.
Helical Two is focusing on the top 39 most dangerous hot spots across the 6,000 miles of roads in North Yorkshire. To date, more than 6,000 vehicles have been stopped, over 1,200 drivers prosecuted for speeding and 65 arrests made.