It was a devastating year for road crash deaths in Dorset, as numbers reveal someone died on Dorset’s roads every two weeks on average in 2017.

Official police figures show that there were 22 road fatalities in Dorset between January and October, 2017.

An unofficial count of road deaths for the remaining part of the year has pushed that number up to 28.

The Dorset Echo and sister paper the Daily Echo have reported that six people died in collisions across the county in November and December.

Five of the crashes were in December, including a 39-year-old mother killed in a hit-and-run in Dorchester, a 95-year-old man who died in a crash at Winterbourne Abbas, an 87-year-old woman killed in a crash near Owermoigne and a 35-year-old biker who died in a crash near Shaftesbury.

A five-year-old boy sadly died after he was involved in a collision as he was crossing a road in Bournemouth.

The 28 deaths means fatalities on the county’s roads increased by around 75 per cent compared to 2016, the largest increase to have occurred in five years. There were 28 road fatalities in Dorset in both 2013 and 2015, and 19 in 2014.

Inspector Matt Butler, of Dorset Police, said: “Every serious road traffic collision leaves at least one family devastated.

“Many victims of collisions may also suffer from life-changing injuries which can be very hard for victims and their families.

“Traffic police family liaison officers will continue to support families through difficult times, but the simple fact is that most collisions could be avoided.”

In a general warning to motorists, Insp Butler added: “I would ask all motorists to drive with courtesy and patience. Don’t take unnecessary risks or think a collision will never happen to you – it happens to people in all areas of the community.

“The work of our Roads Policing Team and Serious Collision Investigation Team is imperative to provide answers to those involved and to ultimately improve road safety and prevent collisions happening in the first place.”

Dorset County Council is urging people to be safe and prepare for the weather conditions before setting off on their journey this winter. 

Wayne Sayers, county council’s safer and sustainable travel manager, said: “We want you to get to your destination safely so please make sure that you’re driving to the conditions. Make sure that your lights are on if it’s gloomy or foggy – and remember that even if gritters have been out, roads can still be slippy.

“Be prepared before you set off by checking tyres, brakes and lights are all in good working order. Allow extra time for your journey.”

Mr Sayers added: “Cyclists should also remember to be bright and be seen – make sure you’ve got front and rear lights and wear bright clothing.”