THE huge impact of fatal and serious collisions in Cumbria has been revealed.

Up to 80 public service staff can be tied up in the emergency response from police, ambulance, fire crews, and NHS staff, a meeting was told.

Air ambulance medics, coroners and council highways teams can also be called upon, along with the coroner’s service.

The scale of the job has been explained to Barrow Local Committee by Cumbria Road Safety Partnership representatives.

PC Kevin Jackson, of Cumbria Police, told them: “Very quickly you could empty out a hall of 80 people for a three or four-person fatal accident and it is very useful to bring this home to people.”

An offending driver could get arrested which would require a custody sergeant and a detention officer and a court process, he explained.

Court cases can involve a judge and jury, CPS lawyers and defence barristers.

Anyone injured could need up to five or six doctors in A&E in the immediate aftermath and more with long term physical therapy if they survived, he said.

Those killed needed a mortuary service, investigating police officers, a coroner and an inquest to establish what happened, PC Jackson explained.

Fire and ambulance services also had a role and road closures required PCSOs and highways staff to direct drivers and make the road safe or repair it.

Hard-hitting videos showing a ‘virtual reality’ road traffic collision are shown to local schools, colleges and sixth forms to get home the message.

One in three new drivers aged 17 to 24 will, in their first year of driving, have a ‘slight, serious or fatal collision,’ according to official statistics.

Drink and drugs, using a mobile, distraction and loud music can all contribute to a collision.

Contrary to popular belief, more collisions occurred in summer. Pc Jackson said: “If we get a long, dry summer we get far more accidents. The type of accidents we get in winter changes. You get more loss of control. Some drivers moderate their driving to the conditions, but unfortunately not all.”

Cllr Mel Worth urged people to consider advanced driver training. “Like most drivers, I thought I was a good driver, prior to having the examination and training. I did find I was a good driver but I wasn’t as good as I thought I was,” said Cllr Worth, the Labour member for Walney North.