Following a number of tragic incidents across north Hampshire in recent weeks, the AA has said that drivers need to take responsibility for their safety on the roads.

Four people have died in collisions across north Hampshire in the past week alone, including on the M3, B3051 and B3400. In light of the incidents, the AA’s head of road policy has called for changes to make sure that road deaths are slashed by 2030.

“We want to see zero road deaths by the end of the decade,” said Jack Cousens, “and if that is to happen there are a number of things that need to take place.

“We need more investment in roads such as street lights being kept on, and we also need better education of drivers so they’re not even tempted to drink drive or drug drive, or pick up their phone. Some automation will also be welcome. It’s all of those things put together that will help us get to that target.”

He said that it is impossible to pick one change that could be common to all these factors, as each collision is “unique”.

“One collision can never be a carbon copy of another,” Jack said, “as there are so many things at play. Not only have you got the condition of the road, you’ve got weather conditions, time of day, condition of the vehicle, the driver and other participants that were involved, there are a whole myriad of things that can cause a particular collision.”

“If you want to boil road safety down, we need five star vehicles with five star drivers on five star roads,” he added.

However, he did note that there are a number of external factors that can influence collisions, like roadside verge maintenance.

“We’ve had a particularly hot April and early May and then a deluge of rain which helps hedges and grass verges grow absolutely wild,” he said. “That, mixed with local authorities essentially cutting back roadside maintenance budgets, has an impact and can be a factor, but to what extent is difficult to tell.”

At the end of the day, he said that drivers themselves needed to take responsibility for everyone on the roads, including themselves. He noted research by the AA which showed many drivers had not kept up with changes to the Highway Code since passing their test.

He said: “Ultimately, the one person who is responsible is the driver and the driver can best regulate what they’re doing by controlling their right foot and if they’re not sure slow down, and if they’re on roads they’re unsure of then also slow down and attune to what road they’re on.

“Drivers need to take the responsibility because ultimately they’re not only responsible for themselves and passengers in their vehicle but every other road users whoever they are.

“Every road user is responsible to everyone around them as well as themselves and we maybe need to change the mindset a little bit with everyone working co-operatively to ensure that the roads are safer for all of us.”