OXFORDSHIRE drivers committed more than 13,800 speeding and dangerous driving offences last year, new figures reveal today.

The area with the highest percentage of offences by population was around Watlington, with 202 offences between its 4,324 residents – the equivalent of almost one offence for every 20 people.

The figures, which show drivers’ home addresses but not where offences were committed, have been released by road safety charity Brake.

Road users have been urged to look out for each other as the charity launches its national Road Safety Week today.

The family of 10-year-old Freddie Perry from Didcot, killed in a road traffic accident last September, said they “completely supported” the campaign.

Although a coroner ruled his death was an accident and speed was not an issue, his family are campaigning to lower speed limits in Didcot and beyond.

Freddie’s father Lea, 41, said: “I am more than behind Brake’s campaign.

“It makes me cringe to think other people will go through what we are going through, and they will. We are just trying to reduce that.

“We’ve all driven carelessly, I drive a bus every day for a living and I see people driving like complete idiots.”

The family successfully campaigned to have the speed limit on Oxford Crescent, where Freddie died, lowered to become the first 20mph zone in Didcot.

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Mr Perry added: “We’re going to carry on, one road at a time; every time a speed limit is lowered it could save a life. I’d support any group doing the same.”

Abingdon’s drivers committed the highest number of offences, clocking up 1,228 fixed penalty notices – equivalent to 2.7 per cent of the population.

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Lea Perry

In the east Oxford postcode of OX4, which also includes Blackbird Leys and Littlemore, there were a total of 978 speeding and careless driving offences — one of the highest figures, but equivalent to only 1.6 per ent of the population. In Watlington, parish council chairman Ian Hill said there was no reason he could think of for why drivers living in the area would have committed more driving offences then elsewhere.

He said the village authority had in fact campaigned for more speed limits to be put in place on nearby roads, such as Tower Hill.

Mr Hill said: “I can’t really believe people here drive more dangerously. I certainly don’t get the impression they would be any worse here than other places.

“It may be because of the absence of speed limits in this area. But we have fought to get those where they are needed.”

Thames Valley Police were approached for comment, but spokeswoman Francine Rodrigues said the force does not comment on statistics that were not its own or it had not seen.

“One particular road, Tower Hill, is really steep and has a series of blind bends – but had a national speed limit.

“People were going down it too fast and we were concerned, so about 18 months ago we succeeded in having it changed to 40mph.”

Nationally, the number of people killed or injured on the roads appears to be rising.

Total casualties from April to June this year were nine per cent higher than the same period last year, according to Department for Transport figures.

And Oxfordshire speed cameras caught more than 53 per cent more drivers in 2013 than in 2009 – 59,217 compared to 38,664.

However, the number of people killed on Oxfordshire’s roads last year was 19, down from 30 in 2009.

During an eight-month period when all the county’s speed cameras were turned off from August 2010, 18 people died on county roads, compared to 12 deaths in the same period the year before.

Oxford driving instructor Pat O’Sullivan said he believed people in rural South Oxfordshire simply did not recognise speed limit signs. He said: “I reckon they don’t understand what national speed limit signs look like, and even if they do they don’t know what the national limit is.

“I would say most of the speeding is accidental, but then people get quite lackadaisical about their speed as well.”

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