An enormous piece of sand art has been created on a South West beach to commemorate those who lost their lives in road traffic collisions in Devon & Cornwall.
The huge 50-metre wide circular pattern was etched by hand at Saunton beach in North Devon by Cornish artist Chris Howarth - also known as One Man and His Rake – and photographed by award-winning drone specialists Bad Wolf Horizon.
The spiral motif is made from 47 hearts, each one representing a person who died on our roads last year. The sand art was commissioned by the Vision Zero South West road safety partnership to mark the World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims on November 19 – which is also the start of Brake’s National Road Safety Week.
The tide eventually washes the hearts away, symbolising the partnership’s commitment to reduce fatal and serious collisions to zero.
Alison Hernandez, Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon, Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, is chair of Vision Zero South West.
Commissioner Hernandez said: “It’s vital to remember that these aren’t just numbers – these are people’s loved ones and family members, parents, children, brothers, sisters, friends.
“Each one of these fatal and serious collisions has a devastating impact on those involved and the wider community and we will continue to remember those who have lost their lives on our roads.
“Last year Vision Zero South West commissioned a support service for anyone affected by the terrible consequences of road traffic collisions. We consider this an important part of our role and an integral cog in the Safe System approach, but ultimately we’d far prefer to see zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads – it’s an ambitious target but one we are determined to achieve.”
Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for Highway Management and vice-chair of Vision Zero South West, said: “We know the damage and lifelong impact caused by fatal and serious collisions, but we also strongly believe these collisions can – and must – be avoided.
“We are working hard to prevent death and serious injury on our road network, but we can only achieve this with your support. “You can play your part by signing up to the Vision Zero South West Road Safety Pledge which outlines five key points which can help keep us all safer.”
Ross Moorlock, Interim CEO at Brake, said: "We are proud to be delivering trauma-informed victim support in Devon and Cornwall through our National Road Victim Service, made possible through funding from Vision Zero South West and Devon and Cornwall Police Crime Commissioner.
“The World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims is an incredibly important day to remember everyone who has died on a road, and all the families that have been devastated by road crashes. This stunning piece of art is a beautiful and very fitting way to pay tribute to every life that has been lost on a road." Find out more about the Vision Zero South West Road Safety Pledge here.