ROAD safety groups could be handed windfalls of up to £5,000 collected from speeding drivers.

The groups are being encouraged to apply for grants from Avon and Somerset Police's Road Safety Fund as part of this year's Road Safety Week.

The week on the theme Step Up for Safe Street is calling on people and organisations to play a part in helping create a safer environment for road users.

The fund is part of the Police Community Trust and is generated through speed awareness courses, which some motorists caught driving too fast can opt to attend a workshop instead of having penalty points.

Taunton Area Cycling Campaign last year received £4,400 for a series of measures to raises awareness of 'safe pass' and to improve cyclists' confidence.

TACC's Mike Ginger said: "We used the Road Safety Fund to create hi-vis vests and backpack covers with the message ‘1.5m please’ to emphasis the distance vehicles needs to be from cyclists.

"We have distributed 300 vests and covers and received plenty of positive feedback from local people who would recommend the equipment to other cyclists.

"We also used the fund to partly support training for group members who wanted to become ‘Bikeability’ instructors."

The grant criteria for the Road Safety Fund is:

•to support local communities to increase road safety and become safer, better places;

•to increase improvements in road safety to reduce accidents and casualty figures;

•to improve education and training for everyone;

•to reduce economic and personal costs of fatalities and serious injuries;

•to improve awareness and educate drivers about non-vehicle road users.

The next application deadline is Sunday, December 1.

Trevor Simpson, Avon and Somerset Police road safety mManager, said: “Local people are often unsure how speeding fines are spent and we want to let residents know that this money is being reinvested back into communities to tackle road safety.

"The Road Safety Fund allows Avon and Somerset Police to support local people on projects they are passionate about to ensure all road users feel safe.

"Local people can make a huge difference to road safety and they know better than anyone what the road safety issues are in their area.

"I encourage local people and community groups to apply for the fund and help keep our roads safe."

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