THE number of people killed on Essex roads fell last year, but police say the number is still too high.

Figures dropped from 43 in 2012 to 41 last year as police and County Hall’s partnership approach to make Essex a safer place to travel continued.

Police said the majority of deaths and injuries were because of speeding, failing to wear a seatbelt and being under the influence of drink or drugs.

The 41 deaths were made up of 16 drivers, six passengers, five motorcyclists, 11 pedestrians and three cyclists.

A number of operations were carried out in 2013 to help keep the number down.

Chief Inspector Rachel Nolan said: “We are continuing to apply this joined-up approach to reducing road deaths and the signs are encouraging, especially if you look back at the figures a decade ago in Essex when we were dealing with 80 to 100 people dying in the county after being involved in a collision.

“The running of dedicated town-based operations to target careless driving, mobile telephone abuse, drink-driving, not wearing a seatbelt and driver tiredness is paying off through both enforcement and education.”

County councillor Rodney Bass, cabinet member for highways and transport, added: “No fatality is acceptable, and Essex County Council and its partners are committed to working hard to bring this figure down through a combination of education and enforcement.”