FIREFIGHTERS in Cambridgeshire have been called out to nearly 500 road traffic collisions this year and rescued more than 150 people trapped in vehicles.

The figures were revealed as the fire service pledged its support for Road Safety Week (November 23-2

FIREFIGHTERS in Cambridgeshire have been called out to nearly 500 road traffic collisions this year and rescued more than 150 people trapped in vehicles.

The figures were revealed as the fire service pledged its support for Road Safety Week (November 23-29), launched by the road safety charity Brake.

So far this year crews have been called to 482 road traffic collisions and have rescued 167 casualties from their vehicles using specialist cutting equipment.

This year, the theme is: 'Not a drop, not a drag - Stay sober, save lives', and Brake has called on all drivers to commit to not drink even a drop of alcohol before driving, nor take a drag on a joint or any other illegal drug.

It also wants communities to inform the police of known drunk and drugged drivers and help save a life.

Chris Strickland, Deputy Chief Fire Officer, said: "Although training and professionalism kick in, nothing can prepare you for the horror of attending a road traffic collision where someone has been seriously injured or killed.

"Unfortunately our fire crews attend serious and fatal collisions on a far too regular basis. Each and every single one is upsetting, but when drink or drugs is a factor, the injuries and waste of life seems that much more pointless."

Ellen Booth, Brake's campaigns officer said: "Our firefighters come face to face with the reality of drink and drug driving when they attend crashes to cut people free from their wrecked cars.

"The people they get out alive are the lucky ones. In the UK, 478 people were killed by drivers over the drink-drive limit in 2007.

"It's time to burst the myth that drinking a couple or taking a bit of some drug is fine before you drive. It absolutely isn't. The Cambridgeshire fire crews know this, which is why they are lending their support to Road Safety Week.

"We are grateful for all their support and their ongoing service to people involved in crashes.