MOTORISTS are being warned to take extra care on the roads over the bank holiday weekend amid a rise in serious crashes.

Figures show that 21 people have died on the roads in Sussex since the start of the year.

There has been a 29 per cent rise in the number of serious crashes compared with the same time period last year.

Superintendent James Collis said many fatal crashes have been caused by the same five factors.

The “fatal five” include driving at excess speed, drink and drug-driving, not wearing a seatbelt, careless driving and being distracted by using a mobile phone.

Superintendent Collis is reminding motorists to take road safety seriously.

“We have seen more investment in roads policing in Sussex, but we are still seeing too many drivers putting the lives of themselves and other road users at risks,” he said.

“Last year, 46 people were killed on roads in Sussex and 934 people were seriously injured. This has a devastating impact on families, individuals, and upon our communities.

“A split second of inattention or poor driving can change lives forever. Everyone using the roads has a personal responsibility to keep themselves safe and not put others at risk.”

At the start of April, Sussex Police launched Operation Downsway in an attempt to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured and to target anti-social and dangerous motorists.

Using a variety of tactics including the latest technology in automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) and drones, Sussex Police aims to reduce the fatal five factors.

In the first two weekends of April, Roads Policing Unit officers responded and completed 108 traffic offence reports or conditional fixed penalty notices.

Eight arrests were made and a further 19 motorists were reported for summons.

Meanwhile, officers also issued 20 warnings for anti-social driving, while five vehicles were seized for either insurance or licence offences.

Superintendent Collis added: “We know that the fatal five offences are the main factors that cause serious road traffic collisions.

“Which is why we simply will not tolerate the small minority of people who drive or ride anti-socially through the county, putting the safety of others at risk and therefore have a comprehensive plan to target those who do so.”