A LEADING police officer has promised a crackdown on dangerous driving, after three deaths on the region’s roads last week.

Northumbria Police chief constable Winton Keenen believes “something has to change”, after witnessing “completely unacceptable” speeding in recent months.

He told a Newcastle City Council meeting last week that a move to deploy a speed camera van to more locations across the North-East was yet to have the desired effect, but promised more action to improve road safety following three fatal accidents in recent days.

This includes a 57-year-old cyclist who was pronounced dead at the scene of a crash with a tractor in Ponteland.

Mr Keenen said that Northumbria Police seeks to “engage, explain, and encourage people towards behaving in an appropriate way” before taking tougher enforcement action, but that a stricter approach is now needed on speeding.

The number of road deaths in the Northumbria Police area rose last year to the highest levels since 2009, with 39 people killed last year compared to 42 ten years before.

The chief constable said: “I am telling you now that when it comes to motorists using the roads and adopting the speeds they are, it will be enforcement all the way through.

“That is the only way we are going to educate people in such a way that makes a difference."