The number of serious or fatal crashes on roads in North Devon and Torridge is increasing, according to figures from the Department for Transport (DfT).

The figures, which cover crashes reported to the police during 2018 and where they took place, show there were six fatal and 72 serious collisions.

Although the number of fatal accidents is down from 10 in 2017, the number of serious accidents increased from 65, with the combined figure amounting to a five-year high.

In total, 340 collisions were reported to the police in 2018. The 262 'slight' collisions was the lowest figure in the last five years.

There were 17 serious or fatal collisions on the A361 between Ilfracombe and Rackenford.

The A39 saw seven serious or fatal collisions between Hartland and Barnstaple.

Devon and Cornwall Police's Donna Woolway, said the Northern Devon Road Safety Group, which she heads up, is working hard to raise awareness about five key factors that can lead to serious or fatal accidents.

The 'fatal five' are drink and drug driving, speeding, driving when tired, failing to use seatbelts and using mobile phones while driving.

She said: "We accept that everyone makes mistakes on the roads but what we want to do is to minimise the mistakes that lead to serious or fatal accidents.

"Road safety is everyone's responsibility. One change is not enough. It takes a combination of communities, authorities and physical changes to work together to make a real difference - which is why in North Devon we are working hard to educate and raise awareness around the fatal five."

Earlier this year Devon and Cornwall Police launched Operation Snap, an online portal where members of the public can upload dashcam footage, video and photographs of road traffic incidents to be submitted as evidence.

On its launch, Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez said the scheme would help 'bring dangerous drivers to book'.

Mrs Woolway said: "Those choosing to take risks, in particular on the North Devon Link Road, need to realise that there are eyes everywhere, and you don't know if you will be caught on someone's dash cam.

"This is all in aid of ensuring that people can use our road network without being in fear."