North Devon saw the highest number of road deaths in the county in 2017 and a new survey has backed calls for tougher measures on those who flout the law.

Police and Crime Commissioner Alison Hernandez commissioned the survey of 2,680 people and has backed the 80 per cent of people calling for stiffer penalties.

In 2017 nine people were killed and 49 seriously injured on North Devon’s roads, with a further three killed and 29 seriously injured in Torridge.

Currently those receiving a fixed penalty notice for breaking the speed limit face three penalty points and a fine of £100 and cash raised from the fines goes straight to the Government.

But Ms Hernandez wants fines to be raised and a proportion of that money returned to local police forces so it can be reinvested in road safety measures.

She said: “Far too many lives are being risked or ruined due to inconsiderate, dangerous drivers who have a blatant disregard for their own safety and that of others when they ignore the law,” Alison said.

“The results of this survey send a clear message that road safety is important to our communities and they want to see more rigorous enforcement of our traffic laws.”

The survey results showed overwhelming support for more stringent enforcement of road traffic laws (85 per cent in favour), stiffer penalties for those caught speeding (80 per cent in favour) and for a proportion of the money from fines to come locally for road safety initiatives and enforcement (88 per cent in favour).

Ms Hernandez added: ““All of the money generated by fixed penalty fines and other motoring offences goes to HM Treasury – not to the police, councils or highways authorities whose job it is to keep our roads safe. I don’t think this is fair.

“Also, the level of fixed penalty notice fines for some offences is out of kilter with the harm caused. The penalty for those caught using a handheld mobile phone while driving doubled to a £200 fine and six points last year, and the maximum fine for those admitting littering from a car rose to £150, yet the fixed penalty charge for speeding remains at £100 and three points.

“As Police and Crime Commissioner, I am calling for the fixed penalty fines for some traffic offences to be increased to act as a greater deterrent and, importantly, that this additional revenue is passed directly onto local road safety measures, with a priority given to enforcement.”