Road Safety News Update
It is almost that time of year when the casualty data from January to December 2018 is released. For those who are not aware, data is collected by the police at the scene of each collision, including location, time, vehicles involved and what they were doing before the collision, along with further details about the people involved. The data collected by the police is then processed and analysed to help identify trends and patterns that can be used to look at road safety improvements that may be required.
Although the data for 2018 is currently provisional and has not yet been finalised, the indications are that:
- The number of collisions causing injuries to people fell by 9%.
- There was a 9% reduction on the number of people injured and this figure is now lower than it’s been for the last five years.
- The number of people slightly injured in collisions fell by 11%
- The number of children injured was down by 9% and is now at the lowest ever recorded.
- There is a downward trend for people who are injured as pedestrians.
It’s easy to believe that our roads are more dangerous than ever and most of us have examples of selfish or dangerous behaviour that we’ve seen or encountered on the roads. But, the statistics above show that things show that there are, in actual fact, some good news stories about our general safety on the roads.
But, we also need to acknowledge that it’s not all good news either. The provisional data shows that there was a big increase in the number of deaths arising from road traffic collisions in 2018 (Indeed the 2018 figure of 26 deaths was the highest since 2011) and the number of cyclist casualties rose by 2%.
And, of course, looking at absolute numbers can mask other issues as well. For example looking at the casualty data in this way does not take into account things like increases in traffic levels, changes in the way people travel (i.e. people switching from one form of transport to another – like ditching the car in favour of a bike or bus) or risks faced by certain groups of road users; for example cyclists, older people, pedestrians or motorcyclists who, in the event of a collision, are more vulnerable to injury.
And perhaps most importantly of all, we mustn’t lose sight of the fact that that every death or injury on our roads is one too many – it causes pain, injury, distress and suffering to those involved and can also impact upon family, loved ones, friends, colleagues and the wider community.
The council has a statutory duty to help improve road safety and prevent road traffic collisions so we’ll continue to review all the available data and take measures aimed at improving everyone’s safety – this includes maintenance, repairs, engineering, reviewing speed limits, implementing crossings, education, publicity and enforcement.
We’ll blog in more detail about the road safety work we’re doing in the future so keep following us for updates, but in the meantime there are a few simple things ways that we can all make a difference:
- Use the roads with care and consideration for others.
- Share the road space and make sure our actions don’t endanger other people.
- Obey road traffic laws and, if it’s been a while since you last looked at it, have a read of the Highway Code.