Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Road casualties lowest since 1950 . . .


Road casualties lowest since 1950

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The number of people killed and injured on Scotland's roads dropped by 10% last year to the lowest level since records began.

There were 11,498 overall casualties on the country's roads in 2013, the lowest level since 1950, according to latest figures from Transport Scotland.

The number of people killed fell by 3% on the previous year to 172 while the number of serious injuries decreased by 16% to 1,672.

There was also a decrease in the number of people slightly injured, which fell by 9% over the year to 9,654.

The report said: "In all cases of severity, the figures were the lowest since records began. The reductions in the numbers of accidents and casualties in recent years are notable particularly given the rise in vehicle and subsequent traffic.

"In 2013 the number of vehicles licensed in Scotland was about a sixth higher than in 2003 and traffic on Scottish roads was estimated to have grown by 4% since 2003."

Nine children, five of them pedestrians, died following road accidents last year, while 143 were seriously injured.

There were 1,062 child casualties overall.

The estimated number of drink-drive accidents fell by 46%, from about 820 in 2002 to roughly 440 in 2012 - the latest year for which figures are available.

It is estimated the number of people killed in such accidents over that period fell from about 50 to around 10.

A Transport Scotland spokesman said: "We welcome the continuation of the overall downward trend in Scotland's road casualty figures, down 10% in 2013 with the number of people killed and injured at the lowest level since current records began. However, we would strongly reiterate what we have said previously - every life lost is one too many.

"Working with our partners we must continue to ensure that everyone plays their part to make our roads safer. We have achieved a lot, but there is still much to do particularly in respect of safety issues for vulnerable road users.

"We are taking forward a raft of measures alongside our road safety partners, including high-profile publicity campaigns to promote safer driving and highlight the dangers of risk-taking on our roads.

"These include Road Safety Scotland's fully-integrated 'Country Roads' social marketing campaign, featuring David Coulthard, which recently began running again with TV, radio and cinema advertising supported by other marketing activities across the country, seasonal drink-driving campaigns and educational initiatives delivered to school pupils and others to promote safer driving behaviours which can last a lifetime."

Police Scotland welcomed the figures.

Chief Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing, said: " Today's figures are encouraging and show that the partnership approach to casualty reduction across Scotland continues to make a difference.

"In the main, it is heartening to see such significant reductions in statistics, but it is important to recognise the personal tragedy that lies behind the numbers. There is still a lot of work to be done.

"Our communities continue to raise road safety and speeding as issues of concern and reducing road casualties and fatalities remains one of Police Scotland's top policing priorities. As a result every officer is required and expected to contribute to this important area of keeping people safe.

"We shall continue to work together with local authorities and other local partners to address local concerns and to protect vulnerable groups, and we shall maintain a high visibility presence at priority locations and on the main roads network across the country to improve safety and keep Scotland moving.

"It is apparent that there is still some way to go to meet the Scottish Government's 2020 casualty reduction targets and Police Scotland remains committed to working with partners to influence road user behaviour and make Scotland's roads safer for everyone."

The report also shows progress being made to meet road safety targets set out in the Scottish Road Safety Framework.

Set up in 2009, this set out targets to be met by 2020, compared to a 2004-08 baseline.

The target to cut road deaths by 40% by then has been met with a 41% reduction last year, compared to the baseline.

There has been a 60% drop in the number of children killed, above the 50% target.

The targets to cut the number of children seriously injured by 65% and the number of serious injuries by 55% by 2020 have still to be met.

Last year the reductions were 56% and 36% respectively, compared to the baseline.

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