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Spring/Summer road casualty figures show drop in 'vulnerable road user' casualties, but it's not all good news

DfT admits that wet weather had more to do with drop in figures than anything else

Casualty rates for vulnerable road users, including cyclists, are down - according to Department for Transport figures for April, May and June - but analysts have admitted that the wet weather masked the reality of the figures.

Although the rate for April to June 2012 was down on the same period of last year, the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured rose by nine per cent from 2,950 in 2010/2011 to 3,210 in 2011/2012, the report reveals.

There was also a five per cent increase in pedestrians killed or seriously injured on the nation's roads comparing the same two periods.

Campaign groups responded strongly to the figures, saying that they showed how much more work there was to do on road safety.

The Institute of Advanced Motorist's director of policy and research, Neil Greig said: “In the six months before these results there were increases in the numbers killed and seriously injured.  This drop has not made up for that.  We need to do much more to turn this quarter’s figures into a trend. Upgrading roads, targeted safety campaigns and measures to improve road user awareness among new drivers are needed too."

“The drop in road casualties is really good news but the Department for Transport admits that it is likely to be linked to this year’s wet weather. We shouldn’t rely on a few months of dodgy weather to get cyclists and motorcyclists casualties down.”

Sustrans Policy Advisor Joe Williams said, “Yesterday the Minister [Road Safety Minister Stephen Hammond MP] said the government would do what it takes to make our roads safer for cyclists.  These figures provide a stark reminder that there is much more to do.  It’s simply not right that the most vulnerable users are at an increasing risk on our roads.

“We hope that the Minister is preparing to turn his words into action and we look forward to working with him to make our streets safer for everyone.”

The DfT said: "Comparing Q2 2012 against Q2 2011 shows a six per cent fall in total deaths and serious injuries, and an 18 per cent fall in deaths alone. However, in general, single quarter comparisons should be treated with caution as data are more subject to distortion by short-term factors such as extreme weather. Q2 2012 saw extremely wet weather across England, which may affect comparison with earlier years."

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Rob Benington | 11 years ago

But police statistics significantly underestimate the numbers of seriously injured cyclists.

(Serious = not dead and not slightly injured, but either admitted to hospital bed or treated by attendance in emergency department).

These numbers rose by 10% between 2010-11 and 2011-2.

Admissions are here

Roughly 13% of all attendances are admitted. This gives an estimate of 135,000 serious injuries.

Sedgepeat | 11 years ago

Oh dear a 3% rise after an all time low of 2010 brought screams of more cameras and more driver punishment and now an 18% drop is being fobbed off as some aberration? The fact is that there is a steady downward trend but there will be odd ones either way.

Hammond? Whatever he does it must not be at the expense of drivers. They are a vital resource without whom all of could not survive from the lack of basics like food, water, medicine, doctors nurses and public transport. We no longer live in self sufficient communities.

Bob's Bikes | 11 years ago

In some respects I am quite pleased that nobody has tried to claim any success with the current road safety schemes and have all attributed the drop due to less activity during foul weather. Perhaps our voices are starting to be heard at last and politicians realise that we cannot be fobbed off with excuses and false claims.

OldRidgeback | 11 years ago

skippers and tippers - the HGVs with the worst accident records

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