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Rise in Scottish pedestrian and bike fatalities

There has been a worrying rise in the number of motorcycle and pedal cycle casualties and also pedestrian and pedal cycle fatalities on Scotland’s roads, according to the latest figures released by Transport Scotland.

The Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2012 statistics give provisional indications on the number of road injury accidents and casualties that were reported to the police throughout the year.

Overall fall in road casualty figures

The figures show that there were 12,575 reported road casualties in 2012, (202 or 2% fewer than 2011), the lowest figure recorded. A breakdown of this figure reveals that there were:

  • 170 fatalities - 15 (or 8%) fewer than 2011;
  • 1,959 seriously injured - 82 (or 4%) more than 2011;
  • 10,446 slightly injured - 269 (or 3%) fewer than 2011; and
  • 1,161 child casualties - 155 (12%) fewer than in 2011. Of these, 193 were seriously injured, and there were two fatalities, one a cyclist and one a pedestrian.

Overall, there was a drop in the number of car user casualties - 7,577, down 3%. Of these, 72 were killed (17 fewer than in 2011) and 836 were seriously injured (80 more than in 2011).

There was also a welcome drop in the number of bus and coach casualties. These fell 13% in 2012 to stand at 439, including one fatality and 43 serious injuries (eight less than in 2011).

Rise in injuries to vulnerable road users

However, although the overall casualty rate continues to drop, the number of injuries and fatalities suffered by some of the more vulnerable groups of road users continues to rise. The figures show that in 2012 there were:

  • 1,950 pedestrian casualties (5% fewer than 2011); including 54 fatalities (11 more than 2011) and 456 serious injuries (58 less than in 2011).
  • 864 motorcyclist casualties (7% more than 2011); including 21 fatalities (12 less than 2011) and 342 serious injuries (49 more than in 2011).
  • 898 pedal cyclist casualties (9% more than 2011); including nine fatalities (two more than 2011) and 167 serious injuries (11 more than in 2011).

Need to focus on cycle safety

Speaking in response to the publication of the figures, Ian Aitken, Chief Executive of Cycling Scotland, commented that the statistics relating to vulnerable road users were concerning.

“The annual summit between the Transport Minister Keith Brown and senior transport officials from local authorities in September will provide an opportunity to focus on cycle safety as one of its priorities,” he said.

Safety concerns prevent more people cycling

In light of the Transport Scotland figures, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has highlighted the continuing need to improve the safety of pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists.

Karen McDonnell, head of RoSPA Scotland, pointed out that while the reductions in deaths among car users and motorcyclists are on course to meet the target set for 2020, a great deal more work is needed if the target is also to be met for cyclists and pedestrians.

Action is particularly important in view of the fact that people are being encouraged to walk and cycle more often as an alternative to taking the car - for both environmental reasons and to help increase public health.

Improved safety measures are essential in order to protect these additional road users and, given that safety concerns are one of the reasons why people say they are reluctant to walk or cycle, to get them out on the road in the first place.

Contact our Injury Solicitors in Scotland

For specialist personal injury claims advice in Scotland, including claims relating to road traffic accidents, contact us today: click here to make an online enquiry or call us on 0800 027 1480.

Contains public sector information licensed under the Open Government Licence v1.0.


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