Serious injuries up, deaths down on roads

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ROAD safety chiefs have hit back after a report showed numbers of deaths or serious injuries on our roads had increased for the fourth successive year.

IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) have analysed the Department for Transport’s latest accident figures, which showed Lincolnshire had 485 deaths or serious injuries in 2011.

That figure rose from 462 in 2010, 456 in 2009 and 337 in 2008 – a 13 per cent increase over the past four years.

Nationally, the number of people killed in road accidents increased by three per cent, or 51 fatalities, from 2010 to 2011, the first increase since 2003.

IAM have urged ministers to take action against cutting road safety funding and education on the back of the latest figures.

IAM chief executive Simon Best said: “It is concerning that road deaths and serious injuries rose last year.

“Road accidents usually drop during an economic recession, so this rise, after continuous reductions over the last 10 years, is particularly concerning.”

But John Siddle, of the Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership, said the figures are not as black and white as they may appear.

“This report centres around an increase in serious injuries and ignores that Lincolnshire has a reduction in fatals.

“We have had an increase in total collisions occurring and this would naturally lead to an increase in serious injuries,” he said.

“These figures do show a percentage rise over the given period. However, as with all figures of this nature I would expect peaks and troughs to occur and that is evident here.

“Since the recession began the amount of people killed has dropped; our challenge is to maintain this.

“We must ensure we never return to the figure in 1999 when 104 people were killed on Lincolnshire roads.”

John admitted that the partnership must learn to ‘get better at what we do with less money’ and said the aim is to prevent collisions by tackling the attitudes and behaviour of reckless and careless drivers.

“In a county with a high proportion of rural roads, and the need for people to use them for their normal day-to-day business or leisure, it is imperative that we reach those vulnerable groups like motorcyclists, mature and young drivers, cyclists and child pedestrians to ensure they are not the next number in our statistics,” he warned.

l What do you make of these figures? What more can be done to prevent serious injuries and fatalities on our roads? Email the newsteam