Increase in the number of people killed on Scotland’s roads

One hundred and ninety one people were killed in reported road accidents in Scotland in 2016, 23 more than in 2015. Pic: Michael Gillen.
One hundred and ninety one people were killed in reported road accidents in Scotland in 2016, 23 more than in 2015. Pic: Michael Gillen.

One hundred and ninety one people were killed in reported road accidents in Scotland in 2016, 23 more than in 2015.

Transport Scotland statisticians today released provisional headline figures for road casualties reported to the police in Scotland in 2016. The figures show that the total number of casualties fell by one per cent between 2015 and 2016 from 10,974 to 10,881, to the lowest number since records began. The number of people seriously injured increased by six per cent to 1,693.

The figures also show that in 2016 there were 1,011 child casualties in reported road accidents, an increase of four per cent since 2015. This included twelve fatalities, eight more than 2015 and 167 children who were seriously injured, up from 139 in 2015.

There were three more pedal cyclists killed than in 2015 and 12 fewer pedestrian fatalities. There were also three more motorcyclists killed and 31 more car user fatalities.

2016 saw a 19 per cent increase in car users seriously injured and motor cyclist serious injuries rose by four per cent. However, the number of pedestrians seriously injured decreased from 424 to 397 and pedal cyclists seriously injured from 164 to 147 between 2015 and 2016. Other modes of transport saw increases in the number of people seriously injured from 67 to 81.

Commenting on the figures, Jason Wakeford, spokesman for Brake, the road safety charity, described them as ‘deeply troubling’.

He said: “Today’s figures are deeply troubling. It’s shocking to see more fatalities on Scotland’s roads last year, and more children, cyclists and motorcyclists needlessly losing their lives.

“Today’s statistics show that, while progress is being made toward some of the 2020 Scottish Road Safety Framework targets, there is far more work to be done.

“We must strive for a vision of zero deaths and serious injuries on our roads. We urge the Scottish Government to implement a default 20ph limit in built up areas, accompanied by additional speed enforcement on roads by the police.”

He continued: “Brake is also calling on the European Commission to urgently update new vehicle safety standards and the UK Government to set up a Road Collision Investigation Branch. Understanding and collating the details of individual road crashes and the circumstances that led to them is critical, to enable lessons to be learned and help prevent future deaths across the country.”

Transport Minister Humza Yousaf said: “It’s disappointing that there has been an increase in the number of fatalities and the number of people seriously injured on our roads in 2016.

“The Scottish Government and our road safety partners will redouble our efforts in order to reach our ambitious and challenging casualty reduction targets set out in Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020. “At the same time we all need to take responsibility for protecting ourselves and other road users when using the road network.

“The longer term downward trends are positive and show that we are making good progress towards meeting our targets and the annual decline in the total number of casualties, to the lowest level since records began, is encouraging. However, I am resolute in my determination to save lives and to meet the ultimate vision set out in the Framework, where no-one is killed on Scotland’s roads.

“In March last year the mid-term review of the Framework identified speed and motorcyclists; pre-drivers, drivers aged 17-25 and older drivers; pedestrians and cyclists as priority areas and together with our partners we continue to work on a raft of measures to improve road safety. I plan to meet with representatives of cycling organisations tomorrow to discuss what more we can do to make our roads as safe as possible for cyclists and all road users.

“We are currently supporting the Seatbelts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill through Parliament to keep our children safe on the journey to and from school. In addition, the average speed camera system on the A9 continues to show a marked, and sustained, improvement in driver behaviour, coupled with a reduction in casualties and collisions.”

He added: “The outcomes delivered on the A9 give us confidence that the average speed camera system on the A90 due to go-live in the Autumn will be just as successful.”