The number of road accident fatalities fell by 2% over the last 12 months and total casualties are down by 5% according to DfT’s recently released Road Casualties in Great Britain: Quarterly provisional estimates 2006.
A great deal of discussion on blogs and elsewhere have focused on the fact that although an overall improvement has been made, it masks increases in fatal collisions (2913 in 2005 to 2920 in 2006) and cycling fatalities (2% increase between 2005-2006). Only a 12% improvement has been made on the number of people killed on the road made since the baseline (1994-1998 average), which has sparked a call for government to set a separate target for those killed on the road.
As with road maintenance (See blog post) road safety improvements have been made, but we should not stop here, especially as certain types of collisions are on the rise. However, unlike road maintainance sustained investment in road safety has taken place over the years with measurable improvements. The ‘lifecycle’ stage of these two policy issues is very different and the transport policy required for each will differ as a result. Some interesting challenges lie ahead.