Commenting on Reported Casualties Great Britain 2010 published today by the Department for Transport, Robert Gifford, Executive Director of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety, said “Obviously the continuing reduction in road deaths and injuries is welcome. This reflects the focus in Great Britain dating back to 1987 on reducing preventable death and suffering. This is an area where targets for reduction have led to a positive focus on policies that work. Targets with professional support in road safety have not distorted policy but have brought clear improvements.
“That said, there continue to be three areas of concern.
“The first is the reliability of data. As the DfT acknowledges, casualties reported to the police are almost certainly an underestimate of the real number of people injured. The good news of today should not breed a culture of complacency.
“Secondly, we should note the rise in cyclist deaths from 104 to 111 and, in particular, the third year rise in serious injuries from 2428 in 2007 to 2660 in 2010. We want to see more people cycling more safely. That is not the case at present.
“Thirdly, in the context of an ageing population, we need to make more progress in reducing risk to older road users. In 2010, one in four road deaths involved someone over 60. Our rate of progress for this age group is lower than for children or adult road users. We need to develop a strategy for older road user safety.
“Most notably in this age range, motorcyclist deaths have risen by 67%, KSI by 49% and all severities by 39% over the last decade. The older motorcyclist clearly deserves specific attention.”
The Annual report on Reported Road Casualties for 2010 is available here.