Road casualty numbers reduced in Essex
Whilst this obviously appears to be good news, the numbers relate specifically to serious incidents that have been reported to the police.
However, it has long been known that a significant proportion of non fatal accidents is not reported and therefore fail to show the true amount of road tragic incidents.
The current Government seems more committed to reducing the deficit than it does to cutting deaths and injuries and a decision by Government to abandon setting specific road safety 'targets' is reflected by a tightening of budgets and cuts.
We alarmingly read on our news screens and on social media about death and injury on our roads so the numbers may be a little surprising.
So why the improvement?
A number of measures may be contributory factors that alone or together have helped to make our roads safer.
Learning to drive; The driving test requirements have seen a number of changes for prospective drivers.
Remedial education; The number of people taking remedial driving courses for driving offences including speed awareness courses.
Enforcement; including information on drink and drug driving offences, seat belt wearing.
Vehicle Safety; a measure of vehicle compliance and safety, including braking systems and driver and passenger safety features.
Perceptions of road safety; pedestrians and pedal cyclists attitudes on road safety
Statistics at a glance;
The number of people killed in road accidents reported to the police decreased to 1,754 in 2012 from 1,901 in 2011 (a fall of 8%).
The number of people seriously injured decreased by 0.4% to 23,039 in 2012 from 23,122 in 2011. The total number of casualties in road accidents reported to the police in 2012 was 195,723, down 4% from the 2011 total.
Total reported child causalities (ages 0-15) fell by 11% to 17,251 in 2012.
The number of children killed or seriously injured also fell, decreasing by 6% to 2,272 in 2012 from 2,412 in 2011.
There were 420 pedestrian deaths, 7 per cent fewer than in 2011.
The number of cyclists killed rose by 10 per cent from 107 in 2011 to 118 in 2012.
The number of car occupant fatalities in 2012 decreased to 801, down 9 per cent compared with 2011.
The number of seriously injured car occupants in accidents reported to the police fell by 1 per cent to 8,232.
Total reported casualties among car users were 119,708, 4 per cent fewer than 2011.
The number of motorcycle users killed fell by 9 per cent from 362 in 2011 to 328 in 2012.
The number of users reported as seriously injured decreased by 5 per cent to 5,000.
Total reported motorcycle user casualties decreased by 4 per cent to 19,310 in 2012. Motorcycle traffic decreased by 2 per cent over the same period.
Improvements necessary to continue the reduction.
2011 was a clear warning to the government that complacency in road safety cost lives.
Failing to invest in segregated facilities for cyclists will see a growing number of cyclists death and serious injury.
The government needs to set aside a programme to improve the condition of roads and continue an effective maintenance routine.
An investment in street furniture that includes more regular and prominent road signs.
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