SPOTLIGHT ON VULNERABLE ROAD USERS AS CYCLIST AND PEDESTRIAN DEATHS RISE IN SCOTLAND

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There is a continuing need to focus on improving the safety of vulnerable road users, says the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), as provisional road casualty figures for Scotland reveal an increase in cyclist and pedestrian deaths.

The figures, published today by Transport Scotland, show that 898 cyclists were injured on Scotland’s roads in 2012 - nine per cent more than in 2011. Of these cyclist casualties, nine were killed (two more than in 2011) and 167 were seriously injured (11 more than in 2011).

There were 1,950 pedestrian casualties (five per cent fewer than in 2011); of these, 54 were killed (11 more than in 2011) and 456 were seriously injured (58 fewer than in 2011).

Among motorcyclists, there were 864 casualties (seven per cent more than in 2011), including 21 deaths (12 fewer than in 2011) and 342 serious injuries (49 more than in 2011).

There were 7,577 car user casualties, of whom 72 were killed (17 fewer than in 2011) and 836 were seriously injured (80 more than in 2011).

Overall, there were 170 road deaths in Scotland in 2012 - 15 (eight per cent) fewer than in 2011 and the lowest number since current records began more than 60 years ago. A total of 1,959 people were seriously injured - 82 (four per cent) more than in 2011. And, 10,446 people were slightly injured - 269 (three per cent) fewer than in 2011.

There were welcome reductions in child casualties, including deaths (two in 2012 compared to seven in 2011) and serious injuries. Of the two children killed in 2012, one was a cyclist and one was a pedestrian.

Karen McDonnell, head of RoSPA Scotland, said: “As in previous years, the publication of road casualty figures for Scotland has shown that we cannot lose sight of the work that still needs to be done on making our roads safer, particularly where vulnerable road users like cyclists and pedestrians are concerned.

“RoSPA encourages people to walk and cycle and we know that concerns about safety are often cited as barriers to these modes of transport. We therefore support initiatives that seek to improve the safety of cyclists and pedestrians because they can prevent injuries and have other health advantages too.

“Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 includes commitments on cyclist and pedestrian safety and some good work is ongoing. However, we urge all those involved in road safety across Scotland to redouble their efforts in these areas. Reductions in deaths among car users and motorcyclists are on course to meet the target set for 2020, but more work is clearly needed if the target is also to be met for cyclists and pedestrians.”

Scotland’s target is to reduce the number of people killed in road accidents by 2020, based on a 2004-08 baseline average.

RoSPA’s mission is to save lives and reduce injuries

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