|Serious concern over rising death toll for cyclists and child pedestrians - MP|
“Britain is in eleventh place amongst OECD nations for the lowest number of pedestrian deaths per head of population. However, when it comes to the lowest number of child pedestrian deaths, Britain drops to seventeenth place out of 24.”
“Our roads have also become an increasingly dangerous place for cyclists, with the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured rising 11 per cent from 2004 to 2007, despite the amount of cycling staying broadly constant and the number of overall deaths and serious injuries from 2004 to 2007 falling by 11 per cent.”
“People are a lot more likely to walk or cycle if they believe it is safe. If the government wants more people to walk or cycle, then it needs to make it safer for them to do so. It should also look again at its road safety targets, which fail to distinguish between deaths and serious injuries, or between particular groups of road users. The trends for child pedestrian deaths and cyclist deaths are a matter of serious concern.”
Mr Bacon was speaking as the National Audit Office published its report on improving road safety for pedestrians and cyclists in Great Britain. In 2007 over 30,000 pedestrians and over 16,000 cyclists were injured with 646 pedestrians and 136 cyclists killed. While Great Britain was fifth overall internationally for the least number of road deaths per head of population, the report finds it is only eleventh highest out of 24 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development nations (for which data was available in 2006) for pedestrian deaths. For child pedestrian deaths it ranks seventeenth.
The report also finds that the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured fell between 2000 and 2004, but rose again by 11 per cent from 2004 to 2007, despite the amount of cycling staying broadly constant. The Department for Transport’s current targets for road safety do not distinguish between different trends in deaths compared to serious injuries, or among particular groups.
8 May 2009
|© Richard Bacon 2010|