Road Deaths Drop in Devon

The number of deaths and serious injuries on our roads last year was a record low.

There were 30 deaths and 164 serious injuries in 2009 - a 28% decrease from the previous year and the third year in a row it has gone down.

Seven of last year's deaths were motorists aged over 75, eight were motorcyclists and two were under 16.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation, “the reduction in deaths and serious injuries is part of a long term downward trend, and confirms my view that road safety in Devon continues to be a success story. Road casualty reduction is a long term process, with a lot of contributory factors, but a number of initiatives have helped with this reduction; the Devon Country Mile project, camera and police enforcement, Learn2Live presentations for young people and safety education such as our Driving Safer for Longer scheme are all playing a vital part in achieving these improvements.

“Deaths and serious injuries in 2009 represent a 62% reduction compared to 1998. Most importantly that means lives are being saved, but there are also savings for the health sector and our economy. However, we can’t be complacent, nor underestimate the sadness that every single one of these collisions are still causing to families, friends and colleagues all over the county.

“The questions we need to ask are what further reductions can be made and how these can be achieved in difficult financial times? I think the future lies in continued effective partnership working between Devon County Council and local agencies, especially the police, fire and rescue, NHS, Safety Camera Partnership, Highways Agency and adjacent local authorities. With the vast majority of collisions resulting from human error, our combined challenge is to continue to improve the skills, knowledge and attitudes of all road users. Devon is well placed to achieve this with excellent partnership working and the use of unique facilities at the Devon Drivers’ Centre.”