Death toll rises on Scotland's roads

14 June 2017, 15:49

Shildon crash

The number of people killed or seriously injured on Scotland's roads rose last year, despite the overall number of casualties falling to its lowest number since records began.

A total of 191 people died as a result of road accidents in 2016, provisional figures showed - a rise of 23 fatalities (14%) from the previous year.

There were 12 children killed - eight more than in 2015 - while the data also showed 1,693 people were seriously injured - 93 more victims, a rise of 6%.

However, the overall number of casualties dropped by 1% to 10,881 - 93 fewer than in 2015 and the lowest number since records began in 1950.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf said the rise in the number of people killed or seriously injured was "disappointing''.

He pledged: "The Scottish Government and our road safety partners will redouble our efforts in order to reach our ambitious and challenging casualty reduction targets set out in Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2020.''

At the same time, Mr Yousaf stressed: "We all need to take responsibility for protecting ourselves and other road users when using the road network.''

The Scottish Government has set a number of targets for reducing road casualties, with ministers wanting to achieve a 40% reduction in deaths by 2020 and a 55% reduction in the number of people seriously injured.

When compared to the 2004-08 average, the latest figures show a 35% drop in fatalities, with the Transport Scotland report stating: ``The decrease seen to 2016 is less than that required to achieve the 2020 milestone reduction.''

A total of 106 motorists and car passengers were killed in 2016, compared to 32 pedestrians, 30 motorcyclists and eight cyclists.

Overall, 6,683 people in cars were injured as well as 1,663 pedestrians, 711 motorcyclists, 789 cyclists and 301 people who were on buses or coaches.

Road safety charity Brake branded the figures "deeply troubling'' as it urged the Scottish Government to cut the speed limit to 20mph in all built up areas.

Spokesman Jason Wakeford said: "Today's statistics show that while progress is being made toward some of the 2020 Scottish Road Safety Framework targets, there is far more work to be done.

"We urge the Scottish Government to implement a default 20mph limit in built-up areas, accompanied by additional speed enforcement on roads by the police.''

Mr Yousaf said the longer-term downward trend in accident statistics was "positive'' and showed the authorities are ``making good progress towards meeting our targets''.

He stated: "The annual decline in the total number of casualties, to the lowest level since records began, is encouraging.

"However, I am resolute in my determination to save lives and to meet the ultimate vision set out in the framework, where no-one is killed on Scotland's roads.''

A review of the road safety framework in March 2016 identified a number of priority areas for action, including the speed of some motorcyclists, young drivers aged 17 to 25 and older drivers, as well as those who have still to pass the driving test, pedestrians and cyclists.

Mr Yousaf continued: ``I plan to meet with representatives of cycling organisations tomorrow to discuss what more we can do to make our roads as safe as possible for cyclists and all road users.

"We are currently supporting the Seatbelts on School Transport (Scotland) Bill through Parliament to keep our children safe on the journey to and from school.''