New figures show drop in road deaths - but pedestrians and cyclists still in danger
ROAD deaths last summer were down on the same period in 2011 latest Government figures show.
But the number of child pedestrians killed or seriously injured rose eight per cent, the provisional statistics also revealed.
Overall, there were 470 people killed in reported road accidents in summer (July to September 2012) – a five per cent dip on the figure of 494 for the same period in 2011.
Adding serious injuries to deaths, there were 6,620 casualties last summer, almost exactly the same figure as the 6,640 in summer 2011.
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Slight injuries last summer fell by three per cent to 44,140.
Including slight injuries, total casualties on the roads involving children fell nine per cent but child pedestrian KSIs (killed or seriously injured) rose by eight per cent - from 390 in summer 2011 to 420 in summer 2012.
Overall, pedestrian and pedal cyclist KSIs last summer rose six per cent and seven per cent respectively. Car user KSIs were down six per cent and motorcycle KSIs fell by two per cent.
The number of accidents involving deaths fell five per cent to 440 in summer 2012 while the total number of accidents was down two per cent at 37,700.
The latest figures, albeit provisional, mean that the number of people killed on the roads in the 12 months ending September 2012 totalled 1,760 – a seven per cent drop on the figure for the 12 months ending September 2011.
But KSIs in the 12 months ending September 2012 were two per cent up at 24,860.
Despite the drop in overall road casualties, safety charity the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) warned against complacency towards cyclists and pedestrians.
IAM director of policy and research Neil Greig said: "It is reassuring to see an overall drop in the number of road casualties, however this should not mask the increase of deaths and serious injuries for cyclists and pedestrians."
"The rise in the number of fatal and serious accidents on minor and built-up roads is concerning. The government needs to think about which roads are the safest and where they should be dedicating their resources."
The IAM said it would like to see:
Changes to the driving test to make drivers much more aware of cyclists and pedestrians
Improved infrastructure for cyclists, including more segregated cycle paths
The government commit to reinstate funding for road safety campaigns and education.