‘Deeply troubling’ rise in Scottish road deaths

Almost 200 people died on Scotland’s road last year after the number of fatalities rose by 14% on 2015 figures.

Provisional figures released by the Scottish Government revealed 191 people were killed in 2016, an increase of 23 from 2015, as the devolved nation recorded a very patchy performance on road safety.

The overall number of casualties fell by 1% between 2015 and 2016 from 10,974 to 10,881, reaching the lowest number since records began in 1938. However the number of people seriously injured increased by 6% to 1,693, leaving the Government with some way to go to reach its 2020 target.

Car users saw a 19% increase in people seriously injured and motor cyclist serious injuries rose by 4%.

This is despite significant safety improvement on the A9 linked to average speed cameras and a marked improvement in fatalities last year.

A spokesperson for Brake, the road safety charity, said the figures were ‘deeply troubling’.

He added: ‘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. Brake is also calling on the European Commission to urgently update new vehicle safety standards and the UK Government to set up a Road Collision Investigation Branch.’

The RAC Foundation has also called for a special road safety investigation unit to match the set-up in other sectors such as aviation.

The figures also show there were 1,011 child casualties in reported road accidents in 2016, an increase of 4% since 2015 – this includes 12 fatalities, eight more than 2015 and 167 children who were seriously injured, up from 139 in 2015.

Transport minister Humza Yousaf vowed that the Scottish Government ‘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’.

‘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.’

Road statistics and targets:

• 191 fatalities, representing a reduction of 35% on the 2004-2008 baseline. The 2020 target is a reduction of 40%.

• 1,693 serious injuries, representing a reduction of 35% on the baseline. The 2020 target is a reduction of 55%.

• an average of eight children killed over the last three years, representing a reduction of 50%. The 2020 target is a reduction of 50%

• 167 children seriously injured, a reduction of 49% on the baseline. The 2020 target is a reduction of 65%

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