Dismay as latest crash stats for Great Britain show 13% increase in cyclist casualties

The latest quarterly road casualties figure from the Department for Transport show a marked increase in casualties for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

Cyclist casualties for the first three months in 2012 in Great Britain are up 13% on the same period in 2011, with little indication that cycling nationwide has risen by the same amount (despite the increases in London).

Pedestrian and motorcyclist casualties are up 8% year on year, while car casualties are down 4%.

These figures come not long after the announcement of a 16% increase in cyclist casualties in 2011, which follows years of steady decline in casualties nationwide.

While it’s impossible to prove a single cause for these increases, it's notable that they've occurred in the aftermath of the Coalition Government’s post-election anti-road safety rhetoric, when ministers claimed they would end the so-called “war on motorists”.

In 2010, there was a clear signal to local authorities that reducing danger on our roads wasn’t a priority: budgets for traffic law enforcement were cut, resulting in less stringent policing and fewer speed cameras.

Two years later, we appear to be seeing the results of these misguided policies: the most vulnerable on our roads – people on foot, bikes and motorcycles – are the ones paying a heavy price.

Despite the frequent media emphasis on cyclist misbehaviour (which causes very few casualties), in London it’s a daily event to witness cars and trucks speeding, drivers talking on mobile phones, and inconsiderate or erratic driving.

Replies

  • By Alison at 05:02pm 17 Aug 2012

The will power just isn't there from this government. Every day I am overtaken by impatient motorists frequently breaking the speed limit of 30 mph along narrow streets - these people cannot wait 5 seconds or so till the oncoming traffic clears and they can safely pass. I would say the majority of drivers are breaking the speed limits. With the lack of support for speed cameras from this government, motorists think they can drive with impunity and of course do. No wonder people say to me: 'you are so brave driving in London traffic' probably because they know that they too break the speed limit and can't imagine how any cyclist can survive out there.

Alison Johnston N8

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