Media trivialise Public Accounts Committee road safety report

A report from the House of Commons' Public Accounts Committee published last week, which made important points about road safety, has been trivialised by the British media.

The report, entitled 'Improving road safety for pedestrians and cyclists', reached several important conclusions including:

(i) "Speed is an overwhelming factor in the incidence and severity of injuries to pedestrians and cyclists"

(ii) "Child pedestrians from the most deprived areas remain four times more likely to be killed or injured on the roads than those from the least deprived areas"

(iii) "There is substantial evidence that fewer people would be killed and seriously injured on Great Britain's roads if this country were to put the clocks forward by one hour throughout the year."

However, some of the British media (The Lycra louts: MPs call for curbs on cyclists who put lives at risk Daily Mail, Target pavement cyclists, say MPs BBC) chose to focus on the behaviour of a minority of cyclists.

LCC communications officer Mike Cavenett said, "If I were the parent of a child in an inner city area, I'd be very upset with the way the media have ignored the really important aspects of this road safety report."

Cyclists on pavements: the facts

On an average day, two pedestrians are killed by motor vehicles in the UK.

Only two pedestrian per year are killed by bicycles, almost always on the road.

On pavements and verges, motor vehicles kill around 40 pedestrians every year, nearly one per week.

Only three pedestrians have been killed by pavement cyclists in the last 10 years.