Big dip in road deaths - again

PUBLISHED: 09:52 10 July 2012

Road deaths have dipped - again.

Road deaths have dipped - again.

Archant

THE number of people killed or seriously hurt on North Somerset’s roads fell by nearly 20 per cent this year – continuing an impressive trend.

New figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) this week show such injuries dropped from 57 cases in 2010 to 46 in 2011.

This continues a downward trend which has seen deaths and injuries fall in five out of the last six years from a worrying high of 81 back in 2005.

What makes the 19 per cent drop in North Somerset’s figures all the more impressive, is that it comes against a backdrop of a national increase in road deaths and injuries.

North Somerset Council, which is responsible for the 1,100km of roads across the district, welcomed the new figures but stressed its officers are not being complacent and will strive to cut that number even further.

The authority’s executive member for highways, Elfan Ap Rees, said: “Any death or serious injury on our roads is one too many, but we are working hard to bring these figures down and to make our roads as safe as possible.

“Highways schemes are therefore designed with safety in mind, with some schemes specifically looking at safety aspects such as realistic speed limits with vehicle activation signs replacing speed cameras to help change driver behaviour.

“Safety improvements have to be aimed at pedestrians and cyclists as well as vehicle users and include installing pedestrian crossings, tactile surfacing at crossing points, pavement and footway improvements, drainage improvements (to prevent road surface water), improvements at junctions, road markings and road layout.

“We are also keen to educate schoolchildren from an early age to respect and use cycleways where available and dedicated road crossings.”

The council has recently been targeting known accident blackspots with new traffic calming measures.

One such scheme saw improved pedestrian facilities in the Boulevard in Weston. Ahead of the changes there were six accidents in three years – since the work, that number has halved.

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