Car crashes costing £27.5m every year


- Credit: Archant

CAR crashes in North Somerset have cost the economy more than £50million in the space of just two years, it has been claimed.

The Road Safety Foundation has found the fallout from road crashes in the district, including medical care, road repairs and car recovery, totalled some £55million between 2011 and 2013.

That figure rises to £254million for Somerset, or an equivalent to £14 for each journey taken.

Andy Watson, chief executive of Ageas UK, a car insurance provider which commissioned the report, said local authorities could ‘avoid spending large amounts on expensive services’ by investing ‘small amounts’ in road improvements.

A North Somerset Council spokesman told the Mercury it analysed road-specific data to make road improvements, as well as providing advice for the most high-risk demographics of the population.

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Mr Watson said: “It is possible to make road safety pay.

“As this report shows, local authorities can invest small amounts which remove known high risks on the roads.

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“This potentially avoids spending large amounts on expensive local services such as long term care when the brain or spine are injured.”

North Somerset’s speed cameras were turned off in 2011, and the majority have remained out of action since after being labelled unnecessary by council leaders.

A council spokesman said: “We analyse data which looks at the locations of collisions and also the casualties.

“We then look at engineering solutions to make road improvements, by installing vehicle-activated signs, for example, and targeting particular casualty age-groups, through such things as education programmes and publicity.

“One speed camera in the district has been re-activated, in New Bristol Road, Weston, following a rise in speeds on that stretch of road.

“Our approach will be highlighted in our road safety strategy up to 2020 which we will be publishing shortly.”

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