Dundee road casualties are dropping – is it enough?
In June 2009, the Scottish Government set national road accident casualty reduction targets for 2020 with the aim of improving road safety and reducing the number of people killed and seriously injured on the roads by 40% and 55%.
Provisional statistics for 2017 published by Transport Scotland reveal a continuing downward trend of reported road casualties in Scotland with the lowest numbers recorded since records began in 1950.
Sadly, however, there were still over 9,000 reported road casualties which included 146 fatalities and 1,580 people seriously injured. These statistics show that further measures are required to ensure our roads are as safe as possible for the individuals using them.
At a local level, provisional figures for Dundee City show that the total number of accidents and casualties is dropping, although the number of fatal and serious injuries reported remains the same in 2017 as the 2013 to 2017 average being one fatality and thirty three people seriously injured.
The overall reduction is good news. However, despite statistics showing the picture is improving, it is important to remember the devastation on a human level that is caused by fatal and serious road accidents.
To continue with these improvements, Dundee City councilors are being asked to agree to £150,000 of new road safety measures at areas across the city. Over a dozen locations have already been identified for improvement work in the coming year, but these changes may not be popular with everyone.
Earlier this year, an experimental 20 mph zone was brought into force targeting specific residential areas around Dundee. These measures were not universally popular with residents but they could potentially become permanent and rolled out to other areas of the city from next May.
Although the lower 20mph speed limits will mean longer journey times for drivers, which can be frustrating, driving at 20mph instead of 30mph can make a big difference if you are involved in a road traffic accident.
A belted front seat passenger is three times more likely to be seriously injured in an impact speed of 30 mph than 20 mph. For pedestrians, that difference could be life saving.
Around 95% of pedestrians who are struck at speeds below 20 mph will survive. At speeds between 20 to 40 mph, nine out of ten pedestrians are killed.
We act for a number of individuals injured as a result of accidents on Dundee’s roads as well as family members of loved ones sadly killed as a result of these accidents. We see first-hand the devastation that these road accidents cause and welcome improvements that can avoid destruction on our roads.