Road deaths fall in North Yorkshire
North Yorkshire is bucking national trends and has seen a fall in the number of people killed on the county’s roads.
Latest statistics show that nationally road deaths increased by 4 per cent in 2014 compared with 2013, rising to 1,775. In North Yorkshire however, road deaths reduced by 20 per cent compared with 2013, falling from 51 deaths to 40.
Nationally the number of people seriously injured increased by 5 per cent to 22,807 in 2014, whereas in North Yorkshire the number seriously injured reduced by 8 per cent to 391. This is at a time when traffic volumes have risen across the country by nearly 2.5 per cent.
The findings are published this week in North Yorkshire County Council’s Annual Casualty Report , which shows that biker deaths are also falling in the county- 8.5 per cent below the yearly average between 2009 and 2013.
“Road safety remains a priority for the county council,” said County Councillor Don Mackenzie, North Yorkshire’s Executive Member for Road Safety. “Every death on our roads is a death too many and we are therefore pleased that the number of fatalities is falling.
“Our road safety team and partners in the 95 Alive road safety partnership work extremely hard to get safety messages across to the travelling public. We are making good progress but there is much more to do. In such a large rural county which attracts so many visitors and tourists, with an extensive network of winding country roads and all the speed issues that go with it, we cannot afford to be complacent. We are encouraged by the findings in this report, but we want to see the numbers of those killed or seriously injured reducing even further.”
Although the road death rate is down in the county, in North Yorkshire 2.4 per cent of all road collisions result in a fatality compared to 1.1 per cent of road collisions nationally. So the relative likelihood of being killed on the roads in North Yorkshire is higher than the national average.
This is largely due to the fact that the county has long lengths of rural A and B class roads where vehicle speeds are higher and journey distances are longer, compared to the mixture or urban, rural and motorways found across the country. Speed as a factor in North Yorkshire is involved in 69 per cent of car crashes, 11 per cent of motorcycle crashes and 8 per cent of van collisions.
Cycling casualties have increased by 29 per cent nationally over the last decade and by 19 per cent in North Yorkshire. These increases are proportionate to the increase in cycling and although the increase in casualties in North Yorkshire is lower, the rate of increase has stepped up over the last five years which links with the growth of cycling in the county.
“Cycling has raised its profile in North Yorkshire with the Tour de France Grand Depart and the Tour de Yorkshire”, Cllr Mackenzie added, “so through the 95 Alive Partnership, with other agencies and district councils we will do everything we can both to encourage cycling and to make it safer.”
The county council’s road safety team is also working with partners to address issues of drink driving.
Although overall the number of injury collisions involving alcohol is slightly lower in North Yorkshire (4% ) than nationally (5%), the number of fatal and serious injury collisions is higher than the national average (16 per cent compared to 13 per cent) and this is a cause for concern.
“We are pressing ahead with our educational initiatives” said Cllr Mackenzie, “to drive home the message that drinking and driving is unacceptable and costs lives.”
Press contact: Honor Byford, Road Safety, 01609-532616