Nearly 300 people were killed or injured on Northamptonshire roads last year

Almost 300 people - including 18 children - were killed or seriously injured in road accidents in Northamptonshire last year, figures show.

Thursday, 4th October 2018, 10:37 am
Updated Thursday, 4th October 2018, 11:39 am

Department for Transport data shows 44 people were killed and 235 people seriously injured on Northamptonshire’s roads in 2017.

In 18 of those accidents children were taken to hospital.

However, the overall figure for people killed and seriously injured has decreased from 319, the yearly average from 2010 to 2014, to 279 last year.

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The DfT uses the yearly average to measure change over time.

The number of road casualties in Northamptonshire, which includes minor injuries, has decreased by 17% over that time, to 1,374 incidents.

The data includes any injury sustained with a vehicle on the road. The injuries do not have to involve cars.

It could be a bike colliding with a pedestrian, or someone falling over while cycling.

When patients are taken to hospital it is classified as a serious injury.

Broadly, the number of injuries on the road has been decreasing across England as car technology improves.

However, while there are fewer accidents, there are more severe injuries.

RAC road safety spokesman, Pete Williams, said: “This new data makes for sobering reading – there has now been no substantial reduction in fatalities since 2010, with the numbers killed on the roads remaining stubbornly high.

“It also remains the case that casualties among some vulnerable road user groups, specifically pedestrians and motorcyclists, are rising, which is a concern.”

In Northamptonshire, 11 pedestrians were killed. Of those seriously injured, 42 were pedestrians, 24 were cyclists and 57 were riding motorbikes.

Mr Williams continued: “Speed limit compliance also remains a real problem, with more than half of vehicles recorded speeding on 30mph roads and nearly one in five drivers travelling at 30mph or more in a 20mph zone.

“With traffic levels rising, and people’s dependency on the car also increasing, a shift in focus is needed at both national and local levels to begin to tackle the problem.

“On a day-to-day basis, it is every driver’s responsibility to ensure they are driving safely by not breaking speed limits and reducing distractions in their vehicles so their attention remains firmly on the road.”

Northamptonshire’s casualty rate is below the East Midlands’s average.

It is also lower than the England casualty rate.

The road safety charity Brake called on the Government to lower speed limits.

A spokesman said: “Our most vulnerable road users, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, remain at dangerously high risk on our roads, paying the price for the dominance of the car in our lives.

“Pedestrian deaths increased to their highest level this decade whilst motorcyclists now account for nearly a fifth of all road deaths, despite their small numbers.

“The Government must invest in active travel to give people safe and healthy ways to get around and focus on improving the safety of our roads – starting with lower speed limits.”