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Road Deaths in London 2006
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The following article was published in October 2007.

Road Deaths in London Rise

The London Road Safety Unit (part of TfL) has recently published the road accident figures for 2006 (see www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/2840.aspx for the full report). Fatal accidents rose by 8% over the previous year to 231, and serious injuries also rose by 8% to 3,715.  These figures were unexpected of course and TfL suggest there is some error in “data processing” but have been unable to identify exactly what.  

Although slight injuries fell by 8%, those figures are more suspect due to possible variations in reporting. The KSI data is particularly disappointing bearing in mind that resources tend to concentrated on reducing the killed and seriously injured numbers. 

The result is that the target for a reduction of fatalities of 50% by 2010 looks unlikely to be met as you can see from the chart taken from the TfL report following: 

 

The truly amazing thing that this graph shows is that in essence fatalities in London have barely changed since 1994 despite the enormous growth in expenditure on road safety – particularly on speed humps, speed cameras, 20 mph zones, speed limit reductions, and lots of other similar “gestures”. Meanwhile traffic volumes in London have not changed much in those years.

KSI figures show a more positive trend over the same period, but even there the latest data shows a major rise since the low point seen in early 2005. 

Taking the overall casualty figures, pedal cyclists were the only group though that showed an increase, probably simply because cycling is more common. Accidents involving powered two-wheelers, which have been a growing problem in recent years, seem at least to have stabilised. 

(Editor: it appears to me that these figures demonstrate that road safety policies need to be substantially rethought. The same problems are of course reflected on a national basis where fatalities are also not falling significantly. Clearly the current policies are not working but all we get from Government ministers and road safety advocates tends to be “more of the same will solve the problem”.  There is currently an enormous amount of your taxpayers’ money being wasted on ineffective solutions to reducing road deaths.)

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