A road safety summit is being held in Liverpool to look at ways to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on the city’s roads.
Statistics show the number of people killed or seriously injured in 2012 was 243 – the highest since 2005, although significantly down on the total of 339 in 2003. A total of 11 proved fatal – up from nine in 2011 but still a huge reduction on the 29 deaths in 2003.
The number of cyclists involved in accidents has also been rising in recent years, up from 30 in 2010 to 36 in 2012.
Public agencies including the city council, Merseyside Police, Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, Merseytravel, green travel charity Sustrans and the NHS are coming together on Wednesday 26 February to look at what more can be done to tackle the issue.
Councillor Tim Moore, Cabinet member for transport, said: “If you look at the trend over the last decade, it is clear there has been considerable success in reducing the number of accidents. However, we are acutely aware that even one accident is one too many and can have a devastating impact on people’s lives.
“Given that all of the public agencies in the city have less money to spend due to cuts in funding from Central Government, it is imperative we work together and pool our resources to tackle the issue.
“Road safety is not something that is just the responsibility of one organisation. We all count the cost of an accident, whether it’s the police and fire service who attend, the NHS which treats and rehabilitates victims, or the knock on effect to us all of insurance premiums.
“Through a mixture of education, prevention measures and enforcement, I hope by working together more closely we can find ways to reduce the number of accidents on our roads.”
Liverpool is currently rolling out the introduction of 20mph limits to 70 percent of its highways, covering the majority of residential areas, to encourage drivers to slow down in places where there are more likely to be pedestrians and children.
There are also a number of road safety education initiatives including a scheme called ‘Holding Hands’ aimed at children up to the age of six, a pre-driver scheme for teenagers and work with schools on child pedestrian training.
Liverpool is also leading the way with cycle proficiency training, with more than 70 per cent of primary school age children taking part in Bikeability, against a national average of 40 percent. Training has also been delivered to over 1,000 secondary age students over the past year – more than anywhere else in the country.
Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Any road incident that leads to serious injury or death is a tragedy.
“I know that the Force are taking very seriously least year’s increase in the figures and I am working with the Chief Constable to ensure that our shared aim to improve road safety remains clearly in focus.
“It is vital we all work together to tackle this issue and I wish the summit every success. I look forward to receiving the proposals and working with all the partners to reduce the number of traffic accidents to ensure everyone can travel across Merseyside safely.”
Research shows that junction improvements can have a major impact in improving road safety. Traffic calming on Clough Road and Alderwood Road in Speke has more than halved the number of collisions and safety improvements at the Greyhound Roundabout in Knotty Ash has slashed accidents by almost two thirds.
A council scrutiny panel is also being established to examine the evidence and look at best practice from elsewhere.
ROAD SAFETY IN NUMBERS:
95 percent – road collisions due to human error
70 percent – primary school children who receive Bikeability training