As Transport for London (TFL) opens its latest consultation for cycling safety in London and the headline figures for London’s roads for 2013 demonstrate a marked improvement in road safety in London compared with previous years, improving London’s road safety record remains a priority.
In 2013 there were 132 fatal accidents involving 65 pedestrians and 14 cyclists; 475 cyclists were seriously injured; 773 pedestrians were seriously injured; and 187 children were killed or seriously injured. The number of children killed or seriously injured on London’s roads showed the most significant improvement with a 31% reduction on 2012 when 270 children were killed or seriously injured. More encouragingly, this figure has decreased by nearly 75% since 2000.
Pedestrian safety in general has shown significant improvement with fatalities decreasing by 6% from 69 the previous year and the combined figure for those killed or seriously injured down by nearly 25% from 1,123 in 2012. When compared to the statistics for 2000, the numbers have fallen by 55%.
The overall number of cyclists killed or seriously injured on London’s roads is also down by 25% from 671 in 2012. However, the death rate for cyclists remains unchanged at 14 and has shown little sign of improvement over the past five years. This indicates that there is no reduction in the frequency of serious accidents involving cyclists – as evidenced by regular media coverage of fatalities. For this reason, the new consultation has an increased focus on cycling safety.
William Broadbent, of Penningtons Manches personal injury team, commented: “The latest figures give some cause for optimism. Almost across the board, figures seem to be improving and we have to congratulate all parties involved in promoting road safety and pushing forward road safety initiatives, even though the figures are still too high and more work needs to be done. While we welcome this latest initiative to try to improve cycling safety, there must be no complacency about the falling number of other road users who are killed or injured.
“These latest figures are testament to the hard work done so far by TFL, the media and various road safety charities but we must keep working to get these figures as low as possible. We are still seeing too many serious injuries and fatalities caused by careless and dangerous driving and greater deterrents in terms of police surveillance and sentencing are needed to ensure that people ‘think and drive’”.