Road safety experts in North Yorkshire are alarmed at a ‘worrying’ increase in the number of deaths on the county’s highways.
Latest figures from North Yorkshire County Council’s road safety analysts show that the number of people killed in collisions in 2013 rose by more than 60% compared with the previous year. The total of 51 deaths is the highest in seven years.
County Councillor Gareth Dadd, Executive Member for Road Safety said:These are very alarming and worrying statistics:
Even allowing for the fact that the total for 2012 was an all-time low, there are still far too many people dying unnecessarily on our roads. These figures underline the vital importance of all road users being constantly aware of their surroundings, of their speed, of their driving or riding behaviour, of the presence of others.
Harrogate District statistics
Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick of North Yorkshire Police commented: I am extremely concerned about this rise in the number of people being killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads and we are working very closely with our partners to improve road safety.
By raising awareness about this serious issue, we want all road users to play a key role in helping our efforts. We are urging drivers, motorcyclists and people riding pedal cycles to not only to pay attention to their own behaviour, but also make themselves alert to other people using the roads.
The upcoming Grand Depart of the Tour De France will be a spectacular event for the Yorkshire area and we want everybody to have a lasting impression, particularly the expected influx of keen cyclists who will ride the routes before and after the race.
To keep safe, we strongly encourage cyclists to make themselves fully familiar with the routes and to take every precaution before setting off on a ride.
The latest statistics are contained in the 2013 analysis of road casualties produced by the County Council’s road safety team.
Click here to to read the full report on road safety in the region
They show that the number of motorcyclists killed in road accidents more than trebled – from 5 in 2012 to 16 in 2013. The number of older drivers killed almost doubled, from 6 to 11.
The number of pedal cyclists killed or injured also rose – a particular concern, given that this year’s Grand Départ of theTour de France is expected to attract large numbers of cyclists to the county to ride the route before and after the event in July.
There is a gradual but established upward trend in pedal cyclist casualties, the report notes.
The increase may simply reflect the rising popularity of cycling, and with it a proportionate increase in cyclists being hurt. Whatever the reasons, measures to address cyclists’ safety and drivers’ awareness are being taken in the county and regionally both in the run-up to the Tour de France and beyond.