The UK Department of Transport has today published National Statistics on road casualties in Great Britain in 2003, which relate to casualties in accidents reported to the police.
Key results include:
- The number of deaths rose, by 2 per cent from 3,431 in 2002 to 3,508 in 2003. 37,215 people were killed or seriously injured in 2003, 6 per cent fewer than in 2002. There were 290,607 road casualties in Great Britain in 2003, 4 per cent fewer than in 2002.
- Road traffic levels were 1 per cent higher than in 2002 and consequently the overall casualty rate per 100 million vehicle kilometres was 5 per cent lower than in 2002.
- Child casualties fell by 8 per cent. The number of children killed or seriously injured in 2003 was 4,100 (down 11 per cent on 2002). Of those, 2,381 were pedestrians, 16 per cent down on 2002. There were 171 child fatalities, 4 per cent fewer than in 2002.
- Pedestrian casualties were 36,405 in 2003, 6 per cent lower than 2002. There were 774 pedestrian deaths, about the same level as 2002. Serious injuries fell by 9 per cent to 7,159.
- The number of pedal cyclists killed fell by 12 per cent to 114. Total casualties among pedal cyclists fell marginally in 2003 to 17,033.
- There were 28,411 two-wheeled motor vehicle user casualties in 2003, 58 more than in 2002. The number of seriously injured increased by 1 per cent to 6,959 but the number killed increased by 14 per cent to 693.
- The number of deaths among car users in 2003 was 1,769, 1 per cent more than in the previous year. The number of seriously injured fell by 9 per cent to 15,522. Total casualties among car users were 188,342, 5 per cent lower than 2002. Provisional traffic estimates show a 1 per cent rise in car and taxi traffic.
- There were 214,030 road accidents involving personal injury in 2003, 3 per cent less than in 2002. Of these, 32,160 accidents involved death or serious injury.
In 2000, the Government announced a new road safety strategy and set new targets for reducing casualties by 2010. It wants to see:
- 40% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents compared with the average for 1994-98;
- 50% reduction in the number of children killed or seriously injured;
- 10% reduction in the slight casualty rate, expressed as the number of people slightly injured per 100 million vehicle kilometres.
In 2003, the number of people killed or seriously injured was 22 per cent below the 1994-98 average; the number of children killed or seriously injured seriously injured was 40 per cent below the 1994-98 average; and the slight casualty rate was 17 per cent below the 1994-98 average.