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Road safety: Shocking increase in number of people killed or seriously injured on Kent roads

Contributed by editor on Jun 10, 2017 - 09:07 AM

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The number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on roads in Kent and Medway has gone up by more than a third.


The latest figures for 2016 show that KSI figures have risen from 707 to 978 – a 38% increase, which appears to be similar to the national picture.

Broken down, the number of people being killed on the road has seen a fall from 55 to 48 but those seriously injured has gone up from 652 to 930.

The increased number of serious injuries is, in part, likely to be related to a change in police reporting where some slight injuries are now categorised as serious injuries.

Most incidents are still down to driver behaviour

Research shows that three-quarters of ‘injury crashes’ occur solely as a result of behavioural factors – the choices people make, such as driving under the influence of drink or drugs, using a mobile phone or driving too fast for the situation.

Overall, 95% of all crashes include some element of poor road user behaviour in the cause

Casualty Reduction Manager at Kent County Council Steve Horton said: “One mistake or a moment when you are not paying attention can have long-lasting or tragic consequences.

“Too many people are involved in crashes on Kent’s roads. Whilst we believe the changes in recording injuries has affected the category of some injuries, we still know that overall there were 5% more injury crashes last year and one crash is too many.

Be more patient

“We can all help reduce that number by being more patient, being more alert to other road users and sharing our roads safely.”

The 12 month period saw a year-on-year increase in KSI figures for road users including motorcyclists, cyclists, pedestrians, car occupants, under 16s and those aged over 65.

Kent County Council Cabinet Member for Transport Matthew Balfour said: “We are working hard to keep road users as safe as possible but there’s only so much we can do.

Poor driving

“Research clearly shows that the vast majority of crashes are caused by poor driving or other human factors.

“It is vital that we all recognise the way we drive, ride or walk plays a big part in avoiding becoming a casualty on our roads.”

In Kent, the Casualty Reduction Partnership brings key agencies together to coordinate road safety activity and seeks to continue the long term trend in reducing road casualties.

It’s a partnership between Kent Police, Highways England, Kent County Council, Medway Council and Kent Fire & Rescue Service.

Kent Police Superintendent Mat Newton said: “Everyone has a role to play in making our roads safer and our officers will continue to tackle dangerous driving habits with a combination of education and enforcement in support of the work being done by all the partner agencies.”

The partners come together to target key road user groups with education and enforcement activity, with campaigns scheduled to run throughout the year focused on speed, seatbelt use, drink and drug impairment and drivers who use mobile phones.

On Monday (June 5) those key partners in road safety came together to identify further opportunities for joint working around road safety.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service (KFRS) Director of Operations Sean Bone-Knell said: “The rise in the number of people injured in crashes highlights how essential it is for us to continue our efforts to reach those most at risk of being hurt on our roads."

Cllr Phil Filmer, Portfolio Holder for Front Line Services at Medway Council, said: “Driving under the influence of drink or drugs, speeding or being distracted by a mobile phone does cause crashes.

“I would encourage all motorists to drive carefully; your actions might not only result in you being injured, but your loved ones or another road user.”

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