Scottish cyclist deaths and injuries rise

New figures from Transport Scotland show an increase in cyclist deaths and injuries. Picture: Greg Macvean

New figures from Transport Scotland show an increase in cyclist deaths and injuries. Picture: Greg Macvean

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Road casualties have dropped to their lowest recorded level but more cyclists are being injured or killed.

The number of deaths, injuries and child casualties all fell last year, according to government agency Transport Scotland.

Overall, the number of casualties on roads dropped 1% and deaths fell 6% compared with 2011.

But the number of casualties among cyclists rose 9% to 901, serious injuries were up 7% to 167 and the number of deaths increased by two to nine.

Transport Minister Keith Brown pledged to improve cycling infrastructure, training and road safety to tackle the problem.

“We have achieved a lot but there is still work to do, particularly in respect of safety issues for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists,” he said.

“The Scottish Government has invested over £58 million in cycling infrastructure, cycle training and road safety messages. We will continue to work with our road safety partners to try to enable cyclists to use Scotland’s roads safety.

“In addition to the funding from this spending review period, £20 million has also been allocated to cycle infrastructure over the next two years to enhance the Community Links programme run by Sustrans Scotland which will be matched by local authorities.”

Overall casualty numbers dropped by 101 to 12,676, a 34% reduction from 2002 and the lowest figure since records began.

The number of deaths fell by 11 to 174 between 2011 and 2012, the number of serious injuries increased by 97 to 1,974, slight injuries were down by 187 to 10,528 and child casualties were down by 152 to 1,164, including two deaths.

Fewer motorist and pedestrian casualties were recorded but 7% more motorcyclist casualties were logged, rising to 865.

The number of pedestrian deaths increased by 14 to 57 while the number of motorists killed fell by 16 to 73 and motorcyclist fatalities fell by 12 to 21.

Mr Brown said: “We will encourage training and support for motorcyclists through advanced rider training schemes, and continue to target motorcyclists with appropriate road safety messages. We would also encourage other road users to pay particular attention to the vulnerability and needs of pedestrians.”

Young men aged 17-25 were more likely to be involved in car accidents, though the rates are reducing, the statistics show.

The number of people killed in drink-drive accidents also fell.

Superintendent Iain Murray, head of road policing at Police Scotland, said the overall figures are encouraging.

“It is heartening to see such significant reductions in statistics but it is important to recognise the tragedy that still lies behind the numbers,” he said.

“There is still a lot of work to be done. Reducing road casualties and fatalities is one of the ‘five golden threads’ of policing in Scotland and, as such, every officer is now focused on improving road safety in our communities.”

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