Minister hails progress as road casualties decrease

THE number of people killed and injured on Edinburgh's roads fell by eight per cent last year.

New official figures showed 1,403 casualties in road accidents in the city in 2009 compared with 1,531 the previous year.

Across Lothian and Borders police area, casualties totalled 3,012 last year compared with 3,254 in 2008.

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In West Lothian, casualties were down from 660 to 595, in Midlothian from 292 to 279 and in East Lothian from 241 to 230.

The number of fatal accidents in Edinburgh fell from 13 to seven, though the figure for Lothian and Borders as a whole remained static at 37.

Across Scotland, road fatalities were at their lowest for 50 years. Transport minister Stewart Stevenson said: "While progress in cutting casualties is evident and we have again exceeded the GB targets, we continue to do everything we can improve road safety.

"Our ten-year road safety framework for Scotland includes an ambitious programme of new education resources, the use of new technology to cut speeding and drink-driving and action on school bus safety. It will, I am confident, save even more lives.

"We have a vision of no road deaths and, working with road safety professionals, see no reason why that ultimately cannot happen."