Fleet News

Action needed to combat rise in cyclist deaths, says RoSPA

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is urging for safer roads for cyclists, greater provision in cyclist training and better driver awareness, following the publication of annual casualty statistics which show an alarming rise in cyclist deaths.

The annual road casualty figures for Great Britain in 2012, published by the Department for Transport (DfT), show that overall road deaths fell by 8% to 1,754 in 2012.

This continues the trend in recent years of substantial reductions in road deaths.

One of the reasons for this trend has been the recession, which may have resulted in less traffic and slower driving in a bid to keep fuel consumption down.

However, the number of pedal cyclists killed rose by 10% to 118 and the number of seriously injured cyclists rose, for the eighth year in a row, to 3,222.

The increase in deaths was mainly among the young with the number of child cyclists killed doubling from six in 2011 to 13 in 2012, although the number of seriously injured fell by a fifth.

The DfT report also highlights that the increased popularity of cycling on Great Britain’s roads since 2004, may have contributed to a general rise in the number of cyclists killed or seriously injured.

RoSPA warns that as the economy now seems to be improving, we need to make sure this is not accompanied by an increase in road deaths caused by rising traffic and more cycling and walking.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “The good news of a large drop in road deaths in 2012 is marred by an increase in cyclist deaths, especially among child cyclists which is particularly worrying.

“We need to redouble our efforts to make sure that cyclist deaths and injuries are reduced as the popularity of cycling increases.

“It is vital to create a coherent safe network for cyclists by introducing appropriate cycle lanes, linking quieter streets, developing routes alongside rivers, canals and through parks where possible, and introducing more 20mph schemes in our towns and cities.

“As well as boosting the provision of cyclist training and trying to make the roads safer for cyclists, we also need to hammer home the message to drivers to keep their speed down, watch out for cyclists and give them enough room on the road.”

Overall, there were 61 children killed on the roads in 2012, one more than in 2011.

The number of seriously injured children fell by 6% to 2,211 in 2012.

At 17,251, the overall number of child casualties (killed, seriously injured and slightly injured) dropped by 11% between 2011 and 2012 and was the lowest total since records started in 1979.

There were 420 pedestrian deaths in 2012, a fall of 7% on the previous year, however the number of seriously injured pedestrians rose by 2% to 5,559.

The number of motorcyclists killed fell by 9% to 328 in 2012, while the number seriously injured decreased by 5% to 5,000, but the report noted that motorcycle traffic also fell by 2% during 2012.


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  • Todd - 30/09/2013 11:54

    No mention of improving cycling training and standards, everyone else should make allowance for them

    • Alex - 30/09/2013 16:50

      @Todd - I agree that standards of the cyclists need to be improved . What frustrates me is that I am a cyclist and other cyclists do not help and create a bad name for themselves. The highway code states you can ride two abreast but common sense is that you should ride single file on a busy road .We share the road and the argument of road tax is always shouted out of the window or other abuse but some cyclists do not help with there actions. However the difference in driving standards is very varied too and I think it is an education point from both cyclist and drivers. Wearing a helmet is not compulsory and is down to individuals however I wear a helmet and ensure my daughter has always worn a helmet on her bike from a very early age . There is a good chance it will be needed at some point . I hit 40mph+ and have been faster going down some of the local hills in Wiltshire and it is stupid to think you will be ok if you fall off. We don't have our own airbags.

  • James Nayler - 30/09/2013 13:12

    I have noticed the standard of self awareness among young cyclist has fallen over the last few years. When the evening start pulling in and drivers are driving home in the dark you see more cyclist with no lights, on dark coloured bycles and wearing black or dark clothes with nothing reflective. This coupled with a number of the high school and college age young adults on the path. Why is more not being done to make them aware that they are very vunerable and not invincible by organisation like ROSPA and the police stopping cyclists without lights?

  • Pete - 30/09/2013 15:09

    I would like to add another note. Helmets, not maning using them at all. Even Bradley Wiggins has been seen not using one, this of course is not settign a good example to the young people. I also see some kids using them but not the dad or mum! I understand that regulations are not easy to implement but something must be done to reduce where possible loss of life's.

  • lawrence gladney - 09/07/2015 01:08

    why can`t we apply the same motoring law to cyclists as for car and commercial users,which is,you must not undertake on the left hand side at any time,which would mean,if a truck or bus pulled up to a set of traffic lights at a major road junction,whether he wants to go left or straight ahead,as long as when he approached this junction,there was no cyclist there ahead of him,he could be confidant that his pathway is clear,if a cyclist came up on his inside,and not stay behind,as with any other road user,if any contact was made,then it would be down to the cyclists breaking the highway code and law ,maybe if the law came down on the cyclists,as it should,maybe they might live longer.I have ridden both cycles and motorcycles and adhered to the highway code all over London and suburbs,and guess what,i have a clean licence,60 years old and still alive!

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