Latest figures from Somerset Road Safety show that 22 people were killed on the county’s roads in 2015.
That’s 11 fatalities fewer than in 2014 and almost 25 per cent lower than the target set by Somerset County Council.
The Council’s road safety team receives police reports following any injury accidents recorded by the police and carries out its own research to identify trends and look for ways to improve safety across Somerset’s 4,000 miles of roads.
In 2015, five of the deaths were on urban roads – 11 were on rural roads with the remaining six on trunk roads (the M5 or A303) which are also classed as rural.
Cllr David Fothergill, Somerset County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways, said: “I’m pleased to see a drop in the number of road deaths across Somerset in 2015 – although clearly a single death is one too many.
“It’s important we do analyse statistics like this thoroughly so we can make sure we target our resources in the right areas.
“As you might expect for a predominately rural county, the majority of deaths were on country roads and we will be looking at ways to raise awareness of the specific dangers associated with these types of road, as well as carrying out road improvements where a need is identified.”
Further analysis of the 2015 statistics show that 73% of fatal collisions involved cars, 9% motorcycles, 9% pedal cycles, 5% vans and 5% mobility scooters.
Each accident resulted in a single fatality. 59% were drivers, 27% passengers and 14% were pedestrians.
In terms of ages, 41% of casualties were over the age of 59, 23% were between 40 and 59, 18% 25 to 39 and 18% in the 16 to 24 age group.
Using latest Department for Transport figures, the 22 fatal accidents are estimated to have cost more than £45 million* in damage and lost output, not including the emotional impact of the irreplaceable loss of a family member.
Somerset Road Safety provides advice to thousands of people every year through educational events and also runs Bikeability courses for school children and trains School Crossing Patrols. The team also supports companies through the Mind Your Business programme and has more than 2,000 subscribers through Facebook and Twitter. Please visit www.somersetroadsafety.org for more details.
The Council’s Small Improvement Schemes programme helps to resolve community concerns and road safety problems by providing engineering solutions at priority sites. For more information, please visit www.trafficchoices.co.uk/somerset.
The Government’s THINK! road safety campaign has a designated programme to improve safety on country roads, which is backed by Somerset County Council. Further details are available at http://think.direct.gov.uk/country-roads.html
* 2014 DfT RAS60002 Average value of prevention of reported road accidents by road type – 22 x £2,066,732 = £45,468,104.
Fatal crash statistics year by year:
2012: 27 accidents, 35 casualties
2013: 28 accidents, 28 casualties
2014: 32 accidents, 33 casualties
2015: 22 accidents, 22 casualties