LAST week, there was an announcement from the Department for Transport that had little coverage in the media. It was that the number of people killed on the roads in Great Britain fell by 14 per cent from 2,946 in 2007 to 2,538 in 2008. This is a spectacular and welcome reduction.
The Government’s target of reducing road casualties by 40 per cent overall and by 50 per cent for children by 2010 has now been met and surpassed.
There are many reasons for this. A small part of the recent casualty reduction is due to the recession and high fuel prices with fewer vehicles on the road. But the major contributors are safer cars and roads, safety cameras, better driving, the government’s ‘Think’ advertising campaign, dedicated cycle routes and the efforts of local road safety campaigners. Well done to them all!
But there is no room for complacency as the two recent very sad deaths involving an elderly lady in Shirley and a boy cyclist in Olton show.
I hope those currently opposing the cycle routes in Knowle will closely examine their motives. Are they focusing heavily on safety of children or the speedier progress of their 4 x 4s ?
* (David Jamieson is a former Road Safety Minister and is a trustee of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, who live in Olton)