New figures show that there were 9,391 casualties on Scotland’s roads in 2017 – the lowest number since records began in 1950.
Published by Transport Scotland, the statistics show year-on-year falls in the number of people killed, seriously injured and slightly injured.
Fatalities fell year-on-year by 24% to 146, while the number of people seriously injured fell by 7% to 1,580.
However, while Brake has described the figures as ‘encouraging progress’, it should be noted that in 2016 the number of road deaths in Scotland increased by 14% to 191 and the number of serious injuries by 6% to 1,693.
Therefore, compared to the 2015 figures, the number of deaths in 2017 fell by just over 1% and the number of serious injuries by less than 1%.
7,665 people were slightly injured on Scotland’s roads during 2017 – 15% fewer than in 2016.
Looking at road user type, 65 car users (drivers and passengers) were killed in 2017 – 41 fewer than in 2016.
There were also fewer motorcyclists (down by one to 29) and cyclists killed (down by three to five). However, the number of pedestrian fatalities rose by six to 38.
There was a total of 899 child casualties in 2017, a decrease of 10% from 2016. This includes two fatalities, 10 fewer than 2016, and 152 serious injuries – down from 167 in 2016.
The figures also provide an update on progress against Scotland’s road safety targets as set out in the Scottish Road Safety Framework.
The number of fatalities represents a 50% reduction on the 2004-2008 baseline; the 2020 target is a reduction of 40%. With regard to serious injuries the figure represents a reduction of 39% on the baseline; the 2020 target is a reduction of 55% by 2020.
The average of six children killed over the last three years represents a reduction of 61% against the 2020 target of 50%.
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for the road safety charity Brake, said: “Any reduction in casualties is to be welcomed, however, tragically 33 people are still killed or seriously injured on Scottish roads every week, so our work is far from done.
“We urge the Government to build on this momentum and implement policies which will trigger the next step-change in road safety.
“We need safer speeds in towns and rural areas, graduated driver licensing to protect novice drivers and we need far greater investment in cycling and walking infrastructure.”