Annual road casualty figures published by Transport Scotland show that while overall road deaths in Scotland fell by 6% in 2012, there was an increase in pedestrian and cyclist casualties.
The 2012 figures, which show that 174 people were killed on Scotland’s roads, continue the trend of substantial reductions in recent years; road deaths in Scotland have now fallen by 43% over the last decade.
However, the number of pedestrians killed in 2012 rose to 57 (up 33%) and the number of cyclist casualties rose to 901 (up 9%). Nine cyclists were killed, two more than in 2011, and serious injuries also rose to 167, an increase of 7%.
RoSPA described the cyclist and pedestrian casualty increases as ‘alarming’ and has called for measures to address the situation.
Between 2002 and 2012 the number of fatal accidents fell by 42% to 160; the number of people killed fell by 43% to 174; fatal and serious accidents fell by 36% to 1,890; pedestrian casualties fell by 41% to 1,969; and motorcycle casualties fell by 26% to 865.
While pedal cycle casualties have increased in the same period by 9%, cycle traffic has also increased by 24% in this time.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “The good news of a continuing drop in road deaths in Scotland is marred by the increase in pedestrian and cyclist deaths and casualties.
“We need to redouble our efforts to make sure that pedestrians and cyclists do not pay the price of more walking and cycling, especially as the improving economy results in more road traffic.
“It is vital to create a safe and attractive environment for pedestrians and cyclists, including more 20mph schemes, safe and attractive pavements and footways, well designed, convenient safe crossing places, coherent safe cycling networks, including cycle lanes and tracks, linking quieter streets, and developing off-road routes where possible.
“We also need to hammer home the message to drivers to keep their speed down, watch out for pedestrians and cyclists and give them enough room on the road.”