Wales’ casualty stats ‘overshadowed’ by rise in motorcyclist KSIs

12.00 | 24 June 2015 | | 8 comments

Welsh road casualty stats for 2014 show a decrease in fatalities (-7%), an increase in the number seriously injured (+12%), and a 15% year on year increase in the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured (KSI).

During 2014 there were 5,876 road collisions involving personal injury recorded by the police in Wales, a fall of 0.3% compared to 2013.

These collisions resulted in 8,208 casualties, 127 fewer (-1.5%) than in 2013. 103 people were killed on Welsh roads in 2014, eight fewer than the previous year; 1,160 people were seriously injured in 2014, an increase of 127; and 6,945 people were slightly injured, a decrease of 246 (3%).

The Road Safety Framework for Wales, published in 2013, identifies motorcyclists as a high risk group, and set road safety professionals the challenging target of a 25% reduction in number of killed and seriously injured motorcyclists by 2020, compared with the 2004-08 baseline.

There were 282 motorcyclist KSIs in 2014 (246 in 2013) compared with an average of 257 KSIs in the period 2004-08. The 2014 figure represents a 10% increase over the baseline period.

Road Safety Wales has expressed concern that the “slight overall improvement in the casualty figures” has been “overshadowed” by the increase in the number of motorcyclists killed or seriously injured on Welsh roads.

Susan Storch, Chair of Road Safety Wales said: “Wales welcomes motorcyclists who are naturally drawn to the stunning scenery, winding roads, and motorcycle friendly businesses.  However, we are concerned about the number who do not make it safely home.

“Even the most experienced (motorcyclist) can pick up bad habits, which is why partners throughout Wales offer a range of initiatives, held over the course of the year, to assess, train and educate motorcyclists. 

“From free first aid courses to subsidised places on national schemes, much of this activity is made possible through funding from the Welsh Government, and is available to a whole range of motorcyclists from scooter riders to commuters and leisure riders.  Families can play their part by bringing these opportunities to the attention of their loved ones.”


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    From 06 April this year, the national speed limit for LGVs on rural roads in both England and Wales was raised from 40 to 50 mph. This change will need to be taken into account in future years’ data analysis.

    Honor Byford, Chair, Road Safety GB
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    There are typically 10 SI for every K, comparisons of % changes can be seriously misleading. For example, a 5% fall in K and in SI does not mean an improvement because a particular number of K last year become the same number of SI this year – an improvement – it means that a certain number of K last year became 10 times as many SI this year. Whether this is a good or bad change is subjective and dependent on the severities of the SI.

    Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield
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    One thing obvious from a recent 5 day holiday is that some areas have no or little motorways that take large juggernauts off the arterial road systems. Most arterial roads in Wales are busy with such commercial traffic.

    Not all are dual carriageway like the A55 but basically single carriageway. Large HGVs being restricted to 40 mph can, and to my mind do, slow other traffic down. Traffic that can travel faster and still be safe. One situation recently involved one HGV travelling at that speed being followed by 9 other vehicles all only about 30 ft apart. At that speed no vehicles, including motorcycles, should overtake as there is no safe in between space. As there was no chance of an overtake they should have spaced themselves at least 120 ft apart which is the recommended full stopping distance. That being the case should any following on vehicle wish to safely overtake they could have done so. In Scotland, which has similarities to Wales, they have long single carriageway roads with the occasional duel ones for overtakes to take place.

    The Welsh Authority should take a closer look at the roads that cause the most problems and look at causation then alter them accordingly. Otherwise devise some means by which a driver should know what the safe following on distances are.

    Bob Craven Lancs….Space is Safe Campaigner
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    Duncan makes a good point.

    My authority regularly uses a driving and riding simulator with young people in colleges. We tend to find that many new drivers and riders are excellent at spotting hazards (there is a school ahead with lots of parked cars outside it). But then they fail to make a plan to deal with the situation. They are surprised when a child runs across the road between parked cars towards the school, and blame the child for their resulting collision.

    So to answer Duncan’s rhetorical question: Anyone heeding the warnings and still coming to grief is a ffwl (as I believe the Welsh would say).

    Martin, Suffolk
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    What if they did heed the warnings and still come to grief?

    Duncan MacKillop. No surprise – No accident.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    The choice of photo above is quite relevant as it shows SLOW marking, double whie lines and although not visible a bend sign (I hope). It would make an interesting exercise to note the speed and behaviour of motorists around such a bend to see how much effect such warnings have on individual behaviour. If someone did not heed the warnings and came to grief around the bend, what more could the authorities be expected to have done?

    Hugh Jones, Cheshire
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    Having had the misfortune to be knocked off the bike in central London during my despatch years, and on both occasions hauled away in an ambulance, I too was a statistic adding to the serious injury list. But on both occasions I walked away from the hospital and rode the bike home. More to it than meets the eye – or calculator.

    Derek Reynolds, Salop.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    So should the headline really read, that motorcycle fatalities have decreased – being “reduced to serious injuries – which is a good step in reducing fataliies on Welsh roads – what “we” should be looking at is reducing those serious injuries to slight injuries and in return reducing slight injuries. That is if one wants to be positive and push in a positive way for casualty reductions?

    Trevor Baird
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

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