2011 ‘Lowest year ever’ for road deaths

Last year saw the lowest ever fatality rate on north east roads since the formation of Grampian Police in 1975, according to statistics released last week.

Figures showed there had been a total of 21 fatal collisions in 2011, which had resulted in the deaths of 22 motorists, passengers and pedestrians. Compared with the previous year, the statistics reveal a 36% reduction in the number of fatal collisions, a 41% reduction in the number of fatalities and a 25% reduction in the number of young people killed.

Aberdeenshire has achieved the largest reduction between the two five year periods. Aberdeen City has reduced by 17%, Moray has fallen by 38%, while Aberdeenshire is down by 42%. Pedestrians are the only group of road users showing no reduction in casualties.

The five-year annual average for 2002-06 was 46 fatal crashes, resulting in 52 fatalities. Of those fatalities, 17 were young people aged 17-25, however, the five-year annual average for 2007-11 was 29 fatal crashes, resulting in 32 deaths. Of those fatalities, 10 were aged 17-25.

Overall, there has been a 37% reduction in fatal crashes and a 38% reduction in fatalities between the two five-year periods. There has also been a 41% reduction in the number of young people aged 17-25 being killed.

Chief Inspector Ian Wallace of the Road Policing Department welcomed the figures and pledged to continue driving home the road safety message.

“This is a very welcome reduction”, he said. “However it is still somewhat bittersweet, given that over 20 people lost their lives on local roads last year.

“The reduction is doubtless due to a variety of reasons, however from the Road Safety Grampian perspective, all we can do is to continue with our ongoing approaches and interventions, in targeting our activities on the appropriate routes and on those road users who are identified as the most vulnerable.

“In many cases, collisions could have been avoided by road users taking greater responsibility for their own actions and we hope that we can positively influence that culture through our work.”