Cycling

Title: Improving road safety for pedestrians and cyclists in Great Britain

Organisation: Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee
Date uploaded: 23rd September 2010
Date published/launched: October 2009

This report concludes it is unacceptable that, when compared internationally, Great Britain's record on pedestrian and, particularly, child pedestrian deaths per head of population is some way behind the best.

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Great Britain is one of the safest countries in the world in terms of road deaths and the Department for Transport (DfT) is on track to achieve its overall road safety targets for 2010.

It is unacceptable though that, when compared internationally, Great Britain's record on pedestrian and, particularly, child pedestrian deaths per head of population is some way behind the best.

There is nothing worse than a child's death and we welcome the DfT's commitment to making it a priority to improve performance, but its approach must be one of zero tolerance for child deaths.

More generally, pedestrians and pedal cyclists (cyclists) are among the most vulnerable road users. They have little or no physical protection and have a higher rate of fatality per distance travelled than for any other mode of transport except for motorcyclists. In 2007, over 30,000 pedestrians and 16,000 cyclists were injured, with 646 pedestrians and 136 cyclists killed.

There is a perception that the anti-social behaviour of some cyclists increases their risks and makes other road users feel unsafe.

There appears to be some misunderstanding among the public and some police as to the laws which apply to cyclists, for example, on cycling on the pavement.

Deaths and serious injuries among cyclists have fallen overall since the mid 1990s, but they have risen by 11% since 2004 despite little change in the amount of cycling.

The DfT uses data collected by the police to measure its performance on road safety but research suggests that serious injuries are under-recorded. To clarify this, the Department is taking steps to match hospital data with the police data.

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