Norfolk ranked third worst in country for accident figures resulting in deaths or serious injuries
A new report has highlighted Norfolk as one of the worst counties for reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on its roads in 2013.
Norfolk ranked as the third worst county in the latest figures released by the Institute of Advanced Motorists, with 352 people killed or seriously injured during 2012, increasing to 392 people in 2013.
But Iain Temperton, the team manager for casualty reduction at Norfolk County Council, said the figures were just a “short-term snapshot” and they were redoubling their efforts to reduce casualties.
He said: “If you take two years in isolation and compare them with one another you can draw all sorts of conclusions. We have a casualty graph which has been going down in Norfolk for several years but in recent times it has plateaued so we have stopped making progress. But we are renewing our efforts to regain the ground we have previously won.
“There are three areas that have been identified as the worst, but 10 years ago Norfolk, Lancashire and Kent were the best performers in the country, so you can see how things can change.
“Our early initiatives had a lot of success and we have been ahead of the game for a number of years but now other areas across the country are catching up and that is great.”
In 2002, 70 people died on Norfolk roads. This had fallen to 40 in 2013. So far this year there have been 27 deaths.
Mr Temperton said: “Every one of those casualties is one too many. Whether it is 40 or 400 we don’t want them to happen. But there is no pattern or trend to the incidents. These crashes are essentially random in nature and there is not a group of people, place or time of day that we can identify.
“We are working with our partners at Norfolk Constabulary, the fire and rescue service, and public health to do a lot more in the community and be more effective in the way we deliver our message.” The figures are based on reported casualties from the Department of Transport. A seriously injured person includes people who have been detained in hospital, suffered a fracture, concussion, burn or severe cut.
The worst reported area was Lancashire which saw 72 more accidents in 2013 with people killed or seriously injured, followed by Kent which saw 70 more.
Chris Brooks, roads policing inspector for Norfolk said: “We had a very bad winter in 2012/1013 and although people think collisions will go up, drivers tend to behave better because of the snow and ice.
“It lasted about three weeks and we had very few people killed or seriously injured during that time so the figures went down. But because we had a warm winter in 2013/2014 there was nothing to modify drivers’ behaviour and as it gets warmer motorcyclists come out.”
He added: “We are still bringing down the number of casualties year on year and it has a lot to do with car designs and road designs. Every car now has an airbag and seatbelts, whereas in 2002 not every car on the road would have had them.”
Suffolk was the fourth best county for improving the number of people killed or seriously injured on its roads in 2013. Its figures dropped by 71 from 362 in 2012 to 291 in 2013. So far this year there have been 23 deaths in Suffolk. Cambridgeshire has also seen an increase, going from 297 in 2012 to 305 in 2013.
Road traffic accident statistics
Killed and seriously injured 392 (352)
Killed 40 (39)
Seriously injured 352 (313)
Injured 1999 (2010)
Casualties (minor injuries) 2391 (2362)
Killed and seriously injured 291 (362)
Killed 25 (24)
Seriously injured 266 (338)
Injured 1923 (2143)
Casualties (minor injuries) 2214 (2505)
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