Numbers of people killed and seriously injured on our roads at seven-year high
- Credit: Archant
The number of people who were killed or seriously injured on Norfolk’s roads has increased by almost 180 in the last year, prompting police to warn drivers making longer journeys post-lockdown to concentrate while behind the wheel.
Figures from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that in 2019, 527 people were killed or seriously injured, 179 more than the previous year.
The figure was 418 in 2016 and an average of 448 between 2013 and 2016.
Last year saw fatal crashes at Swaffham, Old Hunstanton, Walsoken, Hockham, Thetford, Scarning and Repps with Bastwick.
In total, 36 people were killed on the county’s roads, while in 2018 the number was 28, and the average for the previous five years was 35.
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491 people were seriously injured in 2019, while the previous six years saw an annual average of 410.
This is despite the total number of road casualties in the county decreasing from an average of 2,434 for the previous six years to 2,266 last year.
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And the number of people who suffered slight injuries was 1,739 - the lowest in seven years.
Superintendent Matthew Rose, from the Roads and Armed Policing Team, said: “Reducing the number of collisions in the county is a priority for us and our road safety partners. We aim to keep the county’s roads as safe as possible through a combination of education and enforcement.
“We are seeing slight increases year on year and sadly, this is not unique to Norfolk but a trend reflected nationally with greater volumes of traffic using the road network.
“We support national and local campaigns throughout the year targeting the offences of speeding, drink or drug driving, not wearing a seatbelt and using a mobile phone whilst driving.
“These are known as the ‘fatal four’ offences which are the leading causes of serious collisions in the UK. We also work with partners to carry out ‘multi-agency action days’, where road safety and criminals using the roads are targeted.
“Clearly any fatality on the county’s roads is one tragedy too many.
“As people continue to enjoy greater freedoms after lockdown and travel further afield, I would urge all motorists to concentrate solely on their journey. Being fully aware of how you are driving and your surroundings will help to ensure you have a safe, incident free journey.”