London road fatalities ‘lowest on record’

by Dave Hill

The number of people killed on London’s roads has fallen to its lowest level since records began, with an overall reduction of 45% covering users of all transport forms, including walking during 2016 compared with an average figure for 2005-2009.

Figures published in Transport for London’s latest annual Travel in London report, which compiles a mass of transport statistics from the preceding year, also show a 31% reduction in the combined total of those killed or seriously injured (KSI) for same period measured against the same baseline.

Overall road fatalities in 2016 decreased to 116, a drop of 20 from 2015, with pedestrian road deaths – by far the largest category – falling from 66 to 61, motorcyclist (and other powered two-wheel vehicles) deaths falling from 36 to 33, car occupant deaths from 20 to 10 and cyclist deaths from nine to eight.

However, there was an increase in the number of serious, non-fatal injuries recorded from 1,956 to 2,385 compared with 2015, partly reflecting a change in the definition of injuries recorded by the Metropolitan Police as “serious” rather than “slight” that was introduced in the final four months of 2016.

The number of “slightly” injured road casualties recorded for 2016 was 27,769, a 1% decrease from 2015. Total injuries of all severities in 2016 rose by 0.3% compared with the previous year.

The rise in recorded serious injuries compared with 2015 was primarily among pedestrians and riders of powered two-wheelers, with increases of 150 and 144 respectively (up from 664 to 814 and from 504 to 648), followed by car occupants, cyclists and bus or coach occupants. There were small rises in road deaths and  recorded injuries of all severities across all transport modes among children under the age of 16.

TfL has a road danger reduction strategy which focuses on five sources of road danger: travelling too fast; distractions; risky manoeuvres; driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and failing to obey road rules. The Mayor’s draft transport strategy sets out targets and policies for reducing road casualties to zero over the long term, which TfL, the police and London’s boroughs will adopt.

TfL’s latest Travel in London report (number 10) can be read in full via here. The section on road danger begins on page 148. Photograph of Vauxhall traffic by Max Curwen-Bingley.

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