Road safety campaign launched amid concern over mounting number of pedestrian deaths and injuries (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Road safety campaign launched amid concern over mounting number of pedestrian deaths and injuries
THE number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured on County Durham’s roads has reached an eight year high, figures show.
There were 62 pedestrians killed or seriously injured in 2012, the highest since 2005’s figure of 90.
While substantial improvements have been made in reducing casualties on the region’s roads since the early 2000s, accidents among some categories of road users have risen in recent years.
Across the North-East the number of adult pedestrian casualties was up 12 per cent last year prompting a new campaign called Check Out Before You Step Out, which is being launched by the group Road Safety GB.
The campaign will use social media to urge both pedestrians and drivers to take more care, particularly when they are out on dark winter nights.
Alan Kennedy, road safety manager at Durham County Council and chairman of road safety GB, said: “Every year we see pedestrians needlessly injured and tragically killed on our roads and this could be avoided with just a bit more care.
“Young adults, particularly those that are drinking, are most at risk, so we’re urging them to look after themselves and to keep their friends and family safe too.
“Drivers must also pay particular attention to pedestrians.
“Our message is to stay alert and stay alive.”
In County Durham 27 people in total – including pedestrians, car users, cyclists and motorbikers – were killed on the roads last year, up from 18 in 2011 and the highest since 2007’s figure of 29.
Elsewhere, in Cleveland the number of pedestrians killed or seriously injured also increased from 41 in 2011 to 56 last year. This accounted partly for a rise in the number of people killed and seriously injured from 156 in 2011 to 175. This included 12 fatalities.
In North Yorkshire the number of people killed or seriously injured rose slightly last year to 524. However the number of fatalities – 35 – was the lowest number in the past eight years of recorded statistics.
Pedestrian casualties were up again, however, increasing from 47 in 2011 to 69 in 2012.
Matthew Snedker, a Darlington-based co-ordinator with the campaign group 20’s Plenty, said the most cost effective way to cut road deaths was to reduce the traffic where people live to 20mph.
He said: “There is a clear need for a lower urban speed limit, more consistent enforcement of speed limits and better legal protection for vulnerable road users.”
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