Ministers have welcomed the long-term trend of decreasing road casualties in Scotland – after new figures reveal the total number of casualties fell to a record low in 2017.
There were also sizeable year-on-year falls in the number of road deaths and serious injuries.
The Transport Scotland statistics, published on 24 October, highlight a 14% fall in total casualties between 2016 and 2017 – from 10,905 to 9,428.
The 2017 casualty figure is also 26% lower than 2012 (12,712) and 42% lower than 2007 (16,239).
The Transport Scotland figures also show there were 146 road deaths in 2017 – down by 24% from 191 in 2016. The number of people seriously injured also fell by 6% to 1,589.
Michael Matheson, cabinet secretary for transport, infrastructure and connectivity, said: “Casualties on Scotland’s roads are at the lowest levels since records began.
“While I and the Scottish Government’s road safety partners can welcome this long-term trend of decreasing road casualties since 2004 – this fact brings no comfort to the friends and relatives of people who have tragically died on Scotland’s roads.
“This point is felt particularly this year, when people across Scotland have had to come to terms with incidents which have shaken local communities and the nation as whole.”
Scotland has seen a 50% reduction in road deaths compared to 2004/08 baseline
The Transport Scotland statistics also provide an update on progress against Scotland’s road safety targets – as set out in the Scottish Road Safety Framework. Compared to the 2004-2008 baseline, in 2017 there was:
- A 50% reduction in fatalities (the ultimate 2020 target is a 40% reduction)
- A 39% reduction in serious injuries (the ultimate 2020 target is a 55% reduction)
- A reduction of 61% in the number of children killed over a three-year period (the ultimate 2020 target is a 50% reduction)
- A reduction of 53% in the number of children seriously injured (the ultimate 2020 target is a 65% reduction)
- A 51% reduction in the slight casualty rate (the ultimate 2020 target is a 10% reduction)
Michael Matheson added: “We are resolute in our determination to work towards the ultimate vision set out in the Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020, where no-one is killed on Scotland’s roads.
“We will ensure that effective educational resources are delivered across the country, targeting our most vulnerable road user groups. Additionally, we are also working to transform driver behaviour through safety camera programmes.”