Tag Archives: road safety

New campaign aims to reduce danger to pedestrians and cyclists from trucks

5 Feb

See Me Save Me is a new campaign to make HGVs safer and reduce the shocking levels of injury inflicted by them on vulnerable road users, particularly on cyclists but also pedestrians. The campaign is pressing for better design of trucks, improved on-vehicle safety technology and better design of junctions.

Only 5% of vehicles on the road in the UK are HGVs but they are involved in about 50% of cyclist deaths. The number of cyclists killed on UK roads has risen in each of the past three years

See Me Save Me

20 mph proposals in Edinburgh and road safety

13 Nov

Edinburgh is proposing a significant increase in the number of streets covered by 20mph. This is being promoted as a way to encourage waking and cycling and to improve road safety. It has been reported that they also support the scheme because ‘lower speeds make people feel safer when they are walking and cycling and make streets better places to live’. I am very supportive of 20mph zones, I live in one myself, and they do indeed help make streets feel less intimidating. However.. it is also very clear that 30 mph speed limits are being retained on the roads where most people are getting injured.

Here are three maps to show the compromises being taken between road safety and ‘keeping traffic moving’. The first map shows the proposed streets to be 20 mph (green and yellow) and 30 mph (blue). The second map shows where people have been injured between 2000 and 2010 by mode (blue for pedestrian, red for cyclists, tan/green for vehicle occupant). The final map shows these two superimposed illustrating that very few crashes from the past 10 years have actually occurred on the roads included on the scheme. (Click on maps for full size versions)

Existing 20 mph zones (green) and proposed schemes (yellow)

Location of traffic casualties by mode in Edinburgh 2000-2010

Overlay, traffic casualties 2000-2010 on top of proposed speed limits

One realistic approach for now might be to welcome the introduction of these 20 mph limits in residential areas and also to also press for average speed camera checks on the remaining arterial roads enforcing the 30 mph limit as they have just installed in part of Plymouth.

Rembering the dead on London’s roads

12 Nov

Thank you to the hundreds of cyclists who took part in the Tour du danger today to highlight a number of London’s most dangerous junctions and put pressure on the Mayor and on TfL to do some serious work on them.

Here are some maps showing where people are have been getting killed and injured in recent years. The first one shows deaths and injuries from traffic crashes between 2000 and 2010, the second for 2010 only and the next one for 2009 and the final one for 2000. Areas of blue indicate were pedestrians are getting injured and killed, red shows the high risk areas for cyclists. Purple is for motorcyclists and tan/green for vehicle occupants. Click on the images to see them full size.

Road casualties in Central London 2000-2010

Road casualties in Central London 2010

Road casualties in Central London 2009

Road Casualties in Central London 2000

These maps appear to show that fatalities amongst vehicle occupants has fallen from 17 in 2000 to one in 2009 and then zero in 2010. For cyclists the trend is apparently going the other way (up from four in 2000 to eight in 2009 and also in 2010). Motorcyclist fatalities are up from 0 in 2000 to 6 in 2010, pedestrians falling significantly. Do however be aware that this map only shows one fatality blob for crashes with multiple fatalities (which may include multiple modes). I will do some more work on this in the coming week and the figures may then need to be adjusted upwards.

Based on Stats19 road casualty data. See ‘Reported Road Casualties Great Britain‘ for more details.

Where do people die on urban roads?

30 Sep

Caroline Russell from Islington Living Streets left a comment on my last post highlighting the fact that people get killed and seriously injured on artery roads, not on the residential roads where 20 mph speed limits are to be promoted by the government. Personally I think 20 mph limit area for residential roads are great and reduce the level of intimidation or pedestrians, I live in one. I am however also aware that people do indeed get killed and seriously injured on the arterial roads. Here is a map showing all killed and seriously injured in the period 2000-2008 inclusive for part of Islington/Hackney showing that injuries and deaths do indeed occur on arterial roads.

Killed and Seriously injured – Islington and Hackney. 2000-2008

Here is a map for a larger area – notice how the arterial road network is visible even at this scale solely from the location of traffic casualties. click to open the image at full resolution.

Killed and Seriously injured – North London. 2000-2008

And here is one for most of north London. Again the arterial road network can be identified very easily. Click to open the image at full resolution.

Killed and seriously injured – Greater London. 2000-2008

Mapping using Stats19 police data for casualties, OpenStreetMap for the rail and rail networks and OS Boundary-Line for boundaries. Maps created using ITO Map (pre-release version). All maps cc-by-sa 3.0.

Making urban roads safer for pedestrians

29 Sep

Philip Hammond has explained today that he wants us to drive faster on motorways in order to create a ‘healthy economy‘, ‘generate hundreds of millions of pounds of economic benefit‘ and ‘put Britain back in the fast lane of global economies‘. This proposal was evidently resisted by the Health Secretary and the Energy Secretary for obvious reasons and the RAC Foundation estimates that driving 10 mph faster increases fuel use and CO2 emissions by more than 20%; the AA have reported that we are actually driving more slowly now in response to increased fuel costs. Hammond says it won’t increase road casualties – others disagree. I think this whole proposal is rather unhelpful and may well back-fire on the government. However…

My main interest here is on the needs of the pedestrian and Philip Hammond also promised a big expansion of 20 mph speed limit zones in urban areas where nearly all of the 403 pedestrian road fatalities, 5,000 serious injuries and 20,000 slight pedestrian injuries occurred during 2010; 42% of all road fatalities also occurred in urban areas. We need to continually remind people of the scale of the road safety problem in our country and press for these 20 mph limits in residential areas which have proved to be very effective.

Here are a couple of maps showing the scale of our road safety problem. The first map shows the locations of all pedestrian deaths (red dots), serious injuries (purple dots) and slight injuries (blue dots) on GB roads between 2000 and 2008; other road deaths and serious injuries are shown using lighter grey dots. The boundaries are parliamentary constituencies. Click on the map to enlarge.

GB pedestrian casualties 2000-2008

This second map shows all road fatalities (red), serious injuries (purple) and slight injuries (blue) for 2008 when 2,500 people died and 26,000 were seriously injured.

GB road casualties 2008

Since 2005 the United Nations has supported the inspiring World Remembrance Day for Road Traffic Victims which is an opportunity to reflect and remember those killed on our roads. It takes place this year on 20th November with services across the UK and all round the world. Why not ensure that a suitable remembrance service is held near where you live this year?

Mapping uses Stats19 police data and Ordnance Survey Boundary-Line data. Mapping created using ITO Map (pre-release version). Both maps available cc-by-sa 3.0.

Rural speed limits in the UK and Holland

6 Sep

Following a discussion this blog in response to my recent ‘Safe’ routes to school – no pavements and unlit at 60 mph? blog post, here are examples of rural speed limits in Holland in the the UK. Notice that many Dutch rural roads have 50 mph speed limits (purple) and 40 mph (red) rather than 60 mph (light blue) or dark blue (70 mph). Across the North Sea on the east coast of England all rural roads are 60 mph, no 50 mph speed limits at all and very few 40mph limits. The speed data is from OpenStreetMap and has been visualised by ITO Map. The speed data is not yet complete If you are able to help please then please add information to OpenStreetMap for your area and places that you visit.

Speed limits holland (click for slippy map view)

Speed limits Tendering District, UK (click for slippy map view)

This final image shows pedestrian road casualties for Tendering District since 1986. Large blobs are deaths, small ones are serious injuries. Red for pedestrian, blue for driver, green for passenger. Most pedestrian casualties are in the towns, which is likely to be for two reasons – firstly that most pedestrians movements naturally take place in towns and secondly because pedestrians avoid rural roads knowing that they are unsafe. Casualty data from Stats19 police data. Do remember that road deaths have fallen massively since 1985 when some 5,500 people were killed in GB compared to 1,857 last year.

Road casualties – Tendering district