A HUNDRED YEARS OF CARNAGE

This article argues that the steady reduction of road accident fatality rates in the UK does not necessarily mean that British roads are becoming safer. The annual number of UK car accidents and slight injuries in these accidents is still increasing. This paradox is not easy to explain. There has been no significant change in vehicle speeds during recent years. Part of the explanation may be the lower proportion of teenagers, a high-risk group, in the British population. Changes in medical treatment and National Health Service cuts may lead to a lower proportion of injuries than previously being classified as 'serious'. Transport researcher M Hillman argues that the accident statistics reflect a change in people's attitudes rather than an improvement in road safety. For example, parents are increasingly unlikely to let children go out on their own, because traffic is perceived as so dangerous. Statistics show that more children are driven to school. Hillman considers that the best way to make roads safer for pedestrians is to reduce traffic speeds. In 1992, the Department of Transport (DoT) launched its "Speed Kills" publicity campaign. One reason why roads are much safer for pedestrians in residential areas in the Netherlands is the more extensive use of traffic calming there.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    NEW SCIENCE PUBLICATIONS

    KING'S REACH TOWER, STAMFORD STREET
    LONDON,   United Kingdom  SE1 9LS
  • Authors:
    • HAMER, M
  • Publication Date: 1996-8-10

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Pagination: p. 14-5
  • Serial:
    • NEW SCIENTIST
    • Volume: 151
    • Issue Number: 2042
    • Publisher: REED BUSINESS INFORMATION LTD
    • ISSN: 0262-4079

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00729841
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 26 1996 12:00AM