More than 200 people were killed or injured on Leicestershire’s roads last year

editorial image

More than 200 people - including 14 children - were killed or seriously injured in road accidents in Leicestershire last year, figures show.

Department for Transport data shows 19 people were killed and 193 people seriously injured on Leicestershire’s roads in 2017 - a total of 212.

In 14 of those accidents children were taken to hospital.

Despite the large tally, the number was a decrease on the average of 221 people killed and seriously injured between 2010-2014.

The DfT uses the yearly average to measure change over time.

The number of road casualties in Leicestershire, which includes minor injuries, has decreased by 39% over that time, to 1,193 incidents.

The data includes any injury sustained with a vehicle on the road. The injuries do not have to involve cars.

It could be a bike colliding with a pedestrian, or someone falling over while cycling.

When patients are taken to hospital it is classified as a serious injury.

Broadly, the number of injuries on the road has been decreasing across England as car technology improves.

However, while there are fewer accidents, there are more severe injuries.

The number of people killed or seriously injured in accidents increased by 12% over the time period.

RAC road safety spokesman, Pete Williams, said: “This new data makes for sobering reading – there has now been no substantial reduction in fatalities since 2010, with the numbers killed on the roads remaining stubbornly high.

“It also remains the case that casualties among some vulnerable road user groups, specifically pedestrians and motorcyclists, are rising, which is a concern.”

In Leicestershire, four pedestrians were killed and two cyclists. Of those seriously injured, 32 were pedestrians, 27 were cyclists and 37 were riding motorbikes.

Mr Williams continued: “Speed limit compliance also remains a real problem, with more than half of vehicles recorded speeding on 30mph roads and nearly one in five drivers travelling at 30mph or more in a 20mph zone.

“With traffic levels rising, and people’s dependency on the car also increasing, a shift in focus is needed at both national and local levels to begin to tackle the problem.

“On a day-to-day basis, it is every driver’s responsibility to ensure they are driving safely by not breaking speed limits and reducing distractions in their vehicles so their attention remains firmly on the road.”

Leicestershire’s casualty rate is below the East Midlands’s average.

It is also lower than the England casualty rate.

The road safety charity Brake called on the Government to lower speed limits.

A spokesman said: “Our most vulnerable road users, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, remain at dangerously high risk on our roads, paying the price for the dominance of the car in our lives.

“Pedestrian deaths increased to their highest level this decade whilst motorcyclists now account for nearly a fifth of all road deaths, despite their small numbers.

“The Government must invest in active travel to give people safe and healthy ways to get around and focus on improving the safety of our roads – starting with lower speed limits.”