Latest road safety statistics reveal a 35 per cent increase in pedestrian fatalities last year. Transport Scotland’s ‘Key Reported Road Casualties Scotland 2019’ report, published today (30 July 2020), gives provisional statistics of reported injuries and shows pedestrian deaths rose from 34 in 2018 to 46 in 2019.

It comes after the Prime Minister announced a consultation into the Highway Code to make it safer for people walking and cycling this week (27 July 2020).

A key feature of the proposals is the idea of a ‘hierarchy of responsibility’, with road users who cause the greatest harm having a greater responsibility to reduce the threat they pose to others; along with proposed changes at crossings and junctions and additional narrative on the dangers of speeding.

20mph limits

Stuart Hay, Director of Living Streets Scotland, part of the UK charity for everyday walking comments:

“It is deeply concerning to see any rise in pedestrian deaths, especially at this level. We urge the Scottish Government to investigate the spike in casualties.

“The majority of these incidents occurred in urban areas, highlighting the need to bring speeds and traffic levels down. The changes proposed to the Highway Code this week, along with a mandatory 20mph limit, are vital if we’re to keep people safe on our streets.

“The Highway Code currently treats all road users – from children walking to lorry drivers – as if they are equally responsible for their own or other people’s safety. However, people walking cause the least road danger but are often left paying the price – as these figures show.

“Whether we choose to drive or cycle, we are all pedestrians at some point. These proposed revisions will benefit all of us and I urge people to respond to the Highway Code consultation so that this may be the last year we see increases like this.”

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