One person injured every day on our roads

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ALMOST one person a day was injured on roads in South Tyneside last year despite new figures revealing accidents have been slashed by more than a quarter in the past year.

A report by the Department of Transport show 300 people were hurt on the borough’s roads during 2013 – a reduction of 32 per cent compared to the previous year.

Of those 23 suffered a serious injury. There were no deaths as a result of a road accident.

South Tyneside Council’s lead member for area management and community safety, Coun Tracey Dixon, said: “Keeping people safe on the roads is a key priority for the council and we have worked tirelessly to this end.

“We have carried out a range of schemes including traffic calming, improved cycle routes and invested in Safer Routes to School.

“We also have a team of road safety advisers who visit schools to educate pupils about the dangers of roads, and work with schools to promote safe cycling.

“I’m pleased to see the number of road accidents falling, but even one accident is too many.

“We will continue to work to reduce road accidents still further.”

Meanwhile, across the country, the number of road death dropped by two per cent compared to 2012 – the lowest figure since records began in 1926.

“However, the number of pedal cyclists killed in accidents on the road increased by eight per cent nationally.

Director of policy of research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) Neil Greig said: “We welcome the overall decrease in road deaths although the long-term trends show improvements are slowing down.

“Driver error was once again the top cause of crashes and the IAM believe that its courses can help reduce this figure.

“But we need the partnership of the insurance industry and the Government to help us deliver better drivers and riders.”

Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for Brake, the road safety charity: “It is encouraging to see road casualties falling in the North East.

“However, across the UK, they are not falling nearly fast enough.

“Since 2010, progress has stalled dramatically.

“At this rate, it will be many more decades before we reach the only acceptable number of casualties on our roads, and that number is zero.

“The Government needs to take far more proactive action to drive casualties down faster, including a zero-tolerance drink drive limit, a 20mph default urban speed limit, and graduated driver licensing to tackle crashes involving young driver.”

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