London’s reported road death low welcomed

21 fewer people were reported killed in London crashes in 2018, compared to 2017. This is welcome news and a promising start for London’s Vision Zero programme, which aims to eliminate all reported road death and serious injury by 2041.

Life savings included

  • 20 fewer people killed whilst walking, down from 73 (2017) to 53 (2018)
  • 9 fewer people killed whilst riding a motorcycle, down from 31 (2017) to 22 (2018)

But two more people were killed whilst cycling (10 to 12) and the number of people killed in collisions with buses rose also by two (8 to 10).  Whilst these may be very low numbers, and not represent a statistically significant increase to policy makers, at RoadPeace we know that these deaths will all have had significant and devastating consequences for the families and friends of the victims.

What about reported serious injuries?

And London’s Vision Zero action plan is aiming to eliminate all reported serious injuries, not just road deaths. TfL has reported an increase in reported serious injuries, partially due to the new collision reporting system. We cannot forget that even more people seriously injured choose not to report to the police.

Reported road deaths only

And the true toll could be higher. We need to remember these are reported road deaths and are thus limited to those deaths which occur within 30 days of the crash (DfT’s STATS 19 definition as well as the standard international definition). In a response to a question posed by Sian Berry, London Assembly member,  the Mayor reported that the MPS Serious Collision Investigation Unit attended 153 fatal collisions in 2017, and investigated 149 of them—some 18 more than the 131 reported for the year. Some may be due to natural causes, but others will have occurred beyond 30 days. RoadPeace is calling for all road deaths to be recorded, including those occurring after 30 days.

If this reduction in road deaths could be repeated across the country, over 280 road deaths would be avoided with a reported road death toll close to 1500, instead of the almost 1800 (1793) reported killed in 2017.