London Assembly member Caroline Russell (pictured) has released a new report, Hit and Run: The Escalating Crisis on London Roads, outlining the statistics that show an alarming increase in hit-and-run collisions.
There were an unacceptable 7,708 hit-and-run collisions recorded in London in 2021, meaning an average of more than 21 a day. This represented a more than doubling compared to figures from 2009, and a 14 percent increase since 2017. 773 of the hit-and-run collisions in 2021 resulted in a serious injury or fatality. In the report, Caroline Russell said “it should be neither inevitable nor acceptable that so many people are killed and seriously injured on London’s roads by people who fail to stop.”
Caroline also addressed the attitudes of drivers who commit these grave offences, saying: “Not stopping after a collision seems to be almost normalised and the people that do it appear not to care about their victims or to fear any legal consequences.” More needs to be done, both in London and at the national level, to ensure would be hit and run offenders are effectively deterred.
RoadPeace West Midlands has been campaigning alongside Action Vision Zero for changes to how hit-and-run collisions are treated. You can read more about that here.
Whilst the report contains several tables breaking the data down by year, mode of travel, and borough, there are several gaps in the figures. The report goes on to explain that the response to the requests made by Caroline Russell and her colleagues each year varied significantly, potentially due to changes in the way data is recorded. This inconsistency makes it difficult to track trends and create targeted solutions. “If data recording systems or practices are changing regularly, it becomes difficult to track progress made in reducing the number of hit and runs on our roads, and any impact of the Mayor’s Police and Crime Plan,” the report explains.
There are 4 recommendations made from this investigation, intending to improve the data collection on this very serious issue, allowing for a more targeted and measurable response :
- The Mayor should introduce a hit-and-run action plan and set a target to reduce hit-and-run collisions as part of his Vision Zero strategy
- The MPS and TfL must improve both the quality of the data they capture on hit-and-run collisions in London, and the way that data is stored, analysed, and shared with the public in future.
- The MPS and MOPAC should respond to written questions in the agreed time frame and to a consistent standard.
- The MPS and TfL should address all data inconsistencies and provide a validated set of data showing the number of hit-and-run collisions each year since 2010, recording victim mode of travel, severity of injury and mode of travel of person failing to stop, so that trends can be accurately tracked. They should also analyse changes in hit and run since 2010 and report their findings and proposed action to Londoners.
RoadPeace fully supports these recommendations and wants to see them implemented swiftly.
Updated on: 19 January 2024