Why is this National Indicator important?
Road Safety is an issue that affects everyone in Scotland. We all need to use the roads to get around - to school, to work, to the shops. Most of us use the roads every day as drivers, passengers, cyclists and pedestrians and for many people driving is the main part of their job. It is essential therefore to ensure that, as far as possible, we can all use the roads in safety. Road accidents in which people are killed or injured result in high social and economic costs including a devastating impact on families, human pain and suffering, damage to vehicles and property, loss of productivity, demands on the emergency services as well as medical and insurance costs.
What will influence this National Indicator?
Advances in engineering both in vehicle and roads technology will help towards reduction in fatalities. This must also be combined with positive road user behaviour which can be influenced through education and enforcement activities.
The areas of highest risk - including drink driving, seatbelts, speed and rural roads and the most vulnerable groups including drivers aged 17 to 25, motorcyclists and pedestrians need to be tackled.
Sharing intelligence and best practice has been identified as a key driver for success. The national Scottish targets are cross cutting, relying on partnership working for delivery. Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2020 contains 96 commitments which fall under the traditional road safety heading of engineering, enforcement and education plus encouragement for positive road safety behaviours and evaluation of what works to reduce road casualties.
Leadership is also key. As well as being a Ministerial priority, the police have identified casualty reduction as a very high priority for all Scottish forces and Road Safety forms a Statutory Responsibility for Local Authorities. The number of people killed and seriously injured on Scotland's roads are included in the Improvement Service menu of Local Outcome Indicators.
What is the Government's role?
The Scottish Government published Scotland's Road Safety Framework to 2020 (Go Safe on Scotland's Roads - it's Everyone's Responsibility) in June 2009. It sets out a high level strategy for road safety in Scotland and prioritises the riskiest activities on Scotland's roads and the most vulnerable groups. It also sets out Scotland's first ever national casualty reduction targets: to reduce deaths by 40% (50% for children under 16) and serious injuries by 55% (65% for children under 16) by 2020. The Scottish Government has also set milestone reductions for 2015. These are to reduce deaths by 30% (35% for under 16's) and serious injuries by 43% (50% for under 16's). The Framework vision states there will be "A steady reduction in the numbers of those killed and those seriously injured, with the ultimate vision of a future where no-one is killed on Scotland's roads, and the injury rate is much reduced."
How is Scotland performing?
There has been an overall reduction in the number of people killed on Scotland's roads. The latest figure of 186 in 2011 is a reduction of 22 or 11% compared with 208 in 2010, continuing the longer term downward trend.
Continued downward trends are also seen in the other road safety targets for Scotland (number of serious injuries and slight injuries and the number of children killed and seriously injured).
Note: Progress against the target for children killed is measured using a three year average.
The data for this chart is available at the bottom of the page
Source: Transport Scotland
What more do we know about this National Indicator?
Fatality numbers are highest among young adults with a quarter of fatalities on Scotland’s roads in 2010 aged 16-24. This compares to 16-24 years olds representing just over a tenth of the total population.
Around three quarters of fatalities happen on roads in rural areas. This is a result of the types of roads in rural areas which are more likely to have higher speed limits than roads in urban areas. Accidents on roads in urban areas are more likely to be at a lower speed and therefore less serious.
Around 7 out of 10 fatalities on Scotland’s roads are male.
The data is available at the bottom of the page.
Criteria for recent change
Any decrease in the number of people killed on Scotland's roads compared to the previous year's figure suggests that the position is improving; whereas any increase suggests the position is worsening. If there is no change then this will result in a performance maintaining arrow.
For information on general methodological approach, please click here.
Scotland Performs Technical Note
Who are our partners?
Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)
Related Strategic Objectives
Safer and Stronger