[C]umbria Road Safety Partnership is warning people to be aware of their own safety near roads following a rise in incidents where people have been knocked down by cars and other vehicles, resulting in serious injury or even death.
In 2016, up until the end of November, (winter months only – Jan/Feb/March/Nov/Dec 2016) there has been 35 incidents of vehicles colliding with pedestrians which have resulted in death or serious injury.
This is more than double the 2015 total for the same time period (15 such incidents in 2015 and 17 in 2014)*.
Chief Inspector Andy Wilkinson of Cumbria Constabulary said: “We keep a regular track on such statistics along with partners at Cumbria Road Safety Partnership. This winter we are noticing an alarming increase in incidents where cars and other vehicles have collided with people.
“Each such incident is unique. We have seen incidents which have come in the aftermath of an initial collision where people have stepped out of their vehicle to check the damage to their own can only for another vehicle to collide with them. We’ve seen incidents where people have been walking at the side of a road which is very badly lit.
“There is some basic advice we hope people can take on board to make themselves and their family safer this winter – much of it you may recall from your school days but have since forgotten.
“Hopefully, by making more people aware of such issues, we can help ensure there are no further incidents this winter.”
Cumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner Peter McCall said: “This is a worrying increase, and I would like to add my own plea to pedestrians to take extra special care on the roads. By following this simple advice, collisions can be avoided and lives can be saved.”
- Make sure you are visible to motorists. If walking at night consider wearing items with reflective strips, or at least bright clothing
- Try to avoid walking in areas that are poorly lit
- Try to stick to pavements wherever possible and, particularly at night, avoid routes which give no option but to walk on the road. If there is no pavement, keep to the right-hand side of the road so that you can see oncoming traffic. You should take extra care and be prepared to walk in single file, especially on narrow roads or in poor light. You should also keep close to the side of the road.
- Avoid crossing the road close to a bend – particularly a sharp right bend – so traffic has a better chance of seeing you
- Always use a crossing to make your way across the road if that option is available to you.
*The recording of road traffic collisions has changed in 2016 so that some incidents which would previously have been recorded as a minor injury (for instance a scratch or bruise to the forehead) are now classed as serious injuries.
However, the total number of incidents where pedestrians have been seriously or slightly injured rose in 2016 to 109 from 98 in 2015 (note – the 2016 statistics do not include figures for December 2016).
The change to recording of KSI statistics (killed or seriously injured) is national, not limited to Cumbria.