More people are being killed or seriously injured in road accidents in South Tyneside
The number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents in South Tyneside has almost doubled, despite a drop in overall casualties.
Department for Transport (DfT) data shows five people were killed and 52 people seriously injured on South Tyneside’s roads in 2017.
In six of those accidents children were taken to hospital.
The overall figure for people killed or seriously injured has increased from 32, the yearly average from 2010 to 2014, to 57 last year.
This is despite the number of road casualties in South Tyneside, which includes minor injuries, decreasing by 24% over that time, to 280.
The data includes any injury sustained with a vehicle on the road - including bicycle accidents.
Broadly, the number of injuries on the road has been decreasing across England as car technology improves.
However, while there are fewer accidents, there are more severe injuries.
The number of people killed or seriously injured in accidents increased by 12% over the time period.
RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “This new data makes for sobering reading.
“There has now been no substantial reduction in fatalities since 2010, with the numbers killed on the roads remaining stubbornly high.
“It also remains the case that casualties among some vulnerable road user groups - specifically pedestrians and motorcyclists - are rising, which is a concern.”
In South Tyneside, four pedestrians were killed.
Of those seriously injured, 13 were pedestrians, nine were cyclists and 11 were riding motorbikes.
Mr Williams continued: “Speed limit compliance also remains a real problem, with more than half of vehicles recorded speeding on 30mph roads and nearly one in five drivers travelling at 30mph or more in a 20mph zone.
“With traffic levels rising, and people’s dependency on the car also increasing, a shift in focus is needed at both national and local levels to begin to tackle the problem.
“On a day-to-day basis, it is every driver’s responsibility to ensure they are driving safely by not breaking speed limits and reducing distractions in their vehicles so their attention remains firmly on the road.”
South Tyneside’s casualty rate is below the North East’s average.
The road safety charity Brake called on the Government to lower speed limits.
A spokesman said: “Our most vulnerable road users, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists, remain at dangerously high risk on our roads, paying the price for the dominance of the car in our lives.
“The Government must invest in active travel to give people safe and healthy ways to get around and focus on improving the safety of our roads – starting with lower speed limits.”