Alarm over huge rise in road deaths

'Extremely concerned' ' Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick
'Extremely concerned' ' Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick

Road safety experts have expressed alarm after the number of people killed in collisions on the district’s highways more than doubled compared with the previous year.

Latest figures from the county council’s road safety analysts show the number of people killed in collisions in the Harrogate district was 12, up 140 per cent from five deaths in 2012, while county-wide 51 people were killed in 2013 – the highest death toll in seven years.

“These are very alarming and worrying statistics,” said county Coun Gareth Dadd, executive member for road safety.

“Even allowing for the fact that the county total for 2012 was an all-time low, there are still far too many people dying unnecessarily on our roads.”

The latest statistics are contained in the 2013 analysis of road casualties produced by the county council’s road safety team. They show across the county the number of motorcyclists killed in road collisions more than trebled – from five in 2012 to 16 in 2013.

But they also showed the total number of road casualties in the Harrogate district had fallen slightly, from 650 in 2012 to 645 in 2013.

Fatalities on roads around Ripon in 2013 included the death of PC Andrew Bramma, the police officer killed while responding to a 999 call when his van collided with a tree in West Tanfield on January 5.

They also included a male motorcyclist from Lancashire killed in a crash near Studley Roger on August 3, a 44-year-old male motorcyclist from Ripon on the A61 near Quarry Moor on September 18, and a 41-year-old man from Ripon cycling on the B6265 between Ripon and Boroughbridge at Bridge Hewick on September 20.

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick, of North Yorkshire Police, said: “I am extremely concerned about this rise in the number of people being killed and seriously injured on the county’s roads.

“By raising awareness about this serious issue, we want all road users to play a key role in helping our efforts. We are urging drivers, motorcyclists and people riding pedal cycles not only to pay attention to their own behaviour but also to make themselves alert to other people using the roads.”