Concern over soaring death toll on North Yorkshire's roads

Concern over soaring death toll on North Yorkshire's roads

Concern over soaring death toll on North Yorkshire's roads

First published in News
Last updated

THE number of people killed on North Yorkshire's roads has soared to its highest level in seven years.

Fifty-one peopled died last year, up by 60 per cent on 2012 - with the upsurge partly due to a massive increase in the number of motorcycle fatalities, which more than trebled from five in 2012 to 16 last year.

The number of pedal cyclists killed or injured also rose, causing police particular concern with large numbers of cyclists expected to ride the Tour De France route before and after the Grand Départ in North Yorkshire in July.

The figures, compiled by North Yorkshire County Council’s road safety analysts, were described as 'very alarming and worrying' by Cllr Gareth Dadd, executive member for road safety.

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

"These figures underline the vital importance of all road users being constantly aware of their surroundings, of their speed, of their driving or riding behaviour, of the presence of others.”

Deputy Chief Constable Tim Madgwick of North Yorkshire Police said he was extremely concerned by an increase both in deaths and serious injuries.

"We are urging drivers, motorcyclists and people riding pedal cycles to not only to pay attention to their own behaviour, but also make themselves alert to other people using the roads,"he said.

"The upcoming Grand Depart of the Tour De France will be a spectacular event for the Yorkshire area and we want everybody to have a lasting impression, particularly the expected influx of keen cyclists who will ride the routes before and after the race.

“To keep safe, we strongly encourage cyclists to make themselves fully familiar with the routes and to take every precaution before setting off on a ride.”

A report to councillors says there is a gradual but established upward trend in pedal cyclist casualties, which may simply reflect the rising popularity of cycling, and with it a proportionate increase in cyclists being hurt.

"Whatever the reasons, measures to address cyclists’ safety and drivers’ awareness are being taken in the county and regionally both in the run-up to the Tour de France and beyond.”

Comments (12)

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11:31am Wed 23 Apr 14

ian923 says...

Hardly any Traffic officers left hence little or no prescence on major roads let alone minor ones. When did you last see a proper large patrol car on any road?
Hardly any Traffic officers left hence little or no prescence on major roads let alone minor ones. When did you last see a proper large patrol car on any road? ian923
  • Score: 18

11:57am Wed 23 Apr 14

BL2 says...

Try fixing the roads! Road user education is essential too - far to many people on all forms of transport who are either incapable of safe driving / riding or incompetent!
Try fixing the roads! Road user education is essential too - far to many people on all forms of transport who are either incapable of safe driving / riding or incompetent! BL2
  • Score: 15

12:00pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Tom6187 says...

ian923 wrote:
Hardly any Traffic officers left hence little or no prescence on major roads let alone minor ones. When did you last see a proper large patrol car on any road?
There's no deterrent apart from the mobile speed vans, but they tell everyone where they will be and they rarely mix up the locations. Wherever you go people are driving way too fast because they know that they can.

Then you also get the 40mph drivers who do 40mph no matter what the limit is, and this just causes other people to try and get past them, which can create flashpoints.

Driving too fast is dangerous and driving too slow is dangerous, why can't people just drive normally?
[quote][p][bold]ian923[/bold] wrote: Hardly any Traffic officers left hence little or no prescence on major roads let alone minor ones. When did you last see a proper large patrol car on any road?[/p][/quote]There's no deterrent apart from the mobile speed vans, but they tell everyone where they will be and they rarely mix up the locations. Wherever you go people are driving way too fast because they know that they can. Then you also get the 40mph drivers who do 40mph no matter what the limit is, and this just causes other people to try and get past them, which can create flashpoints. Driving too fast is dangerous and driving too slow is dangerous, why can't people just drive normally? Tom6187
  • Score: 16

12:49pm Wed 23 Apr 14

CommonSense!! says...

A brilliant example of how ineffective the greater reliance on camera vans is. The camera are cynically sited to earn maximum, for example Malton Bypass (where the only serious accident I can think of was where a speed limited lorry drove into a bridge support) and Barton Crossroads (where accidents are caused by the inability of a large proportion of drivers to correctly use a crossroads).

The concentration is on speeding on safe roads, rather than poor driving, which is what kills people, the inattentive, the poorly skilled, the poorly maintained vehicles, the superhero bikes who rely on other drivers to keep them alive, none of these are targetted in the current regime, and these figures show the current approach is not working. Put policemen back in police cars (proper marked ones, to act as a deterrent, not unmarked ones hidden behind bushes) and make people pay more attention.
A brilliant example of how ineffective the greater reliance on camera vans is. The camera are cynically sited to earn maximum, for example Malton Bypass (where the only serious accident I can think of was where a speed limited lorry drove into a bridge support) and Barton Crossroads (where accidents are caused by the inability of a large proportion of drivers to correctly use a crossroads). The concentration is on speeding on safe roads, rather than poor driving, which is what kills people, the inattentive, the poorly skilled, the poorly maintained vehicles, the superhero bikes who rely on other drivers to keep them alive, none of these are targetted in the current regime, and these figures show the current approach is not working. Put policemen back in police cars (proper marked ones, to act as a deterrent, not unmarked ones hidden behind bushes) and make people pay more attention. CommonSense!!
  • Score: 18

2:00pm Wed 23 Apr 14

Tom6187 says...

This lists Every death on every road in Great Britain 1999-2010, I know it's not up to date but it's interesting to see where deaths have occurred near to where you live or travel.

http://www.bbc.co.uk
/news/uk-15975720
This lists Every death on every road in Great Britain 1999-2010, I know it's not up to date but it's interesting to see where deaths have occurred near to where you live or travel. http://www.bbc.co.uk /news/uk-15975720 Tom6187
  • Score: 5

2:00pm Wed 23 Apr 14

yorkshirelad says...

I very much support speed limit enforcement but I must say have quite a lot of sympathy with the above post. I'd much rather speed control was hidden, random, included evening & overnight and allowed for the prosecution on other careless or dangerous driving offences too. So essentially a return to traffic patrols.

If the aim is maxiumum road safety with minimum prosecutions, I'm sure random hidden enforcement of a variety of traffic rules would be better.

I suppose we all notice offences on a daily basis but the ones theat make my toes curl are the folk driving on fast roads who are clearly texting or looking at a map on their lap....I saw 3 drivers gouing the opposite way to me on a fast A-road this morning clearly not looking where they were going.

Like many people, I've nearly never heard of someone being prosecuted for stupid overtaking, making someone else take avoiding action, sweeping past a cyclist too close at high speed, going over double white lines, texting etc etc... but I have a large collection of people I know who have been caught for fairly marginal speeding offences on the A64. Having seen many horrendous crashes on that road over the years I don't quibble with the enforcement.... but, yes, what about some action on all the other dangerous offences going on ?
I very much support speed limit enforcement but I must say have quite a lot of sympathy with the above post. I'd much rather speed control was hidden, random, included evening & overnight and allowed for the prosecution on other careless or dangerous driving offences too. So essentially a return to traffic patrols. If the aim is maxiumum road safety with minimum prosecutions, I'm sure random hidden enforcement of a variety of traffic rules would be better. I suppose we all notice offences on a daily basis but the ones theat make my toes curl are the folk driving on fast roads who are clearly texting or looking at a map on their lap....I saw 3 drivers gouing the opposite way to me on a fast A-road this morning clearly not looking where they were going. Like many people, I've nearly never heard of someone being prosecuted for stupid overtaking, making someone else take avoiding action, sweeping past a cyclist too close at high speed, going over double white lines, texting etc etc... but I have a large collection of people I know who have been caught for fairly marginal speeding offences on the A64. Having seen many horrendous crashes on that road over the years I don't quibble with the enforcement.... but, yes, what about some action on all the other dangerous offences going on ? yorkshirelad
  • Score: 10

5:00pm Wed 23 Apr 14

T'Marcus says...

ian923 wrote:
Hardly any Traffic officers left hence little or no prescence on major roads let alone minor ones. When did you last see a proper large patrol car on any road?
I was driving (with a car) at The Mount when I saw a biker wearing a "Think Bike" hi-viz jacket when he was weaving through stationary tfaffic.
Thin bike?
He should have thought before he nearly caused an accident.
Bikers cause more problems by their silly behaviour.
[quote][p][bold]ian923[/bold] wrote: Hardly any Traffic officers left hence little or no prescence on major roads let alone minor ones. When did you last see a proper large patrol car on any road?[/p][/quote]I was driving (with a car) at The Mount when I saw a biker wearing a "Think Bike" hi-viz jacket when he was weaving through stationary tfaffic. Thin bike? He should have thought before he nearly caused an accident. Bikers cause more problems by their silly behaviour. T'Marcus
  • Score: -1

5:02pm Wed 23 Apr 14

T'Marcus says...

BL2 wrote:
Try fixing the roads! Road user education is essential too - far to many people on all forms of transport who are either incapable of safe driving / riding or incompetent!
Especially bikers.
They seem to have a death wish on OUR roads.
[quote][p][bold]BL2[/bold] wrote: Try fixing the roads! Road user education is essential too - far to many people on all forms of transport who are either incapable of safe driving / riding or incompetent![/p][/quote]Especially bikers. They seem to have a death wish on OUR roads. T'Marcus
  • Score: 3

8:27pm Wed 23 Apr 14

bacowarrior says...

The whole attitude of drivers nowadays is shocking. It's not just people who speed that are a menace. Yes speed kills but so does ignorance, complete dis-regard to other road users and there safety, tailgating and the lack of common sense.

Personally I think the Police need to patrol the regions roads in unmarked cars and stop advertising the camera van locations to try and clamp on bad drivers - not just speeders.

Bikers - do you really know what is round the next corner? Do you know if the car you are overtaking at a junction is not wanting to turn right?
Cyclists - There are cycle paths on major routes, use them and get yourself out of danger. It's common sense really.
Motorists - Is taking chances, speeding and overtaking in dangerous places really worth risking your life for just to gain a few seconds?
The whole attitude of drivers nowadays is shocking. It's not just people who speed that are a menace. Yes speed kills but so does ignorance, complete dis-regard to other road users and there safety, tailgating and the lack of common sense. Personally I think the Police need to patrol the regions roads in unmarked cars and stop advertising the camera van locations to try and clamp on bad drivers - not just speeders. Bikers - do you really know what is round the next corner? Do you know if the car you are overtaking at a junction is not wanting to turn right? Cyclists - There are cycle paths on major routes, use them and get yourself out of danger. It's common sense really. Motorists - Is taking chances, speeding and overtaking in dangerous places really worth risking your life for just to gain a few seconds? bacowarrior
  • Score: -1

7:36am Thu 24 Apr 14

again says...

bacowarrior wrote:
The whole attitude of drivers nowadays is shocking. It's not just people who speed that are a menace. Yes speed kills but so does ignorance, complete dis-regard to other road users and there safety, tailgating and the lack of common sense.

Personally I think the Police need to patrol the regions roads in unmarked cars and stop advertising the camera van locations to try and clamp on bad drivers - not just speeders.

Bikers - do you really know what is round the next corner? Do you know if the car you are overtaking at a junction is not wanting to turn right?
Cyclists - There are cycle paths on major routes, use them and get yourself out of danger. It's common sense really.
Motorists - Is taking chances, speeding and overtaking in dangerous places really worth risking your life for just to gain a few seconds?
While I agree with much of what you say I'd point out the following:

Cyclists have every right to be on the road and need not use cycle tracks if they prefer not to.

It is the reponsibility of all road users not to endanger others who have a right to use roads.

There is no civilised reason why some road users should increasingly be forced off the road by fear if drivers were properly taught to respect the safety of others.
[quote][p][bold]bacowarrior[/bold] wrote: The whole attitude of drivers nowadays is shocking. It's not just people who speed that are a menace. Yes speed kills but so does ignorance, complete dis-regard to other road users and there safety, tailgating and the lack of common sense. Personally I think the Police need to patrol the regions roads in unmarked cars and stop advertising the camera van locations to try and clamp on bad drivers - not just speeders. Bikers - do you really know what is round the next corner? Do you know if the car you are overtaking at a junction is not wanting to turn right? Cyclists - There are cycle paths on major routes, use them and get yourself out of danger. It's common sense really. Motorists - Is taking chances, speeding and overtaking in dangerous places really worth risking your life for just to gain a few seconds?[/p][/quote]While I agree with much of what you say I'd point out the following: Cyclists have every right to be on the road and need not use cycle tracks if they prefer not to. It is the reponsibility of all road users not to endanger others who have a right to use roads. There is no civilised reason why some road users should increasingly be forced off the road by fear if drivers were properly taught to respect the safety of others. again
  • Score: -2

9:41am Thu 24 Apr 14

Stevie D says...

bacowarrior wrote:
Cyclists - There are cycle paths on major routes, use them and get yourself out of danger. It's common sense really.

"Common sense" isn't always right. There have been numerous studies done in the UK and around the world that consistently show that cycling on the pavement or roadside paths even where it is legal is generally more dangerous than cycling on the road. Only when you get a really extensive and high-quality network of cycle provision (eg in The Netherlands) does it become safer. York is nowhere near that.

There are some off-road paths, like Route 66 and the York—Selby path, that are definitely good for cyclists. But I can't think of a single pavement cycle path in York that I would say is safer than staying on the road. You're mixing with pedestrians bumbling all over the place, there are often signs, bins, bus stops and who knows what else in the way, you have to stop and give way at every side road, drivers going in and out of driveways are more likely to clobber you because they didn't see you ... the list goes on.

Cyclists don't use the main road instead of these pavement paths out of spite – they do it because pavement cycle lanes are mostly a waste of time, make their journey slower and put them at greater risk of an accident. That may seem counter-intuitive at first, but that doesn't stop it being true.

Pavement cycle lanes have three purposes:
1 - making the council look like it's pro-cycling
2 - fooling novice cyclists into thinking there's a safe route
3 - appeasing motorists by getting cyclists out of their way.
So before you rant about cyclists not using cycle paths, remember that there's probably a very good reason why they aren't!
[quote][bold]bacowarrior[/bold] wrote: Cyclists - There are cycle paths on major routes, use them and get yourself out of danger. It's common sense really.[/quote] "Common sense" isn't always right. There have been numerous studies done in the UK and around the world that consistently show that cycling on the pavement or roadside paths [italic]even where it is legal[/italic] is generally more dangerous than cycling on the road. Only when you get a really extensive and high-quality network of cycle provision (eg in The Netherlands) does it become safer. York is nowhere near that. There are some off-road paths, like Route 66 and the York—Selby path, that are definitely good for cyclists. But I can't think of a single pavement cycle path in York that I would say is safer than staying on the road. You're mixing with pedestrians bumbling all over the place, there are often signs, bins, bus stops and who knows what else in the way, you have to stop and give way at every side road, drivers going in and out of driveways are more likely to clobber you because they didn't see you ... the list goes on. Cyclists don't use the main road instead of these pavement paths out of spite – they do it because pavement cycle lanes are mostly a waste of time, make their journey slower and put them at greater risk of an accident. That may seem counter-intuitive at first, but that doesn't stop it being true. Pavement cycle lanes have three purposes: 1 - making the council look like it's pro-cycling 2 - fooling novice cyclists into thinking there's a safe route 3 - appeasing motorists by getting cyclists out of their way. So before you rant about cyclists not using cycle paths, remember that there's probably a very good reason why they aren't! Stevie D
  • Score: 2

9:12am Fri 25 Apr 14

yorkshirelad says...

Yes, the presence of a cycle path or lane does not alter the right of cyclists to use the road. This is especially important if the cyclists is quite a fast one which might be totally inappropriate for some of the shared pedestrian cycle tracks we have which are clearly designed for fairly sedate cycling.

This issue will remain important as long as we have the very fragmented, low budget low quality approach to cycle tracks and paths that we have in the UK. It just might be different if we had cycle paths and tracks like they do in Denmark, Germany, Holland etc... but with every little tiny bit of cycling infrastructure in York getting Press headline writers and the Victor Meldrew brigade steamed up and frothing at the mouth, I can't see that happening for a long while yet.

Quite astonishing how many people seem to think that the presence of a cycle track on the pavement alters the cyclists right to cycle on the road. It's rather like saying I can't drive my car on the country lane next to a motorway because I should be on the motorway.
Yes, the presence of a cycle path or lane does not alter the right of cyclists to use the road. This is especially important if the cyclists is quite a fast one which might be totally inappropriate for some of the shared pedestrian cycle tracks we have which are clearly designed for fairly sedate cycling. This issue will remain important as long as we have the very fragmented, low budget low quality approach to cycle tracks and paths that we have in the UK. It just might be different if we had cycle paths and tracks like they do in Denmark, Germany, Holland etc... but with every little tiny bit of cycling infrastructure in York getting Press headline writers and the Victor Meldrew brigade steamed up and frothing at the mouth, I can't see that happening for a long while yet. Quite astonishing how many people seem to think that the presence of a cycle track on the pavement alters the cyclists right to cycle on the road. It's rather like saying I can't drive my car on the country lane next to a motorway because I should be on the motorway. yorkshirelad
  • Score: 1

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