The number of people killed on Norfolk’s roads has fallen to the lowest level since records began, new figures released today reveal. The latest road casualties statistics show that 33 people died in 2015 – the lowest number since records started being kept in 1987.
The fall, compared with 39 in the previous year, has been attributed partly to the creation of a dedicated police motorcycle enforcement unit, the use of social media to target specific people and a focus on catching drivers using their mobile phones.
The new data comes as separate figures reveal the cost to the public purse of dealing with road accidents. In 2014, the Department for Transport calculated that road casualty costs for Norfolk totalled more than £174m. Fatalities accounted for £67.5m of this total.
The 2015 casualty statistics, released by the Norfolk Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, also show that the number of people suffering slight injuries also went down from the previous year, from 2,199 to 1,990. But the number of people who were seriously injured increased from 340 to 352.
Louise Smith, director of public health at Norfolk County Council and chairman of the Norfolk Road Casualty Reduction Partnership, said:
I am encouraged that we have seen the lowest number of fatalities on Norfolk’s roads since records began, but I am also aware that every death and injury causes irreparable damage to families and communities. Through the Road Casualty Reduction Partnership we are continuously reviewing our schemes and finding ways to make our roads safer.
Jenny McKibben, deputy police and crime commissioner said the new police motorcycle enforcement unit, police enforcement of people on mobile phones and the use of social media to target specific groups had helped bring down casualty figures.
The situation is in stark contrast to Suffolk, which saw a rise in fatalities last year. The death toll on Suffolk’s roads in 2015 was the worst for six years, according to police figures. In total, 35 people died in 30 crashes throughout the county, prompting Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore to reaffirm his force’s commitment to make Suffolk’s roads safer.