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The number of killed and seriously injured (KSI) casualties on Northamptonshire roads in 2020 was the lowest since records began in 1960.
Overall KSI figures were down by 24 per cent from 346 casualties in 2019 to 278 last year, while the number of people killed on the county’s roads fell from 42 to 21 in the same period.
During this period, reported injury collisions fell from 1,112 to 886 and the number of casualties sustaining serious injuries dropped from 258 to 221 and slight injuries from 815 to 646.
However, despite the significant reduction in casualties on the county’s roads, the Northamptonshire Safer Roads Alliance (NSRA) believes this is largely down to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
NSRA is a countywide partnership between the police, fire & rescue service, the Office of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner and Northamptonshire Highways representing the unitarity authority, which was set up in November 2018.
It brings together key partners to work on initiatives which aims to improve road safety across Northamptonshire through education, engagement, engineering and enforcement.
Chair of NSRA, Superintendent Tom Thompson, said: “Our priority is to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads and this will not change as we continue to work together to improve road safety in the county.
“However, it’s important to state that while we welcome the significant reduction in road casualties, we cannot afford to become complacent as we know 2020 was a year like no other.
“The decrease in traffic volume caused by the global pandemic and the coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, clearly had an impact on our road casualty figures and therefore these reductions should be interpreted with caution.
“Therein lays the challenge for the NSRA in how to sustain this downward trend in casualty numbers once traffic flows and road user activity returns to a semblance of normality.
“Every person who dies or is injured on our roads is one too many and we must never forget that behind each statistic is a grieving family or someone coming to terms with a life changing injury.
“Through education, engagement, engineering and enforcement, the alliance has worked hard to reinforce this message. However, we can’t do this on our own and as road users, we all have a responsibility for improving road safety.”
The NSRA will shortly be refreshing the Strategic Road Safety Plan which sets out its priorities and key actions for the next two years to improve road safety and reduce casualties in the county.