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Pedestrians need protection


In his recent letter (NCE 11 April), Michael Elliot quoted figures from the DTLR's Road accidents GB 2000 - the casualty reports. Having studied the report, I find that the figures Elliot uses are completely misleading.

While the report does not indicate that the UK has the worst record, it certainly shows that our record is poor - certainly worse than most European countries.

The report gives the impression that overall road deaths in the UK are better per head of population than other countries. However, the figures for all pedestrian deaths and child pedestrian deaths are very poor, with the UK coming 8th and 10th down the list of western European countries respectively.

As far as child pedestrian death rates are concerned, we are only ahead of Spain, Eire, Luxembourg and Portugal, which have always had a dreadful record.

The figures suggest that people travelling by car in the UK have a relatively good record of survival, while those trying to dodge those cars have a poor record. It has clearly been demonstrated that lowering speeds significantly reduces serious and fatal injuries. Sustainable transport charity Sustrans suggests that an expansion of slower speed initiatives and safe routes to schools will greatly improve the UK's record.

Kevin Saunders, senior press officer, Sustrans, kevins@sustrans. org. uk

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