Road deaths are down

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THE number of people killed or seriously injured on Wigan’s roads dropped by 36 per cent in 2010.

Figures released by the Department for Transport show that there were only 62 people killed or seriously injured on the borough’s road in 2010 compared to 97 in 2009.

The figures also show that over the five previous years the borough has seen a 40 per cent decrease in casualties since 2005, which has been welcomed by road charities and the police.

Ellie Pearson, from Brake, the road safety charity said: “It is excellent news, and means more local families have been saved from the heartache of losing a loved one or coping with a serious injury from a violent and preventable road crash.

“However, it still means that 62 families did suffer this way, which we must not ignore. Brake urges the local authority to continue to work towards ending the carnage by ensuring adequate funding for road safety services including local education projects and safety cameras.”

Rachel Buckle, Chief Inspector for Greater Manchester Police’s Road Policing Unit, said: “Obviously the figures are pleasing but one casualty is still one too many.

“We will continue to work effectively with our partners to reduce the number of deaths and injury on our roads as well as bringing those to justice who break the law.”

Nationally there was a drop of eight per cent, with 21,255 casualties on England’s roads in 2010 as supposed to 23,206 in the previous 12 months.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said the low death toll was “a fantastic achievement” but added that milder winters and an economic upturn could threaten further reductions.

Road Safety Minister Mike Penning said: “Fewer people are dying on our roads than at any point since records began and the dedication of road safety professionals and emergency services across the country as well as improvements in vehicle safety have played an important role in achieving this.

“But five people still die on the roads every day and improving road safety remains a priority.”