The Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) has published new analysis of vulnerable road user (VRU) casualties. The report opens the way for a fresh perspective on VRU road safety.
Motorcyclists, pedal cyclists, horse riders or handlers and pedestrians are defined as vulnerable road users. This is because they are not protected by a vehicle body. They can also be harder for other drivers to see on the road.
MAG starts from the premise that motorcyclists – like all other road users – do not set out to cause injury, nor to be injured. Collisions happen when errors are made. Reducing errors and opportunity for errors will reduce casualties. The work carried out by MAG looks at trends in the statistics over the five years 2015 – 2019.
Colin Brown, the report author, said:
“MAG is keen to look at whether the safety of VRUs is improving or getting worse. This analysis looks at regional and local authority levels and we found that national figures hide wide differences across the country. We will go on to look at road safety approaches and campaigns on the ground. By finding any differences at local level, we hope to identify what works and what doesn’t.”
The British Horse Society (BHS) gave valuable support to establish data for horse riders.
Alan Hiscox, Director of Safety for the BHS, said:
“The whole ‘official’ reporting system for equestrians does not give a realistic picture of what happens on the roads, and injuries and fatalities to horses are very rarely reported by the police. Therefore, it is so important that equestrians report any incident – but especially incidents that have resulted in injury to the horse – to The British Horse Society, (horseincidents.org.uk) so we can present a ‘real life’ picture.”
Some of the key revelations of the analysis show that:
- Motorcyclist KSI (Killed or Seriously Injured) numbers are reducing in all GB regions
- KSIs for motorcyclists, cyclists and pedestrians significantly reduced in Lancashire
- Pedestrians fare worst in Lincolnshire
- The KSI rate per billion vehicle miles flipped in London in 2019. The cycle KSI rate became slightly higher than that for motorcycles.
The full report can be found at https://bit.ly/VRUtrends .
Colin Brown states:
“Commentary on motorcycling tends to be negative. I have shown in this analysis that there is cause to challenge that attitude. We all want to see more work done to improve the safety of riders; however, motorcycling policy and safety needs fresh perspective. MAG is working to promote the many benefits of motorcycling, but the critics habitually position safety as a blocker. In reality, motorcycling is getting safer. Therefore, long standing prejudices are not legitimate and must be challenged.”
Alan Hiscox commented:
“I know horse riders don’t compare to other VRUs in casualty numbers, but I am convinced that we have more near misses per mile ridden. We are creating a stronger voice by supporting each other and bringing attention to all VRU’s.”
Rachel Lee, Policy & Research Manager for Living Streets, said:
“Increases in pedestrian KSIs have occurred across rural counties and metropolitan areas. The positive trends in absolute KSIs for London boroughs (including City of London) are in contrast to the significant reduction evident in the City of Glasgow and City of Edinburgh. Scotland as a whole shows an overall reduction in KSIs for all vulnerable road users, perhaps attributable to having a clearer vision for road safety through the Scottish Government’s adoption of Vision Zero.”
Nick Chamberlin, Policy Manager for British Cycling, commented:
“We welcome this new analysis from MAG and thank them for throwing more light on this subject. Groups representing vulnerable road users must work together to highlight the dangers faced by our members. We must also seek to understand where progress is being made and encourage the Government to accelerate investment in our local road network, so that it is safe for everyone.”