42 people were killed on Derbyshire’s roads in 2018 compared to 32 the previous year, according to figures revealed in the 2018 Annual Casualty Report.
Although the numbers of people injured in crashes on the county’s roads reduced from the previous year (1,571 in 2017 and 1,537 in 2018) the number of those seriously injured in those crashes increased from 266 in 2017 to 288 in 2018.
Councillor Simon Spencer, our Cabinet Member for Highway’s Transport and Infrastructure, said: "Road safety remains a top priority for us so it’s disappointing that while overall we are experiencing a decrease in casualties – 2017 was a record low year – we have now experienced a rise in the numbers of people killed and seriously injured.
“It’s difficult to identify a pattern as to why we’ve had more deaths and serious injuries in 2018, despite the overall numbers of crashes reducing. Last summer was particularly nice for a sustained time and our county is very popular with visitors, particularly motorcyclists, who like the appeal of our challenging roads.
“As the highways authority for Derbyshire we take road safety extremely seriously. We sympathise with anyone who has been injured or sadly lost anyone in a road crash and we are committed to continuing our educational and practical road safety initiatives to make our roads as safe as possible for all kinds of road user.”
Councillor Spencer added: “We are also using £6.8m of Government cash to invest in three major road safety improvement schemes on the A619 Thirteen Bends, between Baslow and Bakewell, the A5012 Via Gellia, from Cromford to Bakewell and the A5004 Long Hill, from Buxton to Whaley Bridge.”
These schemes will include, for example, realigning the camber of the road, installing crash barriers, improved signage and road markings and verge clearance to improve visibility.
Established road safety initiatives in Derbyshire include workshops and training sessions aimed at various road users.
‘Think Bike’ is a roadside poster campaign on more hazardous routes which urges motorists to be aware of bikers.
Smart Rider provides pedal cycle training to primary and junior school pupils with an equivalent County Rider scheme for adults.
First Gear is a classroom and practical course for 15 to 17-year-olds to prepare them for getting behind the wheel. It covers things like the Highway Code and maintaining a vehicle, moving off safely and correctly, changing up and down gears, braking safely and coming to a stop.
Free Driving Safer for Longer sessions offer motorists aged 65 plus the chance to update their driving knowledge. They cover eyesight, hearing, seatbelts, drink driving, hazard perception, vehicle adaptations and driving assessments.