Pedestrian deaths & cyclist injuries show need for safer speed limits, says Ruskell

Figures showing a rise in pedestrians killed in traffic collisions and the highest level of cyclists seriously hurt for ten years underline the need for safer speed limits in built-up areas, according to Scottish Green MSP Mark Ruskell.

New road casualty statistics show that between 2016 and 17, the number of cyclists seriously hurt rose from 148 to 171 – the highest level for 10 years, the number of pedestrians killed rose from 32 to 28, and 44 of 141 fatal accidents happened on roads in towns and cities.

Mark Ruskell’s Safer Streets Bill, due for scrutiny by Parliament, aims to reduce the speed limit in built-up areas from 30 to 20mph, which health experts estimate will save five lives a year, along with 755 fewer casualties and a public cost saving of up to £40million.

Mr Ruskell, the Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, said:

“It’s hugely concerning to see more pedestrian deaths and more cyclists being seriously hurt. A third of deaths on our roads happen on streets in our towns and cities. It’s clear we need safer streets.

“The evidence is strong that reducing speed limits to 20mph on urban roads saves lives, reduces injuries and improves air quality. We also know that more people will walk and cycle rather than drive if speeds are reduced.

“The public support a lower limit and I look forward to my bill making progress through Parliament so we can stop deaths and injuries on the streets in our communities.”