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Paper 25th may 2004 - LGRAS(04)4

LGRAS ( 04 ) 4 - "ROAD ACCIDENTS SCOTLAND" AND "KEY ROAD ACCIDENT STATISTICS"

1. Introduction

1.1 This paper invites views on possible changes to the above publication.

1.2 Members of the Group may wish to note that

  • "Key 2003 Road Accident Statistics" will be published in June; and
  • "Road Accidents Scotland 2003" should be published by the end of November.

Copies of both will be sent to Members of the Group and to the non-members who receive copies of LGRAS papers. Please contact the Secretary if you do not receive your copy.

2 Review of changes made for "Road Accidents Scotland 2002"

2.1 Members were consulted about proposed changes to " Road Accidents Scotland 2002" at the meeting held on 14 May 2003. The Scottish Executive then finalised the list of changes for "Road Accidents Scotland 2002" in light of the views of the members of LGRAS. The main changes were:

  • in the Commentary, Figure 1 has been expanded, and now also shows DfT's estimates of the volume of traffic on all roads (for those years for which this is available).
  • Figure 2 has been replaced with three charts which show, from 1950, the numbers:-
  • "killed",
  • "killed and seriously injured" and "seriously injured"; and
  • "all casualties" and "slightly injured casualties".
  • part (c) of Table 5 no longer provides separate figures for "built-up" and "non built-up" local authority A roads, following the change to DfT's traffic estimates
  • Table 24 has been changed to:
  • provide a much more detailed breakdown by age groups;
  • show road user types (based on groups of modes of transport) which are more like those which appear in some of the tables of "Road Casualties Great Britain";
  • show the total number of casualties split by sex; and
  • give the 1994-98 averages.
  • a new Table 41 has been added showing slight casualty numbers, DfT traffic estimates and the slight casualty rates (relative to traffic volumes) for each local authority area. These figures are all broken down to show "trunk roads", "local authority roads" and "all roads". The table covers 1994 to 2002, and also provides the averages for 1994-98 and 1998-2002.
  • a new Table 42 has been added showing the total number killed and seriously injured, children killed and seriously injured, slight casualties, DfT traffic estimates and the slight casualty rates (relative to traffic volumes) for each Police Force area. The table covers 1994 to 2002, and also provides the averages for 1994-98 and 1998-2002.
  • a new Annex F shows the frequency of use of the values of most of the variables which were in the "Stats 19" returns for 2002.

2.2 In November 2003, a copy of "Road Accidents Scotland 2002" was sent to every member of the Group, and to the non-members who receive copies of LGRAS papers. Please contact the Secretary if you did not receive your copy.

2.3 Members are asked to consider if the changes made to "Road Accidents Scotland 2002" added to the quality of the document. In particular, members' views are sought as to whether or not the new tables 41 and 42 have met users' needs.

3. Possible changes for "Road Accidents Scotland 2003"

3.1 This section invites comments on, and, suggestions for, possible changes for the next edition of "Road Accidents Scotland".

3.2 Possible new table(s) on School Pupil casualties

3.2.1 The number of school pupil casualties continue to be of interest to the media and politicians at both local and national level. However, as has been mentioned at previous meetings, there have been some problems with the collection of this variable from some data suppliers. As it appears that the numbers of school pupil casualties shown in the "Stats 19" returns for 2003 will be markedly less than in earlier years, we would be grateful if Police Forces could confirm that, to the best of their knowledge, their procedures for identifying and reporting school pupil casualties are working correctly.

3.2.2 Members are asked to comment on

  • the quality of the data they have supplied for this variable in the past ten or so years;

and

  • the possible tables A, B and C (attached), - should one (or more) such tables be included in the next edition? would they favour other tables? or should there be no tables of school pupil casualty numbers?

3.3. Breakdowns by "built-up" / "non-built-up" and/or "urban" / "rural"

3.3.1 It is now about a year since DfT introduced (retrospectively back to 1993) its new traffic estimates for "urban" and "rural" roads (a classification based on whether the population of the area is above or below 10,000). Traffic estimates for "built up" and "non built up" areas (a classification based on speed limits) are now no longer available. Paper LGRAS (03) 1 gave more details of these matters.

3.3.2 Members were asked at the meeting on 14 May 2003 if they wished to change the classifications from "built-up / non built-up" to "urban / rural" in any of the tables in "Road Accidents Scotland 2003". They did not wish to have tables changed in line with the new DfT "urban/rural" classification. In consequence, Table 5 currently provides approximate estimates of accident rates for "built up" and "non built up" roads. These are calculated by dividing the numbers of accidents on "built-up" roads by the DfT traffic estimates for "urban" roads, and by dividing accident numbers on "non built-up" roads by DfT traffic estimates for "rural roads". Several other tables give "built up" and "non built up" accident or casualty numbers

3.3.3 In light of their experience to date, are Members content that the "Road Accidents Scotland" tables should remain on the basis of "built-up / non built-up"? or are changes needed to some of the tables?

3.4 Possible tables of "vehicle involvement rates"

3.4.1 The Department for Transport's "Road Casualties Great Britain" volume includes two tables of "vehicle involvement rates". These are calculated by dividing the number of vehicles a particular type which are involved in ("Stats 19") accidents by the estimated total distance travelled by such vehicles. Photocopies of the two tables are attached.

3.4.2 Traditionally, "Road Accidents Scotland" did not include such tables because, until recently, there were no reliable estimates for Scotland of the total volume of traffic for each type of vehicle, and so it was not possible to calculate vehicle involvement rates for Scotland. However, following the development of DfT's traffic estimates, figures for each vehicle type are now available back to 1993. It is, therefore, now possible to produce a Scottish equivalent of DfT's Table 9. However, a table like DfT's Table 41 could not be produced unless either (a) the accidents in Scotland were classified on the basis of DfT's new "urban/rural" classification or (b) "built-up" and "non built-up" numbers were divided by "urban" and "rural" traffic estimates.

3.4.3 Members of the Group are invited to say whether they would like to see any tables of "vehicle involvement rates" in "Road Accident Scotland".

3.5 Possible new table(s) of quarterly accident or casualty numbers

3.5.1 In June 2002, the Group discussed the possible quarterly release of road accident statistics for Scotland (paper LGRAS [02] 4). The advice of the Group then was there was no demand for Scottish quarterly estimates at that time or within the next year or so. That still seems to be the case, as there have been no requests for the quarterly publication of figures for Scotland since DfT started to publish estimates for GB as a whole each quarter.

3.5.2 The Executive is not proposing to start to release figures for Scotland each quarter. However, it might be useful to include one or more tables of quarterly figures in "Road Accidents Scotland", to illustrate how accident and/or casualty numbers vary from quarter to quarter. At present, Tables 6 and 29 provide the latest five year average numbers of accidents and casualties in each month (after "standardising" for the differences in months' lengths), and thus show the seasonal variation in the figures (e.g. Table 29 shows clearly that most motor cycle casualties occur between May and September). However, these tables' five-year averages do not show the extent to which the figures can fluctuate: to do that requires tables or charts of figures for individual years - perhaps like the attached Table D and the chart which was produced from some of this table's figures.

3.5.3 Members of the Group are asked to consider:

  • would it be helpful to include tables or charts showing how the numbers of accidents or casualties have varied from quarter to quarter in past years?
  • if so, should something like Table D and the accompanying chart appear in the next edition or would they favour other types of tables and charts and, if so, what should they cover?

3.6 Are there any other comments on this publication that Members of the Group would like to make?

4. Possible changes for "Key Road Accident Statistics"

4.1 This section reminds members of the agreed changes to "Key 2003 Road Accident Statistics" and invites views on possible changes to "Key 2004 Road Accident Statistics".

4.2 Following the discussion at the previous meeting of the Group:

  • "Key 2003 Road Accident Statistics" will include figures for individual police force areas and for individual local authority areas;
  • tables giving accident and casualty numbers for "built-up" and "non-built-up" roads will continue to appear in "Key Road Accident Statistics" (rather than being replaced with similar tables giving accident and casualty numbers for "urban" and "rural" roads).

4.3 The Scottish Executive will publish "Key 2003 Road Accident Statistics" in June 2004 with the changes noted above.

4.4 Members are asked to consider:-

  • if there are any changes that they would like to suggest for "Key 2004 Road Accident Statistics" (to be published in 2005).