We are saddened but not surprised by the latest data on safety on Scotland’s roads, which indicates that while casualties for drivers and passengers have fallen, those for pedestrians and cyclists have risen – for cyclists, casualties have risen 9% and a total of 9 cyclists were killed last year:

Road casualties have fallen by 2 per cent and fatalities by 8 per cent since 2011, though there has been a small rise in serious injuries (4%). Car and pedestrian casualties have decreased whilst motor cycle and pedal cycle casualties have increased. Pedestrian and pedal cycle fatalities have also increased. Road Casualties 2012

This calls into question the claim in last week’s CAPS refresh that strict liability was unneeded because casualty rates were falling in the UK and Ireland, where no strict liability laws exist. This data shows clearly that vulnerable road users continue to be at risk.

It may be that the rates are increasing because the number of cyclists and miles cycled is increasing, but this should not be an excuse for complacency on the part of the government.  rather, it should indicate the need to improve safety on Scotland’s roads as they seek to encourage and support active travel.

This will require more than a ‘mutual respect‘ campaign. It requires the government to take responsibility and act.


We’re grateful to the ever informative City Cycling Edinburgh forum for pointing out that the underlying figures are actually worse. The figures available here show that when you compare them to the 2004-8 baseline there has been a 19% increase in cyclists killed or seriously injured (KSI) – so this is not a one-off. And it’s worse in rural areas, where there has been an increase of 34% in KSIs


Cycling casualties up