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New consultation to look at improving road safety for motorcyclists and young people
The consultation, that will set out the Welsh Government’s approach to road safety until 2020, will include specific targets for motorcyclists and young people – the two most vulnerable road users groups.
In 2011 motorcyclists accounted for 1% of road traffic in Wales but 39% of those killed and seriously injured, whilst young people made up 11% of driving licence holders but 23% of casualties.
The ambitious Plan will also include:
• a continued reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads, with the ultimate aspirational goal of no fatalities in the future.
• a 40% reduction in the total number of people killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads by 2020, meaning 562 fewer killed and seriously injured casualties (and 403 fewer than 2011).
• a 25% reduction in the number of motorcyclists killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads by 2020, meaning 64 fewer motorcyclist killed and seriously injured casualties (and 49 fewer than 2011).
• a 40% reduction in the number of young people (aged 16-24) killed and seriously injured on Welsh roads by 2020, meaning 139 fewer young people killed and seriously injured casualties (and 51 fewer than 2011).
The Minister said:
“ Any death on our roads is avoidable and unacceptable which is why the Welsh Government is committed to reducing casualties and we will do all we can to achieve this. “
“ There has been a great deal of progress in road safety in recent years, with the number of people killed and seriously injured falling considerably in Wales.
“ We can all take pride in the fact that Welsh roads are amongst the safest in the world. However, we must avoid complacency and recognise that there is significant scope for further improvements
“ This Plan is not for the short-term – it sets out our approach until 2020. “ In today’s society it may be considered unrealistic to envisage zero fatalities, but it should be a government aspiration to tackle avoidable deaths such as road traffic collisions and do all that we can to avert them.
“ We view this ambitious “vision zero” approach as an acknowledgement of our commitment and want all key partners to share in and work towards making it a reality.”
The “vision zero” approach represents a bold approach by the Welsh Government towards road safety that was originally introduced by Sweden.
The consultation also includes a commitment to press the UK Government to reduce the drink-drive limit which would bring Wales closer into line with the rest of Europe.
The Welsh Government Programme for Government includes a commitment to “target high-risk road users (motorcyclists, young drivers and vulnerable road users) through a combination of measures including education, engineering and enforcement.
The consultation will end on 13 December 2012 and the final Plan is anticipated to be published in early 2013.