The world's safest roads revealed

Published: 11 May 2011

While drowning in the depths of the government's 2011 Road Safety Strategic Framework document this afternoon, I found an interesting statistical chart. Compiled from the International Road Traffic Accident Database (IRTAD) and the EU Community database on Accidents on the Road in Europe (CARE) data from 2005 to 2009, it showed road crash fatalities per million people. (Pg 25 of the Strategic Framework document, downloadable from the DfT website)

Britain was fourth, behind Malta, Sweden and The Netherlands. Apparently Britain has been in the top five since 2000, and topped the chart in 2009, the latest year of international comparative statistics.

Although it's not in your nature, allow yourselves a pat on the back if you're reading this in England, Scotland or Wales. Perhaps due to having to leave your cars cluttering-up streets for lack of off-street residential parking, and your odd language of headlight and blinker flashing that seems alien to recently-arrived visitors like myself, you have far fewer fatalities per million than my home of New Zealand (we're pushing 100). You also have a handy lead over the Australians, most of Europe, and America launguishes 30 places behind you on the chart.

Road fatality rates in Britain have been dropping for the last 30 years, and between 2007 to 2009 the annual road toll dropped 25%. But that still means over 2000 people die on the roads each year.  The government aims to reduce this further through the initiatives of the Road Safety Strategic Framework - primarily by improving education and refining law enforcement options.

What do you think?  Can more be done to improve road safety from its current high level, and if so, what?

>>share your thoughts on UK road safety and what you think needs to improve in the comments section below