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Road Casualty Reduction Reports

Reports which highlight the road casualty and collision data for Torbay.

Road casualty reduction report 2022

Casualty and Collision data 2022

This report highlights road casualty and collision data for the calendar year 2022 along with details of forthcoming Road safety activities within Torbay.

The total number of collisions within Torbay for this year were 168 for all types. This is down from 230 for 2021.

Injury collisions per month 2022

Injury collisions per month 2022

The total numbers of casualties within Torbay for this year generally are also down from 2021 with 229 casualties compared to 295 from 2021.

Casualty numbers per month 2022

Casualty numbers per month 2022

Regrettably 2022 saw 3 recorded fatal casualties within Torbay compared to 2 in the previous year.

Serious injuries were down from 49 serious in 2021 to 46 in 2022 and slight injuries were 180 in 2022 compared to 244 in 2021.

The year shows that there was a general downward trend in the level of casualties by month from January to December from an average of 22 casualties per month to 16 per month, with April being the worst month for casualties at 33.

Collisions by road user type 2022
Collisions involving Fatal Serious Slight Total %
Motor vehicles only 2 28 99 129 77
2 wheeled motor vehicles 1 7 15 23 14
Pedal Cycles 0 6 10 16 9
Horses & other 0 0 0 0 0
Total collisions 3 41 124 168

Collisions overall show that while there has been an increase in percentage of collisions involving motor vehicles, all other types of road user collisions are down from 2021 and actual numbers are lower this year than in 2021.

The notable changes are that serious collisions involving cars have risen by 5 from last year to 28, and there was one fatal involving a motorcycle.

Casualties by road user type 2022
Casualties involving Fatal Serious Slight Total %
Vehicle driver 1 7 76 84 37
Vehicle passenger 0 8 53 61 26
Motorcycle rider 1 7 15 23 10
Cyclist 0 6 10 16 7
Pedestrian 1 18 26 45 20
Other 0 0 0 0 0
Total collisions 3 46 180 229

The categories which have shown an increase are ‘Vehicle Passengers’ and ‘Pedestrians’. Vehicle Passengers account for the most significant increase over 2021. All other categories are showing a reduction.

Whilst motorcycle casualties have reduced overall, this regrettably did see 1 fatal in 2022.

Pedestrian casualties have risen for serious injuries but fallen for slight, injuries however regrettably there was 1 recorded fatality in this category.

The fact that casualty numbers have decreased overall shows a positive trend within Torbay, however casualty figures have not reduced in line with targets since 2010 or the more ambitious targets now set regionally by Vision Zero South West.

Planned expenditures for Road Safety Initiatives

The cluster site review for the Torbay area has raised some locations for consideration, however some of these have either already been addressed or will be addressed as part of ongoing schemes already in the planning and implementation stages.

The progress and future recommendations for road safety interventions will be outlined in the Road safety Initiatives Report 2023/24 to the Transport and Parking Working Party.

At a local level here in Torbay, we will also continue to report casualty figures each year as part of the Road Casualty Reduction Report and the figures for the following categories can be found displayed in section 3 of this report.

Casualty and collision data

A Casualty is a person killed or injured in a reported collision on a public road. Casualties are sub-divided into killed, seriously injured and slightly injured. The graphs below outline the road casualty and collision data for the years 2010 to 2022 compared against Torbay Council’s 2011-2021 targets and the newer regional targets set by Vision Zero South West (VZSW) (VZSW targets are to reduce all KSI’s by 50% by 2030 and to zero by 2040 ).

It has long been known that non-fatal (and particularly slight) casualties are underreported to the police and therefore this figure is likely to be an underestimate of the total.

The introduction of online self-reporting by the Metropolitan Police Service at the end of 2016 and a few other forces in 2018, is likely to have led to an increase in the number of non-fatal (and particularly slight) casualties reported in these forces and therefore impact the total for Great Britain.

Approximately half of English police forces adopted the CRASH (Collision Recording and Sharing) system for recording reported road traffic collisions at the end of 2015 or the first part of 2016, Devon and Cornwall Police switched in December 2015.

It is likely that the recording of injury severity is more accurate for forces using this new reporting system. Nationally this has had a large impact on the number of serious injuries recorded in 2016, compared with 2015. Some of these serious injuries may previously have been classified as slight injuries, which means that the 2016 and 2017 serious injury figures are not comparable to previous years.

CRASH is an injury-based severity reporting systems where the officer records the most severe injury for the casualty and the injuries are then automatically converted to a severity level from ‘slight’ to ‘serious’. Eliminating the uncertainty in determining severity that arises from the officer having to make their own judgement means that the new severity level data observed from these systems using injury-based methods are expected to be more accurate than the data from other systems.

Therefore, there has been a large increase in the number of serious injuries reported by the police after the introduction of CRASH in 2015/16 (+20%); as around half of police forces in England adopted this system, however the number of serious injuries recorded in 2017 has remained stable when compared to 2016.

Even though Torbay has such low base figures, it should be noted that this still showed an increase in our KSI figures of 15% between 2015 and 2016.


All fatalities 2011 to 2022

All fatalities 2011 to 2022

As reported, regrettably fatal casualties have risen to 3 in this year. Any fatality on Torbay’s highway Network is one too many and we continue alongside VZSW to work towards an aspiration of having a 50% reduction of fatal by 2030 and zero fatalities by 2040.  

However, it should be noted that these fatal collisions were generally due to the poor judgement of individuals rather than the road conditions or design and as such engineering interventions are unlikely to have prevented these collisions, however collision cluster sites and locations of concern will continue to be considered for improvement, where this is likely to support continued collision reductions.

Killed and seriously injured (K.S.I.) (all ages)

Our KSIs for all ages remain high at 49 for 2022, but this is a drop from the 59 of 2021.

It remains the Councils priority to identify sites where clusters of such incidents have occurred, with a view to engineering out any Highway issues or road user actions that may contribute to these and either reduce the level of severity or remove its risk altogether.

However, some issues such as excessive speeding or actions by road users under the influence or drink or drugs cannot be engineered for but may be achieved by means of Police enforcement.

Killed and seriously injured (K.S.I.) (all ages)

Killed and seriously injured (K.S.I.) (0 to 15 year age group)

KSIs for children 0-15 have risen from the 5 of 2021 to 9 in 2022, though none were fatal.

Most of the injuries were due to the casualty entering the road without adequately looking or not adhering correctly to traffic signals.

Ideally education on road safety would be appropriate, however with the loss of Torbay Council’s Road Safety Team as part of budget savings, this has reduced significantly. However, our Communications Team has undertaken substantial time and effort in promoting our Road Safety messages and improvements across the Bay.

Killed and seriously injured (K.S.I.) (0 to 15 year age group)

Slight injuries (all ages)

Slight injuries for all ages and the 0-15’s within Torbay

Image shows the slight injuries for all ages and the 0 to 15’s within Torbay

Whilst ‘slight’ overall are down from previous years, and the lowest since 2010 at 180, ‘slight child 0-15’ are up from last year by 4. However, both remain below the target levels for ‘slight’ all and ‘slight child 0-15’.

Of these ‘slight child 0-15’ casualties, 8 were pedestrians, 13 were passengers in a vehicle, 2 were on cycles and 1 on an electric scooter.

Of these 24 injuries the child could have been at fault due to inexperience or failure to look when entering the road, whilst 17 of the injuries were either due to them being a passenger in a vehicle that was hit (13) or hit due to the fault of another driver as a pedestrian (4)

As such the greater number of child slight injuries were unavoidable by the child as opposed to 7 collisions where education may have prevented the incident from occurring.

The slight casualties broken down by age and sex are:

Casualties by age and sex
Age Male Female Total
0-15 10 14 24
16-24 14 11 25
25-64 51 40 91
65-99 10 10 20
Unknown 5 2 7
Total 90 77 167

Our greatest area of slight injuries are within the 25-64 age group, with males being the higher number of injuries over females.

Causation factors in slight injuries
Count of CF Female Male Not known Grand Total
Behaviour/Inexperience 7 15 2 24
Driver/Rider Error 35 56 7 98
Impairment/Distraction 4 16 20
Injudicious Action 2 19 1 22
Pedestrian Only 12 18 30
Road Environment 5 7 12
Special Code 2 5 7
Vehicle Defect 1 2 3
Vision Affected 8 5 13
Grand Total 76 143 10 229

This shows the main causation factors in all our 124 slight collisions. Some collisions will have more than one causation factor, explaining why the total number of factors is higher than collisions or slight injuries.

The main factor still remains that of driver/ rider error, with pedestrian only being the second highest factor (failure to look, distracted, use of unsafe or inappropriate crossing point etc)

Vision Zero South West

Torbay Council continues to work closely with the Police to ensure enforcement is a key activity in road casualty reduction. The Council also works with the Vision Zero South West partnership to use camera enforcement and education to reduce speeds and red light violation.

There will be no revenue funding for the operation of Safety Cameras in 2023/24, however the operation and enforcement of the fixed safety camera sites within Torbay will continue.

The partnership are responsible for the maintenance of the cameras, whilst the authority are responsible for the poles and housings and any works required would be funded from our maintenance budget.

The authority will continue to work closely with the partnership to ensure that mobile safety camera activity is targeted at those locations where speed related problems continue in an effort to increase the visibility of enforcement.

It is anticipated that some existing fixed camera sites, which are reaching the end of their operational life, will be considered for upgrade during the forthcoming year as part of the ongoing programme of improvements by Vision Zero South West.

Over the coming years Torbay, in line with our partners in Vision Zero South West (VZSW), will move towards the Safe Systems approach to road safety with a target of providing a safe transport system, free from death and serious injury.

Planned road safety campaigns 2023/24

Reductions in local government grants from Central Government and the increasing demands on our services meant that difficult decisions had to be made and, as there is no statutory duty to provide Road Safety officers, the Mayors Budget for 2017/2018 resulted in the loss of posts within Road Safety

However, during 2022/23, following a ‘one off’ funding allocation, officers within Torbay Council’s Communication and engagement Team produced a Road Safety Communications and Engagement Plan which was introduced early in the 2022/23 school year. The actions included the following:

  • A highly visual campaign was run across a variety of platforms and media outlets that targeted a variety of road users encouraging them to think about how their own actions and behaviours could contribute to a road traffic casualty.
  • Schools were provided with materials to enable them to discuss with pupils the importance of staying alert to road safety at all times.
  • The hosting ‘pop up’ events in Torbay town centres with partner agencies to raise awareness that road safety is everyone’s responsibility.
  • Engaging with and sharing content Road Safety Awareness Week 14 to 20 November. (Theme for 2022 is Road Safety for all).

No specific funding has been allocated by Torbay Council for 2023/24 and therefore there are no planned Road Safety Education Campaigns programmed for the forthcoming year.

The Communications and Engagement Team along with Highways Officers will continue to engage and support Vision Zero South West in 2023/24 to promote Road Safety Campaigns and Education across Torbay and the Devon and Cornwall Region. This will include sharing content for Road Safety Awareness Week (Week commencing 19 November) (Theme ‘Let’s Talk about Speed’).