Working towards Vision Zero – what did 2020 look like on the roads of Essex?

In November 2020, the Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) launched Vision Zero.

Vision Zero is the ambition to have ZERO road deaths and serious injuries on roads in the Essex, Southend and Thurrock council areas by 2040. 

To get to zero by 2040, the current number of deaths and serious injuries needs to halve by 2030. This will involve many changes and will require the commitment of all communities and organisations, as well as each individual road user. 

Will Cubbin, data analyst for SERP, said: “The provisional data for 2020 shows that 752 people were killed or seriously injured on the roads of Essex during 2020, which is a 14% reduction on the official figure for 2019. Sadly, this includes 49 people who lost their lives while using the roads, seven more people than in 2019 and the same number as in 2018.  

“Official figures for 2020 may differ slightly once all quality checks have been carried out, but a number of things are clear from 2020 data sources. The COVID restrictions resulted in much lower traffic flows for extended periods during the year, but higher traffic speeds. The lower flows have resulted in fewer collisions overall but the higher speeds explain the increase in deaths and the continued high number of severe injuries.

The speed at which we drive our vehicle can make the difference between a mistake resulting in a near-miss, a minor injury, a life changing injury or death.

“Zero really is the only number we should accept.”

The Department for Transport will undertake data quality checks over the coming months so official figures may be slightly different once published.

Below are the official comparative figures for the last few years.

Year 2016 2017 2018 2019
Fatal 64 46 49 42
Serious 961 880 882 831
Slight 3920 3433 3287 3024
KSI 1025 926 931 873
Total 4945 4359 4218 3897

23 February 2021

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