ROAD safety experts in Huddersfield have welcomed a big fall in accident statistics.
But officials at Brake insist even more can be done – especially if councils move towards more 20mph zones in towns and villages.
They want 20mph to be the norm rather than the exception.
In Huddersfield there are 20mph schemes in Almondbury, Honley and Meltham, brought in by Kirklees Council .
The annual government statistics revealed the number of people killed and seriously injured on roads in Great Britain fell by 1% in 2012, following last year's rise of 2%.
A total of 1,754 people were killed in 2012, 8% lower than 2011. In the same year, 23,039 people suffered serious injuries in a road crash, 0.4% lower than 2011.
In Kirklees seven people were killed on the roads last year with a total of 144 seriously injured. That was 6% down on the previous year’s tally of 160 people killed or seriously injured.
In Calderdale there were only two fatalities but the number seriously injured rose to 94, compared to 90 in the previous year.
In 2012 there were just over 1,000 road traffic collisions in Kirklees which resulted in nearly 1,500 people being injured – most of them slightly.
The council uses the accident data to target where interventions will have the greatest impact.
A spokesman said: “From an educational point we use postcode information contained in the accident data to pinpoint those injured and carry out campaigns and training in local communities.
“We are currently planning six key area projects where residents are at greatest risk. We also use data to plan pedestrian skills training sessions in schools.
“We engage with and rely on the help of many partners to support projects. We work closely with police, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, local community groups, schools, safeguarding boards, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and Yorkshire Ambulance Service to name just a few.
“We also link in with the West Yorkshire Casualty Reduction Partnership and introduce safety cameras where these are justified.”
As part of the GO 20 campaign, Brake is calling for 20mph to be the norm in cities, towns and villages: making them safer, healthier, nicer places.
The charity is urging drivers everywhere to make a personal commitment to drive at 20mph, to protect vulnerable road users, around homes, schools and shops.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of Brake, the road safety charity, said: “Road crashes are violent, sudden events that tear apart families and whole communities; they are also a huge economic burden, and preventable through investment in education, engineering and enforcement. While progress towards fewer deaths and injuries is hugely welcome, it is important to acknowledge every person behind these statistics.
“For every one of the 1,754 people killed violently and needlessly in 2012, many more are left behind to grieve their loss, often suffering very serious trauma. So we must aim for zero; because no death or serious injury is acceptable.”