Scottish road casualty statistics at record low: 2012 finalised data of road injuries, accidents and casualties

The figures for 2012 show overall casualties are down 1% on last year’s previous record low and down 34% on 2002 data. The number of fatalities on Scotland’s roads is down 6% on last year and 43% down on 2002. The updated statistics also estimate the number of people killed due to drink-drive accidents has fallen.

There was however a rise in the number of pedal cyclist casualties, an issue which the Scottish Government is determined to tackle by investing in improvements to cycling infrastructure, training and road safety.

These figures supersede the provisional road injury and casualties statistics published in June.

Mr Brown said: “The latest data confirms road casualties in Scotland are at their lowest level since records began. There is much that is good news in these figures but in some respects we still have a long way to go. Our focus continues to be on driving the numbers down even further.

“We welcome the fall in young drivers involved in accidents and are also encouraged by the latest data which estimates that the number of people killed due to drink-drive accidents has dropped. However we are not complacent, with even one fatality on Scotland’s roads being one too many.

“We must continue working with our partners to ensure that everyone plays their part to make our roads safer. We have achieved a lot but there is still work to do, particularly in respect of safety issues for cyclists, pedestrians and motorcyclists.

“The Scottish Government has invested over £58 million in cycling infrastructure, cycle training and road safety messages. We will continue to work with our road safety partners to try to enable cyclists to use Scotland’s roads safety. In addition to the funding from this spending review period, £20 million has also been allocated to cycle infrastructure over the next two years to enhance the Community Links programme run by Sustrans Scotland which will be matched by local authorities.

Mr Brown added: “We will encourage training and support for motorcyclists through advanced rider training schemes, and continue to target motorcyclists with appropriate road safety messages. We would also encourage other road users to pay particular attention to the vulnerability and needs of pedestrians.”

Superintendent Iain Murray, Head of Road Policing at Police Scotland said: "Today’s figures are encouraging and show that the partnership approach to casualty reduction is working.

"It is heartening to see such significant reductions in statistics, but it is important to recognise the tragedy that still lies behind the numbers. There is still a lot of work to be done.

"Reducing road casualties and fatalities is one of the ‘five golden threads’ of policing in Scotland and as such every officer is now focused on improving road safety in our communities.

"We shall continue to work together with Local Authorities, through Divisional Road Policing Units, to address local concerns and to protect vulnerable groups, and the Trunk Roads Patrol Group will provide a high visibility presence on the main roads across the country to improve safety and keep Scotland moving.

"Police Scotland remains committed to working with partners to influence road user behaviour, make Scotland's safer for everyone and help to meet the Scottish Government’s 2020 casualty reduction targets."

Notes to editors

1. A Statistical news release and link to the statistical bulletin for the 2012 data can be found on Transport Scotland’s news pages at

2. Casualty numbers need to be compared against other transport data to provide context, including traffic levels. Traffic volumes have fallen slightly in the last five years where as pedal cycle travel has increased by a quarter.

3. Transport Scotland is the Scottish Government’s national transport agency responsible for; aviation, bus, freight and taxi policy; coordinating the National Transport Strategy for Scotland; ferries, ports and harbours; impartial travel services; liaising with regional transport partnerships, including monitoring of funding; local roads policy; major public transport projects; national concessionary travel schemes; rail and trunk road networks; sustainable transport, road safety and accessibility; the Blue Badge Scheme. Transport Scotland is an Executive agency accountable to Scottish Ministers.

Published 23 Oct 2013