The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents in Scotland is disappointed that the number of children killed in accidents on Scotland’s roads increased between 2010 and 2011.

The provisional figures, published today by Transport Scotland, show that seven under-16s were killed on the roads in 2011, an increase from the four deaths in 2010. Five of the children were passengers in cars and two were pedestrians. The number of children seriously injured in reported road accidents fell from 223 to 203. The overall number of child casualties (killed, seriously injured or slightly injured) fell from 1,378 to 1,315.

Overall, the number of people killed and injured in road accidents in Scotland fell between 2010 and 2011. There were 186 road deaths in total during 2011; 22 (11 per cent) fewer than in 2010. There were 1,873 seriously injured casualties; 95 (five per cent) fewer than in 2010. And, 10,704 people were slightly injured; 458 (four per cent) fewer than in 2010.

In addition to the rise in child fatality figures, RoSPA is also disappointed that there were no reductions in cyclist casualties between 2010 and 2011. Seven cyclists were killed in 2011 – the same as in 2010 – while the number of seriously injured cyclists rose by 13 per cent from 138 to 156. The overall number of cyclist casualties (killed, seriously injured or slightly injured) rose by six per cent from 781 to 824.

There was also a rise in the number of pedestrians injured, although a reduction in the number of pedestrians killed.

Kathleen Braidwood, road safety officer for

RoSPA Scotland

, said: “It is distressing to see that the number of children killed on Scotland’s roads rose between 2010 and 2011, particularly in light of the overall reduction in road deaths, and our thoughts are with all the families affected by these tragedies. It is also disappointing to see that cyclist and pedestrian casualty figures went against the general downwards trend.

“The child, cyclist and pedestrian figures show that we cannot see road safety as a ‘job done’. The figures for these vulnerable road user groups mar the overall reduction in the number of casualties on Scotland’s roads to a level that is actually a record low.

“Scotland has a very strong culture of different organisations working together on road safety and it is crucial that this work continues and that all those involved look for fresh ways to prevent death and injury on our roads.

“Scotland’s Road Safety Framework to 2020 describes road safety as ‘everyone’s responsibility’ and, to reduce child casualties, good road safety education for parents and educational resources for communities are important, to complement other approaches like engineering, enforcement and wider road safety training. The same is also true for reducing cyclist casualties. Whilst it is true to say that modal shift – an increase in miles covered by cyclists – will contribute to the number of incidents involving cyclists, a lot of work needs to be done to help protect this vulnerable group. There needs to be strong education and training for road users, no matter whether they are cyclists or motorists, supported by other measures like cycle routes and an encouragement to cyclists to wear helmets and ensure they are easily visible to other road users.”

More detailed road casualty figures for Scotland will be published in October.

RoSPA’s mission is to save lives and reduce injuries