ROAD safety bosses say Hartlepool has seen its best reduction in collision casualties in more than 30 years.
New figures show 189 people were hurt on the roads in the town in 2013 – a reduction of 30 per cent compared to the previous year.
Of those, 19 people suffered a serious injury, while there were no deaths as a result of a collision on the town’s roads.
Councillor Peter Jackson, chairman of Hartlepool Borough Council’s neighbourhood services committee, said: “This is the best reduction in road casualties on Hartlepool’s roads since we began recording casualty figures more than 30 years ago, and we are very pleased indeed with this. But clearly even one casualty is still one too many as far as we are concerned.
“We feel the reduction is due to a combination of factors. Over the past few years the council and its partners including the emergency services have done a lot of work to educate people on road safety, ranging from sessions for schoolchildren to cycle training and alcohol, seat belt and speeding campaigns.
“Add to this improvements which have been made to road layouts and junctions, restrictions on parking around junction areas, the introduction of 20mph zones and the impact of the camera car in deterring illegal parking outside schools and in bus stops, plus the targeted enforcement which the police have carried out on issues such as speeding, drink driving and using mobile phones while driving.
“It is this collective effort by all the partners which has achieved this very welcome and very considerable improvement in Hartlepool’s casualty figures.”
Nationwide the number of road deaths dropped to the lowest figure since records began in 1926.
Director of policy of research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists Neil Greig said: “We welcome the overall decrease in road deaths although the long-term trends show improvements are slowing down.”
Ed Morrow, campaigns officer for Brake, the road safety charity, said: “It is encouraging to see road casualties falling in the North-East.
“However, across the UK, they are not falling nearly fast enough.
“Since 2010, progress has stalled dramatically. At this rate, it will be many more decades before we reach the only acceptable number of casualties on our roads, and that number is zero.