Road Safety News

IAM publishes KSI league table

Wednesday 30th July 2014

The IAM has published a league table showing the 10 local authority areas where KSI casualties fell by the greatest amount in 2013, and the areas where there were the largest increases.

It claims that the data shows the “local authority areas that have performed best and worst for reducing the number of people killed or seriously injured on their roads”.

The table, compiled from DfT casualty stats, shows that three areas shows where KSI casualties fell the most in 2013 compared with the previous year are Nottinghamshire (-98), Tower Hamlets (-81) and Chester/Chester West (-78).

The three areas where KSI casualties increased by the greatest amount last year are Lancashire (+72), Kent (+70) and Cumbria (+43).

The IAM says the “top 10 best performing areas in the UK” are: Nottinghamshire, Tower Hamlets, Chester/Chester West, Suffolk, Hackney, Staffordshire, Islington, Greenwich, Gloucestershire and Redbridge.

Conversely, the 10 local authority areas where casualties increased by the most are: Lancashire, Kent, Cumbria, Norfolk, East Sussex, Rotherham, Wirral, Surrey, Worcester and Hampshire.

Simon Best, chief executive of the IAM, said: “Figures will always vary from year to year but the wide variations do suggest that some councils are much better at putting measures in place that are having a marked difference in reducing the numbers of deaths and serious injuries on their roads.

“As the economy improves spending on road safety must be seen as a priority across the whole of the UK with clear strategies in place to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads.”

Responding to the IAM’s analysis, Honor Byford, chair of Road Safety GB, said: “We warmly welcome the IAM’s continuing support for the road safety measures and programmes that are provided by road safety officers and engineers in their local highways authorities, and its concern that this commitment and service needs to be supported and continued.

“All data and analysis is useful especially from different perspectives, and we are also pleased to see that the increasing amount of data now published by the DfT is being more widely used.

“However, we would be wary of the use of over-simplistic analysis in comparing just one year with the previous year as this is not statistically sound in identifying trends and patterns.

“A rise or fall between one year and the next may be for a variety of reasons, many of which are entirely beyond the control of the local highways authority. 

“A three to five year comparison would be more informative to show any authority’s progress and would remove the effect of one particularly ‘good’ or ‘bad’ year.

“We also note that this basic comparison includes all local highways authorities without differentiating between urban – densely populated city areas with small networks and high volumes of traffic - and large rural counties with many more miles of road, much of them with higher speed limits and very different levels and types of use.  This is not comparing like with like.

“The table also includes the London boroughs, with their very different funding packages through Transport for London.”

The full data is available on the IAM website.


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Statistically, the numbers of KSI casualties in each authority are relatively small. They may well show wide fluctuations from year to year. Therefore, they are quite inappropriate as the data to determine the best and worst performing authorities. It's another inept statistical report from the IAM that does them no credit all.
Henry Peacock, Preston

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

This is one situation where I have to agree with Idris. Having done my own analysis in about 20 minutes of the same data and using %age change rather than absolute change I note the following:-

IAM says that this refers to "The top ten best performing areas in Great Britain" yet it seems to only include English Traffic Authorities. It excludes the City of Edinburgh which showed a reduction of 63 KSIs in 2013.

If you look at the %age change then you find that there were 41 traffic authorities with a larger %age reduction than the IAM's "top performer" of Nottinghamshire.

And whilst IAM said that Lancashire was worst on a %age increase basis there were 39 traffic authorities with a higher %age increase.

This comes on the back of IAM's very dubious press release on casualties based on speed limits.

Maybe IAM should stick to driving rather than statistics.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (1) | Disagree (0)

I cannot recall such unanimous condemnationn of a report since I started here - and rightly so. Well done Honor in particular but also all others who pointed out the serious flaws in this all-too-frequent attempt to secure publicity without paying for it.

My only reservation about the comments was that they were far too polite - not a failing of mine - so here goes. The analysis was drivel. Not that I have expected better from the IAM ever since they argued (with me as it happened) in the letters column of Car magazine some 30 years ago that drivers signal too often and that this is dangerous because they have to take a hand off the wheel to do it.
Idris Francis Fight Back With Facts Petersfield

Agree (9) | Disagree (3)

David S is right. Is this true GB data including Scotland? If so, surely we would have appeared somewhere. This is about self-publication and the IAM's need to put the name in the public domain by sending out press releases every five minutes and to use a good old Scottish word, I'm scunnered of them.
Dave, Edinburgh

Agree (7) | Disagree (0)

So the IAM appears to have joined the ranks of charities presenting questionable data on road safety issues .....
Tim Philpot, Wolverhampton

Agree (18) | Disagree (1)

Yes, I think you are correct about the naivity, but I would question the amount of "thinking" going on. That's two recent press releases "analysing" DfT figures that could be used as case studies for GCSE statistics classes on how not to draw conclusions from data. And that from an organisation claiming to be the UK's leading independent road safety charity.
Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (16) | Disagree (0)

This appears to be yet another IAM selfie against the background of the pending DfT road Casualties of Great Britain.

A 3-5 comparison would be a more fair and realastic reflection of the number of KSI potholes to be found on our English roads.
Gareth Surrey

Agree (11) | Disagree (2)

Are the IAM naive enough to think that the KSI rate in an area is somehow related to the 'performance' of the LA? If so then why not also point the finger at the Police, Ambulance, Fire & Rescue, A & E departments etc. and any other agencies and organisations who could conceivably influence the cause and outcome of a road accident?
Hugh Jones, Cheshire

Agree (27) | Disagree (0)

We also note that in Parking Review they have updated their article on the claims of IAM regarding their so-called analysis of casualties in 20mph and 30mph roads.

Rod King, 20's Plenty for Us

Agree (6) | Disagree (6)

I agree with David's reservations, and would also point out that this simplistic analysis takes no account of traffic or of driver residency. What's more, it merely replicates the standard tables which will be published by DfT in Road Casualties Great Britain in a few weeks' time. What is the point of publishing this at all?
Bruce Walton

Agree (25) | Disagree (0)

The IAM arenít doing well with their statistics or their geography. The ranking they have prepared isnít for the UK as they say, or even for GB, itís just for England. If their ranking was for GB, then Edinburgh and Glasgow would have been in at number 6 and 10 for biggest decreases from 2012 to 2013.

The IAM havenít used percentage changes, so council areas (including trunk roads) with big numbers of casualties are more likely to feature with big changes in numbers even if these are a small percentage change.

To use these figures to compare the performance of councils, ignores the fact that many of the casualties occur on trunk roads that are not a direct council responsibility.
David S.

Agree (31) | Disagree (0)