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Working together to reduce casualties


When targeting the causes of road casualties it is important to be driven by the facts or data.  The key source of road accident data which underpins our work in Norfolk is the police STATS19 data.  Other sources include the NHS hospital admissions data and Norfolk Ambulance Service records.


  • To find out more about general road safety facts for the County please click here.
  • To find out more about younger driver facts please click here.
  • To find out more about motorcyclists facts please click here.
  • To find out more about older driver facts please click here.


Stats 19


A national system of collecting road accident data was first introduced in 1949, called the STATS19 after the code number on the original collection form.  It has been developed and updated since then through a process of 5 year reviews.


  • It is collected by all police forces across Great Britain in a nationally consistent way. 
  • It only records accidents where people are injured (personal injury accidents) rather than damage-only collisions.
  • The accidents are classified as fatal, serious or slight depending on the severity of the most serious casualty involved.
  • It contains over 50 fields detailing the circumstances of the accident.

For more information on the STATS19 system please click here.


Road Casualties in Norfolk


Over 2,000 collisions involving personal injury are recorded every year on Norfolk’s roads resulting in almost 3,000 casualties.  We are aware that not all injury accidents are reported to the police and that there are many more non injury collisions that are not recorded. These figures are therefore the tip of the iceberg:-



(Above figures are approximate and estimated annual numbers for Norfolk)


Prioritising Treatment


Both the Government’s strategy and our work in Norfolk concentrate on reducing fatalities and serious casualties (often termed KSI – killed and serious injuries).  These are life ending/life changing events which have the greatest cost to society in terms of suffering and financial cost. 


Cost of Road Accidents


The Department of Transport (DfT) produces annual figures for the average value of road accident prevention relating to their severity.  Currently they are


Fatal                             £1,876,830

Serious                         £215,170

Slight                            £22,230

Damage-only                 £1,970


This is not to say that other accidents should be ignored.  Slight casualties also cause pain, stress and costs but are by their definition fully recoverable.  Damage-only collisions and near-misses can also cause considerable concern and community severance which has social impacts, reducing activity, mobility and social cohesion.  Nevertheless there is a clear moral and financial case for prioritising more serious incidents.


Accident waiting to happen? 


We probably all know of a location which we would say is an “accident waiting to happen”.  Since the large majority of road accidents are caused primarily by human error, sadly accidents can occur almost anywhere.  In order to target our work effectively we must therefore look to where road accidents are already occurring.


Of course it is impossible to prevent accidents that have already happened; however the past performance of a location or group of road users gives us a strong indication of likelihood of future accidents.  For instance at a site where serious accidents are regularly recorded, this is likely to continue unless preventative work is done.  By identifying and targeting such sites or user groups we can have maximum effect in reducing the occurrence of future accidents.


Where do road accidents in Norfolk happen?



(KSI = killed and serious injured, Urban = Conurbation, population of over 10,000)


We all know how rural a county Norfolk is.  The strong rural bias in accidents is due not only to this but also to fact that accident severity is higher on faster roads (ie outside of built-up areas).  Slight casualties are much more evenly split between rural and urban areas.


We continually monitor accident records in Norfolk to identify problem sites, under-performing groups, routes with high accident rate, rising trends etc.  In this way we seek to be as responsive as possible while retaining a clear focus on real rather than perceived problems. 

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