Isle Of Man / Ellan Vannin

Isle of Man serious road accident rate twice that of England

Police car parked on closed road Image copyright IOM POLICE
Image caption The number of people killed or serious injuries on Manx roads per capita is double England's

People are twice as likely to be killed or seriously injured on the Isle of Man's roads than they are in England, Manx government statistics have shown.

An average of 81.2 people per 100,000 were hurt or died in crashes, compared to England's 40.8 from 2015 to 2017.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) said the numbers were influenced by "factors unique to the island".

The government has yet to confirm if the figures include deaths and serious injuries on closed roads during races.

Director of Public Health Henrietta Ewart said the statistics indicated "the areas where we need to ask the questions".

Image caption Former police inspector Derek Flint said there should be a "grown-up debate" over road safety

Former police inspector Derek Flint said a "grown-up debate" was needed over road safety.

He said the island's "road racing culture" meant people "come and use our roads pretty much as a playground for two weeks every year for the TT".

Earlier this year, politicians approved a Road Safety Strategy which aims to reduce the number of serious accidents by 40% over the next decade.

However, the document ruled out a national speed limit, stating restrictions on roads would be set "on a case-by-case basis".

Tynwald heard in November there had been a 46% reduction in fatal road accidents since 1998.

Figures released in the 2018-19 Chief Constable's annual report revealed that the overall number of crashes on the island had fallen by 12% on the year.

A DHA spokesman said the department "took road safety seriously" and had the "aspiration" of cutting road deaths to zero, he added.

In July, Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer confirmed that speed limits in town centres and villages could be cut to 20mph from next year.

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