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Roads: Accidents

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the cost to the public purse has been of (a) fatal road traffic accidents, (b) serious road traffic accidents and (c) minor road traffic accidents in each year since 1997. (139667)

The values used to estimate the benefits of the prevention of road accidents are set out in the "Highways Economic Note No. 1: 2005 Valuation of the Benefits of Prevention of Road Accidents and Casualties" which can be found on the DfT website at

http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/ea/.

Included within these values are the costs to public funds for medical, ambulance and police costs (emergency services). The estimated totals of such costs in each year since 1997 in Great Britain are set out in the following table.

Estimated cost of emergency services

£ million

Fatal accidents

Serious accidents

Slight accidents

2005

21

334

202

2004

21

349

201

2003

25

356

198

2002

25

366

198

2001

24

356

188

2000

14

360

190

1999

19

346

178

1998

24

346

167

1997

24

346

167

The values reported in the “Highways Economic Note No. 1: 2005 Valuation of the Benefits of Prevention of Road Accidents and Casualties” also cover a wide range of other costs incurred following accidents. These include the human costs of pain, grief and suffering, insurance and administrative costs, damage to property and lost output. Some element of these costs must be borne by the public sector, but reliable estimates as to the size of this burden are not available.

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the average cost to the public purse of each (a) fatal road traffic accident, (b) serious road traffic accident and (c) minor road traffic accident was in the latest period for which figures are available. (139668)

The values used to estimate the benefits of the prevention of road accidents are set out in the “Highways Economic Note No. 1: 2005 Valuation of the Benefits of Prevention of Road Accidents and Casualties” which can be found on the DfT website at http://www.dft.gov.uk/pgr/roadsafety/ea/. Included within these values are the costs to public funds for medical, ambulance and police costs (emergency services). The average medical, ambulance, and police costs assumed in the Highways Economic Note No.1 for 2005 are as follows:

For a fatal accident: £7,110

For a serious accident: £13,360

For a slight accident: £1,180

(2005 prices)

The values reported in the “Highways Economic Note No. 1: 2005 Valuation of the Benefits of Prevention of Road Accidents and Casualties” also cover a wide range of other costs incurred following accidents. These include the human costs of pain, grief and suffering, insurance and administrative costs, damage to property and lost output. Some element of these costs must be borne by the public sector, but reliable estimates as to the size of this burden are not available.