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Roads: Accidents

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what assessment she has made of the extent to which STATS 19 returns underestimate the actual number of road traffic accident casualties; and when her Department became aware of the issue. (157158)

[holding answer 11 October 2007]: Very few, if any, fatal accidents do not become known to the police. However, research conducted on behalf of the Department for Transport has shown that an appreciable proportion of non-fatal injury accidents are not reported to the police. There is no legal duty in Great Britain to report personal injury road accidents to the police provided the participants exchange details at the scene.

One of the earliest attempts to quantify the level of reporting in STATS 19 was published in 1979 in the report “Classification of injury severity by length of stay in hospital”.

Further studies have been undertaken which also provide estimates of this shortfall and the most recent work on reporting levels was drawn together in the report “Road Safety Research Report 69: Under-reporting of Road Casualties - Phase 1” commissioned by the Department and published in June 2006:

A note on levels of reporting on STATS 19 can be found on the Department’s website at: