A preventative approach should be used to help avoid tragedies on Glasgow’s roads, says a councillor determined for change.

The Glasgow Times reported 16 fatalities including two children last year, as previously told on Saturday.

Official data has not been released yet.

Glasgow Times:

Councillor Holly Bruce said: “The number is worrying, and I don't want to make any sort of assumptions because it might just be bad luck, but we can't rest in our morals and be like, ‘Right, so that was a bad year’.

“We need to look at the deaths critically and make sure that we are being preventative in our approach because I don't think that's what's happening at the moment. It's very reactive. It's when it happens, change will come.”

Just five months into 2023, there were more lives lost on our city’s roads than the previous year – and the figure increased even further after five deaths in the first week of June.

Following three deaths in one week at the beginning of the year – including cyclist Emma Burke Newman – Cllr Bruce pushed for a road safety roundtable to be launched at a Safe Partnership meeting.

Glasgow Times:

The round table has now concluded, and Glasgow City Council is pulling all the ideas put forward together – which could result in new proposals.

“Right now, there's cyclists and pedestrians that are concerned for their safety and that’s why I’m making road safety my priority,” Cllr Bruce said.

“It’s the council’s responsibility and it’s the police’s responsibility and right now there's not enough collaborative work between those two. There's no joint approach that I can see." 

The Greens politician is calling for near-miss data to be recorded.

She said: “Currently, the council only uses injury data to assess whether or not there needs to be interventions.

"Whereas I'm trying to argue that non-injury data is the better way to stop people getting seriously injured or killed.

"Say a vehicle close passes a cyclist and puts them in a vulnerable position and they fall off their bike but aren't injured, there's no clear way for them to report that.

“The collecting of non-injury data, I think, is crucial to a preventative approach and to prevent people dying on the roads. And the fact that that's not moved any further forward in a year is disappointing." 

Glasgow Times:

There had been a decrease in road traffic fatalities until last year.

According to Police Scotland data, seven people lost their lives on the city’s roads in 2022, nine in 2021 and 14 in 2020. 

Cllr Bruce said: “It’s massively important to reduce the number of deaths, it’s people’s safety.

“To have situations where people are not getting on a bike because they're concerned for their safety is an issue. And similarly with people walking as pedestrians.

“If our built environment isn't fit for purpose or doesn't allow people to move about freely then it's going to restrict people and their movement in the city, and that's not good for well-being or the economy.”

Emma Burke Newman’s tragic death was highlighted by Cllr Bruce.

Glasgow Times: EmmaEmma (Image: Supplied)The 22-year-old architecture student was cycling to Glasgow School of Art when she was involved in a crash with a lorry and died on January 27.

“Emma’s work on trying to make our city safer and more accessible for cyclists is poignant,” Cllr Bruce said.

“The cycling community was devastated following her death.

“All the deaths are devastating. But I think in particular, hers put things into focus for a lot of people. I just hope that people aren't going to stop cycling because of safety concerns but I wouldn't blame them at the same time.”

The outcome of the road safety roundtable will be revealed later this year.

A spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: “We work closely and regularly with Police Scotland on a full range of road safety issues, including the follow-up investigations into serious and fatal road accidents.

“Our road safety team regularly reviews the accident database maintained by the police to identify accident clusters or trends.

“All road deaths are fully investigated by police, who look in the potential human, vehicle or road factors that may have contributed to individual incidents.

“Where an issue with the road network is found, we will always take appropriate action to address the concerns that have been identified.

“We are aware of the debate concerning near miss reporting.

“But we would be concerned about variable reporting of near misses, unreliable information, and the unlikelihood that such incidents could be fully investigated to allow appropriate, follow-up action to be taken.”