Casualty reporting in Britain

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Data for road safety casualty statistics are collected by each police force independently, this data is known as STATS19, as that was the original name of the form for this purpose. STATS19 data is collected to an agreed specification as described by STATS20 guidance. The specification is periodically reviewed to ensure the information is relevant and minimises the burden on the police. Reviews are conducted approximately every 5 years and the recommendations from the review can change the specification by adding or removing fields. The latest review was carried out in 2018

A note on data quality: Historically, all police officers would have been collecting data via handwritten paper forms which were not held to the same level of scrutiny that digital records are examined to today. Some police officers also have access to mobile phone applications and better data systems which validate data entry. For example, officers can use mobile phone’s GPS to gather accurate coordinate information rather than a written text description of the accident.

A copy of the STATS19 form and the STATS20 guidance for the completion of the form can be found at the end of this article.

The Department for Transport (DFT) publish annual road casualty statistics twice each year. Provisional results are published in May for the first release and the detailed statistics are released in September. In-year estimates, providing provisional figures for the first half of the year are usually published in November.

Estimates of drink-drive accidents and casualties are published separately, provisionally in February with final figures in August.

Selected road safety data can be accessed in spreadsheet tables or via the DfT’s data download tool.  The full datasets can be downloaded as open data.

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