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Fatal accident figures are falling.

THE number of fatal injuries on South Wales roads fell by 10, new figures show.

Comparing the period of April 2007 to January 2008 with April to October 2008, the figures also showed the number of serious injury collisions has fallen by 159.

A South Wales Police spokesperson said even when the missing period - November 2008 to January 2009 - was factored in, the figures were still favourable because there were on average about 20 serious collisions in South Wales each month.

Meanwhile, statistics for Gwent have changed very little. Between April and November 2008 there were 22 fatalities and 140 people seriously injured, compared to 27 deaths and 148 people seriously injured during April to December 2007.

Police forces are given a detailed definition of serious injuries by the Department for Transport.

It includes anyone kept in hospital as an inpatient or people who sustain fractures, concussion, internal injuries, crushing, burns, severe cuts and severe general shock.

It also encompasses injuries resulting in death 30 days or more after an accident. It acknowledges that data will be influenced by whether people are hospitalised and procedures can vary regionally.

In 2006, the British Medical Journal exposed inconsistencies between the injuries reported by police and the number of hospital patients admitted for treatment due to collisions.

In November last year the House of Commons Transport Committee expressed reservations about the accuracy of serious injury data.

The committee said the figure for deaths was more reliable and these have been falling each year.
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Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 29, 2009
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