BOURNEMOUTH is among the worst areas across the country for pedestrians killed or seriously injured.

Roads chiefs came 21st out of 204 highway authorities for pedestrians hurt or killed between 2010 and 2014.

There were 133 incidents of either fatal or serious injuries from road crashes in those four years, a rate of 70.5 per 100,000 people.

In more recent years, 19 pedestrians were seriously injured or killed in 2018 which equated to 42 per cent of all road casualties in the town that year.

Two of the reported incidents involved children.

There were 30 serious injuries or fatalities to pedestrians in Bournemouth in 2017, as well as 25 cyclists, 16 motorcyclists, 10 car occupants and one “other”, equalling 82 in total.

These figures made 2017 the worst year since 2012 when there was a total of 108 incidents.

A petition was recently set up, and is still live, by Branksome Park and Canford Cliffs Residents Association to improve pedestrian safety by introducing pedestrian crossing points and a programme of measures to inhibit excessive vehicle speed.

A spokesperson for the association said: “Under the current road safety policy, only when someone is killed will road safety measures be implemented, not surprisingly we don’t want to wait until the worst happens here.”

A BCP Council spokesperson said they are working with the police, fire and rescue and health agencies across Dorset on road safety interventions like new zebra and signal crossings, as well as enforcement focussed on speeding and other anti-social behaviour.

The spokesman added: “Pedestrians are a very vulnerable road user group because in the event of being struck by a vehicle they have no physical protection.

“We encourage pedestrians to wear bright or high visibility clothing, find a safe place to cross, stop, look, listen, think, particularly on dark winter nights where visibility is low.

“In regard to drivers we encourage them to slow down, check their windscreen and lights are clean and working, concentrate on driving, don’t drink and drive, or drug drive, and be alert to respond to developing circumstances.”

In a separate report, Dorset Police ranked 11th worse out of 52 police areas for pedestrian fatalities and serious injuries between 2011 and 2015.

There were 376 incidents at a rate of 49.8 per 100,000 people.