ROAD deaths in the Lothians have soared by a third in the last eight months, with 17 lives lost in accidents and hundreds left seriously injured.
The number of deaths between April and December climbed from 12 for the same period the year before.
In Edinburgh, road deaths increased from seven to ten, a rise of 30 per cent, while serious injuries also increased by ten per cent.
Road safety campaigners said that the Lothians was matching a UK-wide trend for traffic deaths which has seen pedestrians and cyclists prove particularly vulnerable.
Last month, city accountant Ian McCance, from Marchmont Crescent, was knocked down and killed by a black taxi cab within yards of his home as he crossed Marchmont Road near its junction with Warrender Park Road.
Among 25 people killed over the eight months in Lothian and Borders, 11 were pedestrians, while three were cyclists.
Two vehicle drivers and seven passengers lost their lives, while two motorcycle riders were killed.
Neil Greig, director of policy at the Institute of Advanced Motorists, said: “Unfortunately, the Lothians seems to be matching a UK-wide trend for road deaths. The national figures for July, August and September were released on Thursday and although they showed an overall fall in accidents, those involving pedestrians and cyclists had gone up.
“This trend has been going on for the last two years and no-one is quite sure why it’s happening.
“Overall, the roads are much safer than ten years ago. With cycling, it’s likely to be because more people are doing it, but no one seems to know with pedestrians.
“It’s something that we’ve been highlighting to drivers to try and make them aware of vulnerable road users.”
In the Capital between April and December, 145 people were seriously injured along with the ten killed, a rise on the 130 for the same period a year before. Minor injuries on the roads fell in the city by six per cent, from 956 to 905.
Councillor Lesley Hinds, the city’s transport leader, said: “We work to a Road Safety Plan together with the police, fire service and the NHS. “The recent 20mph zone trial in the south of the city has been very successful and we are carrying out further consultation regarding extending this to more parts of the city. Our goal as a partnership is to eliminate fatalities and serious injuries caused on Edinburgh’s roads by 2020.”
Last year, a young father died in a horror road smash after his car collided with a lorry. Ross Graham, 22, from Sighthill View, was killed in the collision at the Clovenstone Roundabout in Wester Hailes Road in December. His partner, Christina Vibert, 26, who was also in the car, was left fighting for her life in hospital. Ms Vibert had given birth to their daughter, Cali, in November.
A police spokesman said: “Lothian and Borders Police is committed to reducing the number of casualties on our roads.”