Traffic Crash Injury 2023

This is our fifth annual blog sharing local media stories about people killed or injured in road traffic collisions in Newcastle upon Tyne in 2023. In 2023 there were 5 fatalities, 91 serious injuries and 473 slight injuries on Newcastle’s roads, an average of 11 people injured every week.

While County Durham and Northumberland had substantially higher rates of people being killed or seriously injured in road traffic injuries, Newcastle upon Tyne had the worst record of the five urban local authorities that make up the remainder of the NE region.  

Local Authority Killed Serious Injuries Slight Injuries Total
County Durham 22 185 394 601
Northumberland 17 156 427 600
Newcastle upon Tyne 5 91 473 569
Sunderland 4 70 339 413
Gateshead 1 78 285 364
North Tyneside 2 48 250 300
South Tyneside 2 27 139 168
Total NE Mayor region 53 655 2,307 3,015

In the NE region as a whole, made up of the seven local authorities that be part of the new NE Mayoral authority from May 2024, there were 50 fatalities, 628 serious injuries and 2,233 slight injuries. Based on Department of Transport estimates, these injuries will have cost the NE region £315 million in 2023. Collisions where no one is injured and near misses are not recorded.

553 of those killed or injured in the NE region were pedestrians, including:

  • 15 fatalities – 28% of total fatalities
  • 158 serious injuries – 24% of the total
  • 390 slight injuries

306 people were injured in road traffic collisions while cycling, 81 of which were serious. In 2023, no cyclists were killed on NE roads.

In the Northumbria Police region, which does not include County Durham, there were

  • 31 fatalities
  • 470 serious injuries
  • 1,913 slight injuries

In the year April 2022 to March 2023 in Newcastle and Gateshead, North East Ambulance Service attended a total of 412 calls related to road traffic collisions.  These consisted of:

  • 12 Category 1 incidents for people with life-threatening injuries
  • 317 category 2 “emergency calls”
  • 83 category 3 “urgent calls”  

Categories and target response times are explained on the NHS England website.

Stopping death and injuries due to road traffic collisions is the joint responsibility of government, local authorities and emergency services.

  • The government sets road safety law and safety standards and provides funding for road safety projects.
  • Local authorities are responsible for designing safe road layouts that minimise the likelihood of a collision and minimise the impact where collisions do happen.
  • Police are responsible for deterring and preventing dangerous and careless driving.
  • Ambulance and fire services ensure there is an appropriate and timely response when collisions do happen.

From May 2024, it will be the new NE Mayor’s responsibility to ensure the safety of people traveling on the main roads that make up the (yet to be defined) Key Route Network, whether walking, cycling, driving or using public transport.

Newcastle City Council had started to implement proven road safety interventions such as low traffic neighbourhoods (LTNs) and school streets, including the school street at Grange First School which has now been made permanent. Progress appears to be faltering though with recent schemes at Fenham and Jesmond removed, due to Newcastle City Council choosing to prioritise vehicle journey times over road safety. The roll-out of further school streets to improve safety for children travelling to school also appears to be on hold.

Meanwhile the government has withdrawn statutory guidance aiming to make roads safer for people walking and cycling, and is now focused on a “Plan for Drivers“. This does little to address road danger and appears to be based on conspiracy theories rather than any actual evidence of what would make roads safer.

Earlier this year SPACE for Gosforth responded to Northumbria Police’s consultation on its Police and Crime plan setting out evidence that fear of being caught is the greatest deterrent to dangerous driving. We are not aware of any changes made to road traffic policing following this consultation. 

As in previous years, the vast majority of incidents where people are hurt due to road traffic collisions are not reported in the media, so this is only a snapshot. It also doesn’t show any of the indirect consequences of dangerous driving e.g. children not being allowed to play outside or walk or cycle to school.

Again we want to express our thanks to everyone who is working towards making NE roads safer, and to media and other organisations continuing to highlight the terrible toll of road traffic collisions in our region.

Data on injuries from road traffic collisions is taken from the NE Road User Casualty website. Data on ambulance call outs was obtained by freedom of information request.



The West End Speeders feed was sadly stopped by its owner in February 2023 due to Twitter (now X) introducing charges for automated reporting, having recorded multiple instances of vehicles travelling in excess of 100mph on Central Motorway. 



MARCH 2023

APRIL 2023

Teenage pedestrian taken to Newcastle RVI after being hit by car in Kenton 29/04/2023

MAY 2023

Rogue North East drivers who have been caught drinking, racing away or even causing serious injury ChronicleLive 29/5/2023


JUNE 2023

JULY 2023

Banned Benwell driver claimed he was someone else despite being shown photo of himself 2/7/2023



Vehicle crashes into Westway Vets on West Road, Newcastle. August 11, 2023





Newcastle Road closed following one vehicle collision15 October 2023


Drink-driver caught after travelling to Byker McDonald’s following bust-up with girlfriend ChroncileLive 22/10/2023



Newcastle drink-driver caught ‘weaving’ down road after thinking he only drank juice at party
ChronicleLive 5/11/2023



Fenham drug dealer snared after fiddling with his waistband during police stop for speeding 10 December 2023

Footnote – SPACE for Gosforth always aims to use collision or crash rather than ‘accident’ to describe road traffic collisions. Road traffic collisions are preventable. Road Peace, a charity that supports people bereaved or injured by road crashes, explains.