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Stats 20 Notes


1.1 The STATS20 manual provides a detailed explanation of the information, referred to as STATS19, which is the set of data which has to be collected by a Police Officer when an injury road accident is reported to them.

1.2 This is the 2005 edition of STATS20 and incorporates amendments arising from the 2002 Quinquennial Review of Road Accident Data, as approved by the Standing Committee on Road Accident Statistics (SCRAS). SCRAS comprises representatives from the Department for Transport (DfT), police forces, local authority associations and other Government departments with an interest in the collation of road accident data.

1.3 The STATS19 reports are analysed nationally by reference to a great variety of characteristics and attendant circumstances and the results are used extensively for research work and for guidance in the improvement of road safety in relation to roads, road users, vehicles and traffic movement. The data also form the basis for annual statistics on road accidents and casualties published by DfT, the Scottish Executive (SE) and the National Assembly for Wales (NAfW). Local authorities also publish similar statistics.

1.4 Local authorities also make extensive use of road accident data. Engineers use it extensively for establishing priority sites for remedial measures and previous experience has shown that even low cost measures can be extremely effective in reducing or eliminating accidents at particular sites.

1.5 Road safety officers also gain much of their evidence on which to base national and local educational programmes and training from the data which accrue from local road accident statistics.

1.6 The police, who collect these data, also use them as a guide to the operational tactical deployment of their patrols in order to fulfil one of their primary roles, the reduction of casualties.

1.7 The accumulated data, over long periods of time, is also used by a range of establishments for research into road safety measures.

1.8 It is because of the many various uses to which this data is put that the need for accuracy and prompt return is paramount. The speedy return of accurate data will not only be of value to those bodies noted above but will also do much to enhance the early publication of Departmental accident and casualty statistics, which are of great use to those working in the field of accident prevention and road safety education.

1.9 A separate document, STATS21, describes:

(a) The validity checks and error procedures to be carried out locally on STATS19 data;

(b) The procedures for writing and submitting data to DfT/SE/NAfW;

(c) The specification of media formats in which the data can be submitted to DfT, SE or NAfW;

(d) The procedures for dealing with rejections or queries of data received by DfT/SE/NAfW.

1.10 By "Reported" it is meant that STATS19 data for the injury accident has to be collected by the Police Force concerned and then passed on to DfT/SE/NafW and local highway authority in the agreed format.



2.1 All road accidents involving human death or personal injury occurring on the Highway ('road' in Scotland) and notified to the police within 30 days of occurrence, and in which one or more vehicles are involved, are to be reported. This is a wider definition of road accidents than that used in Road Traffic Acts.

2.2 Examples of accidents to be reported include:

(a) accidents which commence on the highway but which involve casualties off the highway (eg. where a vehicle runs out of control while on the highway and causes casualties elsewhere);

(b) accidents involving the boarding and alighting of buses or coaches and accidents in which passengers already aboard a bus/coach are injured, whether or not another vehicle or a pedestrian is involved;

(c) accidents to pedal cyclists or horse riders, where they injure themselves or a pedestrian;

(d) accidents resulting from deliberate acts of violence, but excluding casualties who are subsequently identified as confirmed suicides;

(e) accidents within bus stations/interchanges where they form part of the highway;

(f) accidents in Royal Parks (on roads to which the public have motor vehicle access)


2.3 Examples of accidents which should not be reported include:

(a) accidents which do not involve personal injury;

(b) accidents on private roads (except Royal Parks) or in car parks;

(c) accidents reported to the police 30 or more days after they occurred;

(d) accidents involving confirmed suicides only.


A. The Road Traffic Act 1988 (section 170), as amended by Section 72 of the 1991 Act, stipulates that all fatal or injury accidents on public roads involving at least one mechanically propelled vehicle should be reported by the public to the police unless insurance documents, name and address, and details of vehicle ownership and registration are exchanged between drivers. This legislation defines the duty of the public to report a personal injury road accident.

B. In the past the interpretation of "mechanically propelled vehicle" has varied widely between local police forces, particularly about whether pedal cycle accidents, not involving a motor vehicle, should be reported.

The STATS19 requirement is clear that all accidents involving non-motor vehicles such as pedal cycles and ridden horses on 'public roads' (see 2.4) should be reported, regardless of motor vehicle or pedestrian involvement.

See Note K on page 45 for other examples of non-motor vehicles. Also, Note C on page 71 contains examples which should not be treated as vehicles.


The following table gives examples of locations at which accidents should or should not be reported

Location Included in STATS19?


Motorway (including A(M) road)


A, B or C road


Unclassified road


Toll road or bridge where Secretary of State or local authority is the highway authority


Highway - limited access road or lane

Pedestrianised road with limited access for motor vehicles


Bus lane, busway or guided busway


Tram or light rail track

Yes (if part of Highway)

Cycle lane, cycleway or shared access footway

Yes (if part of Highway)

Footway or pavement

Yes (if part of Highway)

Public right of way with limited access

Country track, byway open to all traffic, cycle path or cycletrack with lawful access for motor vehicles


Footpath or bridleway with no lawful access for motor vehicles


Cycle path/track with no lawful access for motor vehicles


Private roads


No (unless Highway)


No (unless Highway)

Hospital areas

No (unless Highway)

Private residential estates

No (unless Highway)

Private retail shopping parks

No (unless Highway)

Private industrial estates

No (unless Highway)

Military areas


Municipal or private parks

No (unless Highway)

Royal parks


Service areas


Other areas to which motor vehicles may have access

Car parks (municipal and private) and access roads


Bus stations

No (unless Highway)

Railway stations


Railway level crossings - train not involved in accident


Railway level crossings - accident involving train


Petrol stations


Picnic areas


Pedestrian malls



Highway ("road" in Scotland) is a road with unrestricted right of access for all or some classes of motor vehicles.


3.1 Complete vehicle details, regardless or whether the vehicle was damaged or not, are required for each vehicle which was involved in, or contributed to, an injury accident. This includes pedal cycles, ridden horses and horse-drawn vehicles. (See Note K on page 45 for other examples of non-motor vehicles).


(a) vehicles in which driver/rider/passenger was injured;

(b) vehicles which suffered damage in the accident;

(c) vehicles which caused injury to a pedestrian (including parked vehicles on or off the carriageway into which a pedestrian walked);

(d) vehicles which were in collision with another vehicle in the accident;

(e) vehicles which did not suffer damage, nor caused nor contained casualties, but which contributed to the accident (includes parked, stationary, temporarily held-up or moving vehicles).



4.1 Any persons killed or injured in a road accident (as defined in 2.1)


(a) a person who moves quickly to avoid being involved in an accident, is successful in that, but in doing so incurs an injury (eg. twists an ankle). Also includes occupant of vehicle which manoeuvres or brakes suddenly to avoid an impact, but in so doing sustains an injury;

(b) a pedestrian who injures himself on a parked vehicle;

(c) a person who is injured after falling from a vehicle;

(d) a person who is injured boarding or alighting a bus or coach;

(e) a person injured whilst aboard a bus or coach, whether or not another vehicle is involved;

(f) a person who is injured away from the carriageway as a result of an accident which commenced on the public highway;

(g) all casualties in accidents arising from deliberate acts of violence involving a vehicle;


(h) death/injury to babies unborn up to the time of the accident;

(i) person injured in a road accident as a result of illness (eg. fit) immediately prior to the accident, where injury is deemed to be a result of the illness rather than the road accident. All other casualties involved in the accident should be included;

(j) person who dies in a road accident from natural causes (eg. heart attack) and whose death is not ascribed by the Coroner's Court (Procurator Fiscal in Scotland) to have been a result of the accident. Other casualties in these accidents should be reported;

(k) confirmed suicides. Other casualties in these accidents should be reported. Injured persons suspected of having attempted suicide should be reported;

(l) any person who witnesses an accident and suffers shock but who is not directly involved.


A. Cases (j) and (k) may be reported to DfT/SE/NAfW in the first instance, pending the decision of the Coroner's Court (or Procurator Fiscal). It may, therefore, be necessary for the police/local processing centre to notify DfT/SE/NAfW if, at a later stage, such cases are to be deleted from their computer records (see STATS21).

B. Definitions of casualty severity can be found in Section 3.9 of Annex 3, on page 74.


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Site Last Updated 08:10:05 PM February 01, 2005