There was an increase in the number of people killed on Scotland’s roads last year despite a fall in the number of accidents resulting in injuries, the latest figures show.
Transport Scotland’s provisional statistics for last year show there were 168 fatalities, an increase of seven from 2018.
In 2019, there were 5,686 accidents in which someone was killed or injured, 12% fewer than in 2018 and the lowest number since records began.
A total of 2,001 people were seriously injured in 2019, though changes in the recording system mean this cannot be directly compared to previous years.
The number of child casualties fell by 1% to 759, including two fatalities and 196 who were seriously injured.
Deaths among cyclists rose by two to eight, while pedestrian fatalities rose by 12 to 46.
The figures mean Scotland is on track to meet national targets for reducing casualties by 2020.
Despite the rise in 2019, the number of people killed has reduced by 42% from the baseline years between 2004 and 2008, with the target being 40%.
On average, there were two children killed each year between 2017 and 2019, a reduction of 85% from the baseline. The target is for a 50% reduction.
Noting a fall in the overall number of casualties, the report said: “There was a total of 7,594 road casualties reported in 2019.
“This is 830 or 10% fewer than 2018 and the lowest number of casualties since annual records began in 1950.”
Transport Secretary Michael Matheson said: “These figures for 2019 show that yet again, overall road casualties on Scotland’s roads remain at their lowest levels since records began.
“Sadly, it remains the case that from this lower total number of casualties, more people have died on Scotland’s roads compared to last year.
“While we are on track to exceed our reduction target for fatal collisions, I know that this offers no comfort to the friends and family of those who have tragically lost their lives.”
He added: “Road safety partners remain determined to achieve our Vision Zero ambition – where no-one is killed on Scotland’s roads.
“Later this year, we will consult on a new Road Safety Framework for the next decade, which will have a renewed focus on pedestrians and cyclists, as recommended by the newly adopted Stockholm Declaration, and will ensure our road safety vision is informed by the latest thinking to help keep all road users safe.”