Casualty stats are 'wake up call'
Three organisations with an interest in road safety have expressed concern at the latest DfT stats which show an increase in deaths and injuries on the roads in the 12-month period ending September 2014.
The DfT figures show a 1% increase in the number of road deaths, 4% increase in KSI casualties and 5% increase in all casualties.
The RAC described the figures as “alarming” and indicate “the lack of focus that the current Government has shown to road safety”.
Pete Williams, RAC head of external affairs, said: “It is alarming to see that years of progress on road safety appears to have come to an abrupt halt, and in fact we have witnessed the first year-on-year rise in road fatalities and casualties in over 30 years.
“Most worrying of all is that child fatalities and casualties in England and Wales are on the up for the first time since 1995 with the figures showing an increase in each quarter of 2014 over 2013 (for) the first time in 20 years.
“This is surely the wake-up call that is needed to give the topic the attention and resources it deserves.”
Brake expressed “dismay” at the figures and called for political parties to commit to “vital road safety policies” to protect pedestrians, cyclists, children and young people.
Julie Townsend, Brake’s deputy chief executive, said: “These casualty increases are the tragic result of a failure of ambition. They come on the back of three years of flat-lining road death and serious injury figures, during which the Government congratulated itself on having some of the safest roads in the world, rather than making forward thinking decisions and setting targets to secure further reductions.
“We need a commitment to a long-term vision of nobody being killed or seriously injured on our roads, rather than settling for the status quo.”
The IAM expressed its “disappointment” at the rise in KSIs, blaming the increase on “many years of Government cutbacks and the resulting drop in visible policing”.
Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research, said: “The Government has taken its eye off the ball.
“These figures reflect our view that cuts in visible policing and road safety spending have had an impact, with a third successive quarter of increases. While these new figures can in no way be regarded as a trend, they are a big concern.”