DfT casualty figures for 2012 published yesterday (26/9/13) have sparked calls for measures to improve cyclists’ safety and clamp down on drink driving.
Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain 2012 Annual Report shows that in 2012 the number of casualties and fatalities fell for all types of road users except pedal cyclists. And provisional estimates suggest that the number of drink drive fatalities in 2012 increased by around 17%.
The number of pedal cyclists killed rose by 10% to 118 and the number of seriously injured cyclists rose, for the eighth year in a row according to RoSPA, to 3,222.
RoSPA says he increase in deaths was mainly among the young with the number of child cyclists killed rising from six in 2011 to 13 in 2012, although the number of seriously injured fell by a fifth.
The increased popularity of cycling is also likely to be a contributory factor in the rise in the number of cyclist casualties.
Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said: “We need to redouble our efforts to make sure that cyclist deaths and injuries are reduced as the popularity of cycling increases.
“It is vital to create a coherent safe network for cyclists by introducing appropriate cycle lanes, linking quieter streets, developing routes alongside rivers, canals and through parks where possible, and introducing more 20mph schemes in our towns and cities.
“As well as boosting the provision of cyclist training and trying to make the roads safer for cyclists, we also need to hammer home the message to drivers to keep their speed down, watch out for cyclists and give them enough room on the road.”
Brake, the road safety charity, is calling for urgent government action to tackle the increase in drink drive casualties.
In 2012, 280 people were killed (one in six road deaths) and 1,210 were seriously injured in crashes involving someone over the limit, compared to 240 killed and 1,270 seriously injured in 2011.
To address this, Brake is calling for a “zero tolerance” drink drive limit and greater priority and funding for traffic policing, to enable increased numbers of specialist roads police, and increased breath testing.
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: "We have the highest drink-drive limit in Europe, and it sends out the dreadful message that a drink or two before driving is acceptable.
“Every other country in Europe bar one has decided a lower limit is safer, yet our Government rejected the strong recommendations for a tougher approach.
“We are appealing to Westminster to review that decision in light of today’s figures showing a horrifying increase in people are being violently killed at the hands of drink drivers.”