While there was a 3% drop in total casualties in the first quarter of 2012, KSI casualties among children, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists all increased compared with the same period in 2011, according to the latest DfT figures.
Both PACTS and the IAM have said the Government should be concerned about the figures, and called for action and leadership with regard to road safety.
‘Reported road casualties Great Britain: provisional estimates Q1 2012’, reveals that KSI (killed and seriously injured) casualty numbers for children, pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists increased by 9%, 6%, 11% and 6% respectively, when compared to the same period last year.
There was little change in the total number of fatalities and KSIs in the 12 months ending 31 March 2012. While fatalities fell by 1% (from 1,881 to 1,870), the number of KSIs rose by the same percentage (from 24,849 to 25,210).
Overall, for the year ending March 2012, there were 202,980 reported road casualties (slight, serious injuries and fatalities), 3% fewer than for the year ending March 2011. Traffic levels have risen by 0.6% in the period.
Robert Gifford, executive director of PACTS, said “Overall, there has been little change in the number of people killed or seriously injured on our roads over the year April 2011 to March 2012. This should be of concern to the Government, especially in the light of the recent Transport Committee report calling for stronger leadership in this area.
“Of particular concern is the continuing rise in deaths and serious injuries among vulnerable road users. Comparing 2011 with 2012, KSI pedestrians have risen by 8%, cyclists by 13% and motorcyclists by 8%. Overall casualties for cyclists have risen in 10 of the last 13 quarters. This should be of great concern if we are to see more people cycling as a result of the Olympics effect.
“Achieving improvements in road safety is the responsibility of all road users and of those who plan and design the system. We should not allow the continuing improvements in car occupant casualties to lead us to overlook improving the safety of the most vulnerable.”
Simon Best, IAM chief executive, added: “It is unacceptable that road deaths and serious injuries have risen for children, pedestrians, motorcyclists and cyclists.
“Cutting road safety education, scrapping casualty targets and cuts in council spending all suggest this isn’t a major priority. The Government needs to show much greater leadership on road safety.
“Last year’s increase in people killed was a serious warning, but this could be the start of a trend. More must be done to get drivers to look out for vulnerable road users. We must have changes to the driving test, greater enforcement and incentives for driver training.”