Reduction in road casualties “disappointingly slow” says Brake

The government’s official annual road casualty report, released recently, has confirmed figures showing disappointingly slow progress in reducing road casualties in the UK. 1,713 people were killed in 2013, at a rate of five a day, 2 per cent fewer than in 2012. 21,657 people suffered serious injuries, at a rate of 59 a day, 6 per cent fewer than in 2012.

Brake, the road safety charity, welcomed the reduction, but stressed that the government needs to do much more to reduce casualties faster. The figures continue a trend that has seen progress in reducing road casualties plateau since 2010. From 2007 to 2010, deaths on UK roads fell by 1,096. From 2010 to 2013, they have fallen by only 137.

As in previous years, the most common recorded cause of road crashes in 2013 was the driver or rider failing to look properly, highlighting the relevance of this year’s Road Safety Week theme: look out for each other. Road Safety Week, the UK’s flagship road safety event, coordinated by Brake, takes place 17-23 November 2014.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “Road casualties in the UK are falling – but they are not falling nearly fast enough. Since 2010, progress has stalled dramatically. At this rate, it will be many more decades before we reach the only acceptable number of casualties on our roads, and that number is zero. The government needs to take far more proactive action to drive casualties down faster, including a zero-tolerance drink drive limit, a 20mph default urban speed limit, and graduated driver licensing to tackle young driver crashes.”

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