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, is calling on the government to introduce compulsory regular eyesight testing for drivers, as a survey with Specsavers and RSA Insurance Group shows strong public support. Almost nine in 10 (87 per cent) are in favour of drivers having to prove they have had a recent sight test every 10 years, when they renew their licence or photo card. Research indicates this change in the law would significantly reduce the estimated 2,900 casualties caused by poor driver vision each year.
The Government has announced plans to raise the speed limit for lorries on single carriageway roads to 50 mph and the move has generated diametrically opposed views. On the pro side, Transport minister Claire Perry says that the move is part of a package of measures to cut congestion, reduce dangerous overtaking and help get the country moving. Brake, the road safety charity, has expressed serious concerns about the proposed limit increase and the announcement comes as a survey by Brake and Digby Brown solicitors reveals the extent of risky driving on country roads.