Brake Welcomes Fall In Road Deaths

Charity Welcomes Improved Road Safety Statistics

08.07.2014

Road safety charity Brake has welcomed news that the number of deaths and serious injuries on Britain's roads has plunged.

Figures for 2013 showed a six per cent drop in the number of serious incidents, compared with a one per cent fall in 2012. This included two per cent fewer deaths and six per cent fewer serious injuries.

In total, 1,713 people were killed, the equivalent of five a day, while 21,657 were badly injured - 59 a day. The figures continue a downward trend that has been taking place since 1994, with the sole exception of a small increase in 2011.

The incidents included 398 deaths and 4,998 serious injuries to pedestrians and 109 fatalities and 3,143 major injuries for cyclists, figures that fell by ten per cent and three per cent respectively on 2012.

Deputy chief executive of Brake Julie Townsend commented: "Road crashes are not only a senseless and preventable waste of life - they are also sudden and violent events that tear apart whole families and communities.

"Road crashes leave scars, both mental and physical, that last a lifetime. In the twenty-first century, in an age that values human rights, we should not be denying anyone the right to a life free of fear of violent death."

While it was good to see fewer deaths, the aim has to be to try to reduce the number to nil, she added.

Brake is lobbying for further action to be taken to cut serious incidents the establishment of 20 mph speed limits as the default for urban areas, a lower tolerance threshold for blood alcohol levels in drivers and a graduated driver licence scheme, which would restrict when and where new drivers could go on the road in their first two years after passing their test.

The long-term reduction in road accidents has occurred despite there being more vehicles on the roads.
According to the 2011 census, the number of cars and vans available for use by households rose from 23.9 million to 27.3 million in the decade after 2001.

Expert Opinion
It is very welcome to see the number of people killed and serious injured on Britain’s roads, but with more than 1,700 people being killed every year there is still much to be done to ensure road safety improves.

"Our work on behalf of victims and the families of those killed in road traffic collisions means we see the shocking consequences that such incidents can have, often leaving those injured needing long-term care and rehabilitation in order to recover from what they have been through. Families also often need financial support to access serves which help them to come to terms with the loss of a loved one.

"We agree with Brake that the absolute target has to be to target reduce the number of deaths and injuries to zero – and it is the responsibility of the Government, safety authorities and road users all collaborate to ensure safety is a top priority."
Stephen Nye, Partner