Road fatalities in Britain reached a five-year high in 2016, according to new figures.
Last year saw 1,792 people killed on Britain’s roads, a four per cent rise from the previous year and the highest number recorded by the Department for Transport since 2011.
There were also 24,101 people seriously injured in road accidents in 2016, a rise of nine per cent from the previous year, though the Department for Transport points out that a part of the rise is due to “changes in systems for severity reporting by some police forces.”
Fatalities involving cars rose by eight per cent from 2015, totalling 816, while pedestrian fatalities saw the biggest rise over the same period, up by 10 per cent. Last year 448 pedestrians were killed in Britain, while a further 102 cyclists and 319 motorcyclists were also involved in fatal accidents.
The Department for Transport points out that between 2015 and 2016 traffic levels rose by 2.2 per cent, while there has also been a 44 per cent fall in fatalities since 2006.
However, motoring organisations have said more needs to be done. RAC’s road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “Every road user, and certainly all of those working to improve road safety, will view today’s figures with dismay. Road fatalities in Great Britain are now higher than at any time in the last five years. While the statisticians say the rise isn’t significant, every life lost on our roads is surely one too many.
“The report clearly states that ‘there is unlikely to be as large a fall in casualties as there were earlier on without further significant interventions.’ This is surely an admission that more could, and should, be done to save lives.”
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth said: “We will no doubt hear a Minister explaining that Britain has some of the safest roads in the world. But the truth is that our roads are considerably less safe than they were six years ago, and that is very worrying.
“In spite of technological improvements to vehicles and systems, car occupant deaths have risen by eight per cent. And even though pedestrian protection systems are more advanced than ever, pedestrian deaths are up by 10 per cent. Deaths on roads with 20mph speed limits more than doubled from 14 in 2015 to 30 in 2016.”
What does the Government need to do to improve road safety? Tell us your ideas in the comments below…