UK pushed off top place in road casualty rankings

26/06/2014
Highways Reporters

The UK no longer tops the international league table for road safety, according to government figures released today (26 June).

Development in reducing roads deaths since 2010 has slowed dramatically.

Progress in Great Britain slowed in 2013 with a decrease of only 2% in the number of people killed on the roads – from 1,754 deaths in 2012 to 1,713 in 2013. There was a 6% decrease in people reported seriously injured.

David Davies, executive director of Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS), said: “There were welcome falls in the number of road casualties reported in 2013. However, the number of people killed (the most reliable reported casualty figure) shows a fall of only 2% in 2013 and progress since 2010 has been lamentable. The government’s vision is “to ensure that Britain remains a world leader on road safety”.  Today’s figures show that the government is failing and that it badly needs to step up its efforts. Whereas in the three years 2006-2009 the number of people killed fell by 950 (30%), in the period 2010-2013 it fell by only 137 (7%). Casualty reductions cannot be taken for granted. The reductions that resulted from the economic recession seem to be at an end.”

According to a report published by PACTS in March this year, one third of a million people are likely to be killed or seriously injured on Great Britain’s roads between 2011 and 2030, assuming past progress is maintained. The cost to society of these deaths and injuries is officially estimated at £110 billion.

The government figures confirm the recent PIN report from the European Transport Safety Council which showed that the UK no longer tops the international road safety league table. Sweden now heads the table with 27 deaths per 100 million population compared with 28 in the UK.

Compared with 2012, deaths and serious injuries decreased in 2013 for nearly all major road user groups. However, the number of motorcyclists killed increased by 1% despite a fall of 5% in motorcycle traffic. Serious injuries to bus and coach occupants also increased – by 6%.

For the first time since 2004, the number of cyclists reported seriously injured declined – by 2% between 2012 and 2013.
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