Road safety charity Brake has urged the UK Government to reintroduce casualty reduction targets.
The call follows the publication by the Department for Transport of its Reported Road Casualties in Great Britain Annual Report for 2014, which shows that 1,775 people died on the roads (a 4% increase on the year before). A further 22,807 were seriously injured (a 5% annual increase).
Casualties of all severities rose to 194,477 in Great Britain in 2014, an increase of 6% from 2013, interrupting what was a steady downward trend since 1997.
Brake believes the reintroduction of ambitious casualty reduction targets, axed in 2010, must be a key first step in an urgently needed fightback against road danger, alongside a ‘vision zero’ approach that acknowledges that any number of road deaths is unacceptable.
Pedestrians and cyclists were apparently the worst affected, with pedestrian deaths rising by 12% to 446, accounting for three quarters of the overall rise in fatalities. Serious injuries to cyclists rose by 8% to 3,401, continuing a long term trend that has been ongoing since 2004.
“We should be under no illusions as to the seriousness of these figures,” commented Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake. “The Government needs to get a grip of this situation, and it can start by reintroducing ambitious casualty reduction targets, with an ultimate aim of reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads to zero.”
“We know from running our helpline for devastated road crash victims that every road death causes unimaginable human suffering, and every one is preventable,” she added. “The increases in serious casualties among pedestrians and cyclists are especially horrifying, given the importance of protecting vulnerable road users and enabling people to walk and cycle more.”
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