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.
Road safety charity Brake has recently highlighted a number of worrying trends with regards to the safety of the UK’s roads.
The first area of concern for the charity is the number of deaths and serious injuries that are still occurring on the roads as a result of drink driving. Government figures show that in 2013, 240 people were killed by drivers over the legal drink drive limit, and provisional estimates for 2014 suggest that a similar number lost their lives last year as well.
The profile of Britain’s illegal drink drivers has apparently remained largely the same:
The skipper of a shellfish fishing boat has been sentenced for serious safety failings after the death of a diver in the River Forth Estuary.
Graeme Mackie was working as a scuba diver to collect shellfish from Ronald John MacNeil’s boat the “Rob Roy” when the incident occurred in June 2011.
Dunfermline Sheriff Court heard that Mr Mackie had entered the water for his first dive, around 600 metres south of Methil Harbour, but re-surfaced a minute later waving in obvious distress before disappearing again under the water.
Many employers with vehicle fleets are not taking advantage of new technologies to protect vulnerable road users, a new report by Brake, the road safety charity, and Licence Bureau has found.
Despite the potential to help drivers see pedestrians and cyclists and reduce casualties, only one in five HGV operators surveyed (20%) have rear-facing cameras on all vehicles, one in 12 (8%) have side-facing cameras on all vehicles, and one in eight (12%) have side sensors on all vehicles.
The report found HGV safety technologies that are mandatory under European law, such as underrun protection and wide-angle lenses, are present on almost all vehicles. Therefore, Brake is calling for more comprehensive regulation to ensure the widespread take up of technologies such as automatically moving mirrors, side-view cameras and side sensors, which can be of benefit in preventing needless death and injuries yet are currently only present on a minority of vehicle fleets.
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