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Increase in Road Casualties

Road safety organisations have expressed disappointment at the latest road traffic casualty figures published by the Department of Transport, which show that deaths and serious injuries on UK roads increased by 4% in the year ending September 2014, with deaths up by 1%.

In response to the figures, road safety charity Brake has called on all political parties to commit to three vital road safety policies, especially to protect pedestrians, cyclists, children and young people.

In total, 1,730 people were killed and 22,630 seriously injured on UK roads in the year ending September 2014, up from 1,711 deaths and 21,728 serious injuries in the previous year. Casualties of all severities are also up by 5%, from 184,087 to 192,910.

Casualties are up for all types of road user, with child and cyclist casualties of particular concern:

  • Child deaths and serious injuries are up by 3% to 2,060, with casualties of all severities up by 6% to 16,640 – the first rise in rolling year comparisons for 20 years.
  • Cyclist deaths and serious injuries are up 8% to 3,500.

Brake is calling on all political parties to make three, key general election manifesto commitments to get casualties falling again and enable everyone to get around safely, sustainably and actively:

  • Change the default urban speed limit to 20mph to protect people on foot and bike, and allow everyone to walk and cycle without fear.
  • Introduce graduated driver licensing, to allow new drivers to build skills and experience gradually while exposed to less danger
  • Introduce a zero-tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, to stamp out the menace of drink driving once and for all.

“We need a commitment to a long-term vision of nobody being killed or seriously injured on our roads, rather than settling for the status quo,” commented Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake. “Every road casualty causes appalling suffering, and every one can be prevented, but only if we make the right moves.”

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