The UK’s largest independent road safety charity, IAM RoadSmart, is calling for the Government to show real leadership to drive down death and injury on UK roads after yet another year of no real improvement according to figures released by the Department for Transport earlier today.
Provisional figures for 2019 in: Reported road casualties in Great Britain: provisional results 2019, revealed there were 1,748 reported road deaths, compared to 1,784 in 2018. Although this is, a welcome two per cent fall it marks an eight-year period of no significant reduction in deaths on UK roads. It means that on average almost five people are still dying on UK roads every day.
Fatalities for older road users – aged 60 and over – was the largest increase for any group increasing by eight per cent from 588 in 2018 to 637 in 2019.
Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart’s Director of Policy & Research, said: “These results are frankly embarrassing. We need UK Government to show real leadership and push road safety up the political agenda if we are to see a return of year-on-year improvements.
“Some quick wins could include: graduated driver licencing, more traffic police on the roads, a new approach to older drivers – such as an eye test on licence renewal at 75, mature driver assessments on prescription and more powers for the Health and Safety Executive to insist on good driver risk management across UK business.”
IAM RoadSmart expects 2020 to be a unique year, due to COVID-19, and comparisons with previous years will almost certainly not be possible. But with 2020 results not being published for another year the true impact of the pandemic on road deaths in the UK will not be clear for some time.
Neil added: “Up to date collision information is essential to avoid transport policy being developed in a data vacuum. We urge the Government to issue road safety figures for the last few months now so that informed decisions can be made. This is particularly important following the significant shift we’ve seen in recent months due to the pandemic and increasing use of new modes of transport.”
The full report from DfT can be found here.