More needs to be done to kickstart road safety improvements in Britain, according to one road safety group.
This call follows news that the number of people killed and seriously injured on Britain’s roads increased marginally between 2016 and 2017.
According to the Department for Transport, 1,793 people were killed in road accidents in 2017, which marked the highest annual total since 2011 despite being just one additional road death compared to 2016.
Elsewhere, 24,831 people were seriously injured last year; a rise of three per cent from 24,101 in 2016. The government partly blames this on changes in the way many police forces now report collision data.
Despite a focus on raising the awareness of two-wheeled road users, motorcyclists now represent one in five of all road deaths in Britain (19 per cent), which is up nine per cent on 2016 to 349 deaths.
‘This stagnation must be arrested’
Joshua Harris, director of campaigns for road safety charity Brake, said the figures highlight a “shocking lack of progress” in road safety improvement across Britain.
“This stagnation must be arrested and yet the government sits on its hands and rejects the introduction of policies which are proven to save lives – this is simply not good enough,” he said.
“Our most vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists – remain at dangerously high risk on our roads, paying the price for the dominance of the motor car in our lives.”
‘Scourge of speeding’
He drew attention to the fact that pedestrian deaths had increased to their highest level this decade and called on the government to invest in active travel to give people safe and healthy ways to get around and focus on improving the safety of our roads.
Mr Harris went on to criticise cuts to traffic officer numbers, which have dropped by a quarter in the last five years.
“We urge the government to make roads policing a national investment priority, with a visible police presence catching and deterring illegal driving and cameras preventing the scourge of speeding,” he added.
Heather Stark, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, commented: “2017 may have only seen one extra road death on the year before but it’s not the direction we want to be heading.”