Calls for increased safety

Independent road safety charity IAM RoadSmart has responded to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) reported road casualties in Great Britain 2015 by calling for government leadership.

The 2015 figures show there were 1,732 reported road deaths – two per cent fewer compared with 2014. According to the DfT, this is the second lowest annual total on record after 2013. The number of people seriously injured in reported road traffic accidents also saw a decrease by three per cent to 22,137 in 2015, compared to 2014. And a total of 186,209 casualties of all severities in 2015 – a four per cent decrease compared to 2014 and the second lowest level on record.

However, the latest figures also reveal a total of 365 motorcyclists were killed during 2015 – an eight per cent increase from 339 in 2014.

IAM RoadSmart’s director of policy and research, Neil Greig, said, ‘Five years of flat lining on road deaths is unacceptable. Whilst 2015 was a relatively good year the huge gains in road safety made in the past now seem a distant memory.

‘The government must show more leadership to really drive down road deaths in the future. Key trends still show the increasing risk to vulnerable road users, particularly motorcyclists, and big increases in fatal crashes involving vans and lorries. The rise in goods vehicle related deaths is worrying and is probably linked to the surge in van sales and use on Britain’s roads. IAM RoadSmart supports police campaigns to crack down on those driving for business, but we also need more firms to step up the plate and take occupational road safety more seriously.’

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at RoSPA, said, ‘We are pleased to see that fatalities and injuries have dropped since 2014, but the longer-term trend seems to be showing stagnation, so they are not falling steadily as they were before 2011.

‘This means that we need to do more to get back on a long-term downward trend – these accidents don’t have to happen.’