Road deaths hit five-year high

Fatalities on British roads hit a five-year high last year, with pedestrian deaths up 10% and car occupant fatalities rising by eight per cent.

Department for Transport (DfT) figures revealed that there were 1,792 road traffic accident deaths in the UK in 2016, with 24,101 people seriously injured on Britain’s roads in 2016 – a nine per cent increase on the previous year.

But despite the overall fatality figure standing at its highest since 2011, the DfT says the increase is ‘not statistically significant’, warning that comparisons should be “interpreted with caution” due to changes in the way police forces are classifying the severity of injuries.

RAC’s Pete Williams said, ‘The report clearly states that ‘there is unlikely to be as large falls in casualties as there were earlier on without further significant interventions.’ This is surely an admission that more could, and should, be done to save lives.

‘Simply because there is more traffic on our roads does not mean that we should accept that road deaths will inevitably go up. There is absolutely no question that the government needs to redouble its efforts to ensure that progress is once again made to bring road deaths down.’