Reacting to new Government statistics that show road deaths in Great Britain are at their highest level in five years, RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said:
“Every road user, and certainly all of those working to improve road safety, will view today’s figures with dismay. Road fatalities in Great Britain are now higher than at any time in the last five years. While the statisticians say the rise isn’t significant, every life lost on our roads is surely one too many.
“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. Significant progress was made in reducing road deaths between 2006 and 2010, but since then figures have at first plateaued, and are now rising.
“Away from government a lot organisations are working hard to improve road safety – from the internationally-focused Project Edward, the FIA’s #ParkYourPhone campaign, through to countless campaigns by charities and local authorities and even the RAC’s own Be Phone Smart campaign. These can all have a tangible impact on future road casualty numbers, but 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. This includes giving its THINK! campaign the resources it needs to play a much greater role in doing this.
“Motorists can also play their own part by insisting their new cars are fitted with Autonomous (or Automatic) Emergency Braking, a technology which has significant potential to help reduce casualties in years to come. This is a message being promoted by a new road safety consortium led by IAM Roadsmart, of which the RAC is a member. We also encourage drivers to study EuroNCAP ratings to select a car that performs best in the event of a crash.”
Note: The figures for those people who were seriously injured in road crashes in 2016 have to be treated with caution given that some police forces now collect and analyse data in different ways.