Death by dangerous driving offences up by 38%
The organisation has highlighted that police recorded crime figures for the offence in the 12 months to September 2013 have increased by a disturbing 38% to 226. In 2012 the figure was 62 lower at 164, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures published in response to a parliamentary question.
There has, however been a 14% reduction in the number of death by careless or inconsiderate driving offences – down from 161 to 138.
Taking into account all offences relating to causing death at the wheel in the 12-month periods to September 2012 and 2013 there was a 13% increase from 355 in 2012 to 402 in 2013.
RAC technical director David Bizley said: ‘As these figures relate to recorded crimes it appears that either more death by dangerous driving offences are being committed or the police are treating this type of incident far more seriously than they have done in the past.
‘If it is purely down to more offences being committed it is a very alarming increase and something that needs to be addressed as a matter of urgency. It is hard to comprehend why such a sudden and dramatic increase like this might have occurred against a background of a continuing reduction in killed and serious injured casualties on our roads.
‘If, on the other hand, it is down to police classing more incidents as being caused by dangerous driving rather than the lesser offence of careless driving then the police are sending a very clear message that may well help to bring about a positive change in behaviour among motorists. The reason for this change in how these crimes are recorded is interesting and leads us to wonder whether it has been brought about as a result of public and political feeling about the severity of these offences.’