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Rise in road fatalities shows ‘irresponsibility of cuts to road safety budgets’, says GEM

The comments come from road safety and breakdown cover specialist GEM Motoring Assist as the UK Department for Transport road safety data shows a 3% reduction in casualties for the year ending September 2015 but a 2.83% rise in road deaths to 1,780.

GEM added that the latest figures give cause for concern and show the irresponsibility of cuts to road safety budgets across the UK.

Chief executive David Williams MBE said: “It’s good to see a fall in casualties, even with a 2.2% rise in motor traffic levels. Particularly encouraging is the 5% fall in the number of cyclists killed and seriously injured, as well as the 4% reduction for pedestrians. 

“But the rise in road fatalities shows just how much work needs to be done to make our roads safer for everyone.

“We must put an end to this needless loss of life, and we once again call on the UK Government to take a strong lead in making our roads safer. This could be done through reducing the drink-drive limit, introducing a graduated licence system for new drivers, tougher and more consistent sentencing of drivers who pose the greatest risks to others, and the re-introduction of casualty reduction targets.

“We must also remember the vital role of road safety education in helping to prevent collisions. Allowing local authority road safety units to shrink or even disappear can only mean that the longer-term outlook for road safety in this country remains bleak.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.