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Road fatalities reach five-year high

The Department for Transport is being urged to “redouble its efforts to bring road deaths down” as new government statistics show road deaths in Great Britain are at their highest level in five years.

Police accident sign

Road safety organisations says more can be done to save lives.

Latest Department for Transport figures for 2016 reported road casualties show there were 1,792 reported road deaths; an increase of 4% on 2015 and the highest annual total since 2011.

The number of people seriously injured in reported road traffic accidents was 24,101 – up 9% on 2015. In contrast, the number of people slightly injured last year was down 4% on 2015 to 155,491. The total for casualties of all severities in 2016 was 181,384; around 3% lower than 2015 and the lowest level on record.

Commenting on the road fatality figure, RAC road safety spokesman Pete Williams said: “While the statisticians say the rise isn’t significant, every life lost on our roads is surely one too many. The [DfT] 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.”

Neil Greig, IAM RoadSmart director of policy and research, also commented on the figures, saying: “With six years without progress it is clear that we have an increasingly complex picture of good news such as safer cars and investment in new roads, being cancelled out by more traffic and a hard core of human behaviour issues that are the most difficult to tackle.

“Road safety is everyone’s responsibility and it is clear that working in partnership to promote it is the key to returning to long term downward trends. Accelerating the uptake of AEB (autonomous emergency braking) equipped cars and promoting best practice in driving for work are just two examples where quick gains could be made.”For more of the latest industry news, click here.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 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. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.