By Ellie Pearson, professional engagement manager, Brake
At Brake, reducing needless deaths and injuries on the roads is our top priority: through our work supporting families bereaved by road crashes, we see first-hand the devastation and misery that they cause.
We are deeply disappointed that the latest figures from the Department for Transport show that 1,780 people were killed on our roads in the year ending September 2015.
Sadly, many people dismiss these deaths as unfortunate but unavoidable; seemingly that’s the view of the Government.
Road crashes are avoidable, and the Government should be doing everything within its power to put an end to the tragedy of five deaths and more than 60 serious injuries on our roads every single day.
What does 1,780 deaths on our roads actually mean for families and communities across Britain?
It means 1,780 people receiving a knock on their door from a police officer breaking the devastating news that their loved one is gone forever; it means families and communities torn apart. It also means fear; the would-be cyclist who is afraid to cycle to work, the parent who is afraid to let their child play outside for fear they’ll be knocked over outside their own home.
It’s time the Government took responsibility for road safety, and takes steps to make our roads safer for everyone, to reduce the tragedy of road death and to make our communities safer, happier places.
It’s time for the Government to prioritise road safety and highlight the need for improvement by reintroducing casualty reduction targets.
It’s time to take note of the compelling evidence in favour of both reducing the UK drink drive limit to 20mg alcohol per 100ml blood and extending the ban on mobile phone use at the wheel to include hands-free phones.
It’s time to send a clear message that unsafe driving will not be tolerated by increasing investment in roads policing and introducing much tougher penalties for drivers breaking the law.
1,780 deaths is more than a statistic, it’s time the Government recognised that.