Traffic levels have increased by 2% on last year, while statistics from the Department for Transport (DfT) show that road casualties, fatalities and accidents were down by 3% on last year's figures.
There were 34,764 fatal or serious casualties in 2001, compared to 33,600 in 2002, although results for the last quarter of last year are provisional. In total, all categories of accident were down from 229,014 to 221,560 over the same period.
By 2010, the Government aims to reduce the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents by 40%. It also wants to cut casualty rates by 10% and reduce the number of children killed or seriously injured by 50%. The plans form part of the Tomorrow's Roads Safer for Everyone strategy introduced in 2000.
The figures were released amid new anger over the use of speed cameras.
The Association of British Drivers (ABD) has called for measures to provide more information with speeding penalties, including a photograph of the vehicle.
Mark McArthur-Christie, road safety spokesman for the ABD, said: 'Drivers who receive valid advice about their misdemeanours are more likely to take a positive approach to setting their speed to the road conditions in the future. Simply sending drivers a demand to 'pay up or else' just gets most drivers' backs up. Educational cameras would be far more acceptable and would be more effective at reducing deaths and casualties.'