Figures produced by the Government show 3,508 people were killed in 2003, an increase of 2% on the previous year, although the number of seriously injured reduced by 4% to 290,607.
Produced by the Department for Transport (DfT), the Road Casualties Great Britain 2003: Annual Report also shows drink-drive related deaths are increasing.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has called for Government action to curb the amount of deaths involving drink-driving.
There were 560 drink-drive related deaths in 2003, an increase of 2% on the previous year, but total casualty numbers resulting from drink-drive accidents were down by about 5%. The results are only initial estimates, with full figures due next year.
Kevin Clinton, RoSPA head of road safety, said: ‘All the evidence we have points to the road safety benefits of reducing the drink-drive limit.
‘We believe there would be wide public support for this and are frustrated that the Government continues to oppose a measure which would save lives.
‘The likely introduction of a Road Safety Bill this autumn provides an ideal opportunity for the Government to act.’
Edmund King, executive director of the RAC Foundation, commented: ‘In order to further reduce casualties the Government must concentrate more on effective and visible enforcement and education.
‘We need to reverse the 11% decrease in traffic police since 1996 and introduce national speed awareness courses, as a means of changing driver behaviour.’