Fleet News

Call for action as road deaths rise

INDUSTRY experts are calling on the Government to introduce urgent new safety measures after latest figures show an increase in the number of people losing their lives on British roads.

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.’

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