The reduction in the number of people killed and seriously injured on our roads must not be compromised by anticipated cuts in government spending, said the IAM (Institute of Advanced Motorists) as the latest figures were released by the Department for Transport (DfT).
Neil Greig, the IAM’s policy and research director, said:
“The IAM is pleased to see the continued downward trend in road deaths in the UK. As ever there is no single factor that you can point to. We would argue that the focus on rural roads in the last two years has undoubtedly helped with rural road safety campaigns by the DfT and the police raising awareness that drivers are most at risk in the countryside.
“Two other factors to consider are that fewer youngsters are taking the test due to demographic trends and we are all driving safer cars as the old pre airbag, non crash tested bangers go off the road.”
Mr Greig said that the IAM’s main concern is that road safety is an easy cut in the light of the public sector spending problems. “We must maintain budgets if this downward trend is to continue and we are to make Britain’s roads the safest in the world,” he said.
Today’s DfT figures show overall casualties down. The number of people killed in road accidents fell by 12 per cent from 2,538 in 2008 to 2,222 in 2009. In accidents reported to the police 26,096 people were killed or seriously injured in 2009, six per cent fewer than in 2008. There were just over 222,000 road casualties in Great Britain in 2009, four per cent less than in 2008.
“If the results continue to improve like this, we will be well below 2,000 fatalities by 2020,” said Mr Greig.
For all the latest advice and information on fleet management, have a read of our fleet operations section.