The charity Brake is calling on the Government to give far greater priority to preventing road casualties and making communities safer, as government statistics reveal an increase in people killed and seriously injured on British roads for the first time in 17 years.
Road deaths increased by 3% and serious injuries increased by 2% in 2011, meaning 51 more deaths and 462 more serious injuries compared to 2010.
Road deaths have been decreasing year on year by an average of 9% since 2004, and in 2010 decreased by 17%, so today’s figures represent a dramatic reversal in the long-term trend.
These figures come one year on from the launch of the Government’s strategic framework for road safety, which Brake criticised for its lack of ambition and decisive action on key issues.
Brake is urging the Government to reinstate national casualty reduction targets, which were abandoned last year, and take action on priority areas to bring road casualties down.
Julie Townsend, Brake deputy chief executive, said: “We need to see greater ambition on bringing casualties down and making our communities safer places.
“We need decisive policies on young driver safety and drink driving, and we need investment in measures to protect people on foot and bicycle – which can bring about health, environmental and economic benefits, as well as tackling needless suffering.”