Just-released figures show big improvements in safety – even though roads are busier.
Latest accident figures for Britain’s roads show that death and injuries have fallen to new record lows.Last year 2538 people were killed, down from 2946 in 2007, and 26,029 were seriously injured, down from 27,774 the year before. The road casualties total – of all those killed or hurt – dropped by almost 17,000 to 230,884.
These figures mean that our roads are among the safest in the world, even though they are also among the busiest. They mean, too, that Britain has already met its road safety targets set for 2010.
Pedestrian deaths fell below 600 for the first time, to 572. This marks a reduction of more than a third over the last 10 years (in 1998, 906 pedestrians were killed). Pedal cyclist deaths fell from 136 in 2007 to 115 in 2008 but there was a small increase in those injured, from 2428 to 2450.
There were 493 motorcycle fatalities (down from 588 in 2007) but deaths still remain higher than they were in the mid-1990s.Child deaths, however, rose slightly – from 121 to 124.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) said these figures are the lowest since records began. And they follow a long downwards trend.
‘However, it is unacceptable that more children died on the road,’ said Kevin Clinton, RoSPA’s head of road safety. 'Even though the numbers have fallen over the last 10 years, we need to understand why the latest figures for child deaths are so bad, and get back on track to reducing them.’