Department of Transport Road Casualty Figures

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) have reported that for the first time since records began, the number of deaths per year on British roads has fallen below 2,000.

They credit the reduction to a strong road safety strategy.

The Department for Transport figures show 1,857 people died in road accidents during 2010, which is a 16% reduction from 2009.

In addition, the number of people seriously injured in road accidents reduced by 8% in 2010 to 22,660.

Sadly, there was an increase of seven per cent in the number of cyclists killed in road accidents, up to 111 in 2010.

Speaking in response to the figures, RoSPA’s head of road safety said:

“That road accident deaths have fallen below 2,000 for the first time since records began in the 1920s is a significant achievement, and particularly considering that much of the reduction has happened in very recent history – in the mid-1980s, for example, road deaths stood at around 5,500 a year.”

“This achievement proves the value and effectiveness of a comprehensive road safety strategy which has strong government leadership and involves the joint working of the road safety community. We obviously need to understand fully the reasons for the significant reduction in deaths from 2009 to 2010; it might be that the economic downturn has had a part to play, through a reduction in traffic and lower speeds, and perhaps also the particularly harsh winter. But there is no doubt that Britain?s world-leading strategic approach to road safety has provided the context for continuous casualty reduction for several decades.”

“Of course, the figures also highlight the need to continue this good work over the next 10 years in order to avoid the danger that the downwards trend is reversed. Maintaining and improving on this success over coming years, with less money and fewer staff for road safety, plus increasing traffic as the economy improves, will be the challenge.”

“The rise in cyclist casualties is clearly disappointing. As the number of people cycling increases, we must find ways to make the roads safer for them, through a combination of road designs that make cycling safer and better education and training for both motorists and cyclists.”

We reported on the Government’s publication of the Strategic Framework for Road Safety last month. These figures show that the targets have actually been surpassed for casualty reduction.

Although this news is welcomed, clearly further work is to be done to reduce these statistics.