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Disappointment at Rise in Road Casualty Figures

Road safety organisation the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has expressed disappointment at the rise in numbers of people killed and seriously injured on UK roads revealed in Department of Transport figures.

The charity blames many years of Government cutbacks and the resulting drop in visible policing for this increase in figures.

“It is disappointing that after many years of solid falls in the numbers of people killed and injured on our roads, the Government has taken its eye off the ball,” explained Neil Greig, IAM director of policy and research.

“These figures reflect our view that cuts in visible policing and road safety spending has had an impact, with a third successive quarter of increases. We have had pretty much two decades of falls in the KSI (killed/seriously injured) figures, and while these new figures can in no way be regarded as a trend, they are a big concern.”

According to the latest Department of Transport figures, there were 1,711 deaths in the year ending September 2014, which is an increase of 1%. In addition, there were 24,360 KSI casualties over the year, which is a 4% increase compared with the previous year.

Child KSI casualties rose by 3% over this period. For the year ending September 2014, there were 192,910 reported road casualties of all severities, 5% higher than the 184,087 for the year ending September 2013.

The IAM says that this is the perfect opportunity to stress that a change in driver attitude must happen before we see any major falls in numbers killed and injured on our roads.

“This is an opportunity for us to prove the key underlying part that driver skills and behaviour play in road safety,” added Neil Greig.

“Most crashes are caused by human error, and technology can only deliver so much. If we don’t change policy we will still be killing 1,000 people a year in 2030 – that is unacceptable,” he concluded. “Driver behaviour, skills and training will be the key focus for our future research and policy work.”

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