Charity urges government action as figures confirm stalled progress in road casualty reduction

Thursday 25 September 2014

Brake, the road safety charity
news@brake.org.uk 

The government's official annual road casualty report, out today, has confirmed figures showing disappointingly slow progress in reducing road casualties in the UK. 1,713 people were killed in 2013, at a rate of five a day, 2% fewer than in 2012. 21,657 people suffered serious injuries, at a rate of 59 a day, 6% fewer than in 2012. Provisional figures were released in June – see Brake's full reaction.

Brake, the road safety charity, welcomed the reduction, but stressed that the government needs to do much more to reduce casualties faster. The figures continue a trend that has seen progress in reducing road casualties plateau since 2010. From 2007 to 2010, deaths on UK roads fell by 1,096. From 2010 to 2013, they have fallen by only 137.

As in previous years, the most common recorded cause of road crashes in 2013 was the driver or rider failing to look properly, highlighting the relevance of this year's Road Safety Week theme: look out for each other. Road Safety Week, the UK's flagship road safety event, coordinated by Brake, takes place 17-23 November 2014.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, the road safety charity, said: "Road casualties in the UK are falling – but they are not falling nearly fast enough. Since 2010, progress has stalled dramatically. At this rate, it will be many more decades before we reach the only acceptable number of casualties on our roads, and that number is zero. The government needs to take far more proactive action to drive casualties down faster, including a zero-tolerance drink drive limit, a 20mph default urban speed limit, and graduated driver licensing to tackle young driver crashes."

Brake
Brake is a national road safety charity that exists to stop the needless deaths and serious injuries that happen on roads every day, make streets and communities safer for everyone, and care for families bereaved and injured in road crashes. Brake promotes road safety awareness, safe and sustainable road use, and effective road safety policies. We do this through national campaigns, community education, services for road safety professionals and employers, and by coordinating the UK's flagship road safety event every November, Road Safety Week. Brake is a national, government-funded provider of support to families and individuals devastated by road death and serious injury, including through a helpline and support packs.

Brake was founded in the UK in 1995, and now has domestic operations in the UK and New Zealand, and works globally to promote action on road safety.

Road crashes are not accidents; they are devastating and preventable events, not chance mishaps. Calling them accidents undermines work to make roads safer, and can cause insult to families whose lives have been torn apart by needless casualties.