Call for zero road deaths as casualty reduction stalls

29 September 2016

Brake, the road safety charity, is calling on the government to take action and reduce the numbers of deaths and injuries on our roads. In recent years it has become increasingly apparent that reductions in road casualties are beginning to stall. Brake is calling on the government to act now to prevent stagnation in the long-term.

The Department for Transport report published today confirms that outside of a few minor gains road casualty reductions have remained largely static; and while we welcome the slight drop in road deaths and serious injuries on our roads, more must be done to speed up the process of road casualty reduction.

Worryingly, vehicle traffic has risen by almost 2% in the last year, matched by a significant population increase of 15% over the past 30 years; meaning as well as the increased danger of crashes, we are seeing increased pollution [1]. Much of this increase is being attributed to light goods vehicles, many running on diesel, which of course we have now learned is much more damaging to the environment than previously claimed.

Lucy Amos, research advisor for Brake, said: “The report released by the Department for Transport reveals the danger of complacency and over-confidence. The UK currently has one of the best road safety records in the world, but this cannot be relied upon. No road death is acceptable and we must continue to work towards reducing death and injury on the roads without compromise.

This is why Brake is calling for the reintroduction of ambitious casualty reduction targets to act as a driving force for the fight against road death and injury at the national level; increased investment in road infrastructure to develop a safe and sustainable road network; and more resources assigned to road traffic police to ensure that legislation can be effectively enforced.”

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Notes to Editors:

About Brake

Brake is a national road safety charity, founded in 1995, 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 campaignscommunity 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.

Follow Brake on TwitterFacebook, or The Brake Blog.

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.

End notes

[1] Reported road casualties Great Britain: Annual report 2015, Department for Transport, 2016

Tags: Department for Transport traffic government road deaths serious injury