The Department for Transport (DfT) has released its report on road casualties over the past year, which reveal the reduction in fatalities has stalled.
Statistics reveal that 1,784 people were killed on Britain’s roads in reported road traffic accidents; whilst this is a huge reduction when looking at previous decades – and during a particularly substantial reduction from 2006 to 2010 – the number of road casualties recorded is similar to the level of 2012.
Indeed, since the start of this decade, the trend in fatalities has been broadly flat; evidence points to stable fatality numbers, with changes relating to random variation – this is highlighted by the fact that the change in fatality numbers in 2018 compared to 2017 is a 1% drop.
Also of concern is the number of people killed or seriously injured (KSI) on the road network in 2018; in that year, reported road deaths rose by 5.9% compared with 2017, and for those seriously injured, the increase was even higher (7.4%) – reported on all road types on the network.
Highways England is concerned about the 8% rise in road deaths on the motorways in 2018.
The operator of the country’s roads also said that its Strategic Road Network is one of the safest in the world, carrying a third of all traffic and two thirds of road freight.
Its smart motorways indicate that they are as safe as the wider motorway network, and the number of people harmed on the network has continued to reduce.
Richard Leonard, Head of Road Safety at Highways England, said: “Our aim is to provide a network where no one is killed or injured while travelling on our roads – the report indicates there is still much more that needs to be done.
“The numbers are very concerning and while over the last 15 years, safety has improved and our roads are amongst the safest in the world, each incident is a tragedy for the individuals and the families concerned.”
It is why the likes of Transport for London are pressing ahead with Vision Zero.