Road deaths rise in 2014

police man on a motorbike in Essex and Hertfordshire

The number of people killed on the UK’s roads has risen for the first time in 17 years.

The Department for Transport (DfT) today revealed the worrying statistics, with a four per cent rise in road deaths when compared to 2013.

In total, 1,775 deaths were reported last year, a figure higher than the previous two years.

And the bad news doesn’t stop there as the number of people seriously injured on UK roads also jumped by five per cent to 22,807 in 2014 when compared to 2013.

Overall, there were 194,477 casualties on UK roads of all severities. This is the first rise in overall casualties since 1997 after a growth of six per cent when compared to the year before.

Once again, motorcyclists account for a disproportionate amount of fatalities on UK roads with almost 350 deaths and make up 19 per cent of all deaths.

According to the DfT, that is an increase of 2.4 per cent when compared to 2013, marking two consecutive years of growth in motorbike road deaths.

The number of riders and bikers seriously injured also jumped markedly, by 8.7 per cent compared to 2013 with those slightly injured also rising by the same amount.

Worryingly, the rise in injured casualties on two wheels has outstripped the increase in total motorcycle traffic, indicating that the rise is not simply down to more numbers of motorbikes on UK roads.

Industry reaction

Unsurprisingly, road safety groups have responded angrily to the report, urging the UK government to do more for vulnerable road users in the UK.

Kevin Clinton, head of road safety at Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “The reductions in road death and injury in recent years will not automatically be sustained, without a continued focus on road safety.

“We must remain focussed on making our roads safer for everyone, and especially for people travelling on foot and by two wheels.”

Meanwhile Brake was slightly more forceful with Ed Morrow, campaigns officer, calling for decisive action.

Morrow said: “We should be under no illusions as to the seriousness of these figures. Hand-wringing about statistical significance aside, the reversal of a downward casualty trend that has been ongoing for 17 years does not happen by chance.

“The government must take the bull by the horns on this, and it can start by reintroducing ambitious casualty reduction targets, with an ultimate aim of reducing deaths and serious injuries on our roads to zero.

“Every road death causes unimaginable human suffering, and every road death is preventable.”

The news comes hot on the heels of a similar announcement in Scotland where the number of people killed on roads north of the border grew by a massive 16 per cent.

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