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Slow progress in reducing road deaths

10 May 2007

  • Drop in accident figures reported...
  • ...but progress in reducing deaths too slow
  • Safety charity calls for more specific targets

car crash

Deaths and serious injuries on UK roads fell in 2006, according to new figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT), but a lack of progress in reducing fatalities is still being highlighted.

The estimates for 2006 show that 3150 people were killed on the roads, a 2% or 51 person reduction on 2005. The number of people killed or seriously injured fell from 32,155 in 2005 to 31,540 in 2006, another fall of 2% compared with 2005.

The DfT's 10-Year Transport Plan includes goals for reducing deaths and serious injuries by 40% compared with the 1994-1998 average (50% in the case of road users under 16).

While today's report shows that the DfT is just 6% shy of the 40% target, it is relying heavily on headway in reducing serious injuries, with little significant progress in reducing deaths.

Road safety charity Brake said: 'The number of people killed on our roads has fallen by a pitiful 12% since the 1994-1998 average. Brake is urging the Government to set a separate target for reducing fatal crashes, where reductions are still shockingly small.'

The number of children killed or seriously injured fell to 3260, a 6% drop on the 2005 total of 3472. More detailed data that reveals the specific number of children killed are not available in the latest batch of figures, but will be released in June.

When deaths and serious injuries are taken together, the DfT says it is beating its 50% reduction target by 6%, but this again rests on big reductions in serious injuries rather than deaths.

Overall, 258,140 people were killed, seriously injured or injured in road accidents in 2006, a fall of 5% compared with 2005.

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