UK Road Casualties 2014

In the 12 month period to September 2014 the number of road deaths, those killed or seriously injured, as well as casualties of all severities all rose compared with the same period in 2013. This is according to figures that were released today by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The report shows that the number of road deaths was 1,730 an increase of 1%. The number of killed or seriously injured (KSI) increased by 4% to 24,360. It also shows that the number of child KSI casualties rose by 3%.

There were a total of 192,910 reported road casualties of all severities in the period to September 2014, this figure is 5% higher (184,087) then that reported in the period to September 2013.

With a 2% increase in motor traffic levels then overall casualty rate per vehicle mile increased by 3%.

The DfT report says:

“Part of the reason for these increases over the rolling years is the unusually low number of casualties in the first quarter of 2013. This resulted in a large increase in casualties between Q1 2013 and Q1 2014 with offsetting falls in other quarters.”

UK road casualties 2014 responses

The road safety charity Brake has expressed “dismay” at the results. Julie Townsend, the deputy chief executive of Brake, said:

“These casualty increases are the tragic result of a failure of ambition. They come on the back of three years of flat-lining road death and serious injury figures, during which the government congratulated itself on having ‘some of the safest roads in the world’, rather than making forward thinking decisions and setting targets to secure further reductions. We need a commitment to a long-term vision of nobody being killed or seriously injured on our roads, rather than settling for the status quo.”

Brake is calling on all political parties to make 3 general election manifesto pledges:

  • Change the default urban speed limit to 20mph to protect people on foot and bike, and allow everyone to walk and cycle without fear.
  • Introduce graduated driver licensing, to allow new drivers to build skills and experience gradually while exposed to less danger.
  • Introduce a zero-tolerance drink drive limit of 20mg per 100ml of blood, to stamp out the menace of drink driving once and for all.

The Institute of Advance Motorists (IAM) has also expressed “disappointment” at the rise in the figures. Neil Greig, IAM’s director of policy and research, said:

“It is disappointing that after many years of solid falls in the numbers of people killed and injured on our roads, the Government has taken its eye off the ball.

“These figures reflect our view that cuts in visible policing and road safety spending has had an impact, with a third successive quarter of increases. We have had pretty much two decades of falls in the KSI figures, and while these new figures can in no way be regarded as a trend, they are a big concern.”

He also went on to add that a change in driver attitude would be needed before we are able to see a major fall in the numbers of people killed or seriously injured on our roads and added:

“This is an opportunity for us to prove the key underlying part that driver skills and behaviour play in road safety.

“Most crashes are caused by human error, and technology can only deliver so much. If we don’t change policy we will still be killing 1,000 people a year in 2030 – that is unacceptable.”