Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

Campaigners demand urgent action to cut number of people killed on roads

Published 29/09/2016

RAC Foundation calling for tougher clampdowns on drivers who use mobile phones at the wheel
RAC Foundation calling for tougher clampdowns on drivers who use mobile phones at the wheel

Safety campaigners have urged the Government to take more action to cut road deaths after new figures showed there has been no significant reduction in the traffic accident fatalities since 2011.

A total of 1,730 people were killed on Britain's roads in 2015, according to the Department for Transport (DfT).

Although this represents a decrease of 45 fatalities from the previous year, the DfT said this change was probably due to "natural variation".

The report stated: " There has been no clear trend in the number of fatalities since around 2011."

Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, claimed the figures show the need for more measures such as the recently announced plan to double the punishment for illegal mobile phone use by drivers.

He said: " Humans remain the weakest link in road safety.

" In the decades ahead human error might be taken out of the equation by autonomous vehicles, but we can't sit back and wait for that day when so many people are being killed and seriously injured on our roads right now.

"Ministers have suggested that they are willing to act, for example on mobile phone penalties. We need them to get on with it."

The DfT's road casualty figures showed that the number of seriously injured casualties in road traffic accidents last year fell by 2.9% to 22,807.

Officials described the reduction as " statistically significant", adding that it probably reflects " genuine changes on British roads".

Vehicle traffic levels increased by 1.6 per cent between 2014 and 2015.

A DfT spokesman said: "Britain continues to have some of the safest roads in the world and last year we had the second lowest total of road fatalities on record.

"However, we are determined to do more.

"We've just announced tougher penalties using a mobile phone while driving, which was just one of a raft of plans in our recently published Road Safety Statement.

"We are also working closely with safety groups on common sense proposals that balance tougher penalties for dangerous drivers with help for road users to stay safe."

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph