The Institute for Advanced Motorists (IAM) and many other leading bodies in the world of road safety and beyond have expressed their real concern at the alarming increase in road deaths in Britain, following the publication of the latest accident statistics by the Department for Transport at the end of June.
The figures released showed that over all casualties rose in 2015 for the first time in 18 years, a damning statistic which shows that the long trend of falling casualties wasn’t guaranteed to continue. The IAM in particular have come out to state the need for the government to make some serious changes and radical steps to reverse these shocking figures and ensure that, when the figures are released in another 12 months’ time, they’re not even worse. The IAM have asserted they do not want this downward turn to become a trend and there are a number of ways they want the government to act. Main points within their plan include much closer attention to pedestrian safety and an active effort to return the number of police traffic officers to the former levels, as they have been steadily decreasing.
4% Increase in Road Deaths
The latest figures from the Department for Transport reported that there were 1,775 reported road deaths in the whole of 2014, which translates as a 4% increase on 2013. Further to this, the number of those killed or seriously injured was 24,582, which is a 5% increase on the previous year. In the whole of 2014, the casualties of all severities numbered 194,477 which is an increase of 6% and this marks the first increase in overall casualties since 1997.
Looking specifically at pedestrian fatalities, the figures show that they increased by a worrying 12% from 398 in 2013 to 446 in 2014 and the levels of vehicle traffic also increased by 2.4%. Another key statistic which stands out is the shocking figure that shows that the number of people killed on roads with a 20mph limit increased by a huge 367%.
Radical Change for Safer Roads
The IAM has shared a number of ways that they believe the government could reverse these shocking figures. Greater focus on driver and rider quality is one of their key points, with the option of incentives for individuals and companies who choose to consistently update and develop their driving skills. There also needs to be a real focus on pedestrian safety, which they believe can be achieved through car technology and design which should be focused on protecting the vulnerable outside the vehicle, rather than solely protecting those within. This type of technology includes pedestrian air bags and detector systems. The responsibility isn’t all on drivers and manufacturers however, as pedestrians themselves need to develop their road sense, education and respect of the roads.