Figures released by the Department for Transport (DfT) show that there has been an increase in overall road casualties in Britain for the first time in 18 years.
The figures show there were 1,775 reported road deaths in 2014, an increase of 4% compared with 2013. The number of those killed or seriously injured in Britain increased by 5% to 24,582. There were a total of 194,477 casualties of all severities, an increase of 6%, the first increase in overall casualties since 1997.
Pedestrian fatalities increased by 12% from 398 in 2013 to 446 in 2014, and vehicle traffic levels increased by 2.4% between 2013 and 2014. In addition, the numbers of people killed on roads with a 20mph limit increased by 367%.
Neil Greig, director of policy and research at the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM), said: “These figures are greatly concerning and show the time for action is now.
“We are clear on what needs to happen. We call again for road safety targets to be reintroduced – they are the only clear way of ensuring reductions are measured and achieved. There also must be a greater focus on driver and rider quality and incentives for companies and individuals to continuously develop their skills.
“There also needs to be a focus on tackling pedestrian deaths, an area which is often ignored. We believe that car technology and design should now shift from occupant protection to protecting the vulnerable outside cars.”
RAC chief engineer David Bizley said: “These figures will make for disappointing reading by the government, road safety professionals and the general public; it does appear that the days of annual reductions in road casualties now appear to be well and truly over.
“National efforts to tackle road safety appear to be stalling, after decades of progress in reducing the numbers killed or injured on the roads. A new national strategy on road safety cannot come soon enough. These figures serve to highlight just how pressing the need is for road safety to be given the political focus it clearly so desperately needs.”