Complacency in national road safety casualty statistics

The DfT published annual road casualty statistics 2019 for Great Britain this week*, and the overarching trend is no real or dramatic improvement in road deaths or serious casualties.

Road SafetyA total of 1,748 people were killed in reported road traffic accidents in Great Britain in 2019, which has effectively remained static since 2010.

There were 25,975 seriously injured casualties, and 125,592 slightly injured casualties reported to the police (although it is believed that slight casualties are under-reported).

Commenting on the publication Des Morrison, DriveTech Director of Police Contracts, said: “On the back of the PACTS report and the recent HMIC inspection findings pointing up that roads policing needs greater priority, the DfT provisional figures for KSIs** in 2019 shines a further lens of concern.

Across the sector it raises the question, not merely about a reduction in resource, denuded levels of policing resource, a reduction in road safety enforcement activity but perhaps suggests we’ve become complacent? Have we become complacent and accepting of 5 deaths a day on our roads? Has it become normalised? The various reports and findings points up the need to prioritise roads policing, increase resource to match and fashion new ways to positively impact on bringing about a reduction in KSIs**.”

Charlie Norman, MD at DriveTech added: “Our whole business commitment as the road risk operation within the AA, is to provide driver risk management and driver training interventions to help improve the road safety landscape. Along with our parent company, AA, campaigning regularly around the risk of drowsy driving, use of mobile phones and the spirit of sharing the road safely with more vulnerable road users, we must strengthen our resolve and national investment in bringing down this unacceptable level of deaths and serious (often life changing) injuries.

A majority of all fatalities and casualties are due to driver error. The report shows positive trends for young drivers which is good, and hopefully a product of the road safety focus placed on this sector over the past few years. However, all other sectors show a static or worsening trend. In particular, fatalities of drivers over 60 is worsening as this population size increases. As our vehicles become ever more complex and the pace of change increases, we think the time is right to debate whether allowing a driver to rely throughout their adult lives on a test they took, quite possibly, in their teens is sufficient. At DriveTech, we are convinced that some form of continuous education is necessary to improve road safety.”


* https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/reported-road-casualties-great-britain-provisional-results-2019

 **KSI – Killed and seriously injured.

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