DriveTech acknowledges publication of 2017 GB road casualty statistics with more to be done to save more lives
The Department for Transport (DfT) published official GB road casualty figures for 2017 on the 27 September indicating a stalling in the reduction of deaths on Great Britain’s roads.
According to the Reported road casualties in Great Britain: 2017 annual report, published by DfT there were 1,793 reported road deaths in 2017.
This is an increase of just one fatality on the 2016 figures, and the trend in fatalities has been largely flat since 2010.
AA president Edmund King said that progress in reducing road fatalities had been stalled for ‘far too long', adding 'more effort is clearly needed to improve safety across the UK for all road users’.
He said: ‘Back in 2010, the Coalition Government removed road safety targets. We feel it is time to bring back a challenging target and aim to reduce annual road deaths to zero within 10 years. We should also improve driver education, police enforcement and indeed engineering of some of our most dangerous roads.'
There was a rise in casualties amongst more vulnerable road user groups, including pedestrians and motorcyclists. A holistic approach to road safety, embracing all road users, must be a positive way forward, and the absence of hard casualty reduction targets at national level is also a concern in keeping these statistics (and their impact on lives and costs) front of mind.
With increasing driver assistance technology in-vehicle (eg: parking sensors, lane assist, automatic distance braking assistance) all with an intended safety benefit, it is perhaps surprising that road deaths have not reduced. There is surely an opportunity to consider greater education of drivers, and a much greater appreciation of the benefits of this new assistance equipment. However, drivers should not over-rely on technology and should always remain alert, aware of vehicle surroundings and in control of the vehicle at all times.
DriveTech Managing Director, David Wilson, commented: ‘Public awareness campaigns such as the global Decade of Road Safety Action and the European-focused Project EDWARD help tremendously to get the issue into the public’s and business driver’s conscience. But specific targets must surely help focus efforts to further reduce these statistics that are devastating for so many.
‘The Government’s own capacity review found a perception that road safety is not as high a priority as it could be due to a lack of targets.’
In 2017 there were 24,831 serious injuries in road traffic collisions, reported to the police. This compares with 24,101 in 2016. Officials warned that comparison with earlier years should be interpreted with caution due to changes in systems for severity reporting.
There was a total of 170,993 casualties of all severities in 2017. This was 6% lower than in 2016 and the lowest level on record.
Please click here for the Reported Road Casualties Great Britain Annual Report 2017.
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