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'Urgent review' called for after government figures show increase in road fatalities

Widespread concern from road safety campaigners as rise in road deaths is reported for first time in nearly 20 years

Cyclist in rush hour

25 June 2015

News that 2014 saw an increase in the number of all levels of road casualties for the first time in almost two decades has today prompted calls from road safety campaigners for an ‘urgent review’ of measures in place to protect road users across the county.

The latest government figures reveal that the number of deaths was up 4%, with pedestrians accounting for 446 fatalities in total, and three quarters of the increase.

Serious injuries sustained on the UK’s roads increased 5%, and the number of slight injuries jumped 6%.

The number of children under the age of 15 killed went up by five, from 48 in 2013 to 53 in 2014; with pedal cyclists also accounting for 113 of the 1,775 deaths and more than 3,400 serious injuries.

Today, campaigners and personal injury law experts at Leigh Day said the figures were a ‘stark reminder’ of the importance of ensuring that road safety is a ‘permanent political agenda point’, with the Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) also calling for road safety targets to be reintroduced.

Sally Moore, head of the cycling team at Leigh Day said: “This week another cyclist was killed by an HGV in London, leaving a family devastated and struggling to come to terms with their loss. These figures serve as a stark reminder that we must never be complacent when it comes to ensuring the safety of every road user – from cyclists to pedestrians, commercial to domestic drivers.”

The figures, described as ‘worrying’ by the RAC Foundation, also showed that the number of motorcyclists killed or injured rose to the highest level since 2009; the number of children seriously injured rose 5% from the previous year and the number of people over 60 that were killed was up 16.6%.

Whilst Andrew Jones, Transport Minister, said the figures still showed that Britain has ‘some of the safest roads in the world’, campaigners called for immediate action to be taken to ensure that casualties across the board were reduced.

IAM policy and research director Neil Greig 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."

Sally Moore from Leigh Day said: “Time and time again we see the devastation caused to people’s lives as a result of a road crash.

“Irrespective of how the UK’s road safety record stacks up against other countries whilst there is still such a significant number of serious injuries and fatalities year on year it is essential that the measures in place to protect members of the public are regularly reviewed, and this means ensuring that it has a permanent place on the political agenda.”

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