30/06/2005

Road deaths ‘lowest since figures began’

The number of people killed on Britain’s roads last year was the lowest since records began in 1926, according to the latest government figures.

The number of people killed in road accidents in 2004 was 3,221 – a drop of 8% on 2003’s figures ,when 3,508 were killed.

The figures contrast with an estimated increase in road traffic of 2% last year.

Road Safety Minister Stephen Ladyman said: “The figures released today are very encouraging with a substantial drop in the number of people who died on Britain’s roads. However, one year’s figures should not make anyone feel complacent. On average nearly nine people a day still died in road accidents last year and that figures is still too high.”

The government aims to achieve a 40% reduction in the number of people killed or seriously injured in road accidents, compared with the average figures for 1994-98, by 2010. The government also aims to halve the number of children killed or seriously injured and reduce the number of slight casualties by 10%.

Against these targets, the casualty figures for 2004 indicate that the number of people killed or seriously injured was 28% below that figure, while the number of children involved was 43% below the 1994-98 average. The provisional estimate of slight casualties was also 20% below the average figure.

Mr Ladyman said: “Britain has one of the best road safety records in the world and the government is committed to improving it further. We are currently taking a Road Safety Bill through Parliament, which contains a raft of measures to build on the progress we are making. The government will continue to highlight the importance of road safety and to remind all road users of their responsiblities to themselves and others.”

(KMcA/SP)

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