UK & World News
MPs Warn Over Road Safety As Deaths Increase
A group of MPs is telling the Government more could be done to tackle road safety after figures showed the first increase in road deaths for eight years.
The number of people killed on Britain's roads rose by nearly 3% last year - the first increase in almost a decade, according to Government figures.
The House of Commons Transport Committee report is calling for more to be done to keep Britain's roads safer.
Launching the report, committee chairman Louise Ellman MP said: "We are very concerned that 2011 saw the first increase in road fatalities since 2003, with 1,901 people killed on the roads.
"It is shocking that road accidents are the main cause of death among young adults aged 16-24 and that so many cyclists continue to be killed or injured.
"In 2010, there were 283 fatalities amongst car occupants aged 16-25, while 27% of young men aged 17-19 are involved in a road collision within the first year of passing their test."
She went on: "If the Government is not willing to set targets, it should show more leadership.
"Action is required to improve road safety for young drivers, including an independent review of driver training."
Adrian Davison, 18, died when a car being driven by his best friend left the road in Bramhope near Leeds.
His father Tony wants to see road safety added to the school curriculum, and describes these latest figures as disappointing.
"The figures have been falling year-on-year, so it's disappointing to see a dip like this," he told Sky News.
"Let's hope it is just a dip because every one of those numbers represents a tragedy for other families."
The Department for Transport chose not to be interviewed about the report.
But Road Safety minister Mike Penning has issued a statement saying: "Naturally, I am disappointed that there has been even a small increase in the number of people killed or seriously injured in 2011, however deaths and serious injuries last year were still 7% below 2009 and the number killed was also the second lowest since the 1930s.
"We continue to take urgent action to crack down on the most dangerous drivers and improve training to make our roads safer."
AA president Edmund King said: "The report highlights the need for leadership yet quotes the Association of Chief Police Officers as saying that road safety is not part of their strategic policing requirements and hence chief constables will not necessarily look at roads policing because there are no national targets.
"We believe that more emphasis in road safety needs to be put on enforcement and that a reduction in cops in cars will do nothing to deter the drunk, drugged, distracted, dangerous drivers."
what do you think?
watch out, more speed cameras in inappropriate places to make money. remember, we have overcrowded roads that are falling to pieces. how does roads that need repairing contribute to road traffic accidents? strangely silent from the powers that be there.
a lot of increase is due to foreigners,truckers with left hand drive cannot see blind spots.on a police documentary,a woman had been driving since 2002 without a full licence.she had a licence from middle east country.
Most drivers I experience on local roads and motorways drive too fast and too close. Lorries in particular can be very intimidating when they drive up close behind you. Recently on the M25 - a relative 'safe' road compared to many - there was not a single vehicle allowing the recommended distance between vehicles at the speeds they were going. I have now been driving for nearly 50 years and I believe the conduct of most motorists and in particular commercial vehicles (often having to meet tight deadlines) is now at its worst. These figures seem to show that situation. It is time for a radical re-think on the conduct of driving for all our sakes.
John. You have got in a nutshell. Too fast & too close is exactly right and on motorways HGV drivers are the worst. They have tight deadlines and try to maintain momentum for the next incline. With 40 tons of wagon behind them the stopping distances is increased. Car drivers don't help though when they cut in in front of them
Do the Authorities not link this to the massive increase in our population that was announced recently, I know personally of 4 people in the last year who have had no-fault accidents........all with Eastern European migrant workers in LHD cars on foreign plates, 3 of which had no insurance valid in the UK.
i agree with that statement and also have you noticed the number of accidents caused on the motorways by foreign lorry drivers?
It is logical, to most people, that an increase in population will cause an increase in accidents but MPs don't understand logic. As for foreign lorry drivers they should be made to leave their trailer at the port and return home with an empty, allowing the full trailer to travel in this country towed by a British driver, driving a RHD tractor unit. More safety, more jobs.
How about a proper breakdown of how these accidents were caused so we can truthfully evaluate what the major causes were...and as stated above does the population growth and number of foreign drivers impact on these figures.....?
Very true Simon. It is amazing how these figures are released and demands for action made without any true evaluation of the causes
The police already fill in a form which details what they think the causes of any accident are. All this data is collated by DoT and annual report is issued but not publicised because it usually debunks their 'speed kils' mantra.
Absolutely right Philip. That is all government and local councils are interested in SPEED. Means they can reduce limits, erect more cameras and rake in even more money for their pet road calming schemes
About time we had a highway patrol similar to the US. £60 fine for non use of indicators and middle lane hogging will pay for it.Also,as has been proven, talking on the phone is worse than drink driving so it should be an automatic 12 month ban and £1000 fine.Nobody is that important that they need to put others lives in danger just to answer the phone.
Also the use of mobile phones is not being tackled I drive quite alot for business and the amount of people who use the phone while at the wheel is astounding,I often see people texting while on the motorway mainly women I might add....it is quite unbelievable.
And each one of those is a potential killer,thats why it should be an automatic 12 month ban
Exactly right lads. Each one of these drivers is potential killer and there are thousands of them doing it. When the law was introduced the police spent the first 3 months advising those they caught how dangerous it was instead of hammering the idots. It is time it is treated in the same way as drink driving
Its not rocket science but if you have increase in the population as stated by the census then it is inevitable that there will be more traffic deaths. Vehicles are much safer if looked after correctly so it's got to be people. It will do no good the government throwing money at a people problem as been proved many times.
I do a lot of driving, motorway and a roads across the country and we need to move away from the reliance on cameras. Motorway driving needs to be taught, I see people driving too close, hogging the middle lane and not checking for vehicles approaching when switching lanes. I also ride bikes and was taught about the life saver (checking over your shoulder) and believe car drivers should be taught this also. On national speed limit roads I often follow drivers that are doing 45 mph in good conditions and that's fine if that's how they feel comfortable, but when they then enter a 30 mph zone they do not slow down. If they are not good enough to do move than 45 on a country road no way should they be doing it passing schools etc.
Yes I can't stand the 40mph people.....they won't let you overtake as though they are policing a 40mph limit on a60mph road then carry on at 40 through 30mph limited area....clueless people..middle lane hogging doesn't seem as bad a it was but they usually do it on almost empty roads now.
Also a biker I was told to.lifesaver and also look for escape routes. I ride mainly in the middle lane for safety as the inner lanes usually through bikes all over the place. I've done advanced courses and use my biking skills in the car. I might not stick to speed limits
Kids in fast cars, courier drivers who are completely mental and local authorities nicking part of the highway and calling it a cycle lane. How often do you say to yourself 'I wish there was a copper here' when you get carved up by some speeding looney but where are they?
So many statistics on young people, what about the rest of drivers on the road? 27% of young men aged 17-19 were involved in an accident in the 1st year after passing their test, 73% weren't!!! If the Government want to do something about road safety then they should implement driver reassesment every 5 years for ALL drivers, with their licence being taken away if they don't come up to a predetermined standard. At the moment there is no deterant for not keeping up driving skills.